16 September '10
LONDON – As almost every Israeli knows, public relations are one of the country's main worries. But surprisingly, the man who has given Israel one of its biggest PR boosts is a British man with a Commander of the Order of the British Empire from the Queen of England.
Colonel Richard Kemp, 51, served in the British army for 30 years. During his time there he commanded the British forces in Afghanistan, served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Macedonia, participated in the Gulf War, and specialized in anti-terror warfare. Kemp's distinguished resume also includes membership on the exclusive COBRA council, a crisis response committee whose members are intelligence, secret service, police, and army officials charged with advising the government in times of emergency.
Goldstone Gaza Report: Col. Richard Kemp Testifies at UN by HumanRightsUN
These astounding credentials have turned Kemp into something of a war hero, and his book depicting the UK under terror attack, 'Attack State Red', was an instant bestseller. He prefers to keep the location of his London office secret, in order to avoid attempts on his life.
But in Israel the colonel remained little known until January 2009, when a video clip showing him defending Israel during an interview with the BBC was posted on YouTube.
Kemp explained to his interlocutor that Israel had no choice but to engage Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and stressed that the actions the IDF was taking in order to avoid civilian casualties were exceptional, especially because Hamas fighters had been trained by Hezbollah and Iran to fight from within a civilian population.
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