Resources updated between Monday, February 02, 2015 and Sunday, February 08, 2015
February 7, 2015
"When there was a recent Hezbollah attack that left two Israeli soldiers and a United Nations peace keeper dead, the international organization issued a statement.
"The terse, three-sentence release, the result of a week of consultations with the U.N. Security Council, said, 'Members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the killing of a UNIFIL [U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon] Spanish peace keeper which occurred in the context of fire exchanges along the Blue Line on 28 January 2015.'
"It didn't mention Hezbollah.
"And it didn't even acknowledge the Israeli Defense Force soldiers who were killed and wounded.
"The mission of the U.N. forces in Lebanon includes keeping Hezbollah weapons out of the area. But Hezbollah terrorists fired anti-tank missiles at an IDF patrol in the northern Mount Dov region of Lebanon.
"Israeli forces responded and the U.N. peace keeper was killed in the ensuing crossfire. The Hezbollah attack came after two days of rocket and mortar fire from Syria into Israel. Spain said Israeli artillery was responsible for the death of its soldier assigned to the U.N. operation. Israel's ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor blasted the Security Council's one-sided statement.
"'The Security Council seems to think that some lives have more value than others. It's barely a month since world leaders marched together to oppose radical extremism and affirm the sanctity of life. Now these same countries sit quietly as the world's autocrats indulge a dangerous terrorist group.'
"He continued, 'Some members of the council seem to think that they can operate with utter impunity, providing Iran and Syria with air defense and pandering to the whims of internationally recognized terrorist groups...'"
February 6, 2015
Four days ago, on February 2, the head of a U.N. commission of inquiry created to investigate war crimes in Gaza was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had taken money from the PLO for providing legal advice. William Schabas's U.N. job was to expose war criminals and recommend how to hold them "accountable." William Schabas's PLO job was to show them how to use the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hold Israeli war criminals accountable. He didn't think there was a problem.
His conflict of interest did not surface, however, until after the inquiry he was heading had "largely completed" its evidence-gathering, and the writing of the requisite report had begun, according to Schabas himself. But instead of taking the only legitimate route and setting aside the whole tainted exercise, the president of the U.N. Human Rights Council, Joachim Rücker of Germany, claimed he was "preserving the integrity" of the inquiry simply by accepting Schabas's resignation.
The council - the U.N.'s top human-rights body - had voted to create the Schabas inquiry in the middle of the Gaza War last July. Palestinians garnered support from council members and human-rights authorities like China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The United States and the members of the European Union either voted against or abstained. A majority of the states that have seats on the council are not "fully free" (on the Freedom House scale).
The idea of the inquiry was to open a second front in the war, conducted by international lawyers, to tie the hands of Israeli decision-makers - political and military - behind their backs.
Hence, the Schabas inquiry's mandate was to examine human-rights violations "in the occupied Palestinian territory," not "in Israel." The date cited for the beginning of the inquiry was June 13, 2014, because Palestinian terrorists had kidnapped (and later murdered) three Israeli teenagers the day before - and Israeli aggression was a given of the investigation. The mandate never mentioned "Hamas" or its terror tunnels, almost half of which opened into Israel.
With the terms of the "inquiry" set to ensure the desired outcome, Schabas and two others became the council's tools. They were selected by President Rücker "in consultation" with the Palestinians in the belief that they could be counted upon to deliver a guilty verdict.
Little wonder, then, that Schabas was miffed about the council's newfound concern over his past activities. He had earlier had plenty to say in public about the subject matter covered by his new position. In 2012, on camera, he lectured about "crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression, all of which I think it can be shown have been perpetrated at various times during the history of the State of Israel. . . . The International Criminal Court is in a position to exercise jurisdiction over crimes committed on the territory of Palestine . . . So much of my effort these times is addressed to try to get . . . the Court . . . to take up this burning, important issue. . . . With a bit of luck and by twisting things and maneuvering, we can get them before the courts."
This was just the kind of lawyer who the U.N. Human Rights Council would think satisfied its rule requiring the "independence, impartiality, personal integrity, and objectivity" of all its "mandate-holders."
The council could even be sure Schabas would go after Israel's prime minister personally. Said Schabas on camera before he was hired: "My favorite would be Netanyahu in the dock at the International Criminal Court."
