Exploiting Human Rights and Political Warfare: Lessons from Goldstone
Jerusalem – At a special event held Thursday evening (July 24) to discuss the current conflict in Gaza and NGOs (non-government organizations) that exploit human rights, NGO Monitor presented a new report on NGO efforts to promote another “Goldstone” pseudo-investigation.
The conference featured a keynote talk by Col. Richard Kemp CBE, and remarks by JCPA President and former UN Ambassador Dore Gold, Col. (res.) Miri Eisin, and NGO Monitor President Gerald Steinberg.
The report documents the central role of the NGO political network in the campaign to repeat the “Goldstone process” by calling for the UN to establish a “fact-finding” investigation into alleged Israeli “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity.” NGOs are also lobbying for International Criminal Court (ICC) “war crimes” cases to be brought against Israeli officials and are promoting an arms embargo against Israel. The responsibility of the funder/enablers of the NGO network, including European governments, is also examined in this report.
The event, held at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, was sponsored by NGO Monitor, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), and Menachem Begin Heritage Center.
Col. Richard Kemp CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire), a member of NGO Monitor’s International Board: “I don’t think there is anything that I can think of that Israel is not doing now to protect civilians, except sit back and take it…. The government of Israel does not just have the right to defend itself. It has an absolute obligation to do so.”
NGO Monitor president Prof. Gerald Steinberg introduced the speakers, noting, “The political war against Israel uses the deadly 21st century weapons – false accusations of ‘war crimes’ and blatant double or rather unique standards applied only to Israel. This dirty war is led by NGOs, claiming to promote moral agendas, such as human rights and humanitarian assistance and funded by mainly European governments, often via misguided church groups. To defeat this dangerous attack, which also destroys the moral foundations of human rights, everyone involved must be repeatedly and effectively ‘named and shamed’.”
JCPA president Ambassador Dore Gold, “Hamas is playing political football with the lives of its own people, prolonging the fighting in order to sacrifice the lives of as many of its citizens as possible, generating sympathy, largely with the aid of their one ally in the Arab world, Qatar, and its Al Jazeera network.” Gold also said, “Features of the old Goldstone report will reoccur in whatever form the new one takes, announced last night by the UNHRC…Many of the report’s conclusions derived from ideology rather than fact finding….The report, like the new inquiry, put its conclusion within its framing question: investigating Israel’s war crimes– before any investigation of what went on.”
Col. (res.) Miri Eisin: discussed the importance of recognizing that international perception is central to the military aspects of the war and how the media frames events: “Israel is fighting non-state actors. The issue of perception is central….Can we put out our own report before it happens – we show you, the world…we bring in the cameras…We need to be the ones who preempt.”
About the panelists:
Col. Richard Kemp CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) served in the British Army for 29 years. In his final period of military duty, Col. Kemp headed the international terrorism and Iraq team for the Joint Intelligence Committee from 2002-2006, and was also Chairman of the COBRA Intelligence Group. In these roles he handled all major global terrorist attacks, including those against British interests. He was made CBE for his work on the July 2005 London bombings.
Col. (res.) Miri Eisin served in Israeli military intelligence, and retired in 2004 with the rank of Colonel. She then went on to serve as an Israeli government Spokeswoman during the 2006 Lebanon War, also serving as the Prime Minister’s International Media Adviser.
Prof. Gerald Steinberg is the founder and President of NGO Monitor (awarded the Menachem Begin Prize in 2013), and is on the faculty of political science at Bar Ilan University. He is co-author of numerous publications on Israeli security, diplomacy, and human rights.
Ambassador Dore Gold is President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He was the 11th Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations (1997-1999). In January 2014, he was appointed as a senior foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During Prime Minister Netanyahu’s first term, and in the capacity of foreign policy advisor, Amb. Gold served as an envoy to the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf States. He also served as an advisor to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and was a member of the Israeli delegation at the Wye River negotiations between Israel and the PLO outside of Washington. Ambassador Gold has written widely on the Middle East. In addition to five books, his articles have appeared in Asahi Shinbun, Commentary, Daily Telegraph, Die Zeit, Ha’aretz, Jerusalem Post, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.