Lawfare, Legitimacy, and Resistance: The Weak and the Law

Posted: 1 Mar 2011

See all articles by Michael G. Kearney

Michael G. Kearney

University of Sussex; University of Sussex Law School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 28, 2010


Drawing on this analysis, the conclusion will flag some pressing threats posed by Israel’s identification of the international legal framework as a battleground of the future. In particular, it will demonstrate that Israel, by seeking to have international humanitarian law adapted so as to exclude its full application to the types of conflict such as those against Hizbollah in 2006 and Hamas in 2008-9, is seeking to promote a narrative closer to the 19th Century colonial narrative from which humanitarian law first emerged. By this reading, Palestinians, by virtue of their statelessness and lack of civilization, are not due the protections offered by international law, for to do so would be to sabotage the western liberal project by extending it to an illegitimate actor from whom one can expect neither reciprocity nor reason.

Keywords: Lawfare, Palestine, Israel, Legitimacy, Human Rights, International Law

Suggested Citation

Kearney, Michael G., Lawfare, Legitimacy, and Resistance: The Weak and the Law (June 28, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Michael G. Kearney (Contact Author)

University of Sussex ( email )

School of legal studies
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

University of Sussex Law School ( email )

Brighton BN1 9QN
United Kingdom

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