Yesterday, France's ambassador to the US Gérard Araud tweeted this:
4th Geneva convention : settlement policy in occupied territories is illegal. It is illegal to contribute to it in any way.— Gérard Araud (@GerardAraud) June 3, 2015
This is the sort of thing that is simply accepted as fact by most of the world who has never actually read the Geneva Conventions.
Expert in international law Eugene Kontorovich replied with a withering series of tweets that showed that this diplomat (and most other diplomats, pundits and so-called "experts") is completely and thoroughly wrong - using examples from French companies doing business in, yes, occupied territories:
You know that not what the French Courts have rules in cases involving @Alstom, or UK cts either, @GerardAraud. If true, prosecute @Total— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) June 4, 2015
.@GerardAraud a totally made up rule. Even if "settlers" are illegal no prohibition on giving them (often live-saving) cell phone service.— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) June 4, 2015
.@GerardAraud Your view inconsistent with that of UN SC legal advisor, EU Parliament lawyer, UK & French ct cases. http://t.co/XKjDgLc6pt— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) June 4, 2015
@Jswsenior @GerardAraud @francediplo You feel same way about @Total, @Michelin, and other settlement comps? Have you said so before?— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) June 4, 2015
The 2X standard: @GerardAraud knows about cell phone towers in WBank, hasn't even heard that 1 of France's largest cos drilling in WSahara— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) June 4, 2015
.@GerardAraud Yes, there is oil business in WSahara, your Excellency, but there are no Jews. Maybe why u havent heard about it @BarakRavid— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) June 4, 2015
Photo evidence of @MichelinTyres activity supporting settlements in occp'd terr. Can I get a comment, @GerardAraud? pic.twitter.com/BJP1vIQCOv— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) June 4, 2015
After thoroughly proving that the French ambassador is a hypocrite, Gérard Araud blocked Eugene.
And then he put up this pathetic defense:
I speak of one occupied territory. I am answered on other territories. I conclude that everybody agrees on what I say on the former.— Gérard Araud (@GerardAraud) June 4, 2015
Kontorovich's words in response, that he wrote in an excellent blogpost at the Washington Post:
In other words, no fairs to cite precedents and practice. But of course, if you are talking about international law, “other territories” are entirely relevant. First, for something to be law, it has to be a rule that applies to similar situations. And for it to be international, well, those situations will involve different countries.What the French apparently want is, to paraphrase Stalin, international law for one country. Ok. But don’t call it international. And don’t call it law.The entire article is a must-read.
Kontorovich proved that the French ambassador is a know-nothing hypocrite, and Araud proved that he has no interest in truth. Not bad for a Twitter exchange.
UPDATE: Gerard Araud also blocked me on Twitter after I tweeted this single article to him.