Countering Challenges to Israel’s Legitimacy

by Alan M. Dershowitz

Of all the nations on the face of the earth, Israel has the most lawful origin. It was conceived in law, born through law, and has survived lawfully. It is not among the nations, such as the United States, born in bloodshed through revolution. Nor has it, like other nations, been expanded through aggressive warfare. It was not settled by outsiders, as were Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, and other countries.

It did not, like those countries, rid itself of virtually the entire native population, since Jews were its aboriginal people and approximately a million Arabs now constitute a fifth of its population.

Yet despite its origins in resolutions of the League of Nations, the United Nations, and its own declaration of statehood, recognized by most of the world, Israel is the only country in the world today whose legitimacy is rejected by its enemies and questioned by others. Other countries are criticized, as is Israel, for their policies, their actions, and their omissions. But only with respect to Israel does criticism quickly transform into demonization, delegitimization, and calls for its destruction.

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