thinc. is an independent foundation established in 2017 in The Hague. It comprises a global network of international law academics and practitioners, as well as experts in related fields such as political science, religion and history, coordinated by a small management team.
We are a think tank with three work areas: (i) research, (ii) education and training, (iii) consultancy and advice.
We are deeply concerned about the distorted representation of history, the imbalanced criticism and the unequal treatment of Israel in the international arena, especially in the UN and the EU.
We believe that the main cause of the negative image of Israel in the world is ignorance about how and why the State of Israel was established, what is happening around Israel today and the nature of international law and diplomacy.
We see that international law in the UN and related institutions is interpreted and applied in a discriminatory way to the State of Israel (lawfare), thereby undermining Israel’s sovereignty and security. We combat lawfare.
Our mission is to promote the international rule of law in relation to Israel, the Israel/Palestine conflict and the region. We accomplish our mission by:
- being a resource of trustworthy information of the highest professional standard;
- providing a forum in which international lawyers, policy-makers, historians and other experts can meet to exchange views within the framework of our vision;
- developing proposals for a constructive role of international law in resolving the Israel/Palestine conflict and promoting cooperation between Israel and other international actors.
We believe that the Jewish State of Israel has a right to exist and is entitled to sovereign equality among the nations, free from acts or threats of force and violence.
We do not believe that Israel is the cause of the Palestinians’ misery, nor is the Israel/Palestine conflict the main problem in the Middle East. On the contrary, we believe that through a fair and balanced understanding of history and the dynamics in the region, Israel can be a starting point for peace and prosperity throughout the Middle East region.
We adhere to the spiritual, ethical, social and political values that are held commonly by Judaism and Christianity. These values are our guiding principles and include respect for the legitimate rights of Jews and Palestinians living in the land of Israel, and equal treatment of the State of Israel under international law.
Our vision is the fair and just application of international law to Israel, the Jewish people, and the Israel/Palestine conflict.
We offer reliable information, solid arguments and new solution perspectives. The knowledge of international law and the insights we share consider the historical, political and religious context. This is an added value we call ‘international law in context’.
We raise a credible voice of reason and justice in the midst of a complex public debate, in which Israel is consistently condemned and criticized.
We enable –
- lay people to defend the Jewish people and counter criticism on the State of Israel;
- politicians, policy makers and diplomats to make a constructive contribution, directly or indirectly, to cooperation between the international actors in the Middle East and a sustainable solution of the Israel/Palestine conflict;
- students and practitioners of international law to understand the rights of the State of Israel, the Jewish people, the Palestinian people and other actors under international law.
The mainstream of international law experts starts its analysis of the Israel/Palestine conflict in 1967 and has an almost exclusive focus on human rights. Thus the mainstream portrays Israel as an “occupier” who disregards human rights.
In our studies of Israel, the Israel/Palestine conflict and Israeli relations in the region we examine international law in the context of history, religion, geo-politics and other relevant factors. This results in a picture of Israel as a legitimate, sovereign State, entitled to secure borders and a live in peace with its neighbors.
The thinc. academic network is a growing network of international law academics and practitioners, and experts from related disciplines such as history, political science, religion, security and international diplomacy. The network spans the globe. The members of the network contribute blogs, articles and lectures, and they participate in our research projects and educational programs. The thinc. academic network is coordinated by the Management Team.
thinc. is a think tank. We execute projects and continual activities such as publishing and education. For every project we consult subject-matter experts in the academic network to accurately define the issue, identify network resources, plan the action (incl. budget) and mobilize sponsors. Once the budget is secured, the project is initiated.
As an international think tank, our preferred language is English. However, since a significant contingent of our supporters are Dutch speaking and some of our authors are Dutch natives we publish some of our content in Dutch. This content, comprising Nederlandstalige publicaties and Nederlandstalige media, can be found on our website.
thinc. Fellows and Senior Fellows are jurists who specialize in international law and support our mission. They play an active role in our research, publications, educational program and consultancy activities. So far, two international law academics have been appointed Senior Fellow of thinc., viz. Dr. M. de Blois (Professor emeritus, University of Utrecht) and Dr. C.D. Wallace (former senior adviser to the UN, Geneva).
In 2021 we will be working on four strategic projects:
- Cases, Materials and Commentaries – a research project leading to a balanced academic publication about international law, Israeli-Arab relations and the Israel/Palestine conflict. This publication will enable courses to be offered at universities and other institutions around the world, in which the position of Israel, the Jewish people and the Israel/Palestine conflict are placed in their appropriate legal, historical, political and religious context.
- The EU, the Middle East Peace process and international law – a review. This research project will result in a report on the evolution of the relationship between European countries and Israel under international law since 1967. It will provide evidence that international law has been unfairly applied to Israel, and make recommendations on the role of international law in the development of a sustainable EU foreign policy towards the conflict.
- International Diplomacy, Law and Security in Arab-Israel Relations – educational project (started in 2020). Building on Cases, Materials and Commentaries we are developing a modular, multi-disciplinary on-line course for diplomats, policy advisers, law students and legal practitioners. The curriculum will be supplemented with a one-week onsite program module in Israel. The project will be executed in partnership with the Inter-Disciplinary Centre (IDC) Herzliya, the largest private university in Israel.
