APRIL 2004

book reviews:
Destroying World Order
By Francis A. Boyle,

Destroying World Order: U.S. Imperialism in the Middle East Before and After September 11

A leading American expert discusses U.S. assistance to Iraq during the Iran/Iraq war, U.S. conduct of the 1990 Gulf War, and the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in relation to their violation of International law: the laws of neutrality, humanitarian law, and the laws of war - as well as the law of the U.S. Constitution. The concluding chapter carries draft articles for the impeachment of President George W. Bush.

"In International legal terms, the Bush Jr. administration should be viewed as constituting an ongoing criminal conspiracy under international criminal law in violation of the Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg Judgment, and the Nuremberg Principles, due to its formulation and undertaking of war policies which are legally akin to those perpetrated by the Nazi regime in pre-World War II Germany."

Palestine, Palestinians and International Law
By Francis A. Boyle,

This book provides a comprehensive survey of the international legal principles related to the Palestinian struggle for self-determination: starting with the League of Nations awarding the Mandate for Palestine to Britain after the First World War; through the partition of the Palestine Mandate by the United Nations after the Second World War; to the Palestinian Declaration of an Independent State of their own in 1988; to the diplomatic recognition of the Palestinian State by about 130 other states; through the United Nations granting the State of Palestine all the rights of a U.N. Member State but the right to vote, etc.

During the past two decades, the author has provided the Leadership of the Palestinian People with advice, counsel, and representation at all stages of this process. The scholarly analyses that he used to back up this critical work can be found in the pages of this book.

"Boyle's penetrating analyses of Israeli and American roles in the crisis that has destabilized the Middle East for over fifty years are as cogent as his criticism are fearless and his warnings prescient." -Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

By Francis A. Boyle, Clarity Press., Inc., 2003, 205 pp. List: $14.95; AET: $12.50.

Reviewed by Michael Gillespie

Most observers know very well that European Zionists displaced and dispossessed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948 and again in 1967, creating the world's largest, most problematic, and longest running refugee crisis. Many understand as well that Israel's continuing illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and its brutal oppression of the Palestinian people is aided and abetted by the U.S. government. Few, however, have a comprehensive understanding of the relationship of Palestine and Israel in international law. Even among those who consider themselves knowledgeable about the Palestinian cause, questions about the legal status of Palestine and Palestinians abound.

In a compelling new work, Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law, renowned international jurist, author, and human rights champion Francis A. Boyle provides a comprehensive history of the legal wrangling over Palestine and Palestinian rights while setting out bold new legal strategies for ending Israeli violations of international legal and humanitarian standards.

Boyle's book arrives at a critical moment. As the extremist right-wing regime of Ariel Sharon tightens its grip, few are able to predict with any confidence the future of the heroic Palestinian struggle for liberty, justice, and national sovereignty. Boyle clarifies the confusing legal complexity of the crisis in Palestine, proposes creative new approaches to Israeli intransigence and deceit, and argues persuasively for the preservation of the established norms of international law at a time when the rule of law itself is seriously threatened.

A professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign, Boyle is a seasoned participant in the Palestinian struggle-as legal adviser first to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) on the Palestinian Declaration of Independence beginning in 1987, and later, from 1991 to 1993, to the Palestinian Delegation of the Middle East peace negotiations. Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law is not written exclusively for the edification of legal scholars, however. A master of the history of international mandates, protocols, conventions, and resolutions that address directly or are relevant to Palestinian aspirations and rights, Boyle decisively charts a course through the legal labyrinth with a lucid and inviting style the layperson will appreciate as much for its vitality as for its clarity.

One key to Boyle's success is his ability to convey the intensely personal aspects of a legal drama played out on the world stage. In an introduction that explains how, as a university student in the late 1960s and 1970s, he first came to appreciate the plight of the Palestinian people despite "The Big Lie," Boyle candidly recalls events, encounters, and challenges that have informed his perspective as an advocate for Palestine and Palestinians. Boyle's reminiscences and trenchant observations will resonate with experienced proponents of the Palestinian cause, even as they inspire and empower a new generation of activists.

"I have been accused of being everything but a child molester because of my support for the Palestinian people," writes Boyle. "I have witnessed the violation of every known principle of academic integrity and order that basic fundamental truths in relation to this longstanding conflict in the Middle East might be suppressed."

Boyle earned his J.D. (1976, magna cum laude), master's degree (1978) and a Ph.D. in political science (1983) at Harvard-where he served as a member of the executive committee of the Harvard Center for International Affairs and as a teaching fellow in Harvard College. He is candid in his admiration for principled educators and jurists, as well as in his criticism of institutional bias, as evidenced in his comparison of two nationally recognized Middle Eastern studies programs: "the University of Chicago has always had a first rate Center for Middle Eastern Studies that I have heartily recommended over the years to many prospective students....By comparison, Harvard's center for Middle Eastern Studies could be viewed as effectively operating as a front organization for the CIA and probably the Mossad as well."

