Resources updated between Monday, June 22, 2015 and Sunday, June 28, 2015
June 26, 2015
"The report by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the 2014 Gaza conflict, released earlier this week, is substantiated in large part by the allegations of political advocacy NGOs (non-governmental organizations). One such group, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), was cited 16 times.
PHR-I is an Israeli organization that has a distinctly political agenda: to 'put an end' to 'Israel's prolonged occupation over Palestinian territory,' which it views as 'the basis of human rights violations.' While PHR-I runs medical clinics in impoverished areas of the West Bank, its most visible activities are frequent, and baseless, allegations that Israel violates international law and commits war crimes...
PHR-I's so-called investigation was one-sided, methodologically flawed, and largely based on hearsay. More resembling a kangaroo court than an independent body, PHR-I found Israel guilty from the beginning, then twisted the available evidence to 'convict' it of indiscriminately bombing civilians and purposely targeting medical personnel. The repetition of these unreliable allegations severely impinges on the integrity of the UN's findings..."
"Washington must stop the United Nations' attempt to criminalize Israel's war on terror not only because it's the right thing to do - but because America's military may well be next in its crosshairs...
President Obama must consider disavowing and defunding biased, purely political bodies like the Human Rights Council, and warn UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that other UN bodies are next. America shouldn't get anywhere near the ICC either, at least not until it conclusively proves that law, rather than global politics, guides its decisions.
It won't happen, of course, so the next president must weigh those options. Otherwise, he or she risks being indicted by one global kangaroo court or another."
"So long as the UN continues to largely ignore or sweep the reprehensible actions of Hamas and other terrorist organizations under the rug and instead focus their attention on finding fault with Israel which is the most moral country in the Middle East, then ISIS and other terrorist entities will continue their parade of death and destruction across the Middle East and around the world...
Peace will never be real or lasting until all parties can agree on what constitutes acceptable moral conduct. This will give the UN a template for understanding basic human rights 'for all people' then perhaps the prejudicial double standard against Israel will be recognized for what it really is – anti-Semitism - and let this be reflected in the report."
"The latest 'report' on Israel produced by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) includes a list of four 'experts' with whom the two commissioners and their staffs consulted.
One of them is Dr. Mads Gilbert, a full-time propagandist from Norway who exploits medicine to promote hate. He has blamed the 9/11 terror attacks in the US on the 'policy that the West has led during the last decades,' and asserted that 'the oppressed also have a moral right to attack the USA with any weapon they can come up with.'
Gilbert's role as an expert tells readers (including the 47 member states of the UNHRC) all that they need in order to understand the absurdity of this exercise..."
"Israel is rightfully slamming the conclusions of the United Nations commission of inquiry into Operation Protective Edge, but being right is not enough. We must also act more wisely...
Instead of reiterating that the UN report is political and biased and anti-Semitic, we should attack its fundamental weaknesses. It is a shallow and unprofessional report, and that is not hard to prove. It says, for example, that Israel used excessive force, or that many civilians were killed. The necessary question is: 'Exaggerated' or 'many' compared to what?
The report's authors, like the authors of the Goldstone Report before them, did not bother checking operations conducted by other countries in population-saturated areas. The average ratio between civilian casualties and fighters in the allies' operations in Iraq was about 1:5 (five times more civilians). In Protective Edge the ratio was about 1:1. Any professional and objective source should have praised Israel..."
"As a British officer who had more than his share of fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans, it pains me greatly to see words and actions from the United Nations that can only provoke further violence and loss of life. The United Nations Human Rights Council report on last summer's conflict in Gaza, prepared by Judge Mary McGowan Davis, and published on Monday, will do just that...
The report is characterized by a lack of understanding of warfare. That is hardly surprising. Judge Davis admitted, when I testified before her in February, that the commission, though investigating a war, had no military expertise. Perhaps that is why no attempt has been made to judge Israeli military operations against the practices of other armies. Without such international benchmarks, the report's findings are meaningless.
The commission could have listened to Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said last November that the I.D.F. had taken extraordinary measures to try to limit civilian casualties. Or to a group of 11 senior military officers from seven nations, including the United States, Germany, Spain and Australia, who also investigated the Gaza conflict recently. I was a member of that group, and our report, made available to Judge Davis, said: 'None of us is aware of any army that takes such extensive measures as did the I.D.F. last summer to protect the lives of the civilian population...'"
"The White House said Thursday that efforts to have Israel charged with war crimes at the International Criminal Court were 'counterproductive' and would be opposed by Washington.
The United States has 'made clear that we oppose actions against Israel at the ICC as counterproductive,' National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey told AFP...
'We do not believe the Palestinians are eligible to accede to the Rome Statute and join the International Criminal Court,' said Baskey."
"Congress and the Obama administration are increasingly at odds over $370 million in annual economic assistance to the Palestinians.
The latest clash comes after the Palestinian Authority (PA) on June 25 shared hundreds of pages of war crimes allegations against Israel with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Key lawmakers said the move should trigger an indefinite suspension of aid, but the State Department told Al-Monitor that it doesn't agree...
