Jordan J. Paust


This paper addresses itself to a subject of great importance and complexity-terrorism in the Mid-East conflict. Recognizing the vastness of this complex subject matter, this presentation focuses upon and confines its scope to the content of relevant international law and the efforts by some of the participants in the Mid-East struggle to justify conduct or to seek approval of conduct through changes in the law. It should be understood that the attempt herein is to consider law as it is and law as it might develop-not to debate the propriety or impropriety of the Israeli or Arab cause or of specific instances of terroristic usage. Instead of imputing guilt or blame, we will consider the import of certain claims to the community, the policies which the community seeks to promote by international law and the effect of these on the basic quest for human dignity. More specifically the focus here is on international legal norms, general community policies which are at stake, generally shared expectations of the community which provide content to legal norms, and certain basic types of recurring claims by the participants in the Mid-East struggle which will affect those policies and expectations or which seek to change them. Hopefully such a focus will provide insight and avoid the rhetorical confusion and sterile polemics which one often finds in United Nations General Assembly debates on the matter.