ISLAMABAD, JUN 8 – Islamabad Institute of Conflict resolution (IICR) and Legal Forum for Kashmir (LFOVK) jointly organized an International online conference titled “Re-theorizing Theory of Self Defence”.
The conference was aimed at highlighting how settlers oppress the people under the rubric of Self Defense to pursue their criminal objectives in Kashmir and Palestine.
The eminent speakers included Dr.IlanPappe, historian and writer, Dr. RamzayBaroud, US-Palestinian journalist and media consultant, Dr. Salma Malik, Assistant professor Quai-e-Azam University and Dr. MevludinIbish, assistant professor International Balkan University. The session was moderated by Ms. Dina Abraham.
He further added that it is to be understood that Israel is engaging itself in manipulation of terminologies to justify their acts as self defense. He said that Israeli doesn’t have right to self determination orself defense. There is a factual basis of it that it is Palestine which is living under military occupation, it is Palestine which is facing horrors of ethnic cleansing for over 70 years.In Gaza people are living under Israeli siege for over 15 years, not just this thousands of people in Gaza have been killed and wounded severely.
Then how come it is Israel who has right to self determination and self defense. Dr. Baroud also said that Israel is now facing criminal investigation of its actions in Palestine which is why they are coming up with similar claims of Self determination and self defense. Israel sees Palestinians as threatening and presents tailored narrative to justify its acts as self defense.
The next speaker on the panel was Dr. IlanPappe. While addressing the participants he said that it is time to reconceptualize international law and by inference also discuss the law of self defense.Adding more he said that the context in which international law was born and historical context under which it has shaped needs to be examined. The roots of international law are colonial.
The Palestinian documents also refer to international legitimacy which is not set of rule but international consciousness.Dr.Pappe also said that through displacement and replacement, settlers are changing demography of Palestine and Kashmir and stripping indigenous people from their land. Lastly he said the meaning of de-colonization in 21st century should be the dismantling of settlers colonial institution’s occupation and ethnic cleansing both in Kashmir and Palestine.
Dr Salma Malik, while addressing the participants shared her thoughts on the fact that there has been a lack in indigenous discourses due to which we have to but western ideas. Adding further she said that the concept of Self-Defense is not how it is interpreted by the west today. Throughout the primitive times it has been there, Aristotle through the concept of just war and Cicero respectively defined self defense. She also said that Self defense is not preemptive and is actually defensive in nature anyone who is resorting to self defense is facing aggression and oppression from another entity.
it was interesting to see that international community was vocal on internet access but paid little or no heed to the fact that people were being persecuted and are still facing cultural and ethnic genocide through systematic means, this holistically defines what is important in the eyes of international community, Dr. Salma said.
The last speaker on the panel was Dr. MevludinIbish. While speaking he said that international law is not related to the question of state to state interests but it is related to Individual to state interests. It is so because the construction of the sovereignty of state is not based on state but its developed on individuals and civil society. adding more Dr. Mevludin said that the case of Israel and Palestine should not be only looked through the lens of International law but political context to is also crucial. The position of self defense which Israel is using to justify their acts on innocent peopleis targeted towards Hamas. Israel projects the case as it is between two political forces i.e. Hamas and Israel. As far as self defense is concerned it is legal for individuals and civil society. Dr. Ibish also said that the methodological shift is needed, and should be redirected towards negotiations, which is more acceptable for the west. Lastly he added that even if peace and stability is brought it is not sure that there would be any discussion of two state solution because that has broader issues to be addressed. Palestinians have right to self defense, there shouldn’t be any doubt on it.
The conference was then followed by question and answer session.