State Department spokesman Edgar Vasquez told Al-Monitor that while the United States doesn't believe the Palestinians were eligible to accede to the Rome Statute and join the court, it will 'continue to provide critical assistance to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.'
'As you are aware, US law includes certain restrictions on assistance to the Palestinian Authority,' Vasquez said. 'We evaluate all planned assistance to the PA to ensure we are in full compliance with relevant legislation. We do not consider the relevant restrictions on assistance to the Palestinians to have been triggered...'"
"Two lawmakers are warning the Palestinian Authority (PA) that its economic assistance from the United States could be suspended because of its decision to initiate charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
'By formally submitting allegations against Israeli forces to the ICC Chief Prosecutor, President [Mahmoud] Abbas has triggered a provision in U.S. law that suspends all economic assistance to the PA,' Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement...
Lowey said Congress crafted the law to prevent U.S. tax dollars from rewarding "purposely provocative, unilateral steps" that threaten peace negotiations. 'Not only do President Abbas' actions indicate his abandonment of a two-state agreement, they reveal his willingness to try to discredit Israel in the international community at the expense of the economic and humanitarian wellbeing of the Palestinian people,' Lowey added..."
"The report of the international commission of inquiry, established by the United Nations Human Rights Council to allocate responsibility for last summer's Gaza war, exposed moral obtuseness masquerading as moral equivalency...
[C]ommissioners were 'assured' (by Gaza authorities) that 'Palestinian armed groups did not target civilians.' (Yet thousands of Israelis fled their homes and 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman was killed in his border kibbutz home by shrapnel from a rocket fired from an UNRWA-run school.) The notorious cross-border tunnels were only used 'to conduct attacks directed at IDF positions in Israel in the vicinity of the Green Line, which are legitimate military targets...' Surely one expects no better from the United Nations, which seems ever ready to justify the Palestinian terrorism for which it subsequently holds Israel responsible..."
Moral Equivalence on the Rampage Article
"A former commander of British forces in Afghanistan warned on Thursday that the recent U.N. report on the 2014 Gaza war was likely to embolden terrorists and cause violence.
'It pains me greatly to see words and actions from the United Nations that can only provoke further violence and loss of life. The United Nations Human Rights Council report on last summer's conflict in Gaza ... will do just that,' wrote Col. Richard Kemp...
He said that an immediate and unconditional lifting of the Israeli blockade on Gaza, which the report called for, would 'undoubtedly lead to further bloodshed in both Israel and Gaza.'
Kemp ridiculed the commission's 'lack of understanding of warfare,' noting that its head, former New York supreme court justice Mary McGowan Davis, had told him that the U.N. panel had no military expertise..."
June 25, 2015
"This week, the U.N. Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict released its
report concluding that both Hamas and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) committed violations
of the law of armed conflict (LOAC) during the Gaza conflict (what the IDF designated as
Operation Protective Edge). Unfortunately, the condemnations directed against the IDF lack
credibility, are often based on erroneous interpretations of the LOAC, and reflect an overall lack of competence in the relationship between the LOAC and military operations...
[I]t is remarkable that in a report spanning 183 pages, approximately 15 pages are devoted to analysis of Hamas's LOAC violations, with the vast majority of the remainder of the Report devoted to a critique of IDF operations. This reflects a disparity in focus, but also a perplexing inverse relationship between the blatant nature of Hamas's LOAC violations and the extent of analysis and critique..."
"The United Nations (U.N.) is once again accusing Israel of war crimes because Israel lawfully acted in self-defense in response to ongoing indiscriminate rocket attacks from Hamas...
Let's consider the bigger picture. Israel has to defend against the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, whose purpose is to destroy Israel: 'Israel will exist, and will continue to exist, until Islam abolishes it, as it abolished that which was before it.' The Commission even acknowledged this reality: 'With regard to Palestinian armed groups, the commission has serious concerns with regard to the inherently indiscriminate nature of most of the projectiles directed towards Israel by these groups and to the targeting of Israeli civilians, which violate international humanitarian law and may amount to a war crime.' Yet, somehow, Israel is to blame for acting in self-defense..."
"The UN Human Rights Council's Independent Commission of Inquiry report on the 2014 Gaza war, released Monday, is a bad piece of work-bad in almost entirely predictable and boring ways, but no less bad for being bad and predictable. It is also no less important for being boring. Even if one has no great interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the standards and approaches the UN is embracing will not remain confined to that conflict. Israel is, as always, the canary in the IHL coal mine. Approaches that begin as a way of constraining Israeli military action quickly migrate to constraining U.S. military action. The effort by the Special Commission to find war crimes in civilian deaths in urban targeting situations in which non-uniformed fighters exploit civilians for combat cover is thus worth some attention...
The treatment of Hamas's tactics is not merely too pat in the commission's evaluation of Hamas's own behavior, it causes a fundamental error in the evaluation of much Israeli conduct too. The commission spends remarkably little ink evaluating the impact of Hamas's tactics on Israeli targeting decisions. Yet the two are intricately connected. The reason, after all, that Israeli strikes kill so many civilians is, at least in significant part, because Hamas uses civilian infrastructure as both base and hiding place. Yet just as Hamas's targeting practices are treated as a matter of some doubt, the commission also lets the group's defensive practices shift the responsibility for civilian death from Hamas's own behavior to Israeli targeting decisions...
