Justifying terrorism

Speech by Colonel Richard Kemp at the UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, during debate on initial report of commission investigating Israel-Palestine conflict

14 June 2022

This commission of inquiry is equivalent to Putin’s propaganda machine. The disinformation from Moscow justifies their illegal war on Ukraine; the disinformation from today’s report justifies Hamas’s illegal war on Israel.

I wish to address the commissioners. Putin wrongfully says an illegitimate Ukrainian state occupies Russian territory; you wrongfully say an illegitimate Israeli state occupies Palestinian territory.

Putin falsely says his war is to protect Russian-speakers in Ukraine; you falsely say Hamas’s violence is to protect religious rights in Jerusalem.

Why is this commission swallowing their lies — hook, line and sinker — and amplifying them with a megaphone that contorts reality into a travesty of human rights?

Neither this commission nor Putin count Hamas as terrorists. You back them with words while Putin backs them with guns.

Today’s report validates and encourages Hamas’s terror tactics, just as it outrageously denigrates Israel’s lawful defence. Your work here today ensures renewed bloodshed tomorrow. It incites hatred of Jews around the world, and cruelly betrays the Palestinian people.

Before Putin was expelled from this body, he voted to create your commission of inquiry, and now—like Hamas—he has endorsed your report. I can think of no greater indictment.