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International Law and Fifty Years of Occupation

Lisa Hajjar
October 20th, 2017
11:45 AM


Friday, October 20, 2017
11:45 am - 1:15 pm

Forum for Scholars and Publics
Duke's West Campus Quad
011 Old Chem

A light lunch will be served.

The Israeli government’s approach to controlling the West Bank and Gaza and changes in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the past fifty years involve evolving official reinterpretations of international humanitarian law (IHL) as well as human rights laws. These reinterpretations, while intellectually sophisticated, deviate significantly from international consensus about the status of the occupied territories and the rights and duties of an occupying state. The reinterpretive project has been undertaken in order to, first, assert that the territories are not "occupied" and then "legalize" state practices toward Palestinians that violate customary legal norms and bedrock rules of IHL, including torture, targeted killing, and the use of massive force against civilians. Israel’s continuing occupation provides a unique testing ground to debate the interpretation, applicability, and enforceability of IHL. This talk addresses the reinterpretative project and its consequences.

Cosponsored by the Forum for Scholars and Publics, Humanities Futures @ the Franklin Humanities Institute, and the Duke University Middle East Studies Center.

Cover Art: David Reeb.


"50 Years of Occupation, 1967-2017: Israel/Palestine, Histories and Futures"

SEPTEMBER 28 - Joyce Dalsheim, "The Anthropologist and the Settler: Updates From the Field in Israel/Palestine"

OCTOBER 2 - Diana Allan, "Still Life: Experiences of Palestinian Exile"

OCTOBER 20 - Lisa Hajjar, "International Law and Fifty Years of Occupation"

OCTOBER 26 - Amahl Bishara, "Posting While Palestinian: Shifting Bounds for Expression in the West Bank and Israel"

NOVEMBER 9 - Helen Yanovsky, "Human Rights on Camera in the Palestinian West Bank"

NOVEMBER 16 - Daniel Seidemann, "Jerusalem Fifty Years On: United or Occupied?"

DECEMBER 5 - Lara Friedman, "Enabler or Peacemaker? U.S. Policy and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict"


Lisa Hajjar

University of California, Santa Barbara

Lisa Hajjar is a professor of sociology at the University of California – Santa Barbara. Her publications include Courting Conflict: The Israeli Military Court System in the West Bank and Gaza (University of California Press, 2005) and Torture: A Sociology of Violence and ...

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