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The Wall and the Gate: Israel, Palestine, and the Legal Battle for Human Rights
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Published:
Henry Holt and Co. 2018
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Description

From renowned human rights lawyer Michael Sfard, an unprecedented exploration of the struggle for human rights in Israel's courts
A farmer from a village in the occupied West Bank, cut off from his olive groves by the construction of Israel's controversial separation wall, asked Israeli human rights lawyer Michael Sfard to petition the courts to allow a gate to be built in the wall. While the gate would provide immediate relief for the farmer, would it not also confer legitimacy on the wall and on the court that deems it legal? The defense of human rights is often marked by such ethical dilemmas, which are especially acute in Israel, where lawyers have for decades sought redress for the abuse of Palestinian rights in the country's High Court—that is, in the court of the abuser.
In The Wall and the Gate, Michael Sfard chronicles this struggle—a story that has never before been fully told— and in the process engages the core principles of human rights legal ethics. Sfard recounts the unfolding of key cases and issues, ranging from confiscation of land, deportations, the creation of settlements, punitive home demolitions, torture, and targeted killings—all actions considered violations of international law. In the process, he lays bare the reality of the occupation and the lives of the people who must contend with that reality. He also exposes the surreal legal structures that have been erected to put a stamp of lawfulness on an extensive program of dispossession. Finally, he weighs the success of the legal effort, reaching conclusions that are no less paradoxical than the fight itself.
Writing with emotional force, vivid storytelling, and penetrating analysis, Michael Sfard offers a radically new perspective on a much-covered conflict and a subtle, painful reckoning with the moral ambiguities inherent in the pursuit of justice. The Wall and the Gate is a signal contribution to everyone concerned with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and human rights everywhere.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/23/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250122711
ASIN:
B01N3TN9K2
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Michael Sfard. (2018). The Wall and the Gate: Israel, Palestine, and the Legal Battle for Human Rights. Henry Holt and Co.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Michael Sfard. 2018. The Wall and the Gate: Israel, Palestine, and the Legal Battle for Human Rights. Henry Holt and Co.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Michael Sfard, The Wall and the Gate: Israel, Palestine, and the Legal Battle for Human Rights. Henry Holt and Co, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Michael Sfard. The Wall and the Gate: Israel, Palestine, and the Legal Battle for Human Rights. Henry Holt and Co, 2018.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • role: Author
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      • bioText: Michael Sfard, Israel's leading human rights lawyer, was educated at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and University College, London. A former conscientious objector, he received the Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award and an Open Society Fellowship. Sfard has also taught human rights law and his writing on the subject has appeared in New York Times, Haaretz, The Independent, and Foreign Policy. He lives in Tel Aviv.
      • name: Michael Sfard
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2018-01-23T00:00:00-05:00
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The Wall and the Gate
fullDescription

