• On August 18, 2014, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) announced an “Extraordinary session” on “Israel’s Crimes in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.” The RToP session plans to consider alleged “Israel’s Crimes (including War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and the Crime of Genocide)…as well as third States complicity.”
  • As seen in previous Russell Tribunals, RToP has no judicial basis and exploits a legal facade in order to create an appearance of neutrality and credibility. The sessions have included “jurors” who examine expert “witnesses,” with the “findings” later published.  The witnesses and jurors are biased, the outcome is predetermined, and the findings have no credibility.
  • Past sessions of the RToP demonized Israel by falsely accusing it of “apartheid,” “collective punishment,” and “war crimes.”
  • Some RToP witnesses and jurors are key figures in boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel.
  • See NGO Monitor’s website for more background on the Russell Tribunal, the key figures involved, and the political objectives that motivate these actors.


  • The first Russell Tribunal was founded in 1966 by British philosopher Bertrand Russell and French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Seeking to publicize alleged American violations of human rights in Vietnam, Bertrand Russell sought to create a “people’s court,” similar in style to the post-World War II Nuremberg trials.
  • The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) was created in March 2009. The RToP held five sessions between March 2010 and March 2013 – in Barcelona, London, Cape Town, New York City, and Brussels.
  • The RToP announced its plan to hold an “extraordinary session” on August 18, 2014, during the conflict in Gaza. It is scheduled to take place in Brussels on September 24, 2014.
  • RToP is attempting to raise €50,000 in order to fund the session.

RToP jury members connection to Muslim Brotherhood

  • In early 2014, following the 2013 coup in Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood officials launched a legal campaign to bring charges against the Egyptian military at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Muslim Brotherhood’s legal team includes RToP jury members John Dugard and Michael Mansfield.
  • As in the past, the RToP session will only considers alleged Israeli crimes, ignoring those committed by Muslim Brotherhood affiliate Hamas.



  • The “jury” of the RToP session is composed of many known anti-Israel activists, whose bias against Israel is well established.
  • “Jurors” include Richard Falk and John Dugard, former UN rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967; Michael Mansfield, a British lawyer who called Israel “A state of Apartheid”; Ronnie Kasrils, former South African politician who accused Israel of inflicting “nazi-style collective punishment on the embattled population of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank of Palestine”; Roger Waters, musician  and activist in BDS campaigns; Christiane Hessel, widow of former “juror” Stéphane Hessel, who signed a letter stating Israel was “repeatedly and flagrantly violating the law of armed conflict” in the Gaza conflict; Ken Loach, a British filmmaker who “called for a boycott of all cultural and sporting events supported by the Israeli state”; Ahdaf Soueif, an Egyptian writer who wrote an op-ed called “Dead Palestinian children in Gaza tell story of impunity”; and members of RToP’s Support Committee.
  • As noted above, Dugard and Mansfield are currently part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s legal team. Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Funding of the RToP