POV: The Law in These Parts

About This Episode


Since Israel conquered the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 war, the military has imposed thousands of orders and laws, established military courts, sentenced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, enabled half a million Israeli "settlers" to move to the Occupied Territories and developed a system of long-term jurisdiction by an occupying army that is unique in the entire world.The men entrusted with creating this new legal framework were the members of Israel's military legal corps. Responding to a constantly changing reality, these legal professionals have faced (and continue to face) complex judicial and moral dilemmas in order to develop and uphold a system of long-term military “rule by law” of an occupied population, all under the supervision of Israel's Supreme Court, and, according to Israel, in complete accordance with international law.

The Law In These Parts explores this unprecedented and little-known story through testimonies of the military legal professionals who were the architects of the system and helped run it in its formative years. The film attempts to ask some crucial questions that are often skirted or avoided: Can such an occupation be achieved within a legal framework that includes genuine adherence to the principles of rule-of-law? Should it? What are the costs that a society engaged in such a long term exercise must bear? And what are the implications of the very effort to make a documentary film about such a system?