Lawfare is the exploitation of courts and international law to harass Israeli officials and corporations that do business with Israel and advance false charges of “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” and other alleged violations of international law.
The exploitation of international legal rhetoric has become a major weapon in the political war to delegitimize Israeli responses to attacks on its civilian population. By couching political attacks in legal terms, NGOs seek to create a veneer of credibility and expertise, thereby increasing international pressure against Israel.
The right to self-defense is a cornerstone of international law, enshrined in the UN Charter (Article 51) and numerous Security Council Resolutions. In order to delegitimize Israels self-defensive measures, many NGOs have issued statements distorting international law. Al Haq and PCHR falsely claim that Israel cannot invoke self-defense in response to attacks from non-state actors in occupied territory. Human Rights Watch and BTselem allege without any evidentiary basis that Israels exercise of self-defense is merely a pretext for punishing the Palestinians. Other groups pay lip service to Israeli self-defense.