Jerusalem – As the UN report on the 2014 Gaza War is submitted to the Human Rights Council today, a group of military, legal, and Middle East experts will present an alternative voice in Geneva. Through statements to the Council and in side events, NGO Monitor and UN Watch, along with Colonel Richard Kemp, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, Jonathan Schanzer, Anne Herzberg, Uzi Rubin and Hillel Neuer, will critique the UNHRC report and identify key issues that the UN failed to properly investigate.
These experts are available to comment on the UN report and its legal and diplomatic implications. To arrange an interview, please contact: Lena Bakman, +972-54-430-1861 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Amuta for NGO Responsibility, NGO Monitor’s UN ECOSOC-accredited parent organization, and UN Watch will be hosting a series of events at the UN. Today (Monday, June 29) from 17:00 – 19:00, there will be a two-part panel event. Part One will discuss Filling in the Blanks, a book documenting missing elements in the UN investigation into the Gaza war, written by the aforementioned experts. Part Two will examine military and legal aspects of the Gaza war, featuring Colonel Richard Kemp, former head of the international terrorism and Iraq team for the Joint Intelligence Committee; Major-General Mike Jones, Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command; and Professor Geoffrey Corn, South Texas College of Law, former Senior law of war expert for the US Judge Advocate General, and chief of the Law of War Branch in the International Law Division. There will be an additional panel event on Tuesday, June 30, at 10:00am discussing laws of armed conflict in asymmetrical warfare.
WATCH LIVE WEBCAST HERE: MONDAY, JUNE 29TH FROM 17:15 Geneva (11:15 AM USA EST) TO 19:00 Geneva (1:00 PM USA EST)
These experts made the following comments about the report of the Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza War:
Colonel Richard Kemp, former head of the international terrorism and Iraq team for the Joint Intelligence Committee: “The report is morally bankrupt, making no distinction between the Israel Defense Forces, the legitimate armed forces of a Western liberal democracy and Hamas, an internationally-proscribed terrorist group that operates a tyrannical dictatorship over the citizens of Gaza. The report has no military insight and it is quite clear that the UN commissioners and the drafters of the report have no knowledge or experience of armed conflict.”
Major-General Michael D. Jones, Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command: “While it is positive that the UN’s Gaza report acknowledged that all combatants are required to abide by the law, and that Hamas’s and other groups’ indiscriminate rocket fire at Israel was unlawful, it is disappointing that the report fails to condemn these groups for unlawfully failing to distinguish themselves as combatants, as well as purposefully co-locating amongst civilians, knowingly placing them at risk, with absolutely no military necessity to do so. I am also disappointed that the report, came to conclusions without sufficient information to make a judgment. Specifically, they condemn the IDF for engagements without any information on the IDF’s objectives, military necessity, or known information on risk.”
Professor Geoffrey Corn, Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law and former chief of the Law of War Branch in the International Law Division, US Judge Advocate General: “Unfortunately, findings of IDF LAOC violations throughout this Report rest on flawed or under inclusive interpretations of the law, and an inadequate consideration or appreciation of the realities of combat operations, ultimately undermining the credibility of these findings. What is obvious, however, is that only one party to this conflict – the IDF – demonstrated commitment to LOAC compliance, even when confronting an enemy who deliberately violated the law to gain tactical and strategic advantage.”
Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies: “The report gives no thought or attention to the actors that enabled the war… Iran has for years helped Hamas acquire long range rockets and develop domestic rocket making capabilities…the support that Turkey and Qatar provided to Hamas in the years leading up to the conflict, not to mention the diplomatic campaign that it waged on Hamas’ behalf during the war. The role of Egypt is downplayed greatly… more than 1,000 tunnels had been destroyed before the war began…[this] was perhaps the greatest impetus for Hamas to launch its war… designed to re-negotiate the flow of goods and services between Egypt and Gaza.”
Anne Herzberg, legal advisor at NGO Monitor: “Like previous HRC ‘investigations’, the Schabas-Davis Commission has failed to employ internationally recognized fact-finding standards, particularly transparency and impartiality. Moreover, the report is full of internal contradictions primarily as a result of its heavily reliance on the unverified claims of political advocacy NGOs and unreliable testimony from Gaza-based individuals. If the goal of this report was to provide a comprehensive accounting of the 2014 Gaza War, it has failed miserably.”
YOU ARE INVITED
The Amuta for NGO Responsibility and UN Watch are pleased to invite you to a two-day side-event at the United Nations featuring legal, military, and international relations experts.
Monday, 29 June 2015, at 5 pm – UN Palais des Nations, Geneva
“Filling in the Blanks: Documenting Missing Demensions in UN and NGO ‘Investigations’ of the Gaza Conflict” a panel with: Colonel Richard Kemp, Jonathan Schanzer, Uzi Rubin, Professor Gerald Steinberg, Hillel Neuer, Anne Herzberg and others.
Tuesday, 30 June 2015, at 10 am – UN Palais des Nations, Geneva
A “Conversation on Laws of Armed Conflict in Asymetrical Warfare” with Colonel Richard Kemp, Professor Gerald Steinberg, Hillel Neuer, Anne Herzberg and others.