His manifest bias, thought Schabas, should have saved him from his not-so-manifest conflict of interest. So he decided not to go quietly, even if it meant taking the council down with him. In his letter of resignation he divulged: "[W]hen I was asked if I would accept nomination to the Commission of Inquiry, I was not requested to provide any details of my past statements and other activities concerning Palestine and Israel." He assumed that because his "views on Israel and Palestine . . . were well known," the council was getting exactly what it wanted. And so was he.
What finally clued Schabas in to the fact that the jig was up? Shortly before he resigned, the council tried to save face all around by pretending "this matter" was so very complicated that it required an opinion from the U.N.'s legal office.
With Schabas gone, the legal opinion on the meaning of impartiality has been shelved - though it is a lesson the council evidently still needs. President Rücker moved the deck chairs around, appointing one of the two remaining members of the inquiry, the American Mary McGowan Davis, as chair, and fancies it is now business as usual.
The February 3 letter from Rücker to Schabas accepting his resignation thanks him for his "work over the past six months," says that the "appearance" of a problem has now been solved, and says that Rücker is "looking forward" to the report, due out in March. Six months preparing the report, a month to go before publication, and the U.N. imagines all appearances of impropriety and contamination have vanished into thin air.
Rücker told McGowan Davis: "I am convinced that you will . . . uphold the highest standards of integrity, particularly the principles of independence, impartiality and objectivity."
Seriously? Unlike Schabas, McGowan Davis previously worked for the same U.N. employer on the same subject! In 2010 and 2011 she was a member of a Human Rights Council committee responsible for promoting the implementation of the council's infamous Goldstone Report on the 2008–09 Gaza War. She chaired this follow-up committee in the last months of its work. The Goldstone Report's central lie was its claim that Israel set out to kill Palestinian civilians deliberately. After Goldstone himself retracted the slander, McGowan Davis told the Jerusalem Post his statement "does not have any impact" and she would continue "to take his report as a given."
At that time, McGowan Davis had the specific task of assessing whether Israel had adequately responded to the Goldstone Report's defamatory accusations - and lo and behold, in her own report she found Israel's response wanting. Apparently her assessment of Israeli "proceedings" in one Gaza war between Israel and rocket-launching Palestinian terrorists leaves her "impartial" and "objective" about Israel's "accountability measures" in the subsequent Gaza war between Israel and rocket-launching Palestinian terrorists. Her 2011 finding that Israel did not conform to the "international standards" required to avoid the dominion of the International Criminal Court mirrors precisely the end game of her current job.
Furthermore, throughout her work for the U.N. Human Rights Council, McGowan Davis has been a member of the board of directors of the American Association of the International Commission of Jurists, which according to its website is "an affiliated organization of the ICJ in Geneva." The ICJ participated in the July council session that adopted the resolution creating the 2014 Gaza inquiry. Prior to the vote and only two weeks into the war, this group of lawyers made a statement to the council, judging Israel guilty of war crimes and making a specific suggestion: "[T]he ICJ calls on this Council to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate all breaches of international humanitarian law and gross violations of human rights committed during the Israeli military operations in Gaza."
Not only did the council adopt the ICJ's recommendation, it appointed a member of the board of directors of the ICJ's American affiliate to do the job - Mary McGowan Davis.
Three days ago, she accepted Schabas's chair with alacrity and promised "a report that meets the highest standards of independence and impartiality."
In what universe?
There is a reason why the council - along with its Palestinian partners, who are working furiously behind the scenes to salvage the fiasco - is so desperate to plow ahead. We now know that Schabas provided the Palestinians with legal advice about how to move forward with the prosecution of Israelis before the ICC, a step that they subsequently took. There is no doubt that the Schabas/McGowan Davis report will immediately be sent to the ICC prosecutor to assist in deciding whether a "preliminary examination" already underway should become a full-fledged "investigation." The report's lack of credibility has put the credibility of the ICC in question.
Setting aside all the legal verbiage, the politics are painfully clear. Criminalizing Israel's efforts to exercise its right of self-defense against a foe openly committed to genocide strikes at the heart of the sovereignty, well-being, and legitimacy of the Jewish state. Demonizing a democratic society that is ready, willing, and able to ensure the accountability of its armed forces is not about protecting Palestinians. It is about endangering Israelis.
Human-rights law is being perverted for anti-human-rights ends, and it is about time human-rights lawyers - and all those who care about defeating the enemies of rights and freedoms - stood up and objected.
