The McGowan Davis/Schabas Inquiry: The UN Legal Pogrom

Hamas and the United Nations

The UN and Hamas preceding the 2014 Gaza war

The UN Alleges Targeting Genocidal Hamas Leaders Violates International Law

Since its emergence in the late 1980s, the United Nations has refused to act against the terror and destruction wrought by Hamas while acting swiftly against Israel's attempts to defend its citizens. In 1992, when Israel attempted to expel 413 Hamas operatives and supporters, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 799, which condemned "the action taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to deport hundreds of Palestinian civilians." Many of the deportees eventually returned to a life of terror.

In the mid-1990s, Hamas' campaign of suicide bombings inside Israel, was met by Security Council Resolution 1073 expressing concern for "casualties on both sides." This moral equivalence - between terror and attempts to stop terror - protected Hamas and allowed it to develop and expand its capacity to kill Israeli civilians.

In March 2002, when Hamas suicide attacks reached a bloody crescendo, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1402 expressing concern about violence on both sides. Its general call for "an immediate cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction" reaffirmed the perverse moral equivalence between terrorism and attempts to stop terrorism.

In 2004, when Israel killed Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin, then Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the UN Human Rights Commission condemned Israel's action as as an "extrajudicial killing." But Yassin, who personally instigated and authorized suicide bombing and exhorted his followers to "armed struggle" against Israelis and Jews "everywhere," was a combatant in a war. The legal term "extrajudicial," by definition, applies only to individuals entitled to judicial process before being targeted. Combatants - including the unlawful combatants of Hamas who seek to make themselves indistinguishable from the civilian population - are not entitled to such prior judicial process. And International Committee of the Red Cross manuals state that civilians who take a direct part in hostilities forfeit their immunity from attack. Furthermore, judicial process was not an option for Israel since it would have placed both Israeli Defense Forces and Palestinian civilians at much greater risk. As the Secretary-General should have known, the legal limit in targeting combatants like Yassin is the rule of proportionality, or "incidental loss of civilian life" which is not "excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated" (in the language of the Geneva Conventions) - a standard which was clearly met.

Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi took over the leadership of Hamas in March 2004. Immediately, he called for more bloodshed: "The doors are wide open for attacks inside the Zionist entity." Weeks later Israel targeted and killed Rantissi, but found itself subject to the same UN criticism from Secretary-General Kofi Annan that it had violated international law. Not a single civilian was killed with Rantissi; killed along with him were only two Hamas accomplices (one of whom was his 27-year old son). In other words, the law of self-defense, in this case proportionality, was not applied by the UN properly to exonerate Israel - even with zero civilian casualties.

The double-standards applied to Israel are even more obvious when compared to positive world reaction to the killing of Osama bin Laden, or the leaders and members of Al-Qaeda, Islamic State (ISIS), and Boko Haram.

The Lengthy UN-Hamas Bond

Hamas conducts war in flagrant violation of international law. It launches rockets from schools, uses ambulances as transport for combatants, hides behind women and children, and dresses its gunmen in civilian clothing as camouflage. Palestinian civilian casualties are, in fact, Hamas's weapon of choice. But the UN is apparently oblivious to this grotesque calculation. In 2008 UN Relief and Works Agency chief Karen Abu Zayd was asked about Hamas' use of civilians as human shields. She responded: "I don't know of these human shields being used... What I would say is that Hamas very much leave us alone; let me say, they respect us."

When the UN and Hamas respect each other, it becomes clearer why Hamas continues to act with impunity and its Israeli victim stands accused.