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Boycott Calls Against Israel
Legal opinion on the article Academic Boycott of Uri Yacobi Keller, an MA student at Hebrew University, posted by IAM on December 20, 2009

Please see legal opinion on the article “Academic Boycott” of Uri Yacobi Keller, an MA student at Hebrew University, posted by IAM on December 20, 2009. Howard Grief's short bio and introduction to his book also below:


Howard Grief

Attorney and Notary

13/2 David Goitein Street,

Pisgat Ze’ev Mizrah, 97782 Jerusalem, Israel

Tel. (Fax): 972-2-656-0085

E-mail: GriefIsrael@yahoo.com


Jerusalem ?

25 Adar, 5770

March 11, 2010

Ms. Dana Barnett

Israel Academia Monitor

e-Mail: e-mail@israel-academia-monitor.com

Dear Dana,

Re: Article by Uri Yacobi Keller (The Sidney M. Edelstein Center for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Hebrew University)

If there is any question whether the article written by MA student Uri Yacobi Keller, on the subject of the “Academic Boycott of Israel” is anti-Israel, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it is. (Click to view his article http://israel-academia-monitor.com/index.php?type=large_advic&advice_id=7504&page_data%5Bid%5D=174&cookie_lang=en)

The article seeks to show the intimate collaboration and complicity of virtually all Israeli universities, including the Hebrew University, Bar-Ilan University, Tel-Aviv University and Haifa University, with what Keller calls the “unquestioning support of the occupation, mainly through [their] support of the Israeli security forces, their policies and actions”. He says these universities discriminate against Israeli Arabs whom he calls “Palestinian citizens of Israel”, by giving preferential treatment towards soldiers, ex-soldiers and future soldiers. Moreover, he falsely describes Judea and Samaria as “Occupied Palestinian Territories – OPT”.

Keller distinguishes between two types of academic boycott, the goal of which is “to end the occupation”, namely, the “ideological” type which targets specific universities (in this context, he lumps academic universities under the all-embracing term of “organizations”) which are involved with the “occupation”, and a second type, the “tactical” one that favours boycotting all organizations, even those that have nothing to do with the “occupation”, in order to put pressure on the Israeli Government “to cease the occupation”. In his conclusion, Keller hedges his bets when he says that “an academic boycott may be a legitimate action to achieve an end to the occupation (this is not to say that it must necessarily be used)” [emphasis added; brackets used in Keller’s original article]. Keller further concludes that a boycott of Israeli academic institutions is “a grave action that can cause great harm and antagonism and should therefore be approached cautiously and methodically”.

Despite Keller’s caveats or words of caution in resorting to an academic boycott of Israeli universities, his entire article is one which provides for its justification and implementation. It is thus clearly an anti-Israel, anti-Zionist clarion call that promotes sympathetically the Arab cause (according to him, the “Palestinian” cause) and at the same time unjustly maligns the Israeli Defense Forces as something evil. In this respect, Keller shows symptoms of a psychological malady, enjoying the benefits of an Israeli university education while biting the very hand that nourished it. He is a sad reflection of what Israel’s academic society has become today.

As the citation of Keller’s article indicates, he has provided ample grist for the mill of TAU Professor Yossi Schwartz, the co-chairperson of the Board of the Alternative Information Center that expounds on “the Complicity of Academic Institutions in the Occupation”. Schwartz’s group and the activity he despicably promotes, together with the supporting article by Keller, are emblematic of the treason that afflicts and pervades a substantial part of Israeli academia against the State of Israel. These academics disregard and demean our existing legal rights to settle and rule Judea and Samaria, rights that were established under international law as far back as 1920, are also part of Israeli constitutional law, and are still intact today.



Howard Grief


Copies: Att. Rahamim Cohen

            Att. David Heimowitz

            M.K. Prof. Arieh Eldad

            Dr. Robbie Sabel

            Yisrael Medad

            Att. Justus Reid Weiner




Howard Grief served as a legal advisor to Professor Yuval Ne'eman at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure in matters of international law pertaining to the Land of Israel and Jewish rights thereto. A Jerusalem-based attorney and notary, as well as a specialist in Israeli constitutional law, Howard Grief is the author of the "Petition to Annul the Interim Agreement" which was presented to Israel's Supreme Court. (The Court, calling the Petition "a political position" extricated itself from dealing with the matter.) The Petition was published as ACPR's Policy Paper No. 77 and describes the illegal nature of the Israel-PLO Agreements under Israeli law and their non-applicability under international law. Several feature articles of his have appeared in the pages of Nativ.


