Navi Pillay, Pursuing War Crimes Charges Against Israel, to Receive Prestigious Award
Exciting news! Navi Pillay, the fearless chairwoman of the U.N. body investigating alleged Israeli human rights crimes, is set to receive the highly esteemed American Branch of the International Law Association’s 2023 Outstanding Achievement Award. This prestigious honor recognizes her relentless pursuit of war crimes charges against Israel.
But that’s not all! Pillay will also deliver a captivating keynote address at the event. However, this remarkable celebration of Pillay’s accomplishments is not without controversy.
Several prominent law firms, including Gibson Dunn, Debevoise & Plimpton, and White & Case, are proudly sponsoring the event. Their generous support has already sparked pushback from pro-Israel advocates, who are urging them to withdraw their endorsements.
Last year, a similar controversy erupted when White & Case and other firms supported a panel discussion titled “Racism and the Crime of Apartheid in International Law.” The event featured Omar Shakir, a well-known critic of Israel, who claimed that the country seeks to maintain dominance over Palestinians.
This year’s award for Pillay has intensified opposition from Israel’s defenders, given her efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the Jewish state through the United Nations. Robert Garson, president of the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, expressed his surprise and disappointment at the involvement of major law firms in honoring Pillay, whom he described as an anti-Semite.
White & Case’s sponsorship is particularly noteworthy due to their previous involvement in defending financial giant Morningstar against accusations of enabling Israel boycotts. The firm faced criticism for sponsoring events that questioned Israel’s status as a Jewish state and labeled it an “apartheid” nation.
Despite these concerns, none of the law firms involved have responded to requests for comment from the Washington Free Beacon.
Pillay’s controversial history at the United Nations includes defending a colleague who claimed that social media platforms are controlled by the “Jewish lobby.” Her work on the U.N. Commission of Inquiry into Israel has also been heavily criticized for promoting anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments.
These efforts have drawn condemnation from the Biden administration and accusations of anti-Semitism from lawmakers in Congress. Anne Bayefsky, president of Human Rights Voices and director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, strongly opposes the sponsorship of an award for Pillay, stating that it legitimizes her reprehensible behavior and anti-Semitic bias.
It is crucial for lawyers to recognize their moral and legal responsibility in confronting and rejecting the abuse of law to promote hatred and discrimination, especially against the Jewish people.
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