Richard Kemp

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Biographical Information

"Richard Kemp is a former British colonel and bestselling author. He served in the British Army from 1977 to 2006. He was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, an infantry battalion Commanding Officer, and he also worked for the Joint Intelligence Committee and Cabinet Office Briefing Room. He completed 14 operational tours of duty in various countries. After his retirement in 2006, Kemp began writing Attack State Red. The account of his 2007 tour in Afghanistan was listed as a bestseller in the Sunday Times just two weeks after initial release." [1]

Useful commentary

Kemp has on occasion provided useful quotes that were extensively used for propaganda purposes.

  • Gaza 2009: Kemp was quoted in the NYT, and then he appeared as a commentator in several Human Rights councils which questioned the Israeli use of disproportionate violence, and weapons which amounted to war crimes. In general, Kemp simply agreed that what the Israeli army had done was "necessary" and that the use of phosphorous weapons on populated areas was similarly acceptable.[3] Colonel Travers, a co-author of the Goldstone report, had this to say about Kemp: "Colonels Tim Collins and Richard Kemp, both distinguished soldiers, seem not to be embarrassed in the least while making statements about the fighting competencies of another army – one they seem to know little about."[4][5]
  • Israeli commandos assassinate 9 on the Mavi Marmara, 31 May : In 31 May 2010, Israeli commandos stormed several ships seeking to deliver aid in solidarity to Gaza. Nine Turkish activists were murdered, several executed by gun shots to the back of the head. Without offering any evidence, Col. Kemp made widely quoted comments that the Israeli action had been necessary.[6] [7]
  • Justifying war against Syria 2012: Kemp has been quoted in the media urging UK intervention in Syria.[8]


  • AIPAC Annual Policy Conference (21 Mar 2010) – participant / speaker
  • UN Watch put Kemp on a panel at a UN-Geneva Human Rights Council meeting[9][10]


Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Advancing Human Rights People, organizational web page, accessed June 16, 2012.
  2. Campaign Against Anti-semitism Patrons, organizational web page, accessed March 9, 2018.
  3. Philip Weiss, ‘NYT’ continues to justify dropping white phosphorus on school children, MondoWeiss, 20 October 2009.
  4. Hanan Chehata, Desmond Travers (interviewee), Interview with Colonel Desmond Travers – Co-author of the UN's Goldstone Report, in MEMO_(Middle East Monitor), 2 February 2010.
  5. Philip Weiss, Hillary tells AIPAC, the occupation is hurting the US around the world, 22 March 2010.
  6. Harriet Sherwood, Flotilla raid: Turkish jihadis bent on violence attacked troops, Israel claims, Guardian, 2 June 2010.
  7. M. Idrees Ahmad, Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood joins the Hasbara brigade, Pulse Media, 3 June 2010.
  8. Ben Glaze, UK may be drawn into Syria conflict, The Independent, 25 July 2012.
  9. Jeffrey Blankfort, I slob, you slob, we all slob for the Is-lob!, MondoWeiss, 17 October 2009.
  10. AJC News Update, Update 374, 21 October 2009