Lawyer Howard Grief writes about his newly published book
"The Legal Foundation and Borders Of Israel Under International Law - A
Treatise on Jewish Sovereignty over the Land Of Israel"

This book is the culmination of 25 years of serious study and analysis
of Israel's legal foundation and rights to the Land of Israel under
international law. My researches on this subject began in 1982 after I
had met in New York with the late Dr. Paul Riebenfeld, a legal scholar
on the subject of Transjordan, with whom I had subsequently, throughout
the 1980s, many discussions on Israel's legal rights and status in
regard to Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Prior to my first meeting with Dr.
Riebenfeld, I had followed intensely from my home city of Montreal the
events unfolding in Israel ever since my teenage years when the Sinai
War of 1956 was headline world news. Between 1956 and 1982, I had
acquired a considerable store of knowledge of the politics, history and
geography of Israel through voracious reading of newspapers and books
and attending lectures, both at McGill University and in public forums.
Some of the books I read that captured my interest on Israel were ones
written by Leon Uris – "Exodus", Richard Meinertzhagen – "Middle East
Diary", and Shmuel Katz – "Days of Fire", all of which made an indelible
impression on me. Another book, not surprisingly, was the Hebrew Bible,
the root and backbone of Judaism and the Jewish People. The stories of
the Bible always fascinated and inspired me, ever since my days as a
schoolchild. In 1980, I was asked to become the representative in Canada
of the newly-formed Tehiya party of Israel, a task I gladly accepted. I
then proceeded to form a group to represent it in the Canadian Zionist
Federation, which had the distinction of being the first official branch
outside Israel.
As a practicing attorney in Montreal since 1966, it was natural for me,
sooner or later, to interest myself in Israel's legal foundation and in
the rights of the Jewish People to Palestine and the Land of Israel.
This became a matter that required great attention after the Six-Day War
of June 1967, since Israel's legal position in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the
Golan and Sinai were topics of daily debate and acrimony. Israel was
constantly being assailed in the 1970s, as it still is today, for its
"occupation" of Arab territories, the implication being that it had no
right to the territories it had repossessed or liberated from enemy
occupation in the Six-Day War. To my sorrow, no satisfying legal
rebuttal was forthcoming to offset this false accusation, even by
committed advocates of Israel's cause. The best response offered was
that either Israel had a better "claim" to these territories than did
the surrounding Arab states, or that in any case everything would be
eventually settled in future peace agreements and that in the meantime
the status quo could continue. Not a single jurist ever voiced the
opinion, with supporting evidence, that Israel, as the agent and
assignee of the Jewish People, was the actual sovereign of Judea,
Samaria and Gaza or that the Golan was really an historical part of the
Land of Israel rather than of Syria illegally ceded to France in a 1922
agreement that took effect the following year or finally that the Jewish
People's long connection with Sinai dating back to the days of Moses, as
confirmed in the Torah, gave Israel a right to retain Sinai, a territory
which historically was never a part of Egypt except by virtue of
conquest during various periods in history.
In addition, the true importance of the Balfour Declaration of November
2, 1917 as encapsulated in the San Remo Resolution of April 25, 1920 was
not understood or realized. In fact, no single book contained an
organized and systematic presentation of Israel's legal rights to the
entire Land of Israel, not just the area included in the State of
Israel, but to all the land east and west of the Jordan, north and south
of the Yarmuk, and, separately, to Sinai and the territory of what is
today Southern Lebanon. The latter is geographically an extension of
Upper Galilee, that historically was part of ancient Israel and
therefore should have been included in the boundaries of Mandated
Palestine, had it not been for French obstinacy and imperial designs. It
was to rectify this glaring omission that I set myself the task of
composing the present book. I devoted day and night to writing it from
October 2001 to March 2003, and in the succeeding years made constant
additions, revisions and updates to reach the point of publication. The
book thus required seven years before it was ripe for publication.
I had for more than a decade prior to writing this book prepared the
ground for it by composing a series of articles and papers on legal
questions affecting the Land of Israel. Many of these articles appeared
in the Hebrew bi-monthly publication of Nativ, where I stressed the San
Remo Resolution as the principal founding document of the State of
Israel. My thesis was that the Jewish People were recognized under
international law as the de jure sovereign over Mandated Palestine ever
since the adoption of the San Remo Resolution. This view contrasted
sharply with that of other jurists who propagated the theory that there
existed a "sovereignty vacuum" for Judea, Samaria and Gaza or that these
regions had the legal status of unallocated (or unallotted) territories
of the Mandate for Palestine. At the time this view was propounded, it