In a more rigorous report, Hamas's tactics would be the fundamental lens through which Israeli conduct got analyzed. When one side systematically violates the rules designed to protect civilians, after all, and a lot of civilians then get killed, those systematic violations have to be central to the inquiry into the reasons for those civilian deaths. In this report, those systematic violations are an afterthought. And somewhat shockingly-and very tellingly-they are also entirely absent from the report's 'conclusions and recommendations...'"
"Following the release of the United Nations Human Rights Council report on Operation Protective Edge, several IDF soldiers provided personal testimony of their experiences on the frontline in a number of operations, demonstrating the Israeli military's utmost priority of respecting human life and efforts to minimize harm.
A combat soldier in the Golani Brigade shared his testimony from 2014, when he treated a Syrian rebel in Israel's north prior to Operation Protective Edge...
'During Operation Protective Edge, we were sent to Gaza. We were supposed to go in on a Friday, but they made us wait because they said there were still civilians in the area.
'After we received permission to enter, Hamas waited for us in Shujaiyya, using civilians as human shields and hiding in hospitals and kindergartens. About an hour after we went in, the terrorists were waiting for us in the tunnels, and that is because we sent warnings to the civilians to clear out -- we lost our element of surprise. As a result, eight of my friends were killed...
IDF intensive care medic Ofir Evron expanded on her experiences treating wounded Palestinians from 2012 to 2015...
'During my service, I treated about 100 people. I can count the number of Israelis on one hand -- the rest of the patients were Palestinian. I am proud to have served in the IDF and I am proud of my army,' she declared."
"The problem with the report, as with others before it, is that it misses the point. Yes, the Israel Defense Forces can and should learn from every conflict, and find ways to do better - though they already show more restraint than any nation should reasonably be expected to. But there is simply no way to compare the conduct of Israel, a Western democracy with civilian-led armed forces, with Gaza - essentially a terrorist enclave run by numerous, often competing armed groups, which tragically happen to share the same geographic space as a million trapped civilians.
Israel would no doubt prefer to fight its battles out in an open field somewhere, where it can bring all its high-tech military might to bear in a crushing, decisive military blow. Unfortunately, it happens to be located next to a heavily populated urban area full of well-armed people that hate it - and who aren't shy about launching attacks from civilian installations, among other violations of the laws of war. Israel has tried unilaterally withdrawing all its troops from the area; that hasn't precisely worked out. So long as groups in Gaza continue to rain rockets and mortars on Israeli civilians, and dig tunnels below the border, Israel will have to keep defending itself where its enemies are attacking it from - with all the carnage that urban fighting inevitably entails."
"The U.N. Human Rights Council had no intention of being a disappointment. First of all to itself, as it has a legacy -- to slander Israel at every opportunity -- to uphold, which it did with its latest report...
Ramming Israel has long been the primary expertise of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, which has passed more resolutions against Israel than against Syria, Iran, Sudan and Cuba combined. Objectivity has never been the UNHRC's strong suit, as it seems obsessed with Israel...
What will the world ultimately remember from the latest report? That Israel committed war crimes and killed 500 children. And we will yet again see that not only are we not expected to win, we are not even allowed to defend ourselves.
Because, at the end of the day, this is what the U.N. Council for the Encouragement of Terrorism has concluded."
"The UN report on last summer's Gaza war ... is still willfully or perhaps unknowingly ignorant of modern military affairs. What it needed, aside from Israeli cooperation and an open mind, was a general, preferably one who has commanded troops under fire in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
The first thing this officer could have provided is perspective. Whether one accepts the UN death toll, as provided by the Hamas Interior Ministry, or the Israeli one, an international reader still has no way of knowing if the tragic toll in human life - of civilians as opposed to enemy combatants - is disproportionately or even outrageously high...
Since there are no UN reports investigating US or British actions in Iraq or Afghanistan, and no independent organization chronicling the precise ratios, it is hard to know.
A general would have helped, too, with an understanding of artillery and mortar use..."
Next Time, Ask a General Article
"Hamas easily identified Israel's weakness in international public opinion, and worked to refine and develop this approach through the development of a deadly and cynical 'victim doctrine.' One of the 'achievements' of Hamas during Operation Protective Edge was the significant implementation of 'the victim doctrine', the main concept of which is exposing civilians to Israel Defense Forces fire.
Hamas perfected the system when storing equipment in compounds of international aid organizations. They launched rockets toward Israel near a Red Cross center for dialysis and polio treatment and near an UNRWA school, knowing well that Israel would retaliate and, what's more mind boggling, clearly intending for civilians who took shelter in those facilities to be hurt. The resulting photos could then play well on international media and the world stage - an integral element of the 'victim doctrine...'"
"Gaza Blockade: The report repeatedly takes Israel to task for the blockade, though the previous UN Palmer Report said the blockade did not violate international law. Serious blame for lack of Gaza reconstruction was placed on Israel because of blockade, seemingly ignoring the blame many UN officials have placed on donor countries for failing to send most of the funds they promised for reconstruction...
