International security, legal, human rights and Middle East experts are taking part in an "alternative event" in Geneva Monday evening, to counter a report by the UN Human Rights Council on last summer's conflict between Israel and Gazan terrorists widely condemned as biased.
The alternative event started at 5 p.m. local time (6 p.m. Israel-time) with a panel event discussing the facts missing from the UN report, the findings of which were heard at a UNHRC hearing earlier Monday.
It will be followed by a second panel focusing on the military and legal aspects of last summer's counter-terror Operation Protective Edge.
Facts on the ground
Dr. Uzi Rubin, founder of the Israel Missile Defense Organization and respected military expert, began with a presentation on Hamas's rocket arsenal, which he noted is heavily backed and funded by Iran.
Iran directly funds Hamas not only through financial help, but by smuggling missiles in, he said.
Target maps retrieved in Arabic show that Hamas is openly targeting several cities - including Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Be'er Sheva - he said, and he added that several of the Iranian-made missiles were fired directly at Haifa during the war.
Dr. Rubin added several key facts about Hamas's rockets, including that the number of the rocket model indicates the kilometer range.
"The numbers are small, but they add up," he urged. "We come to the amazing number of 87 tonnes of warheads" fired at Israeli cities during the war.
"These warheads are not fireworks. They are designed to kill."
Dr. Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President for Research, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, then spoke about how Hamas is financed - and noted that the UN report did not note how Qatar, Turkey, and others helped finance the war.
"Ignoring all of this is essentially tacit approval," he concluded. "It is for this reason that I believe this report is not just incomplete, but dangerous."
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor, noted that the UN report is "faith-based research" that "copy-pastes from NGOs" - and has very little actual factual evidence.
"When you read the report, you don't see real fact-finding," he said.
Steinberg also noted that, regarding three NGOs cited in some of these reports, one was a mouthpiece for Hamas, one was a blatantly pro-Palestinian organization based in the PA, and one is B'Tselem, the extreme leftist organization that did not have any representatives on the ground in Gaza.
He added that the heavy role of NGOs in these reports calls into question not only the veracity of those reports themselves, but also the countries who fund them - and he recommended that UN countries distance themselves from NGOs in order to help restore clarity to these fact-finding missions.
Original UN report 'morally bankrupt'
The event is hosted by the Amuta for NGO Responsibility, the UN ECOSOC-accredited parent organization of NGO Monitor, together with UN Watch, and will be live-streamed.
Among those present is British Army Colonel (ret.) Richard Kemp, former head of the international terrorism and Iraq team for the Joint Intelligence Committee, will take part in both panels.
Kemp has called the UN report "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."
Joining Kemp in the second panel focusing on the military aspects of last summer's war will be Maj. Gen. Michael D. Jones, Former Chief of Staff at US Central Command.