appeared to many to favour Israel's interest. However, it actually
damaged Israel's legal case, since not only did it ignore the importance
of the San Remo Resolution, which had created Palestine for the
exclusive national benefit of the Jewish People, but also opened the
door to the local Arab inhabitants of the Land of Israel to claim
ownership of the so-called "unallocated territories" for themselves and
thereby acquire national and political rights over them that they were
never meant to have under the San Remo Resolution and the Mandate for
Palestine. I came to the conclusion that since all of Palestine had
already been allocated to the Jewish People at the San Remo Peace
Conference that issued the San Remo Resolution, the Arabs therefore had
no national rights whatever to any part of the territory of formerly
mandated Palestine under international law, though they, together with
the other inhabitants of the country, naturally enjoyed civil and
religious rights. It was in the mid-1980s that I began to formulate my
view that de jure sovereignty had already been vested in the Jewish
People over all of the Land of Israel dating from the 1920 San Remo
Resolution and then devolved upon the State of Israel upon its
re-establishment. I then explained this view to Dr. Paul Riebenfeld of
New York. He advised me that no one had previously expressed this
position. I also mentioned my view in an article I wrote in 1989,
published in The Jewish Press of Brooklyn, New York, on "the Question of
Sovereignty and Final Status of Judea, Samaria and Gaza" (August 4,
1989, p.4). In that article I stated that at a meeting of the Supreme
Council of the victorious Allied Powers at San Remo, Italy, on April 25,
1920 "Palestine was specifically set aside and given to the Jewish
People for the establishment of a National Home… The establishment of a
Jewish homeland meant eventual statehood and hence the transfer to the
Jewish People of sovereignty to all parts of the homeland including
Judea, Samaria and Gaza".
Over a year after I made aliya in August 1989, I was appointed by
Professor Yuval Ne'eman, leader of the Tehiya party, then serving as
Minister of Energy and Infrastructure in the Yitzhak Shamir Government,
to be his legal adviser on Eretz-Israel. In January 1991, he asked me to
prepare a paper for him on Israel's legal foundation and rights to the
country, since he was scheduled to deliver a speech in a month's time on
this subject at the Carnegie Foundation in the United States. I compiled
a 93 page paper for this purpose. Professor Ne'eman not only accepted my
thesis, he used what I wrote for him to very good advantage on his
speaking tour before American audiences and followed this up with an
article published in the journal Global Affairs (Fall 1992, Vol. VII,
No. 4). In his article, he cited my work as the legal authority for his
statement that "it is… at San Remo that the State of Israel draws its
legal existence" and that "sovereignty over an area that would later be
defined as the Palestine mandate was thereby bestowed on the Jewish People".
The briefing paper I had authored for Professor Ne'eman became the
impetus for the present book. However, I could not undertake this task
immediately, because as a new oleh still new to the country, I had to
seek employment in order to provide for my family. I was obliged to
leave the Ministry of Energy when Tehiya lost its Knesset representation
and Professor Ne'eman resigned his position as Minister even before the
June 1992 elections and the Labour Party's assumption of power. With the
signing of several accords between Israel and "Palestine Liberation"
Organization, I felt compelled to challenge the legality of these
accords in the Israel Supreme Court, and for that purpose I filed a
total of five petitions or applications on behalf of distinguished
Israeli citizens. The Court, however, always refused to hear these
petitions on their merits, because of what it determined to be the
political nature of the agreements made with the PLO, as if the question
of the legality of such agreements was outside the scope of its
jurisdiction, thus giving the Government of Israel a blank cheque to do
whatever it desired, regardless of several existing Israeli laws that
prohibited the ceding of territory to any foreign state whatsover, and
by natural deduction to any lesser entity, particularly to a criminal
and terrorist organization.
Finally, in 2001, I started to compose the present book at the urging of
my good friend, Mr. Yoel Lerner, an educator and linguist in Jerusalem,
who recognized the importance of putting down in writing the legal
knowledge I had gained over the years on the subject of Israel's legal
rights to the Land of Israel. It was a proverbial "labour of love" from
beginning to end. To present Israel's legal case I have relied on all
the basic documents, agreements and acts formulated in the critical
period between the years 1915-1925 that shaped the modern Middle East as
it is today. As already indicated, the base document for the founding of
Israel was the San Remo Resolution, as it was also for Syria and Iraq. I
take pride in the fact that I have preached this point for the last two
decades and that it has now become a widespread and accepted idea,
directly attributable to myself as confirmed by Professor Yuval Ne'eman
I sincerely hope that this book will be used in the future as a teaching
and educational tool to inform those who know little of the depth and
