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Expert on Israeli land rights speaks at law school

February 26, 2014 : By Joshua Tiprigan/Liberty University News Service

After a visit from Holocaust survivor Irving Roth on Monday, Liberty University continued to show its pro-Israeli stance by welcoming an expert on Israeli land rights to the Liberty University School of Law on Wednesday.

Dr. Jacques Gauthier, a Canadian lawyer, presented his lecture, “Israel’s Legal Right to the Promised Land,” during an alternate Convocation held in the law school's Supreme Courtroom.

The event was co-sponsored by the law school, the School of Religion, Helms School of Government, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Gauthier discussed Israel’s right to exist in the Middle East as a free democratic nation within the precepts of international law, the subject for his doctorate thesis at the University of Geneva Switzerland. Gauthier spent nearly 20 years developing his argument under the leadership of Dr. Marcelo Kohen and has presented it to the House of Commons in London, the European Parliament in Brussels, and various other legal institutions.

He told the audience that in order to make a difference in the debate for Jewish sovereignty, people must leave political agendas aside and focus on the facts.

“I am concerned daily and I want you to become concerned as well about the blurring that goes on around the world constantly between political viewpoints and legal considerations,” Gauthier said. “When (the United Nations) say that it is illegal for the Jewish people to have communities in the disputed territories or so-called occupied territories like the West Bank, in fact what they are saying is politically motivated, but it is not based in law.”

Gauthier first addressed the issue of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan on April 3, 1949. While many historians claim that Israel should be divided by the green line provided during the armistice, Gauthier stated that the line holds no true legal value, as it was just a ceasefire.

He also cited Article 2 of the agreement to prove that Jerusalem is not solely the property of the Arabs who claim the eastern side of the green line, but should be a shared territory.

“There is no provision in the armistice agreement that in any way is to prejudice the rights, claims, and positions of either party,” Gauthier quoted from the document.

Gauthier also referenced what he believes to be the most important part of the document — the Jewish people and Arabs are to be given pieces of the former Ottoman Empire.

“The treaty, which I say is the Magna Carta of the Jewish people, specifies that the political rights, the sovereignty rights, are to be given to the Jewish people worldwide,” Gauthier said, in reference to Article 2 of the mandate.

At the end of his discussion, Gauthier offered Mat Staver, dean of the law school, a two-volume copy of his thesis to share with the campus.

“We are going to make sure this is in the main library on campus, in the law school and, after talking to some other deans, in their schools as well,” Staver said. “This is going to have a very welcome home here at Liberty University.”