Scandal Rocks the U.N. World Article
No. 605 January-February 2015
1 UN Daily Journal Announcement of "an informal meeting of the plenary to address concerns of a rise in anti-Semitic violence worldwide" by the General Assembly, January 22, 2015 http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/En/20150122e.pdf
2 UN Daily Journal Announcement of "special events on the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust," January 27/28, 2015. http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/En/20150127e.pdf
3 "Submissions should be sent no later than 31 January 2015," Call for Submissions, The United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/CoIGazaConflict/Pages/CommissionOfInquiry.aspx
4 United Nations Observances, International Days, "International Jazz Day," (April 30), "International Day of Yoga," (June 21), http://www.un.org/en/events/observances/days.shtml
5 "Situation of Muslims and Arab peoples in various parts of the world," Commission on Human Rights Report, E/CN.4/2006/17, February 13, 2006. See also: "Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Githu Muigai, on the manifestations of defamation of religions, and in particular on the ongoing serious implications of Islamophobia, for the enjoyment of all rights by their followers," Human Rights Council, A/HRC/15/53, July 10, 2010
6 "Combating defamation of religions," General Assembly Resolution A/RES/62/154, Adopted December 18, 2007. See also for example: "Combating defamation of religions," Commission on Human Rights Resolution 2004/6, April 13, 2004.
7 Natan Lerner, Group Rights and Discrimination in International Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, c. 2003, p. 132
8 Anne Bayefsky, "Inequity in the United Nations Human Rights System," Justice, No. 6, August 1995, p. 28; http://www.intjewishlawyers.org/main/files/Justice%20No.6%20August1995.pdf
9 Anne Bayefsky, "Fatal Failure: The U.N. won't recognize the connection between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism," November 30, 2004. http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/213010/fatal-failure/anne-bayefsky
10 E/CN.4/1994/SR.31, February 18, 1994, Commission on Human Rights, Summary Record of the 31st meeting; "56. The seventh preambular paragraph of draft resolution E/CN.4/1994/L.14/Rev.1 ["Measures to combat contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance"] was adopted by 34 votes to none, with 17 abstentions." http://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G94/112/17/pdf/G9411217.pdf?OpenElement The first time and only previous time anti-Semitism appeared in a UN resolution was a Commission on Human Rights Resolution in 1959 after 2,000 anti-Jewish incidents occurred in almost 40 countries. Mention of anti-Semitism, however, did not make it as far as the version adopted by the General Assembly (1510(XV), "Manifestations of racial and national harmony," Adopted December 12, 1960
11 "Global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action," General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/155, 2012, Adopted December 20, 2012 (by vote), paragraph 35, http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/67/155; In many cases, anti-Semitism is deliberately inserted in a UN resolution that also focuses on the implementation of the 2001 Durban Declaration, in the full knowledge that Israel, the United States, Canada and others are opposed to the Declaration and will vote against.
12 "Freedom of religion or belief," General Assembly Resolution A/RES/69/175, Adopted December 18, 2014, paragraph 4.
13 "Measures to combat contemporary forms of racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance," General Assembly Resolution A/RES/55/83, 2000, Adopted December 4, 2000, paragraph 22, http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/55/83; "Measures to combat contemporary forms of racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance," General Assembly Resolution A/RES/56/267, http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/56/267, Adopted March 27, 2002, paragraph 35, 2001; "Global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action," General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/155, 2012, http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/67/155, Adopted December 20, 2012 (by vote), paragraph 35
14 In 2002 the Commission on Human Rights removed anti-Semitism from the their resolution (2002/68), "Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance." Adopted by vote, April 25, 2002. See preambular paragraph 7. Anti-Semitism had been included in this resolution every year since 1994.