From renowned human rights lawyer Michael Sfard, an unprecedented exploration of the struggle for human rights in Israel's courts
A farmer from a village in the occupied West Bank, cut off from his olive groves by the construction of Israel's controversial separation wall, asked Israeli human rights lawyer Michael Sfard to petition the courts to allow a gate to be built in the wall. While the gate would provide immediate relief for the farmer, would it not also confer legitimacy on the wall and on the court that deems it legal? The defense of human rights is often marked by such ethical dilemmas, which are especially acute in Israel, where lawyers have for decades sought redress for the abuse of Palestinian rights in the country's High Court—that is, in the court of the abuser.
In The Wall and the Gate, Michael Sfard chronicles this struggle—a story that has never before been fully told— and in the process engages the core principles of human rights legal ethics. Sfard recounts the unfolding of key cases and issues, ranging from confiscation of land, deportations, the creation of settlements, punitive home demolitions, torture, and targeted killings—all actions considered violations of international law. In the process, he lays bare the reality of the occupation and the lives of the people who must contend with that reality. He also exposes the surreal legal structures that have been erected to put a stamp of lawfulness on an extensive program of dispossession. Finally, he weighs the success of the legal effort, reaching conclusions that are no less paradoxical than the fight itself.
Writing with emotional force, vivid storytelling, and penetrating analysis, Michael Sfard offers a radically new perspective on a much-covered conflict and a subtle, painful reckoning with the moral ambiguities inherent in the pursuit of justice. The Wall and the Gate is a signal contribution to everyone concerned with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and human rights everywhere.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        January 1, 2018
        A fence separates two men from their olive groves. They wish for a gate to be installed, but the lawyer they've hired knows this would only legitimize the fence. He wants to eliminate this barrier entirely in a fight that would mean sacrificing years of harvest to legal proceedings. Lawyer Sfard explores the tension involved in fighting for people and human rights in this forceful polemic against Israel's occupation of the West Bank and dense chronicle of the injustices done against Arabs by Israel. Himself a Jew, Sfard, on behalf of clients who do not hold full rights of citizenship, attacks what he calls the Israeli government's full suit of legal armor. He also argues for a more idealistic notion of our common humanity. And, like the most expert of litigators, Sfard pairs political history and legal philosophy with anecdotal accounts, crafting a complex portrait of how occupation and oppression chip away at the character of Israel's society.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from November 15, 2017
        A Tel Aviv-based human rights lawyer forcefully argues that Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is equivalent to apartheid.Sfard, who represents Palestinian victims of civil rights violations, makes his literary debut with an unsparing indictment of Israeli racism, oppression, and injustice. Drawing on case documents and interviews with lawyers, peace activists, and human rights workers, he chronicles the legal battles in which he and his colleagues have been engaged: deportation; the construction of Jewish settlements, separation barriers, and unauthorized outposts; use of torture in interrogations; imposition of administrative detention; demolition of homes of families of suspected terrorists; and "targeted killings" or assassinations. The author fervently believes that litigation is a tool for social change, although the complexities of legal struggles sometimes make it difficult to know how to measure success: "The effect that litigation has on politics, on the media, and on social perceptions means that the judicial rulings...are only one element in the matrix of litigation's outcomes." Sometimes, remedy for his client grants legitimacy and positive publicity for the occupier; in other cases, achieving justice for a client has an impact on broader policy decisions; and, most ambitiously, legal fights may change the nation's moral and ethical values. Israeli settlements clearly violate international laws of occupation, which hold that the occupied population must "resume their normal lives as much as possible." Nevertheless, Israel continues to seize Palestinian land, arguing that the nation is not building new settlements but merely expanding those already established. Furthermore, Israeli courts repeatedly insist that settlements, barriers, torture, and killings are justified because of security needs. Palestinian villagers cut off from their farms, parents unable to take a sick child to a doctor, tankers barred from delivering water: all these result from draconian rules of entry. The "security charade," Sfard asserts, continues to serve Israel "in its quest for a belligerent, unilateral solution to its conflict with the Palestinians" and gives its courts "standing and legitimacy in world opinion."A moving, well-documented testimony to lawyers' tireless battles against a nation's inhumanity.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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From renowned human rights lawyer Michael Sfard, an unprecedented exploration of the struggle for human rights in Israel's courts
A farmer from a village in the occupied West Bank, cut off from his olive groves by the construction of Israel's controversial separation wall, asked Israeli human rights lawyer Michael Sfard to petition the courts to allow a gate to be built in the wall. While the gate would provide immediate relief for the farmer, would it not also confer legitimacy on the wall and on the court that deems it legal? The defense of human rights is often marked by such ethical dilemmas, which are especially acute in Israel, where lawyers have for decades sought redress for the abuse of Palestinian rights in the country's High Court—that is, in the court of the abuser.
In The Wall and the Gate, Michael Sfard chronicles this struggle—a story that has never before been fully told— and in the process engages the core principles of...

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Wall and the Gate Israel Palestine and the Legal Battle for Human Rights
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Israel, Palestine, and the Legal Battle for Human Rights
publisher
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bisacCodes
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      • description: History / Middle East / Israel & Palestine
      • code: POL035010
      • description: Political Science / Human Rights
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      • description: Political Science / World / Middle Eastern