Citing the fundamental precepts of international human rights law, Boyle writes, "As is true of any other state in the world today, the newly-proclaimed state of Palestine possesses the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense recognized by customary international law and article 51 of the United Nations Charter....the Palestinian people actually living under this criminal occupation have the perfect right under international law to resist the Israeli army by the use of force, just as the French Resistance did against Nazi forces occupying France during the Second World War."

Boyle reminds his readers that it has been decades since U.S. policy in the Middle East rested upon the foundation of sound moral and legal principles necessary to support viable and enduring international relationships in the region."The American people cannot even begin to comprehend how to deal with the problem of international terrorism in the Middle East," he points out, "unless they first come to grips with the fact that the Reagan/Bush Sr. administration was directly responsible for the perpetuation of one of the great international crimes in the post-World War II era against the Palestinians and Muslim people in Lebanon....Until that time, Americans will continue to become targets of attack by these frustrated and aggrieved individuals throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean."

Boyle's penetrating analyses of the Israeli and American role in the crisis that has destabilized the Middle East for over 50 years are as cogent as his criticisms are fearless and his warnings prescient. In a Dec. 1, 1992 Memorandum of Law, Boyle advised the Palestinian leadership against what he perceived as a fatally flawed interim agreement: "...because of Israeli stalling and because of American presidential election politics," he warned, "there could be a 12-year, 16-year, or even 20-year interval between the Interim Agreement and the so-called Final Settlement no matter what the documents might say about some 'interconnection.' Indeed, if the Israelis have their way with their supporters in the Democratic and Republican parties and in the United States Congress, you will never see that Final Settlement. The Israelis, with American help, will simply stall, drag out, and indefinitely postpone and delay a Final Settlement while they continue to kill your people, steal your  land, and drive the rest of you out of your homes."

It was Boyle who, in a Nov. 30, 2000 speech at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, advocated the divestment campaign against Israel that now is in progress on college and university campuses across the country (see <

Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law contains the texts of several helpful and inspiring documents, including The Geneva Declaration on Terrorism (1987), The Palestinian Declaration of Independence (1988), and Boyle's own Memorandum of Law known as the Palestinian Alternative to Oslo (1992). The book also provides relevant sections of The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973). Appendices include a comprehensive "Bibliography of Genocidal/ Apartheid Acts Inflicted by Israel on the Palestinians During the Al Aqsa Intifada," as well as Boyle's partial "Bibliography on the Middle East and International Law," both of which will prove invaluable to serious students of the crises in Palestine and the Middle East.

Readers and activists alike will benefit from the information and inspiration in Francis Boyle's Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law-a book that scholars, researchers and other truth seekers will turn to for years to come.


Michael Gillespie, a free-lance writer based in Ames, Iowa, is a peace and justice advocate with a keen interest in interfaith dialogue.

Book can be ordered at: ________________________________ Islamic Association For Palestine P O BOX 1163 BRIDGEVIEW, IL 60455 Phone # 708-307-2937 Fax 708-974-3265

Web: - email:


The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence
By Francis A. Boyle,

Provides the intellectual tools needed to battle the nuclear adventurism of the U.S. nuclear power elite, demonstrating how both the use and threatened use of nuclear weapons is illegal under international law and accordingly, criminal.

"Boyle's stirring little book traces the fault lines that may divide our society as U.S. troops and weapons are deployed illegally: those who support the legal system versus those who blindly issue and obey orders at their own peril." The Federal Lawyer, March/April 2003

"[A]n enormously valuable book. Any supporter of nuclear weapons would find it very difficult to refute its arguments." Frank Jackson, Editor, World Disarm!

"Boyle's damning post-9/11 legal analysis of U.S. Nuclear war policy and the so-called "war on terrorism" is the best single book for nuclear resisters to study if they intend to defend their own direct action under international law." -The Nuclear Resister, Sept. 2002

Francis A. Boyle Francis A. Boyle's long, distinguished career has included: responsibility fo drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention; and representing the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina before the International Court of Justice (1993-94). Boyle served as Legal Advisor to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations from 1991 to 1993; on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992); and as a Consultant to the American Friends Service Committee. Professor Boyle teaches International Law at the University of Illinois, Champaign. Previous works include: Defending Civil Resistance Under International Law, The Future of International Law and American Foreign Policy, and Foundations of World Order: The Legalist Approach to International Relations 1898-1921. He holds a Doctor of Law Magna Cum Laude as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University.


Destroying World Order: U.S. Imperialism in the Middle East Before and After September 11

0-932863-40X, $14.95, 192 pp., 2004

Palestine, Palestinians and International Law

0-932863-37-X, $14.95, 205 pp., 2003

The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence

0-932863-33-7, $14.95, 216 pp., 2002

Order all three books for $30 plus shipping: SCB Distributors, 15608 South New Century Drive,

Gardena, CA 90248

800-729-6423; (T) 310-532-9400; (F) 310-532-7001

The Accidental Constitution

The Making of the New Europe

The Path to European Defence

The European Public Affairs Directory

EU Information Handbook 2004

Vision Europe 2020

If you are a publisher and interested in contributing your publications,
please contact Paul Kidner: