Israel finds itself in the International Court of Justice in the Hague against the charges of genocide made by South Africa. Israel is facing allegations, primarily related to human rights violations and war crimes, that have drawn attention on a global level.
Menachem Rosensaft, who is a legal expert on genocide said, “The word genocide is used willy-nilly by people all over the world, but genocide, as it has evolved since 1948 when the genocide convention was first adopted by the UN General Assembly, is a legal concept. And whatever else Israel is doing, and has done, it is not intending to destroy the Palestinian people; either on the West Bank or in Gaza.”
Menachem Rosensaft in a Zoom interview claimed that it’s a specious charge. This turned out to be an example of the type of legal case Menachem Rosensaft, a legal expert on genocide will be teaching in a new course at Cornell University: “Anti-Semitism in the Courts and Jurisprudence.” This course is a survey of how anti-Semitism manifests in modern history and how it has been handled in the courts. This course will be provided in two sections, one section will be for Cornell law school students and the other section will be for those who are undergraduates.
The 1894 conviction of the French Jewish officer Alfred Dreyfus, the 1913 blood libel against Mendel Beilis, whom the Russians charged with killing a Christian child so he could bake the blood in matzah and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, are few among several topics, the students will study in the course.
Menachem Rosensaft is the son of Holocaust survivors, who has committed his life to the study and teaching of genocide and anti-Semitism. Most recently Rosensaft was the general counsel for the World Jewish Holocaust Survivors, he has also served at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Menachem Rosensaft was also one of the five American Jews who met with Yasser Arafat and some other senior leaders of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in the year 1988. The idea of this course was also conceived by Menachem Rosensaft. He planned to establish this course in the year 2025 but then the tragic incidents of October 7 in which 1200 people of Israel were brutally killed in Southern Israel by Hamas.
Roughly 240 were kidnapped to the Gaza Strip, many were tortured and many burned alive in their homes. The attack brutally shook the entire world. Post these happenings, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic protests flared up in several cities and universities worldwide, including Cornell University.
An undergraduate student threatened to kill Jewish students and was arrested after which the university asked if Rosensaft could offer the course on anti-Semitism now instead of waiting for the year 2025.
After this Menachem Rosensaft agreed and said that unless people understand what it is, they won’t be properly equipped to fight it.