strength of Israel's legal case for retaining in its possession the
territories liberated in 1967 that still remain under its rule and even
for the recovery – one day – of those territories already illegally
given away. Arguments based on legal facts and evidence are needed to
counter the enormous lies and mis-information put out by Israel's
detractors, both at home and abroad, who urge the State "to end its
occupation" of territories that rightfully belong to Israel. Such facts
and evidence are provided in this book. The State of Israel is entitled
to rule all the lands encompassing the Land of Israel with which it has
incomparable historical, geographical, religious, economic and security
A concise summary of the main points of this book has been published by
the Ariel Center for Policy Research in its Policy Paper No. 147,
entitled "Legal Rights and Title of Sovereignty of the Jewish People to
the Land of Israel and Palestine under International Law" (ACPR
Publishers, April 2003). To that source I refer interested readers who
may wish to have a quick review of the main points of this book. I have
also discussed the approach I have taken in presenting Israel's legal
case, as compared to that of others, in two letters I sent to Professor
Ne'eman in 2004, which are reprinted infra in Appendix III.
Professor Ne'eman had originally intended to write his own introduction
to the book, but his untimely decease in 2007 has made that impossible.
However, the letter he wrote to a prospective publisher expressing his
enthusiastic endorsement of the book is reproduced in that appendix as a
substitute for the intended introduction. I have also included in
Appendix IV a juridical assessment of the book composed by the late Dr.
Ya'akov Meron, Professor of Moslem Law and Adviser on the Law of Arab
Countries at the Ministry of Justice, who sadly passed away in the
spring of 2008. He read this book in its entirety and characterized it
as "a forceful and erudite pleading for the respecting of the letter and
spirit of the law, not only Israeli law but also international law that
came into existence in the wake of World War I". It is certainly a great
honour to receive the support of such eminent figures as Professors
Ne'eman and Meron for the book as now finally published.
Finally, I have included in Appendix V the correspondence I had with the
late Joel Carmichael, the celebrated long-time editor of Midstream, a
monthly Jewish review based in New York. I had written to him concerning
a article penned by one of his contributors. This article was based on
my original thesis as stated above, that de jure sovereignty over all of
Palestine had been vested in the Jewish People as a result of the
decision taken at the San Remo Peace Conference to create the new
mandated state of Palestine in accordance with the Balfour Declaration
and Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, though the
writer of the article, having learned of this thesis directly from me,
neglected to attribute it to me, nor was he authorized to make it public
until I had done so in a systematic manner. Nevertheless he posted it on
the internet, thus giving it widespread publicity. Mr. Carmichael
accepted my analysis most eagerly, and in follow-up correspondence even
requested that I submit an article for publication in Midstream, which
he said he would publish as the leading article in a future issue.
Unfortunately, Mr. Carmichael retired from his position as Editor of
Midstream before the article was ready. The article, never published in
its original format to this day, is included in Appendix V. The penning
of the article marked the precipitate cause that set me on the path to
the compilation of the present book, the idea and contents of which
having been swirling around in my mind ever since I first presented my
legal paper to Professor Ne'eman in 1991. The book is thus the final
rendition of that long chain of thoughts.
The comments I have received on my earlier writings on the subject, as
expressed in various letters and articles, give me cause to hope that
the book may prove in the long run to be of actual benefit to the Jewish
People and the State of Israel in their on-going process of reclaiming
and repossessing all of the Jewish National Home and the remaining parts
of the Land of Israel*.

*The Jewish National Home and Mandated Palestine were originally meant
to be synonymous terms under international law, and were supposed to
correspond to the historical or biblical frontiers of the Land of Israel
in the First and Second Temple Periods. However, when the borders of
Mandated Palestine were finally drawn in 1920 and 1922 by Britain and
France, they illegally excluded various areas comprising the Land of
Israel in the definition of Palestine, thus creating an unwarranted
distinction between what became Palestine and what historically was the
Land of Israel. Paradoxically, the distinction between Palestine and the
historical Land of Israel was not reflected in the law of Palestine
during the period of the Mandate, since the term used in Hebrew to
designate the country was Eretz-Israel, even though certain historical
parts of it were not included.

"The Legal Foundation and Borders Of Israel Under International Law - A
Treatise on Jewish Sovereignty over the Land Of Israel" is distributed
by Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com and the publisher at www.mazopublishers.com  

Thank you.
Howard Grief


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