- International Criminal Court (ICC): the “situation in Palestine”. We will continue to play an active role in seeking to prevent that the ICC will investigate or prosecute Israeli leaders for so-called war crimes in Palestine.
We engage in the following ongoing activities:
- Research and publications – via our website and social media: Reports, Briefing Papers, articles, blogs, video’s, podcasts etc.
- Education & training: courses, lectures, workshops, webinars and conferences – online and onsite.
- Consulting and advise to politicians and policy makers to help them develop new policies towards Israel and the Israel/Palestine conflict.
Our beneficiaries are:
- Decision makers who need to decide about the interpretation and application of international law to Israel and the Israel/Palestine conflict;
- Influencers who influence decision makers and need unbiased and reliable information;
- International lawyers, law schools and students with an interest in a balanced and different view;
- Journalists and Media with an eye for context and interest in a different view;
- Christian-Zionists in need of extra-biblical tools to stand up for Israel;
- Entrepreneurs and businessmen with an interest in the region;
- People with an interest in foreign policy and/or Israel and the Israel/Palestine conflict.
The thinc. Summer School is a two-week summer school in Israel for international law and international relations students, graduates and practitioners. The program comprises lectures, seminars, workshops and excursions led by experts in their fields, offering a unique insight into the legal, historical, religious and political context of Israel and the Israel/Palestine conflict.
The inaugural Summer School took please in 2019 in Jerusalem. The Summer School 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19. It is to be expected that the next Summer School will take place in 2022, possibly in conjunction with the International Diplomacy, Law and Security in Arab-Israel Relations online course.
thinc. is a foundation under Dutch law with so-called ‘ANBI’ status (charitable trust status) which allows for tax-deductible donations in the Netherlands.
thinc. receives no subsidy from the government and is funded entirely by private donors (individuals, enterprises and organisations). At this point in time, most of our donors are based in the Netherlands and Australia. Our current (2021) annual budget is € 212,000.
There are various ways to make an online donation to thinc. including:
- direct bank transfer
- credit or debit card
- PayPal or Wise.
Go to the Financial information page to make a donation.
The governance structure of thinc. comprises a Management Team and a Supervisory Board – in compliance with ANBI criteria.
The Management Team consists of Pieter Hoogendoorn, Director Operations and Andrew Tucker, Program Director. The Management Team drafts the strategy of the foundation and implements it after approval by the Supervisory Board.
The Management Team is assisted by the Academic Advisory Board consisting of Prof. Gregory Rose, University of Wollongong, Prof. Robbie Sabel, Hebrew University and Prof. Dr. Li-ann Thio, National University of Singapore.
We have –
- published two books and more than 70 articles, blogs, commentaries, reports and videos;
- organised 6 seminars and given more than 30 lectures around the globe;
- advised politicians and policy advisers in several countries about issues such as: the EU product labelling guidelines, the proposed ban on ritual slaughter in the EU, and the “situation in Palestine”-case pending before the International Criminal Court;
- submitted an amicus curiae brief to the International Criminal Court;
- organised a ten-day ‘Summer School on International law and the Israel-Palestine conflict’ in Jerusalem (June/July 2019), attended by 27 students, lawyers and ‘influencers’ from Asia, Australia and Europe.
thinc. collaborates with three types of organisations/institutions, viz.
- professional organisations in the field of international law and international relations;
- academia and law schools;
- organisations in the field of public diplomacy.
We are well connected with Christian and Jewish non-profit organizations which collectively have access to hundreds of thousands of highly-educated Christian and Jewish individuals and organizations, many of whom are interested in our lectures and educational programs.
‘Friends of thinc.’ is a group of individuals, enterprises, foundations and funds who provide ongoing financial support to enable the work of thinc. Friends are invited to contribute a set amount of Euro 100/200/500/1,000 or more per annum on a continual basis. Friends of thinc. receive the thinc. Newsletter and are invited to annual events (in Jerusalem, The Hague or elsewhere).
‘thinc.-Partners’ are individuals, enterprises and organisations who enter in a long-term partnership with thinc. on the basis of (mutual) strategic interest. thinc.-Partners provide ongoing financial support to thinc. whereas thinc. will support the Partner with specific content tailored to the Partner’s needs. The content may include publications, online courses, seminars, workshops etc.
thinc.-Partners will typically contribute an amount of Euro 5,000/10,000/20,000 per annum on a continual basis. thinc. and the thinc.-Partner carry out specific activities and programs together. thinc.-Partners receive the thinc. Newsletter and are invited to annual events (in Jerusalem, The Hague or elsewhere).
The statutory seat of ‘The Hague Initiative for International Cooperation’ (thinc.) is The Hague, the Netherlands. The office and the secretariat are respectively located at –
Bergstraat 33 Korte Middelwijkstraat 13
3811 NG Amersfoort 3764 DB Soest
The Netherlands The Netherlands