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Lt. Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch, Adv. at the UN Human Rights Council

Summary

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

My name is Maurice Hirsch. I recently retired from 19 years of active service in the IDF. In my last position, I served as the Head of the Military Prosecution for Judea and Samaria.

Six days after taking up my position, UNICEF published a report entitled “Children in Israeli Military Detention” claiming that Palestinian minors who come in contact with the Israeli Military Justice system were subject to “widespread systematic and institutionalized ill treatment.” The claims made in UNICEF’s report have been repeated countless times to this Council. Undoubtedly, we will hear them repeated again today by many NGO representatives, some of whom helped UNICEF craft its libelous report.

These claims, however, Mr. President, are completely false and I am appearing here today at the Council to set the record straight.

The reality of Israel’s military justice system is completely different from the claims made by UNICEF. The reality is that Israel’s Military Justice System meets all relevant international standards. The reality is that Israel’s Military Justice System meets all requirements of “due process.”

As Ex-Head of Military Prosecution, I can conclusively affirm that UNICEF both made factual and legal mistakes and specifically invented a standard specifically for Israel.

UNICEF, like some members of this Council, is NOT interested in hearing the truth and is NOT willing to allow the facts to distract from the primary goal of demonizing Israel.

Mr. President, as John F. Kennedy famously said, “The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” In today’s side event later today, I will dismantle both the lie and the myth. We hope you will come.

Thank you.