January 30, 2004 | Press Release

FDD Submits ‘Friend of the Court’ Brief to The Hague

January 30, 2004

FDD Submits ‘Friend of the Court' Brief to The Hague

Amicus Brief on Israel's “Terror Prevention Barrier” goes to International Court of Justice

Washington, DC – Attorneys for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) today submitted a “Friend of the Court” brief to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague regarding Israel's construction of a “Terrorism Prevention Security Barrier” along the West Bank.

The ICJ is to hold hearings on the issue beginning Feb. 23rd. Those hearings are to conclude with an “advisory opinion” to the UN General Assembly.

A cover letter noted that the FDD, as an organization that researches policies to defend democracies against terrorism and promote freedom against anti-democratic ideologies, is uniquely able to furnish the ICJ with information on the issue of Israel's Terrorism Prevention Barrier.

The FDD's brief argues that as a matter of international law the ICJ should not consider or rule on this matter – that to do so will both politicize the ICJ and damage possibilities for a renewal of the peace process under the internationally accepted “Road Map.”

The United States and Britain also have submitted documents arguing that the IJC does not have jurisdiction and should decline to rule.

In addition, the FDD takes the position that the Israeli government has both a right and an obligation to protect its citizens – Jewish, Christian and Muslim alike — from terrorist attacks, and that the building of this barrier would accomplish that in a non-violent manner.

The brief argues that the ICJ should not disregard “the fundamental principles of international law and justice upon which the United Nations is rooted,” and that it should “affirm the rights of the people of Israel to be secure and free from terror.”

What's more, the terrorism prevention barrier can benefit the Palestinians because with it in place, Israel's re-occupation of West Bank cities and towns will no longer be necessary. Tanks, troops, checkpoints and roadblocks will be removed as terrorism declines. Under such circumstances, the chances for renewed negotiations leading to a settlement can increase.

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies is a non-profit, non-partisan organization founded immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001 to conduct research and education on global terrorism – the most serious security threat to the United States and other free, democratic nations. FDD is committed to the expansion and development of emerging democracies, and the protection of the principles and processes of democracy.

Heideman Lezell Nudelman & Kalik, P.C. a Washington based law firm, which handles domestic and international corporate, business, litigation and victims rights matters, serves as counsel to the Foundation for The Defense of Democracies and submitted, on behalf of FDD, the Brief filed today at The International Court of Justice at the Hague

For a copy of the brief or for other information contact: Bill McCarthy 202 207 0190.