A month ago the New York Times ran an op-ed deploring the European initiative to label settlement goods, written by Eugene Kontorovich. The article was titled, “Europe mislabels Israel,” and described the occupied territories in the most benign manner: “areas that came under [Israel’s] control in 1967.”
Kontorovich was identified in the article as a professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.
Middle East Monitor says that he is also a settler. Ben White reports:
Two years ago, Kontorovich emigrated to Israel from the US, and moved to Alon Shvut, an Israeli colony south of Bethlehem. According to his listing at the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, Kontorovich now lives in Neve Daniel, another settlement within the Bethlehem governorate.
But Kontorovich is not just a settlement resident; a video that has come to light shows him expressing support for a notorious right-wing settler group that sees all of the West Bank as “the exclusive possession” of Jews.
In December 2013, Kontorovich gave a talk as a guest of Women in Green (WiG) “on how to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] without jeopardizing the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.”
Kontorovich is introduced in that video by Nadia Matar of Women in Green; he then says “it’s an honor to be here at an event hosted by the Women in Green organization, which I have long admired and which does such extremely important work.” Women in Green has helped establish illegal settlements in Palestine. Four years before Kontorovich’s appearance with Matar, Matar called for the assassination of Mahmoud Abbas, as I documented: “We must kill all the terrorist leaders, starting with Mahmoud Abbas and all others.”
Kontorovich regards the occupation as benign. He says that Israel “administers… and democratizes” the occupied territories, and speculates that the ultimate arrangement between Israel and Palestine could be like that of the United States and Puerto Rico.
He also voices racist sentiments. He says that if Palestinians come to outnumber Jews between the river and the sea, because of the “Arab fertility rate… that’s probably going to be a disaster.” And he gives this statement against Palestinians:
Here’s the bottom line. We can live with Arabs. How do we know? Because we do. They can’t live with Jews. How do we know? Because their demand, their singular demand, unique by the way in the history of all such peace negotiations, is not just an independent state but a state completely cleansed of every last Jew, a demand which has not been made in any other context around the world. So we can live with Arabs, we prove it, but they can’t live with Jews…
One thing I can guarantee is, the Arabs living here will never say, ‘let’s have one big state where we all vote and just participate equally, and we’re just another Palestinian minority like the Palestinian minority in Lebanon Syria etc.’ That’s not what they want. It will never happen.
Kontorovich is also a regular blogger for the Washington Post. He often defends the settlements there. He is identified in the following way by the newspaper:
Eugene Kontorovich is a professor at Northwestern University School of Law, and an expert on constitutional and international law. He also writes and lectures frequently about the Arab-Israel conflict.
His academic work has been published in top law reviews, and relied on in historic judicial opinions in the U.S. and abroad. He has also advised the U.S. and Israel governments on international legal challenges. He has been honored with a fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies and the Bator Award from the Federalist Society, for leading professors under 40.
After law school at the University of Chicago, he clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Kontorovich is also consulted by Tamara Cofman Wittes, the head of Middle East program at the Brookings Institution. Yesterday she tweeted the following.
@EVKontorovich Does the WTO’s ruling against COOL’s [Country of Origin Labeling] affect the European settlement-products move?
Kontorovich answered her; Wittes thanked him and retweeted his several answers.
Wittes has ignored our requests for information about a secret panel Brookings convened on the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign aimed in part at the Israeli occupation. She also ignored our requests for information about a forum on the “future for Israelis and Palestinians” at Brookings to which no Palestinians were invited.