Israeli investigations of alleged war crimes: McGowan Davis is highly specific, demanding not only investigations, but essentially also indictments, convictions and even sufficiently serious punishments.
Palestinian investigations of alleged war crimes: McGowan Davis only demands that there be criminal proceedings with nowhere near the same specificity. This could be a more lenient hand and double-standard or ... it could be she realizes they have done nothing and nuanced demands only have a chance with Israel..."
"United Nations (UN) peacekeepers in conflict zones around the world are 'regularly' engaging in 'sexual exploitation and abuse' of members of their host communities, according to a report released Monday by the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS)...
Though the vast majority of cases concerned peacekeepers in African nations - those in the Democratic Republic of Congo being the most numerous - it appears violations have also been committed by members of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) based in south Lebanon...
'I met one woman in prostitution who said that she was approached by a UNIFIL soldier, and he and all his colleagues paid for sex,' said Ghada Jabbour, head of the anti-trafficking unit at KAFA, a Lebanese NGO working against exploitation of and violence against women. 'It was in a bar in south Lebanon, a regular bar [...] she was bought for sex by many soldiers...'"
"The Palestinian are expected to turn in preliminary information against Israel to the International Criminal Court Thursday, with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki asking the general prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to open a criminal investigation on the matter of alleged Israeli war crimes...
'These actions are a Palestinian spin,' said an Israeli official on the move. 'We are talking about a submission of information that is meant to manipulate and influence the prosecutor to open an investigation.'
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, chairwoman of the human rights organization 'Shurat HaDin' – an organization that fights legal battles against terrorist organizations – said that this process must be stopped in its infancy because soon it will be too late..."
"If the rule was 'you may never bomb [use 'explosive weapons'] in a residential neighborhood if civilian casualties may result, regardless of the value of the military target,' it's pretty obvious what would happen - enemy forces would simply plant themselves in residential neighborhoods knowing they would be immune from attack.
So, for example, Hamas could launch all the missiles it wanted at Israel from the middle of Gaza City, and use apartment buildings, schools, etc. as staging grounds and headquarters, and Israel would be helpless to respond...
But surely it can't be the rule that if you're at war and there are high-value military targets in a civilian neighborhood, you are absolutely forbidden from using 'explosive weapons' against them. (And it's not like the alternative, sending in ground forces to fight house-to-house, is likely to result in fewer overall civilian casualties than precision bombing campaigns.)
Has any country actually adopted such a policy? Would the public of any country stand for its leaders adopting such a policy, exposing the country's own population to attack while their own military stands down?"
"U.N. reports on Israel sometimes remind us of the classic Monty Python sketch 'Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!' with its screwball combination of comic ineptitude and malignant predictability. So it is with Monday's inquisi-er, 'Inquiry'-by the U.N. Human Rights Council on last summer's war between Israel and its terrorist enemies in Gaza.
The 183-page report, from former New York state Justice Mary McGowan Davis and Senegalese lawyer Doudou Diene... is fundamentally an anti-Israel document. The bias begins with a preposterous claim that Israel continues to 'occupy' Gaza, despite its 2005 withdrawal, on the theory that Israel has the capacity 'to send troops within a reasonable time to make its power felt.' By that standard, the U.S. occupies Canada and the Bahamas...
The Obama Administration says it will oppose bringing the report to the U.N. Security Council, but it lent legitimacy to the enterprise when it joined the Human Rights Council after the Bush Administration had stayed away. If the President wants to demonstrate his support for Israel, one place to start would be to withdraw from the Council for producing this shameful report."
The U.N.'s Israel Inquisition Article
June 24, 2015
"John Bolton, former United States Ambassador to the UN, told Arutz Sheva that the UN report which accused Israel of committing 'war crimes' during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza was 'completely predictable'...
When the UN decides to investigate a conflict in which Israel was involved, 'you can write the report in advance,' he said. 'This is a circumstance that happens again and again and again, and this is just one more example.'
The report ignores all the steps Israel took to target only military objectives and to protect civilian population.
'The cause of the damage that did take place was the result of the Hamas strategy to conceal its military activities in civilian locales and using civilians as shields,' Bolton added. 'There's simply no other explanation that this is another example of the pervasive UN bias against Israel...'"
The barbarous jihadis of the so-called Islamic State have reportedly held a Koran memorizing competition in which the top prizes include a Yazidi sex slave.
The photograph of an ISIS advert, believed to come from the northern Syrian state of Hasakah, re-named by ISIS as Barakah recently emerged on social media.
As well as sex slaves, the advert promises cash rewards for fourth and fifth prize. The competition is set to be held in several ISIS mosques in Syria, including the Osama bin Laden mosque.
The seven days competition is set to finish on 27 June and is being held to celebrate the Muslim festival of Ramadan.
The advert addresses ISIS militants in the Syrian province, congratulating the jihadis in their fight and wishing them a blessed Ramadan.
It states that 'the Islamic Mosques office announces the start of al Quran memorizing competition.'