15 UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/60/7, November 1, 2005; Transcript of the General Assembly Proceedings at which the resolution was adopted, 42nd plenary meeting of the 60th session of the General Assembly: http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/60/PV.42
16 Emergency special sessions, http://www.un.org/en/ga/sessions/emergency.shtml
17 Resolution 5/1 of the UN Human Rights Council, Institution-building of the United Nations Human Rights Council, June 18, 2007, Annex, V. Agenda and Framework for the Programme of Work, B. Agenda, "Item 7. Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories"
18 Secretary-General's video message for the Informal Meeting of the General Assembly to address concerns of a rise in anti-semitism worldwide, New York, 22 January 2015 http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=8341
19 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001
20 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001
21 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001
22 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001
23 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001
24 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001
25 Secretary-General's video message for the Informal Meeting of the General Assembly to address concerns of a rise in anti-semitism worldwide, New York, 22 January 2015 http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=8341
26 Statement on behalf of the President delivered by Vice-President Alvaro José de Mendonça e Moura, at the General Assembly meeting on the rise of anti-Semitism New York, January 22, 2015, http://www.un.org/pga/220115_statement-anti-semitism/
27 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001
28 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001
29 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001
30 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001
31 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001
32 "Fight against Anti-Semitism 'A Fight for All of Us', Secretary-General Says, as General Assembly Debates Issue Following Rise in Attacks on Jews," UN Press Release, January 22, 2015, GA/11613, http://www.un.org/press/en/2015/ga11613.doc.htm The text of the actual speech can be found at: Bernard-Henri Lévy, "Against the New Anti-Semitism: Remembering the Holocaust Protects Us All," http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernardhenri-levy/against-the-new-anti-semi_b_6526364.html
33 United Nations General Assembly Session on Anti-Semitism, Statement by Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Steven Blaney, New York, January 22, 2015 http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/prmny-mponu/canada_un-canada_onu/statements-declarations/other-autres/2015-01-22_AS_Blaney.aspx?lang=en
34 Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at a General Assembly Meeting on Anti-Semitism, New York, NY, January 22, 2015. http://usun.state.gov/briefing/statements/236203.htm
35 Operation Protective Edge by the Numbers, August 5, 2014, IDF Blog, http://www.idfblog.com/blog/2014/08/05/operation-protective-edge-numbers/
36 Victims of Palestinian Violence and Terrorism since September 2000, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/terrorism/palestinian/pages/victims%20of%20palestinian%20violence%20and%20terrorism%20sinc.aspx
37 http://embassies.gov.il/un/NewsAndEvents/Pages/Joint-statement-following-the-Informal-meeting-of-the-General-Assembly-to-address-concerns-of-a-rise-in-Anti-Semitic-violenc.aspx By January 28, 2015, 50 countries had signed the Joint Statement/Declaration Against Anti-Semitism.
38 UN Webcast, January 28, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/united-nations-holocaust-memorial-ceremony-liberty-life-and-the-legacy-of-holocaust-survivors/4018684117001
39 Russell Tribunal, New York, October 6-7, 2012, Youtube video: (excerpt) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EgykgqpgQY&index=4&list=PLgpQlmlhMOVnMrWTFFUpkUXLMqoj2Ya8X (complete) http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/sessions/future-sessions/new-york-session-video-presentations/william-schabas
40 UN Human Rights Council rules state: "The following general criteria will be of paramount importance while nominating, selecting and appointing mandate-holders: (a) expertise; (b) experience in the field of the mandate; (c) independence; (d) impartiality; (e) personal integrity; and (f) objectivity." Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, June 18, 2007, para. 39.
41 See her follow-up reports: (as Chair) "Report of the Committee of independent experts in international humanitarian and human rights law established pursuant to Council resolution 13/9," A/HRC/16/24, March 18, 2011, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/16session/A.HRC.16.24_AUV.pdf; and (as Committee member) A/HRC/15/50, September 21, 2010, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/15session/A.HRC.15.50_AEV.pdf
42 The Hamas Covenant, August 10, 1988, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp
43 "The gun is our only response to [the] Zionist regime" (Ismail Haniyeh, Feb. 12, 2012), http://www.idfblog.com/hamas/2014/02/19/8-years-8-quotes-hamas-leader-ismail-haniyeh/ "Palestine is from the sea to the river...We will not recognize Israel." (Ismail Haniyeh, Dec. 14, 2010), http://www.idfblog.com/hamas/2014/02/19/8-years-8-quotes-hamas-leader-ismail-haniyeh/ "The Hamas political leadership has freed the hand of the brigades to do whatever they want against the brothers of monkeys and pigs." (Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, July 31, 2001), Reuters; Testimony of John S. Pistole, Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division, FBI, Before the House Committee on Firnancial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, September 24, 2003; http://www2.fbi.gov/congress/congress03/pistole092403.htm
44 Operation Protective Edge, IDF Blog, http://www.idfblog.com/IDFsummary2014/
45 Operation Protective Edge by the Numbers, August 5, 2014, IDF blog, http://www.idfblog.com/blog/2014/08/05/operation-protective-edge-numbers/
February 5, 2015
February 4, 2015
Canadian lawyer William Schabas was forced to resign as chair of the UN Human Rights Council's "independent" inquiry on the Gaza war Monday after it was discovered he had been paid to provide legal advice to the PLO as recently as 2012. In one fell swoop, Schabas has managed to embarrass and disgrace not only himself, but the whole UN apparatus that appointed and promoted him.
