NGOs, soft power and demonization in the "lawfare" strategy

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Human Rights Watch and numerous other powerful non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, lead the cynical exploitation of moral claims and international law. These activities helped lay the foundations for the Goldstone Report and dozens of  ’lawfare’ cases around the world; and they have promoted the demonization of Israel through intensive and well-funded campaigns based on double standards and false claims as part of the political warfare. This intense exploitation of moral and legal frameworks is highly destructive in terms of international norms, and also in terms of being a major threat to the existence of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and its sovereign equality among the nations. An examination of the evidence, rather than reliance on ideological filters, refutes the pretense that the numerous false claims of Israeli war crimes are simply responses to the post-1967 occupation, settlements, and related issues. Similarly, there is no basis for the speculative belief that had Israel agreed to cooperate with a series of UN-appointed and biased ’’investigations,’’ the allegations of  ’’war crimes’’ would have been mitigated. An equally persuasive thesis would posit that any Israeli submissions to the Goldstone commission  on the Gaza war, for example, would most likely have been twisted and distorted to suit the predetermined conclusions.

About the Author

Professor Gerald M. Steinberg

Professor Gerald M. Steinberg

Professor Gerald Steinberg is founder and president of NGO Monitor and professor of Political Studies at Bar Ilan University. He is the founder of the Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation at Bar Ilan University. His research focuses on the changing nature of power in international relations, as reflected in Middle East Diplomacy and Security, The Politics of Human Rights Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and Israeli Politics and Arms Control.