It gives details about the selected surahs which participates are asked to repeatedly learn and commit to memory in order to win a prize.
The shocking competition is being held at several mosques, including the Osama bin ladin Mosque and the Abu Musab al Zarqawi mosque.
The top two prizes are described as a sabieah, the Arabic word for a female servant, who was originally taken after war from her home as a victory sign.
Women from the Yazidi tribe, a religious minority group, have frequently been reported as suffering horrendous abuse at the hands of their ISIS captives.
"This week the United Nations Human Rights Council's (UNHRC) Commission of Inquiry published its report on 'the 2014 Gaza conflict'. This was not the first report published on the situation in Gaza, an area which went from bad to worse when Hamas took it over by force in June of 2007. The UNHRC is an infamous entity when it comes to Israel. It is responsible for a series of one-sided resolutions against the Jewish State ever since the Council was established (2006) and has gone as far as to have Israel as a 'Permanent Agenda Item' of the Council, an 'honor' not shared by any other State on Earth. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Israel, which has seen this bias take place for such a long time, refused to cooperate with its detractors at the Council.
The current report's validity is questionable, not only because of the biased 'kitchen' it was concocted in. Many questions arise from the report on a factual level: it looks into the 'hostilities' only from the day after 3 Israeli teenagers were abducted and executed by Hamas terrorists. It claims Hamas was responsible for digging 14 'tunnels of terror' into Israel, when Israel identified over 30 of those. The versions even differ when it comes to the number of Israeli casualties: this stood at 73 people, soldiers and civilians, while the report put it at 67 only. The inevitable question is: if they got the basic facts wrong, what else is there in the report, which actually 'holds water'?!..."
The World's Betrayal of Israel Article
"The UN report which accused Israel of committing 'war crimes' in Gaza should not be surprising anyone, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday...
'Most of the countries in the United Nations - they don't know what the words 'civil rights' mean, they don't know what 'human rights' means, because they don't practice it in their own countries,' said Hikind...
Israel, Hikind pointed out, 'does everything in the world' to ensure that civilians aren't hurt, but 'Israel is singled out. Israel is treated differently. I don't think any of us are surprised anymore.'"
"The United Nations Human Rights Council report on the 50-day Gaza conflict said there was no indication Hamas's cross-border tunnels were constructed to attack Israeli civilians, since the terror group exclusively targeted 'legitimat' Israel Defense Forces positions during the summer war...
Nine IDF soldiers were killed in tunnel attacks during the summer conflict, in four separate incidents.
In October 2014, the IDF confirmed a report in Vanity Fair that Hamas had planned to carry out a massive assault by penetrating Israeli communities via tunnels under the border from the Gaza Strip, and then killing or kidnapping as many civilians as possible.
IDF Spokesperson Peter Lerner said the terror group planned to use the tunnels to attack civilian areas in Israel and 'inflict mass casualties.'
'Hamas had a plan,' Lerner added. 'A simultaneous, coordinated, surprise attack within Israel.
They planned to send 200 terrorists, armed to the teeth, toward civilian populations,' continued Lerner. 'This was going to be a coordinated attack. The concept of operations involved 14 offensive tunnels into Israel. With at least 10 men in each tunnel, they would infiltrate and inflict mass casualties.'
Destroying the tunnels was one of the main goals of the ground war launched by Israel, which says it destroyed dozens of subterranean passages..."
"The United Nations Human Rights Council is unfortunately dominated by countries in which human rights are often abused. These same countries systematically single out and condemn Israel. The UNHRC set up the Schabas/Davis Commission on the 2014 Gaza conflict...
During its conflict with Hamas, Israel was forced - again - to engage an enemy who fought, literally, underground, within populated civilian areas...Israel, faced with such criminal tactics, continued to abide strictly by the laws of armed conflict. In fact, the IDF's efforts to mitigate civilian casualties went beyond the legal requirements, as attested to by two separate reports of high-ranking military experts from democratic countries around the globe. Israel surpassed the practices of militaries of democratic states, in warning Gaza citizens in the vicinity of military targets, and encouraging them to vacate the area prior to its attack.
It is important to illuminate the disparity between the reality and what is often reported. The constant, biased treatment of Israel at the UN does not contribute toward a peaceful settlement of the conflict. It serves only to embolden Hamas and other terrorist groups to intensify their unlawful methods."
"A day after the Human Rights Council presented its report on last summer's war in Gaza, Israeli diplomats began trying on Tuesday to convince as many countries as possible on the 47-member council not to endorse the report when, as expected, it comes up for a vote next week.
With 30 percent of the council made up of either Muslim countries that can be counted on to vote against Israel, or those like Cuba, Bolivia and Venezuela who do not have diplomatic ties with Israel, government officials acknowledge that winning a vote is almost impossible.
The goal, therefore, is to get as many democracies as possible – a 'moral minority' – to vote in the council against endorsing the report, in the hope that this will denude it of legitimacy and moral authority..."
"Shame on you, Mary McGowan Davis, for accepting the mandate to sit on the commission in the first place, and then to replace the discredited William Schabas as its head, when the UNHRC that appointed you and set your terms is so demonstrably, openly, ridiculously, obsessed with delegitimizing and thus weakening Israel, in a gross distortion of its ostensible purpose...