During the Gaza War last summer, Palestinian rockets deliberately targeted Israel's civilian population, in many cases having been launched from Palestinian civilian sites – both archetypal war crimes. The response of the UN Human Rights Council was to pursue Israel for war crimes for protecting its citizens from Palestinian war crimes.
Though the Human Rights Council is the UN's top human rights body, it has no human rights conditions for membership. So the vote in favour of creating the "inquiry" on July 23, 2014 saw the likes of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates vote in favour, and the United States and European Union states either vote against or abstain.
Schabas apparently considered this an auspicious sign of a desirable human rights job. He agreed to Chair a three-person team appointed by the Council President, in consultation with Council members and the Palestinians.
Schabas also failed to discern any red flags in the mandate given the "independent" inquiry by the Council. The inquiry was "...to investigate all violations... in the Occupied Palestinian Territory...in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014..." Violations of law "in" Israeli territory – like 3,659 impact sites of rockets and mortars in Israel over a mere 50 days, and 14 terror tunnels built from Gaza with openings into Israel – were somehow omitted.
June 13, 2014 was highlighted by the Council because Palestinian terrorists kidnapped (and later murdered) three Israeli teenagers on June 12, 2014 – in a blatant effort to invert cause and effect. Though the Council resolution had no trouble detailing and "deploring" Israel's "grave violations of the human rights of the Palestinian civilian population," it made no mention at all of "Hamas" or the terror tunnels.
In other words, the mandate for the inquiry alone should have been toxic for any self-respecting international lawyer. But not Schabas.
There are, of course, official requirements for the job of UN Human Rights Council "expert" or "mandate-holder," including "independence, impartiality, personal integrity, and objectivity." Yet in his letter of resignation on February 2, Schabas defends himself against charges of conflict of interest on the novel grounds that he had clearly been partial from the start: his political views, he complains, were "well-known" prior to his appointment. For this lawyer, evidently, two wrongs do make a right.
Among those "views" was this statement from 2012: "Crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression, all of which I think it can be shown have been perpetrated at various times during the history of the State of Israel..." Moreover, the job description assigned to the inquiry by the Council specifically asked it "to identify those responsible" for "the crimes perpetrated" and "to make recommendations...on accountability measures..." Hence, the outcome of any Schabas-run inquiry was "well-known." He had already said back in 2012: "my favorite would be Netanyahu in the dock at the International Criminal Court."
It is a testament to the corruption at the Human Rights Council that none of this disqualified Schabas in the first place. Perhaps that explains how he might have dreamt that taking money from one of the sides to a dispute – to provide advice directly related to the subject he was now called upon to consider – would not be a problem for the UN.
As he tells the Council in his resignation letter, he imagined his "legal opinion" to the PLO on how to capitalize on the International Criminal Court "was a tiny part" of his "enormous body of scholarly work." (Non-lawyers and the less erudite might call this being a tiny bit pregnant.) He rants, further : "when I was asked if I would accept nomination to the Commission of Inquiry, I was not requested to provide any details of my past statements and other activities concerning Palestine and Israel."
In a final stunning display of hubris, Schabas claims that none of this should affect the legitimacy of the inquiry's forthcoming report, to be presented to the Council in March and then being sent to the ICC. According to Schabas, the research and evidence-gathering phase he had conducted, managed and directed for five months – which will form the basis of the entire report – was "largely completed." Indeed, "the work on the drafting of the report is beginning."
Obviously, the credibility of the final product is irrevocably discredited - to all but the Human Rights Council, which is simply reassigning the job of Chair to one of the two remaining inquiry members (both also chosen on the basis of their prior displays of anti-Israel bias).
It is no accident that a Council notorious for applying double-standards to Israel embraced Schabas, or that a lawyer like Schabas embraced the Council. But there is no excuse for the the free world not to shun both of them and renounce their legal pogrom.
