Department of History
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"The Law in These Parts:" Screening and Interview with Israeli filmmaker Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
Wednesday, February 3rd
Can a modern democracy impose a prolonged military occupation on another people while retaining its core democratic values? Since Israel conquered the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 war, the military has imposed thousands of orders and laws, established military courts, sentenced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, enabled half a million Israeli "settlers" to move to the Occupied Territories and developed a system of long-term jurisdiction by an occupying army that is unique in the entire world.
The men entrusted with creating this new legal framework were the members of Israel's military legal corps. Responding to a constantly changing reality, these legal professionals have faced (and continue to face) complex judicial and moral dilemmas in order to develop and uphold a system of long-term military “rule by law” of an occupied population, all under the supervision of Israel's Supreme Court, and, according to Israel, in complete accordance with international law.
The Law in These Parts explores this unprecedented and little-known story through testimonies of the military legal professionals who were the architects of the system and helped run it in its formative years. The film attempts to ask some crucial questions that are often skirted or avoided: Can such an occupation be achieved within a legal framework that includes genuine adherence to the principles of rule-of-law? Should it? What are the costs that a society engaged in such a long term exercise must bear? And what are the implications of the very effort to make a documentary film about such a system?
Sponsored by the Lamont and Lurcy Lecture Funds, Hillel, & the departments of History and of Law, Jurisprudence, & Social Thought.
Statement of Solidarity
The Department of History supports the students in their quest for a more equitable and just society, and for the creation of a more inclusive community at the college. We have been moved, humbled, and inspired by the testimonies that students of color and their allies have shared in Frost Library over the past few days, and we take seriously their demands for addressing the various forms of structural racism, inequalities, and everyday forms of discrimination on our campus. We are committed to using our classrooms to engage with the broadest range of opinions and to better understand the entrenched problems of inequality in our society, which so often are the products of interwoven historical forces. We applaud our students for taking action on this important issue, and will continue to listen and learn as they shine a light on the struggles of marginalized people at Amherst, in the local community, and globally. This moment presents an opportunity to emerge as a more united community that values and reflects the diversity of experiences and perspectives within the Amherst College family.
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