Another day, another UN Human Rights Council report condemning Israel. This document, produced for an organization notorious for aiming half of its nation-based resolutions at the Jewish state [actually its more than half —ed], accused Israel of violating international law during the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip.
It is notable that the Obama administration, which has a frosty relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, couldn't gloss over this latest bit of Israelphobia from a United Nations agency infamous for jihad against the Jewish state. A spokesman for the State Department cited "bias against Israel" as the reason that the United States wouldn't support any further action on the report.
The UN document stopped just short of charging Israel with war crimes and did offer criticism of Hamas for firing rockets into Israel in what the New York Times described as the UN Commission of Inquiry "taking pains to be evenhanded."
What nonsense — trying to be even-handed in assigning blame for deaths in a war that killed more than 2,200 Palestinians [sic] and more than 70 Israelis.
Member of the Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict Doudou Diene next to Chairperson of the Commission Mary McGowan Davis during a press conference to present their report. AFP
David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, perceptively spotted the initial flaw in the UN investigation that revealed it to be tainted from the get go. The probe's start was dated June 13, the day after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped in the West Bank [sic] and subsequently murdered by terrorists. As Israel sought and arrested suspects in this atrocity, Hamas unleashed its rocket attacks and Israel had no choice but to respond with the Operation Protective Edge military incursion into Gaza.
Israel exercised great effort to avoid civilian deaths and injuries, which sadly are inevitable in a war fought in an urban environment. Again, no deaths or injuries would have occurred had Hamas not chosen war.
An analysis done by a panel of nearly a dozen military authorities , including generals, former chiefs of staff and the chairman of the NATO Military Committee, as well as a fact-finding mission by the Pentagon found that, as Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, put it , "Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties."
As proof that no good deed goes unpunished, the UN report managed to find reason to criticize Israel for the measures it took to warn Palestinian civilians of impending attacks. The various efforts Israel employed to minimize civilian casualties, including dropping warning leaflets, making warning cellphone calls and preceding bombing attacks with small "roof-knock" missiles alerting that an attack would follow, were deemed inadequate and/or confusing.
What warnings do the Russian soldiers, er "separatists," issue before their attacks in Ukraine? Do warning leaflets fall on towns in Yemen where Saudi Arabia is conducting air strikes against Iranian-linked rebels?
Hillel Neuer , executive director of the Geneva-based monitoring agency UN Watch, has pointed out some of the absurdities of the Human Rights Council. Saudi Arabia has a horrendous human-rights record — recently a blogger was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for "insulting Islam" — but not only is Riyadh not criticized, it's given a seat on the [UNHRC] council. Neuer noted in April that in June 2014 the council refused to support an effort to condemn the kidnapping by Boko Haram of 200 school girls.
On Monday, the council will take up the Gaza war report. Little doubt exists that another anti-Israel resolution will follow.
[Written by Steve Huntley]