Indeed, you should have drawn the same conclusion that Israel has been forced by bitter experience to draw: that the UNHRC, with its twisted track record, is no place for those who strive for justice. Shame on you, Justice McGowan Davis, for now having extended that dreadful track record of injustice...
Nowhere, in all those acres of words, did it offer the simple contextual truth in which last summer's conflict played out, and in which, grimly, future conflicts are all but certain to unfold: Israel has no presence in Gaza. Israel has no territorial quarrel with Gaza. If Hamas halted its violence against Israel, there would be no suffering on either side of that border. But so long as Hamas continues to work for Israel's destruction, Israel, like any nation that seeks to survive, will have no choice but to defend itself. Don't say we didn't warn you..."
Shame On You, Mary McGowan Davis Article
"The UN report into possible war crimes in last summer's Gaza conflict should not be taken to the Security Council or used in other United Nations work, the US said Tuesday, challenging the fairness of the Human Rights Council that commissioned the inquiry.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said Washington viewed the UNHRC as having a 'clear bias' against Israel, tarnishing the report released Monday, which accused both Israel and Palestinian militants of possible war crimes during a 50-day conflict last summer.
'[W]e challenge the very foundation upon which this report was written, and we don't believe that there's a call or a need for any further Security Council work on this,' Kirby said during a press briefing. '[W]e reject the basis under which this particular commission of inquiry was established because of the very clear bias against Israel in it...'"
June 23, 2015
"In 'Alice in Wonderland,' the Queen of Hearts famously declared: 'Sentence first! Verdict afterwards.' She would have felt right at home at the United Nations.
A supposedly independent commission has produced exactly the report sought by the UN Human Rights Council when the group ordered an investigation of war crimes during the 2014 war between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza...
The Council's commissioner returned Monday with a 200-page document that concludes, in effect, that Israel has no right to self-defense.
While the commission devotes some space to Hamas atrocities, including murders of alleged 'collaborators' and attacks directed at Israeli civilians, the panel's goal was transparent: to set up the International Criminal Court to assault Israel..."
The UN's Blood Libel Article
"The main problem with the United Nations report on Operation Protective Edge is that it artificially tries to create a moral and legal symmetry between the State of Israel and the IDF – and Hamas and the other Palestinian organizations.
The report fails to mention the fact that Hamas is the one which opened fire and initiated the fighting, and it gives no weight to the fact that Israel did everything in its power to reach a ceasefire before moving on to a full-scale counterattack, including a ground offensive in the Strip.
A second fact that the report does not emphasize sufficiently is that Hamas intentionally opened fire in order to harm Israeli civilians, while the IDF hurt those defined as 'non-fighters' unintentionally and did everything in its power to minimize the number of civilian casualties.
This fact makes all the difference between Hamas' intention to target Israeli civilians indiscriminately – children, women, adults and elderly people – and the IDF's sincere effort to avoid hurting a non-fighting population... If nothing radical is done in the international arena to neutralize the effect of the 'second Goldstone report,' this report may critically erode Israel's ability to defend itself in the next war, whether it erupts in the north or in the south."
Arrest Benjamin Netanyahu and any other "suspected" Israeli war criminals wherever and whenever you can get your hands on them. That is the shocking bottom line of a scandalous report released today from the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The report emanates from a board of inquiry the Council created in the midst of the 2014 Gaza war. In legalese, the call to arrest Israelis either for trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC), or before any court in any country that the U.N. labels "fair," reads like this:
The board "calls upon the international community ... to support actively the work of the International Criminal Court in relation to the Occupied Palestinian Territory; to exercise universal jurisdiction to try international crimes in national courts; and to comply with extradition requests pertaining to suspects of such crimes to countries where they would face a fair trial."
To be fair, the U.N. report says this could apply to both parties. In other words, the democratic state of Israel, with a moral and legal obligation to defend its citizens, and the Palestinian attackers bent on genocide are moral equals. Throughout the 183-page tome, the U.N. council "experts" play the old "cycle of violence" trick, otherwise known as "it all started when you hit me back."
An infamous photo from the Third Reich shows eminent Jewish lawyer Michael Siegel, beaten and bloodied after going to police headquarters on behalf of a Jewish client who had been sent to Dachau, forced to walk through the streets of Munich with a sign around his neck saying: "I am a Jew, but I will never again complain to the police."
The similarity with today's U.N. authorities is painfully clear. When Israel responds to Palestinian rocket fire – 750 rockets in 2014 alone prior to the war's start – or Palestinian terrorists emerging from tunnels into Israel bent on carnage, it is Israel who is accused of war crimes. The only acceptable response, apparently, is to hang their heads or make a U.N. speech.
In part, the war criminal charge is just one more U.N. slander. U.N. meetings routinely consist of wild allegations of Israel committing genocide, ethnic cleansing, apartheid and crimes against humanity, and frequently analogizing Israelis to Nazis. The anti-Semitic dimension of these attacks is palpable, with constant references to the offense of "Judaization" – the criminalization of the presence of Jews in what is supposed to be Judenrein Arab territory, or what is in practice apartheid Palestine.
