FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lawfare Project Strongly Denounces Arab Lawyers Union (ALU) for Honoring Suicide Bomber
October 23, 2012 - NEW YORK - The Palestine Committee of the Arab Lawyers Union (ALU) awarded its "highest honor . . . in esteem for any lawyer in the Arab Homeland" to female Palestinian suicide bomber and law student Hanadi Jaradat. In 2003, Jaradat left the legal profession by blowing herself up at the Maxim restaurant in Haifi, Israel, killing 21 and injuring more than 50. Among the deceased were three children and an infant.
Palestine Committee member Ayman Abu Eisheh said that the Arab lawyers were "proud of what Jaradat did 'in defense of Palestine and the Arab conflict.'" The Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam reported that an ALU delegation presented the "Martyr Hanadi Jaradat plaque of honor" to the bomber's family.
The ALU's homepage states that its membership includes bar associations in 15 countries and 27 affiliated organizations. It is in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), consultative status with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and is affiliated with the International Labour Organization (ILO) as well as other regional, national, and international bodies.
The Lawfare Project denounces the shear hypocrisy of a lawyers' association blatantly celebrating any clear violation of the law, let alone a deadly terror attack. In bestowing this award, the ALU--composed of more than 200,000 lawyers and purportedly committed to "promot[ing] and protect[ing] human rights"--is engaging in lawfare by attempting to obscure (or perhaps justify) the illegality of the attack, classifying a criminal act as lawyer-endorsed measure taken "in defense of Palestine." In essence, the ALU is rejecting the (basic) responsibility it shares with the global legal community to uphold the rule of law. Surprisingly, the response to the "honor" has been passive. Lawyers and bar associations worldwide (as well as the aforementioned UN entities) must call upon the ALU to reconsider its chosen award recipient, keeping in mind the fundamental duty held by all legal professionals to promote adherence to the law, rather than undermine it.
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