Ten Years Ago, The United Nations Adopted the Roadmap for Peace in the Middle East

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A decade later at The Peace Palace in The Hague, international human rights attorney on behalf of victims of terrorism and author of new book, "The Hague Odyssey" explains how lasting peace remains elusive as world leaders continue to misassign blame upon Israel.

Israel’s decision to proceed with the construction of the terrorism prevention security fence has prevented untold tragedy.

On November 19, 2003, in the midst of the raging Second Intifada and ongoing terrorist attacks upon Israel, the UN Security Council adopted the Roadmap for Peace. The Roadmap followed the vision of a two-state solution, for two peoples – the Palestinian people and the Jewish people – outlined by President George W. Bush in his Rose Garden speech of June 24, 2002 and approved by the US, Russia, the EU, the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Although the UN Security Council was seized of the issue of peace and security between Israel and the Palestinians, and in violation of the UN charter, the United Nations General Assembly (“UNGA”) subsequently adopted a resolution seeking an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the “legal consequences” of the terrorism prevention security fence, disparagingly referred to in the UNGA resolution as “the wall”. Washington, DC based international human rights attorney, Richard D. Heideman, recently speaking at The Peace Palace Library in the Hague reminded the audience that nearly ten years ago to the day, the United Nations General Assembly escalated its diplomatic and legal assaults upon Israel, refusing to recognize the security threats and loss of life necessitating Israel’s construction of a terrorism prevention security fence through portions of Judea and Samaria. Contrary to any semblance of objectivity, the UNGA adopted a resolution condemning Israel for its construction of the security fence.

Speaking before a conference of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists held in the Hague, Heideman also reflected that during his previous trip to The Hague in February of 2004, at the time the ICJ commenced its deliberations on the UNGA resolution, a burned out Egged bus was placed in front of The Peace Palace to emphasize the ongoing terrorism of the Second Intifada. Victims and their families demonstrated against the daily onslaught of terror which had been occurring in Israel. At hearings on behalf of the victims held in the Old City Hall in The Hague, in the presence of members of the European and Dutch parliaments, Heideman served as lead counsel on behalf of the victims of terrorism who depicted the horror, anguish, and suffering they and their families endured.

Heideman criticized the International Court of Justice which chose to issue an Advisory Opinion castigating Israel, failing to give credence to the necessity of constructing the barrier in an effort to protect Israeli citizens, residents, and visitors from terrorist attacks, failing to give deference to the UN Security Council and also failing to give credence to the decision of the Israeli High Court of Justice mandating relocation of parts of the security fence. In his address, Heideman elaborated on the daily terrorist assaults which Israel faced during the Second Intifada and on the ever-present danger of the threat of a yet unleashed Third Intifada. “Israel’s decision to proceed with the construction of this security fence has prevented untold tragedy,” said Heideman who reiterated that “Israel, like every other nation state, committed to the rule of law, justice, human dignity and human rights, and to providing security and protection for her people, has acted properly, notwithstanding the criticisms of the ICJ.”

Heideman’s newly released book, “The Hague Odyssey: Israel’s Struggle for Security on the Front Lines of Terrorism and Her Battle for Justice at the United Nations” (Bartleby Press, 2013), tells the story of Israel’s long battle for justice at the UN, including at the International Court of Justice. In particular, the book explains in depth the ICJ’s flawed legal analysis of the security fence. “Ten years after the adoption of the Roadmap, peace remains elusive. Ten years after the UNGA’s misguided resolution lead to the wrongly issued ICJ Advisory Opinion, the terrorism prevention security fence constructed by Israel continues to provide both peace of mind and has saved countless lives of those living and working in Israel and of those of all religions from throughout the world who visit the holy places in Israel,” said Heideman. Please visit thehagueodyssey.com to learn more.

Richard D. Heideman, Senior Counsel of Heideman Nudelman & Kalik, P.C., is a Washington, DC based international human rights attorney who represents victims of terrorism.

Heideman has prepared the attached Op-Ed on the above topic. Please advise if you are interested in having it submitted for publication.

For additional information and to book interviews / speaking engagements, please contact:
Ariana Heideman
Starburst Communications

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