While the point of all this hate speech is to demonize and delegitimize Israel, the war crimes label takes the campaign one step further. It deliberately ravages Israel's right of self-defense.
Self-defense is the essence of sovereignty. In the words of the U.N. Charter: "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of ... self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations ..." The United Nations was not intended to be a suicide pact.
But incredibly, the U.N. council report purports to address legal responsibility for casualties in Gaza without once mentioning "self-defense."
It was exactly the outcome that the council had planned. The Council gave the board of inquiry its marching orders on July 23, 2014, just 16 days into the war. It named June 13, 2014, as the starting line because Palestinian terrorists kidnapped three Israeli teenagers on June 12. It said the Council "condemns ... the violations ... arising from the Israeli military operations." Guilty before proven innocent is how it all began.
The board's first chair, William Schabas, was forced to resign after it was revealed he had been a paid legal adviser to the Palestinian Authority. On his way out the door in February, Schabas admitted the "fact-gathering" was "largely completed," and yet the U.N. denied the obvious conclusion that the result was irrevocably tainted. Consequently, a Palestinian legal adviser chaired the inquiry for more than half of its 10-month existence.
Impartiality was equally alien to American Mary McGowan Davis, who took over from Schabas. She had already chaired a Council committee about the 2008/09 Gaza war, and she declared in a March 2011 report that Israel's legal system did not meet standards of independence or impartiality, or make "accountability" possible. Those criteria are both the pre-conditions for the ICC's ability to throw Israelis in prison and the subject matter of her 2014 job.
In short, the Council gave the same person the same assignment on almost the same fact situation ... and surprise! Israel is guilty as charged.
In 2011, McGowan Davis described the misogynist, homophobic, anti-free speech, "de facto authorities in Gaza" (i.e. Hamas) – infamous for throwing political opponents off tall buildings – as "generally tolerant of local human rights organizations."
A U.N. "human rights" expert par excellence.
Little wonder that the report is riddled with lies and libels. It claims Israel was "directing attacks against civilians," and acted "in utter disregard of...the civilian population..." It omits that Hamas rejected or violated a total of 11 cease-fires that would have reduced Palestinian casualties by 90 percent. It says the intent of "Palestinian armed groups" in constructing and using tunnels cannot be "conclusively determined" – photographic evidence of weapons caches and terrorists emerging from openings terrifyingly close to Israeli villages to the contrary.
It even goes so far as to lament that Palestinian "armed groups" don't have more room for their criminal enterprise: "...the obligation to avoid locating military objectives within densely populated areas is not absolute. The small size of Gaza and its population density make it difficult for armed groups to always comply with this requirement."
The U.N. has reached a new low. The United States should start by resigning from the Human Rights Council effective immediately.
"The United Nations Human Rights Council report on last summer's war in Gaza was released Monday. In anticipation of the report, whose findings were a foregone conclusion, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that Israel would not bear the brunt of yet another unjust assault on its character and behavior in the face of barbarism...
The report is 183 pages long... Lulled by its legalese, bullets, numbers and fine print, a reader is liable to miss some of its more revealing details. You know, like the fact that far-Left organizations such as B'Tselem and Breaking the Silence are among the more prominent sources on which the 'evidence' is based.
But never mind. All that was to be expected, as was the Orwellian inversion of events and reverse attribution of war crimes - so that Israel rather than Hamas appeared to be the guilty party where using human shields was concerned. Indeed, it would be hilarious if it were not so nauseating..."
A Damning Indictment Article
"I served in the Shejaiya rescue force. Certain rules of engagement were made clear for our six days there. The night before the ground incursion, a Shin Bet officer came to us and explained that there was a large civilian population in the direction that we were headed. Because of this, we did not enter Shejaiya at that time, although that was what we had practiced and it was the correct tactical maneuver...
Hamas understood our strategies, and how each of our operations had humanitarian and moral considerations, and because of this they were ready to receive us...
The report which was published disregards my friends who were killed in battle. The claim that the IDF acted immorally is an untrue statement, and our situation in Shejaiya is the best example of this. Hamas operatives were waiting for us there, and we were sent into a carefully laid trap because of our considerations in harming the Palestinian population. We saw the infrastructure, the trails, the tunnels, and the booby-trapped houses. The claims that this neighborhood was a civilian neighborhood? This was a Hamas military outpost in disguise..."
"The head of the United Nations Human Rights Council commission on the Gaza war [Mary McGowan Davis] rejected claims of bias by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday... 'I think we tried very hard to be even-handed, and there's no bias at all in the report,' she added...
McGowan Davis also dismissed a question about whether she considered Hamas a terror group. 'I am not going to go into that,' she told Channel 2. 'They obviously didn't abide by the rules of international law. We use that label a lot in my country and I try to stay away from labels like 'terrorists'..."
"US Jewish organizations on Monday responded with sharp criticism to a United Nations Human Rights Council report that found Israel may have committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip during fighting last year against Hamas and scorned the document for viewing the IDF and the Palestinian terror group in the same light.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee attacked the notion that Israel and Hamas had an equal moral standing.
