Save the Date! New Blog, Attorney General Koster on Lawfare & Other Lawfare News…

New LP Blog: “Borders, Sovereignty, Provocation, and Lawfare”

Following Syrian-orchestrated attempts to breach Israel’s borders, The Lawfare Project has released a brief blog entry explaining that a) protecting borders and territory is a fundamental aspect of sovereignty; b) Syria violated its own obligations in seeking to foment strife against Israel; and c) attempts to delegitimize Israel’s basic exercise of its sovereign right to defend its borders and territory constitute lawfare. The blog entry, by LP Research Director Aaron Eitan Meyer, is available on the LP’s website at:

https://thelawfareproject.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=357:borders-sovereignty-provocation-and-lawfare&catid=44:blog&Itemid=76

Lawfare News

The following recent articles will serve to illustrate how lawfare is continuing to manifest around the world. Please note that third-party articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Lawfare Project, and the inclusion of article summaries does not necessarily constitute endorsement of any views taken therein.

a. Missouri state Attorney General Chris Koster speaks on lawfare during trip to Israel

Missouri’s Attorney General Chris Koster, who sponsored a March 15, 2011 event with The Lawfare Project entitled “LAWFARE: The Use of the Law as a Weapon of War & Implications for U.S. National Security,” demonstrated his understanding of the lawfare dynamic while in Israel. As the Jerusalem Post reported, Attorney General Koster pointed out that “It is important that lawfare is not painted as a Jewish problem or one affecting only Jews. It is a problem that affects all free people, including the United States,” after he noted that “The topic of ‘lawfare’ is just emerging in the US.”

The Jerusalem Post article, entitled “Visiting US A-Gs show admiration for Peres, Supreme Court,” does contain one inaccurate statement regarding lawfare. The article states that “Lawfare denotes the use of international law to attack an opponent on moral grounds and win a public relations victory.” In fact, lawfare is considerably more varied in its manifestations, objects and effects, as The Lawfare Project has pointed out consistently.

The Jerusalem Post article is available in its entirety at http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=222259; a brief definition and description of lawfare is available on The Lawfare Project’s website at https://thelawfareproject.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=120&Itemid=74, and is further expanded upon in several articles by LP staff, which are available at https://thelawfareproject.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=31&Itemid=62

b. Suppression of Free Speech and other Human Rights Violations

The history of democracy demonstrates that the freedom of speech and of the press is, in the words of the 1776 Constitution of Virginia, “one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.” Moreover, “Press censorship and human rights abuse go hand in hand,” as journalist Heather Robinson noted in a June 3rd New JerseyJewish Standard article entitled, “Do not give up on commitment to human rights and press freedom.” Similarly, it was sadly unsurprising to see a front-page article on June 7th by Marc Champion in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Call the Prime Minister a Turkey, Get Sued,” which castigates Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for filing what may be hundreds of suits against critics and satirists, and that “Ataol Behramoglu, a Russian professor at Istanbul’s Beykent University who is also a published poet and ardent secularist, thinks Mr. Erdogan sues as a matter of cold policy.” LP Research Director Aaron Eitan Meyer had earlier considered Erdogan’s manipulation of free speech in a December, 2010 article that appeared in Big Peace after Erdogan threatened to sue former U.S. diplomats over statements made in confidential documents leaked by Wikileaks.

The New Jersey Jewish Standard article is available in its entirety at http://www.jstandard.com/content/item/do_not_give_up_on_commitment_to_human_rights_and_press_freedom/18837; the Wall Street Journal article requires a subscription to be read in its entirety at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304563104576357411896226774.html?mod=WSJ_World_MIDDLENews; and the Big Peace article is available in its entirety at http://bigpeace.com/aemeyer/2010/12/03/wikileaks-turkish-pm-threatens-to-sue-diplomats-for-slander-in-cables/

Benjamin Ryberg