Following the testimony, hundreds gathered for the historic “Rally for Equal Rights” to protest UNHRC’s unprecedented assault on Israel.
By Eliana Rudee, JNS
In a testimony delivered on Monday morning at the United Nations, American officer Lt. Col. Geoffrey S. Corn (ret.) and British commander Col. Richard Kemp refuted a U.N. Human Rights Council report released that accuses Israeli soldiers of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” on the Gaza border.
Joining a panel of four experts hosted by independent human-rights group U.N. Watch, Corn and Kemp accused the Commission of Inquiry (COI) of promoting false claims in its report, and warned diplomats and member states that the biased report will only further incentivize Hamas’s exploitation of Gazans and increase the chance that other illicit armed groups may be used against Israel, the United States and its allies in the future.
Simultaneously in the morning plenary session, the UNHRC called on the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights “to manage the dossiers on alleged perpetrators [IDF soldiers], to be provided to … the International Criminal Court.”
Several member states welcomed the UNHRC report, including some of the most serious human-rights abusers—Saudi Arabia, Syria, Venezuela, Iraq, Russia and Pakistan.
Providing testimony on the report, Corn—a U.S. Army senior law of war-expert adviser, author and Research Professor—presented findings from a Jewish Institute for National Security of America report, written by top former commanders of the U.S. Army, and responded to structural, legal and operational fallacies in the UNHRC hearing.
“By omitting from the UNHRC inquiry reports of the use of human shields by Hamas, the report incentivizes these terror tactics in the future, and the risk posed to the civilian population of Gaza is exacerbated. If we are really concerned about mitigating harm done to civilians, we should be condemning Hamas’s actions and this report,” he said.
Kemp, a national security expert, author and former commander of British Forces in Afghanistan who testified before the UNHRC investigation in December and was present at the Gaza border himself, agreed.
“The United Nations has played directly into Hamas’s hand and the UNHRC is but an instrument of Hamas terrorism. This report, as well as countries that vote for it, encourage Hamas towards further terrorism in the future,” he said, adding that his personal testimony to the COI was completely ignored in the production of the report.
Also providing testimony were Einat Wilf, former member of Knesset, co-author of The War of Return and expert on the Palestinian “right of return” narrative, and Joe Truzman, researcher, investigative journalist and editor of the “GroundBrief” Middle East newsletter.
Wilf explained that understanding the Palestinian marchers’ motivations towards aggression on the Gaza border is crucial in order to properly understand the Israeli response.
“Those who come to the border marching in the name of the so-called ‘right of return’ are not rioting against Israel’s blockade, but rather, are coming to destroy Israel. This needs to be understood clearly as a declaration of war and nothing less than that,” she explained. “The Israeli response cannot be understood if this is not understood.”
Evidence of false accusations
Truzman presented evidence exposing a number of false accusations and omissions of key facts in the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry, including evidence that five of the “victims of IDF gunfire” named by the inquiry were actually members of terrorist groups, including Hamas in Gaza.
“At least five militants killed at the ‘March of Return’ are mentioned in the COI report, without reference to their militant background. Some children in COI report were members of militant groups. Contrary to COI report, Palestinians present during ‘March of Return’ demonstrations and riots were armed. Such militant activity is still present within Palestinian border units,” said Truzman.
Following the testimony, hundreds gathered for the historic “Rally for Equal Rights” to protest UNHRC’s unprecedented assault on Israel, in which the council targeted the Jewish state in seven biased reports. The rally, broadcast live, was hosted by a coalition of 24 organizations that oppose anti-Semitism and anti-Israel prejudice.