Not Our Salvation: Israel, the Genocide Convention, and the World Court 1950–1951

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Jewish individuals and organisations played a cardinal role in making and promoting the 1948 Genocide Convention. The early attitude of the Jewish state—established a few months before the Convention’s conclusion—has not hitherto been explored. This analysis reconstructs Israel’s involvement in the 1951 advisory proceedings at the International Court of Justice concerning the Convention. Based on Ministry of Foreign Affairs archives and Court records, it demonstrates that contrary to what scholarship on subsequent episodes assumes or implies, Israel had no particular attachment to, nor was it vested in, the Convention. Rather, its attitude ranged from indifference and disinterest to scepticism and hostility. It allowed Israeli diplomats to utilise the Convention as a means to affect other neither urgent nor imperative foreign policy ends.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-493
JournalDiplomacy & Statecraft
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2015


  • Genocide Convention
  • Raphael Lemkin
  • Israel-Foreign Relations
  • international law
  • Shabtai Rosenne
  • Jacob Robinson

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