The public debate concerning the Israel-Arab dispute demands that someone with a legal background and expertise respond in a competent and professional manner to press allegations that Israel has been acting illegally and contrary to international law in occupying the West Bank and Gaza Strip captured by Israel after the 1967 Six Days War.
I have tried to provide the reader with a relatively short description and analysis of the main legal issues arising out of the long conflict within its historical and political context so that the events are logically linked and their relative importance is expressed in the paragraphing of the text.
In the process of preparing for this project I learned that an analysis of the legal aspects of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza did not make sense if I just started from 1967. I had to go back to 1948. But even that was insufficient. In the end I opted- quite arbitrarily for the late 1800’s with the advent of something quite prosaic - a railway- because out of such small events, bigger movements can be seen to develop.
While this work was originally intended to view the conflict from an essentially Israeli perspective, during its composition I have naturally had to learn and understand the Palestinian position. This has caused me to view the situation somewhat differently from when I originally embarked on this project and to reconsider my opinion on a number of issues. I have therefore tried to bring into my analysis a fair balance of the claims made by both Israelis and Palestinians if my efforts are to be utilised by those for whom it is intended.
Gerald M. Adler,
Haifa and Hove, August 2008
About the authorDr. Gerald Adler, now retired from active professional practice, is an international lawyer in more senses than one. Born and raised in the UK , he received his undergraduate legal training at Osgoode Hall Law School , in Toronto , Ontario and his master’s and doctorate graduate degrees at Yale Law School in the United States . He qualified as a Barrister-at-Law in Ontario , as an Advocate in Israel and as Solicitor in England and Wales . Since 1964, he has been constantly engaged with law in all three countries – in academia, government, private practice and in industry - until 2002. Since then he has devoted his time and professional skills in trying to understand the socio-political and legal aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict and to pass on to others the fruits of his research.