Brooke Goldstein, founder and director of The Lawfare Project, based in New York City, discussed Israel’s prime position in defense of the Free World in an exclusive interview with United with Israel.
By: Atara Beck, Senior Writer, United with Israel
“Israel is one of the major targets of the lawfare phenomenon, which is the abuse of a legal system, the wrongful manipulation of a legal system to undermine the sovereign rights of a democratic state,” declared Brooke Goldstein, founder and director of The Lawfare Project, a non-profit organization fighting against this exploitation.
“What are these rights? The right to self-defense, the right to self-sovereignty, the right to exist. And so you have several parties who are maneuvering in both the national and international legal systems. They’re not just targeting Israel, but also free speech in general,” she told UWI during a recent visit to Israel.
“For example, in the United States, anyone who is brave enough to speak openly, to speak publicly, to speak critically about the threat of Islamist terrorism…and the sources of funding and using Islam as a justification to commit mass murder – anyone who talks about these issues is targeted with a lawsuit or with violence or with threats of violence or with name calling. Anyone who talks about militant Islam is called an Islamophobe.”
The Lawfare Project has been advocating strongly for the rights of Palestinian children, among others. Documented evidence by Palestinian Media Watch and other groups show that to this day, the Palestinian Authority glorifies terrorism and instills violence and hate in preschool and older children through media and education.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently played footage for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry from the film Camp Jihad, co-produced by The Lawfare Project and the Center for Near East Policy Research.
The footage shows a teacher at a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school for Palestinian students indoctrinating them on “martyrdom” and “echoing the claim that all of Israel belongs to the Arabs.”
“UNRWA is a prime example of how we in the West are digging our own graves,” Goldstein asserted. “Taking U.S. money…to educate Palestinian children to be terrorists and to benefit terrorist groups like Hamas that we know are inside UNRWA camps. Kids are being educated as ripe fruit for the picking.”
However, “when you advocate for the rights of Muslim children and say that they don’t deserve to have bombs strapped to their waists and get blown up by remote control, then you’re called anti-Muslim,” Goldstein said. “If [by] advocating that the rights of Muslim women and children have to be protected you’re an Islamophobe, then what is pro-Muslim?
“So you have this illogical name-calling,” she continued. “But even worse are the lawsuits that are used to intimidate. It’s very costly to defend yourself in a court of law even if what you are saying is the truth.”
According to Goldstein, “the real question is: Why is it totally illegitimate to have an open conversation on issues of public concern that are directly related to our national security and foreign policy interests? What happened to free speech?”
The Lawfare Project focuses on two fronts: first, the international, meaning the right of a sovereign nation to defend itself against terrorism; and second, the right of individuals and organizations to free speech in fighting terrorism.
Regarding Israel in particular, Goldstein asserted:
“My position has always been that there will be no peace in the Middle East or between the Islamist world and the West until innocent Muslim children are not taught to take their own lives for the sake of a violent jihad [religious war].”
“I think the term ‘Palestinian-Israeli conflict’ is incorrect, Goldstein said. “It’s a conflict between the Muslim world and the West, and Israel happens to be the outpost of the West in the Middle East. It’s a huge mistake when we ignore the fact that militant radicals [mis]use Islam to justify mass murder of not only Western people, but also their own people. We ignore this root cause of violence by focusing on things like building homes in Jerusalem.”
(Brooke Goldstein is also the founder and director of the nonprofit Children’s Rights Institute, “whose mission is to track, spotlight and legally combat violations of children’s basic human rights around the world. CRI has a special focus on the state-sponsored indoctrination and recruitment of children to become suicide-homicide bombers, child soldiers and human shields.” Her award-winning documentary film, The Making of a Martyr, uncovers the illegal, state-sponsored indoctrination and recruitment of Palestinian children. She also co-authored a book with Aaron Eitan Meyer, titled Lawfare: The War Against Free Speech.)