“Jerusalem: Between International Legitimacy and Political Settlement”: A Lecture by Dr. Mofied Shehab

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In an unprecedented and quite dangerous incident that warns of a new era of conflict in the Middle East, and despite extensive Arab and international warning and denunciation, President Donald Trump announced the United States (US) recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the execution of an Act passed in 1995 by the former US Congress to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In the wake of said statements, the BA, represented through its Antiquities Museum, and Alexandria University, represented through the Faculty of Law, are honored to invite international law expert Dr. Mofied Shehab—professor of international law at Cairo University and former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research—to deliver a lecture entitled “Jerusalem: Between International Legitimacy and Political Settlement” on Tuesday, 20 February 2018, 6:00 pm, at the BACC Lecture Hall.

It is noteworthy that President Trump forestalled announcing the aforementioned resolution by making a statement justifying his decision and claiming that it is “long overdue”. In fact, President Trump’s actions are rendered as an unequivocal retreat from the foundations adopted by the US government as an agreement formulated in accordance with the Madrid Framework. His actions also contradict the principles of the political settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict—which is supposed to be sponsored by the United States of America, with the participation of the Russian Federation and the European Union—on the basis that the terms of the agreements reached had placed the issue of Jerusalem within the framework of irrevocable status. President Trump’s statement also contradicts the guarantees provided by the US to all parties in the peace process after their objection to the annexation of East Jerusalem, is considered a form of prejudging the negotiations of Jerusalem’s final status, and is an attempt to impose a new reality. Thus, the statement is rendered as a prejudiced act against Arabs, Muslims, and Christians that devalues their feelings, and it represents a violation of all international covenants and norms. It also retains an explicit call for an escalation of violence in Palestinian territories and the entire region, which would inevitably affect the peace process and would have a significantly negative impact on any talks or plans regarding regional cooperation.

With all aforementioned concerns in consideration, Dr. Shehab will thoroughly discuss, on the one hand, the status of Jerusalem in accordance with the provisions of international law relating to it and, on the other hand, discuss studying the city’s future and how stability can be achieved for its inhabitants and regular visitors while preserving its religious—Islamic, Christian, and Jewish—heritage. Dr. Shehab will tackle said topics in light of emerging claims that political settlement tactics can be the only means necessary to reach final resolutions to all aspects of the Palestinian cause, in addition to other reports stating that there are already a number of proposed initiatives calling for negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis in order to end the Arab–Israeli conflict and restore security and peace in the Middle East.


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