E-mail to the California State Bar on the „Who Owns Jerusalem“ Hoax

I sent this e-mail today to the California State Bar to ask them a few questions about the supposedly MCLE-approved „Who Owns Jerusalem“ lecture by Jacques Gauthier and sponsored by CAMERA and the „David Horowitz Freedom Center“ amongst others:

From Elise Hendrick
To MCLE@calbar.ca.gov
Re: Question regarding MCLE approval of the lecture „Who Owns Jerusalem“, scheduled for 27 January 2011

Dear Sir or Madam:

I recently became aware of an event entitled “Who Owns Jerusalem” (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=169237673119283) and sponsored by the pro-Israel public relations organisation CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), which claims to be approved for 1.5 hours of California MCLE credit.

This event is billed as a lecture by a Canadian attorney by the name of Jacques Gauthier, who claims that, contrary to the international legal consensus most clearly enunciated in the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and numerous international instruments, including the UN Charter and the Fourth Geneva Convention, that Israel is entitled to full sovereignty over the entire Occupied Palestinian Territory, i.e., the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.

This he does by grossly misrepresenting an 1920 League of Nations document known as the “San Remo Resolution”, which, by its own terms, makes no transfer of sovereignty, makes no reference to the creation of a “Jewish state” (only to the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” within Mandatory Palestine), and, most crucially, expressly reserves the issue of boundaries for later determination. In brief, this activity is promoting a threadbare hoax for transparent political purposes.

For a more detailed analysis of these claims, see my article at the following URL: http://meldungen-aus-dem-exil.noblogs.org/post/2011/01/21/who-owns-jerusalem-a-camera-hoax-approved-for-mcle-credit/

This activity raises a number of questions:

Most important amongst them, perhaps, is the question of whether this activity was in fact approved as an MCLE activity at all. Because of a malfunction on the MCLE Calendar on the State Bar website (the navigation bar overlaps with the calendar), I was not able to determine whether it is listed on the relevant date (27 January 2011). As such, the only information on this matter is the organisers’ own claim.

If, indeed, this activity was approved for MCLE credit, a number of other questions arise:

  1. What representations were made in the application for approval?
  2. Was the request signed by a member of the State Bar of California?
  3. On what basis was the activity found to have “direct relevance” and “significant current professional or practical content”, as required by Rule 3.501(A)?
  4. On what basis was the speaker, Jacques Gauthier, found to have “significant academic or professional experience on the subject”, as required by Rule 3.501(B)? Although the event is billed as a lecture by “Professor Jacques Gauthier”, a Google search of Gauthier’s name yields no evidence that he currently holds, or has ever held a teaching position at any institution of higher education. Likewise, the information available on the “dissertation” he is supposed to have written, published, and presumably defended is extremely vague: I have, despite an extensive search, been unable to turn up any indication of the dissertation’s title, the institution to which it was submitted, when and where it was defended, what field it was in (apart from the fact that it could not have been law, as that doctorate is awarded as an LL.D., and there is no indication that Gauthier was ever even awarded an LL.M.), and who was on his dissertation committee (apart from claims that it included “two [anonymous] international lawyers and one [also anonymous] Jewish historian”. As such, it would seem that the claim that Gauthier is a “professor” – or even has “significant academic or professional experience” in the relevant subject matter – is extremely dubious.
  5. What supporting documentation, if any, was provided as to Gauthier’s credentials?
  6. How in-depth is the Bar’s screening of proposed MCLE activities?
  7. What safeguards exist to prevent the approval of fraudulent activities?

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I would greatly appreciate detailed answers to the above questions, as this seems to me to be a matter of eminent public concern.


Élise R. Hendrick


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#2 Mondoprinte on 01.23.11 at 09:03

Nice one. Interested to know about reactions to your email.