February 3, 2015
"Islamic State jihadists released a video purporting to show them burning alive a captured Jordanian air-force pilot, spurring cries of revenge from Jordan and a fresh U.S. pledge to defeat the extremist group.
"Jordanian and U.S. officials promised swift action in response to the killing of First Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh and said the death wouldn't fracture the American-led coalition fighting Islamic State.
"The 22-minute video begins with footage of Jordanian involvement in a U.S.-led military coalition against Islamic State. It then shows what appears to be Lt. Kasasbeh describing Jordan's military operations before he is burned alive inside a cage.
"Jordan's government confirmed Lt. Kasasbeh's death shortly after the video's release by the extremist-tracking organization SITE Intelligence Group, but didn't say whether the video was authentic.
"U.S. and Jordanian officials expressed outrage over the killing and vowed to press on with the campaign against Islamic State, a radical group that erected a de facto state across large swaths of Syria and Iraq last summer..."
A terrorist front organization is seeking formal UN NGO status. On January 30, 2015, the Islamic African Relief Agency's (IARA) deferred application came before the UN Committee in charge of NGO accreditation. NGO accreditation provides NGOs with real benefits, such as attending international conferences and events, making written and oral statements, organizing side events, entering UN premises, and having opportunities to network and lobby.
At a 2013 UN NGO Committee session, the US representative said that the IARA was designated as a terrorist organization by the US Treasury Department in 2004 "for providing support to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorist groups. They were involved in terrorist financing ... and have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars" to terrorist organizations. The UN press release, on the other hand, described this terrorist patron as an organization "focused on humanitarian relief, rehabilitation and development".
On January 30, 2015 at the UN Committee the US delegate questioned Sudan-based IARA "about funding provided by the organization and its American partner, the Islamic American Relief Agency, to other countries." The representative of Sudan - a member of the UN NGO Committee - stepped in to defend the IARA on the grounds that "the organization had been asked that same question in the past, and that it had submitted a detailed response". Rather than being dismissed as clearly incompatible with "the spirit, purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations", consideration of the application will continue.
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that the United Nations commission investigating potential war crimes in Gaza should be 'shelved' now that its head has resigned amid accusations he was biased against Israel.
Netanyahu said Tuesday that the commission, set up by the UN Human Rights Council, is an 'an anti-Israel body, the decisions of which prove it has nothing to do with human rights.'
Netanyahu said that in 2014 alone, it passed more resolutions against Israel that Iran, Syria and North Korea combined. 'It is Hamas, the other terrorist organizations and the terrorist regimes around us that need to be investigated," said the Israeli leader.'"
February 2, 2015
"The head of the United Nations inquiry into the 2014 Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas announced on Monday that he was stepping down.
Canadian international law professor William Schabas sent a letter to the UN commission, citing Israeli allegations of bias over consulting work he did for the Palestine Liberation Organization, Reuters reported.
In 2012, Schabas was paid $1,300 for a legal opinion he wrote for the PLO...
Casting himself as a victim of 'malicious attacks', Schabas wrote that he did not want the charges to cast a cloud over the investigation...
The UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict , commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, is scheduled to release its report in March. Schabas said in his letter that most of the research was done, and the writing phase was underway."
"Israeli officials told Channel 10 on Friday that they are convinced the Obama administration has already agreed to most of Iran's demands in the P5+1 negotiations over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
According to unnamed officials, Washington 'has given the Iranians 80 percent of what they want' out of the negotiations, Channel 10 is reporting.
Jerusalem officials appear alarmed at the prospect that the United States will soon strike a deal with the Iranian regime that will leave it with a 'breakout capacity' of months during which it can gallop toward a nuclear bomb.
The practical significance of the American compromises in the talks is that Iran will be permitted to keep over 7,000 centrifuges, enough for the Iranians to produce enough enriched material to sprint toward the bomb within a matter of months."
In a conversation with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged Sunday that the United Nations was failing to implement Security Council Resolution 1701 and that soldiers from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were "not reporting on the smuggling of weapons into southern Lebanon...
Netanyahu also told Ban the international community was ignoring Iran's efforts to "export terrorism around the world," accusing Tehran of being behind the Hezbollah attack on the Israel-Lebanon border that killed two IDF soldiers last week and of trying to establish a new front against Israel in the Golan Heights with its involvement in Syria."