Vision

Our vision is a world of justice where nations co-operate and live in peace.

‘They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more’ (Isaiah 2:4).

These words of the prophet Isaiah, in the Jewish Bible, are inscribed in the Ralph Bunche Park opposite the United Nations Building in New York City. They reflect the fact that many of the values expressed in the purposes and principles of the UN Charter have their origins in Jewish writings and traditions. These include the concepts of “nations”, “friendly relations between nations” and “international cooperation”.

Justice, justice shall you pursue’ (Deuteronomy 16:20).

These ancient words from the Torah have inspired individuals and peoples throughout the ages in their quest for life in peace and security in both national and international society.

The pursuit of justice is reflected, for example, in the dedication of the western steps in the Ralph Bunche Park to Natan Sharansky, a Russian “refusnik” and writer who was denied permission to leave Russia during the Cold War for the sole reason that he was Jewish. Sharansky has since become a foremost human rights campaigner, as well as an Israeli politician and later Chairman of the Jewish Agency.

The Jewish people came into existence 3800 years ago and settled in the land of Israel. 2000 years ago, their land was occupied by the Romans and the Jews were scattered around the globe. A remnant of Jews has always remained in the land, subject to the rule of a succession of foreign empires. Wherever they were in the diaspora, they kept their identity as expressed by their religion and traditions. And wherever they were, they were persecuted because of their identity, because of what they were: Jews. No other people has gone through this and survived.

All these observations show that the Jewish people occupy a special place among the nations and that Jewish concepts and traditions play an important role in the law of nations.

As Rabbinical Jewish leaders recently stated, the Jewish people consider themselves to have received “a dual mission: to found the nation of Israel that would inherit, settle and establish a model society in the holy, promised land of Israel, all while serving as a source of light for all mankind”. (Between Jerusalem and Rome – reflections on 50 years Nostra Aetate)

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Allied Powers decided to enable the Jewish people to reconstitute their homeland in the territory that in the meantime had become known as “Palestine”. This decision was sanctioned by the League of Nations in the Mandate for Palestine in 1922. Since the State of Israel was proclaimed as a Jewish State in 1948, it has developed into one of the most successful nations in the world in fields such as agriculture, water management, economics, medical innovation, science and technology.

The atrocities during the Second World War were a horrific attempt at genocide, yet they gave rise to the modern human rights movement, as reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).

Ever since its creation in 1948, the position of Israel in the arena of international law and relations has been one of much controversy and debate. Today, Israel is the only UN Member whose very existence is denied by a significant number of other UN Members, and is the subject of constant contestation and condemnation in UN institutions. As former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon observed in 2016: “Decades of political maneuvering have created a disproportionate number of resolutions, reports and committees against Israel. In many cases, instead of helping the Palestinian issue, this reality has foiled the ability of the UN to fulfill its role effectively.”

thinc. takes the view that this constant contestation and condemnation is based on discrimination against the Jewish people.

We believe that respect for the sovereign equality of the Jewish State of Israel within the community of nations, in accordance with international law, is not only necessary, but is the key to the achievement of the international co-operation that is needed for peace, justice and security in the Middle East and beyond.

 

Mission

Our mission is to promote the fair and just application of international law in international relations, in particular to the Jewish people, to the State of Israel and to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

thinc. will strive to –

  • ensure that UN Charter values and principles such as the sovereign equality of states, friendly relations among nations, non-aggression and the peaceful resolution of disputes, remain central to the quest for international peace and security;
  • promote the rule of law in international relations, which is essential for the peaceful co-existence of nations and the pursuit and maintenance of international peace and security. Eugene Rostow (former Dean of Yale Law School) said: “Fidelity to law is the essence of peace, and the only practical rule for making a just and lasting peace”. The rule of law means, inter alia, that all states should be treated equally, and legal rules should be formulated, interpreted and applied equally to all equivalent states and conflicts;
  • ensure that a clear distinction is made between international law and policy. Resolutions of the UN General Assembly or Security Council, for example, are essentially political in character, and do not necessarily reflect a true and accurate statement of the law.

However, these principles are often ignored, and the international legal system is often applied unfairly. It tends to be manipulated by groups of nations to achieve military and ideological ends that undermine the sovereign rights of smaller states and the human rights of peoples; one example of this is the case of Israel/Palestine. In our view such use of international law conflicts with UN Charter principles, impedes peaceful settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict, and undermines the international legal order itself.

 

Strategy

Our strategy is to achieve our mission through research, debate, conferences and seminars, publications, education and advice.

thinc. carries out research, creates publications, facilitates debate and provides education about the legal position of Israel and the Jewish people in the national and international political arena, especially in the UN and the EU.

We advise politicians and policy-makers to make informed decisions based on the fair and non-discriminatory application of international law to the Jewish people, Israel and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

We carry out these activities by:

  • facilitating a worldwide network of international law academics and practitioners, managed by an executive team based in the Netherlands; and
  • where possible, adopting an inter-disciplinary approach, in which these international lawyers are complemented by experts in the fields of history, international relations, military affairs and security, foreign policy and other disciplines.

 

Organization

thinc. is a non-profit research organization (think tank) based in The Hague – City of Peace and Justice. We comprise a global network of experienced legal practitioners and academics in the field of international law, who are committed to our goals.

The thinc. network is managed by a Management Team (MT) of two Directors. The Board of Directors is assisted by an Advisory Board of academics in the relevant disciplines, and media experts.

The foundation is guided by the following principles:

  • Protection of the right of peoples to self-determination;
  • Affirmation of the sovereign equality of nation states;
  • Promotion of core UN values, such as the Rule of Law, sovereign equality of nation states, human rights, freedom of religion and friendly relations among nations;
  • Prohibition of incitement to violence and the threat or use of force.

