In 2019 Shurat HaDin will host its third “Towards a New Law of War” Conference. The “Law of War” series of conferences was born of Shurat HaDin’s concern that democratic states, like Israel, can no longer effectively act to defend their civilian populations from terrorists without being accused of war crimes and that Western militaries are being unnecessarily restrained in their fight against radical Islamic terrorist groups.
Recent conflicts demonstrate that terrorists are intent on exploiting the restrictions, constraints, and inequalities placed upon law abiding armed forces when they are required to go to war against those who target their civilian populations while the terrorists operate and seek sanctuary amongst civilian centers on the other side.
The goal of the “Law of War” Conferences is to influence the direction of legal discourse concerning issues critical to Israel and its ability to defend itself.
The 2019 “Towards a New Law of War” Conference will focus on current and emerging issues in the fight against terrorism, with a special emphasis on the internet and cyber issues such as terrorist incitement on social media, cyber warfare, offensive and defense capabilities, and how terrorism and the law will evolve in this new battlefield. The Conference will feature a dynamic line-up of academics, experts, policymakers, and military leaders who will exchange ideas and address the numerous legal challenges facing Israel today. The Conference will also include Shurat HaDin’s annual “Magen Israel” citizen-hero awards ceremony.
The Law of War Conferences have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from all who have participated and attended. Highlights from the 2016 Towards a New Law of War Conference included lively panel discussions, the first annual “Magen Israel” award ceremony recognizing citizens who fought back against terror, and keynote speeches by prominent leaders, including Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Minister Naftali Bennett, MK and former Shin Bet Director Avi Dichter, MKs Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni, and former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton.