Marc Cogen

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Mark Cogen, Credit:


Cogen graduated in law studies at the University of Ghent in 1978. He became a barrister and joined the staff of the Law School of the University of Ghent after having obtained his doctoral degree in 1986 on a comparative legal analysis of the African, Asian and Inter-American Development Banks. He served as a professor of international law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam from 1988 to 1991 and became professor of international law at the University of Ghent in 1991. He also taught European law and institutions at Vesalius College of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel from 1995 to 2001.[1]

Political activity

Views on counter-terrorism

In November 2003, Cogen defended the Bush administration's handling of Guantanamo detainees in an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

"The global war against terrorism is a new phenomenon in our time and we have to address the situation entirely anew. And if international terrorist cells are operating -- which is a new phenomenon, not terrorism as such, but the international organization of terrorism -- then we have to devise rules and to interpret laws of armed conflict against this background," Cogen said.
Cogen thinks it would be better for critics of the U.S. administration's policies, especially in Europe, to take an active part in drafting new legal procedures for handling what he calls "terrorist war crimes" instead of looking to apply narrow interpretations of existing laws, which he says fail to consider the state of war at hand.[2]

CounterJihad connections

Cogen spoke at the CounterJihad Brussels Conference in October 2007, which also featured the likes of Bat Ye'or, Filip Dewinter and Robert Spencer.[3] He concluded his talk on 'Opposing Jihadism':

The war against jihad involves a proper legal framework that enables our governments and agencies to act efficiently. Since jihadist terror groups or private armies are conducting a real war against our society, we need military tribunals to deal with them instead of corroding and misusing the common criminal system. At the same time state practice, by means of national legislation, should develop specific rules within the body of the laws of war, a neglected aspect for a new type of war.[4]

American Freedom Alliance talks

In June 2008, Cogen spoke at 'How Free is the University', a conference in Los Angeles organised by the American Freedom Alliance.[5]

Blogger Luke Ford described his contribution:

Cogen is a law professor in Belgium. He says he’s being persecuted by his peers for his support of Israel and the invasion of Iraq. He’s suing his university. All his classes have been taken from him but one.
"There is a Sovietization of Europe by the majority. They are telling the minority which opinions are acceptable."[6]

He was also a panelist at a June 2007 AFA event called 'The Collapse of Europe, the Rise of Islam and the Consequences for the United States', where Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Douglas Murray, Daniel Pipes and Dennis Prager, among others, also spoke. Cogen was described as an academic and 'an advisor to the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs' at that time.[7]

Possible role in European Friends of Israel

A number of sources describe Cogen as a ‘co-founder’ or ‘co-founder and director’ of European Friends of Israel.[8][9][10]



  1. IERU Members, International and European Research Unit, Universiteit Gent, accessed 5 January 2008.
  2. U.K.: Judge Issues Harsh Condemnation Of U.S. Guantanamo Prison Camp, by Jeremy Bransten, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 23 November 2003.
  3. CounterJihad Brussels 2007 Presentations, CounterJihad Europa, accessed 5 January 2009.
  4. OPPOSING JIHADISM – AN ONSET FOR A CURE, by Dr Marc Cogen, CounterJihad Europa, accessed 5 January 2009.
  5. Program - How Free is the University - an International Conference, American Freedom Alliance, accessed, 5 January 2009.
  6. How Free is the University?, Luke, 15 June 2008.
  7. Biographies - Panelists, American Freedom Alliance, accessed 13 November 2012
  8. International Workshop on Israel and the European Union in the Enlarged Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), International and European Research Unit, 12 December 2006, accessed 13 November 2012
  9. Biographies: Panellists and Moderators, American Freedom Alliance, accessed 13 November 2012
  10. Biographies - Speaker Biographies, Counterjihad Europe, accessed 13 November 2012
  11. David Cronin, Sarah Marusek and David Miller, The Israel Lobby and the European Union, Public Interest Investigations, May 2016, p.19.