 

 Our working method

The key assets of thinc. are its international network of legal experts and a process-driven working method: for every activity we consult subject-matter experts in the network to accurately define the issue, identify network resources, plan the action (incl. budget) and mobilize sponsors. Once the budget is secured, the activity is initiated.

In summary, our working method comprises:

  1. identification of the issue(s)
  2. allocation of expertise
  3. acquisition of sponsors
  4. facilitation of the solution process

thinc. has the ANBI status

RSIN/fiscal number: 857611112

Your support for the performance of our mission is very much needed – and deeply appreciated!

 

 

Stg The Hague Initiative for International Cooperation

IBAN: NL15 INGB 0007 8215 39

Click here for additional financial information and bank details.

 

Governance:

  • G.M.C. Cremer Eindhoven, chairman
  • P.J. Hoogendoorn, director / secretary-treasurer
  • A.E.L. Tucker, director

The members of the Supervisory Board do not receive a remuneration, expenses are compensated.

 

Annual Report 2017

Business Plan 2019

People

(Supervisory) Board / MT
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Gijs Cremer Eindhoven

Chairman of the Supervisory Board

Gijs Cremer Eindhoven studied Dutch Law at the State University Groningen, where he obtained his LL.M. degree in 1974. In 1979 he completed the General Management study at the Management Study Centre of the Association of Dutch Enterprises. In 1995 he followed the Alternative Dispute Resolution mediating course of the Pepperdine University School of Law of California.

Gijs is president of Aako, an international trading and sales company of high-quality chemicals. He is a Supervisory Board member of a number of international chemical corporations, including Adama, has chaired the Supervisory Board of ICL and served as Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Dutch-Israeli Chamber of Commerce in the Hague from 1984-1994.

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Pieter Hoogendoorn

Director / Secretary & treasurer

Pieter Hoogendoorn (1951) studied Electronics, Mathematics and Computer Science at the Technical University of Delft. He graduated in 1979. After his studies he has worked i.a. for IBM and ACI Worldwide. He is a senior consultant and project manager in the fields of business development, software and services, and systems integration. His business areas include Finance, Telecom and the Public sector.

Pieter is an expert in the fields of Payment systems and IDentification technology. He is the founder (2008) and principal of Marites Consulting — a professional consultancy and (project) management company.

Pieter has a special relationship with Asia; from 2000-2008 he has worked as project manager in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

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Andrew Tucker

Director

Andrew Tucker (1963) studied law in Australia (BA/LLB), UK (BCL) and The Netherlands, and has worked since 1988 as an adviser and consultant to private companies, governments and (semi-)public entities in various fields of international law.

Andrew was a Fellow of the Law Faculty of the University of Melbourne from 1994 to 2001, and Research Associate at the TMC Asser Institute in The Hague from 1996-1998. Based in The Netherlands, he is Principal of Tucker & Associates, and Legal Counsel to the European Coalition for Israel.

Andrew is co-author of ‘Israel on Trial’, Soest (NLD), thinc. (2018).

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Alan Stephens

Counsellor

Alan Stephens read Law at University College London and was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple. He taught courses on International Law at Universities and Colleges in the U.K. and the Netherlands and is the author/editor of five books and numerous articles.

Alan was a Founding Editor of the journal Religion and Human Rights and serves on a number of editorial boards of journals and yearbooks. He was the Publishing Director of Kluwer Law International/ Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Alan advises several organizations and institutes in addition to thinc., including the Tom Lantos Institute, Budapest, the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy, New York and the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, Tel-Aviv.

Associates
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Dr Matthijs de Blois

Senior Fellow

Dr Matthijs de Blois studied law at Utrecht University, graduating in 1977 with a Master of Laws. After 1977, he worked in the Law Faculty of Leiden University, in the Department of International Law, where he received his Ph.D. Since 1990, he has been an assistant professor at Utrecht University’s Institute of Legal Theory of the Law Faculty. His academic focus is the philosophical and historical aspects of the law, specifically the relationship between law and religion.

Matthijs lectures and writes frequently about the position of the State of Israel under international law, which has become the main focus of his research within the framework of thinc. He is co-author of ‘Israel on Trial’, Soest (NLD), thinc. (2018).

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Dr Cynthia Wallace

Senior Fellow

Dr Cynthia Wallace, Ph.D. Cambridge, specializes in international economic law (esp. foreign direct investment). Former posts include Senior Adviser to the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, Geneva; Senior Fellow and Project Director of the International Business and Economics Program, CSIS, Washington D.C.; and Deputy Executive Director of the Investment Negotiation Program, of the International Law Institute, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

Authoring over 30 publications, including 10 books and monographs, she received the Grotius International Law Award for an article selected jointly by the U.N. Association and the T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague. She is an editor and contributing author to the Max-Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law. She is the author of ‘Foundations of the International Legal Rights of the Jewish People and the State of Israel. 

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GABRIELE KUCHENBECKER

RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Gabriele was born in Namibia, grew up in South Africa and spent most of her teenage years in the Netherlands. She obtained her BA Hons. cum laude from Stellenbosch University, studied law at Tilburg University, graduating cum laude, and is now doing a Master’s in International and European Law at Leiden University. She has also attended a summer program in International Law and Conflict Management at the Hebrew University, and participated in a student exchange at IDC’s Radzyner School of Law.

Previously, Gabriele worked as a tutor and teaching assistant at Stellenbosch University, as a copy-editor for Tilburg Law Review, as a podcast producer for Nomosphone, and gained work experience at a local law firm in Ely, England.