'Hamas indiscriminately waged a war of aggression against Israeli civilians while inhumanely exploiting Gaza residents as human shields," AIPAC said in a statement. "Any suggestion of moral symmetry between the actions of Israel and those of the terrorist organization Hamas is a malicious affront to the truth'..."
"The UN report on Operation Protective Edge is far from surprising, offering no far-reaching conclusions. As expected, the report blamed Israel and the "Palestinian organizations" for possible war crimes. The UN didn't reveal any findings that weren't already known, or expose any startling discoveries...
The bottom line, and most salient fact, is absent from this report: Israel did not initiate the war and was primarily focused on stopping Hamas's rocket fire. From nearly day one, Israel agreed to stop the fighting, but Hamas insisted on continuing the rocket fire from within residential areas, knowing that it would carry a heavy price. This price - the sizable death toll - was not only anticipated by the terror group, but welcomed. The Gazan rulers knew that the international condemnation of Israel would come, and this report proves that...
To indicate that the use of tunnels by Hamas is legitimate and to assert that the group issues warnings before striking Tel Aviv are not serious claims, but rather a case of Hamas propaganda being served by researchers who don't have the faintest idea about what is happening here, nor what is happening among Israel's enemies."
"U.S. Gen. Charles Wald, the leader of a task force of retired senior U.S. military officers who studied and reported on the 2014 Gaza War, issued a statement Monday denouncing the U.N. Human Rights Council's report on that conflict...
'The UNHRC report on the Gaza conflict is unbalanced and fails to accurately assess which parties violated the Law of Armed Conflict,' Wald said...
'This report follows the same pattern of the UNHRC's Goldstone Report, which assessed the previous Gaza conflict, but which was later repudiated by Mr. Goldstone himself, as well as being widely discredited by experts in laws applicable to war.
That is, this new report fails to account for the primacy of LOAC in regulating the conduct of combatants, and fails to accurately assess the gross violations of LOAC by Hamas, while inaccurately portraying the actions of the IDF as violations of international law.'"
"Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on the report issued by the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict:
'While Israel is confronting the deadly hostility of Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, this fatally flawed and biased report is the latest evidence that Israel is also confronting a global attempt to de-legitimatize its very existence, especially its inherent right to self-defense. This report illustrates the failings of the UN Human Rights Council. There is no moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. Israel tries to avoid civilian casualties while Hamas revels in them. Moving forward, the Administration and Congress must actively work together and with our allies to defeat referrals of the conclusions of this report to other international bodies and tribunals. Failing to do so would create a new arena of confrontation that would further damage prospects for peace.'"
"After months of anticipation, the report by the United Nations Human Rights Council about last summer's Gaza war is out today and its contents are no surprise... The UNHRC not only described Israeli actions as 'disproportionate and indiscriminate' but also considers the blockade of Gaza to be a violation of Palestinian human rights and should be investigated by the International Criminal Court. But while the toll of Palestinian civilian deaths was a tragedy, the UN Gaza war report is predictably skewed not just in terms of its mischaracterization of what were, in fact, highly restrictive rules of engagement that often put Israel Defense Forces personnel in danger, but also seeming to grant Hamas impunity to wage a terror war against Israel's existence...
The point is not just that Hamas's goal is to kill as many Jewish civilians as possible while the IDF goes to extreme lengths to avoid such deaths. Rather, it is that once a terrorist group sets up operations in an area under its control, sovereign nations attacked by these killers must have the right to conduct defensive operations intended to halt rocket fire and the use of tunnels for kidnapping and murder. If the soldiers of such nations are to be deemed war criminals for using heavy weapons or for mistakes that inevitably happen in the heat of battle amid the fog of war, then what the UNHRC is doing is to create rules that give the terrorists impunity...
In the end, the UNHRC report does nothing to clarify how nations should conduct wars. But it does tell us everything we need to know about the need for civilized nations to cease supporting an agency that purports to speak in the name of human rights but instead bolsters hate."
"In response to the United Nations report issued today which accused Israel of war crimes, Israeli Foreign Ministry officials thundered that 'it is well known that the entire process that led to the production of this report was politically motivated and morally flawed from the outset.' We agree.
Across the political spectrum in Israel, the United Nations report was condemned – noting its purpose was simple – to undermine Israel's right to defend its citizens from attack...
Put most simply, this report gives a boost to terrorist organizations around the world by allowing them to continue to attack innocent civilians...
We say loud and clear to the United Nations, the New Israel Fund and their donors: The State Of Israel will continue to defend itself whether you like it or not. And we will say forever – shame on you. Stop strengthening terrorists and funding the enemies of Israel."
A UN report released Monday found both Israel and Palestinians committed "serious violations" of international law and possible war crimes in last summer's seven-week battle in Gaza, a finding Israel swiftly denounced...
Israel swiftly moved to dispute the report's findings...
Last week's report, by the High Level International Military Group, a consortium of some of the world's leading military experts, laid much of the blame on the Palestinian side...
Gen. Klaus Naumann, former chief of staff of the German armed forces and chairman of the NATO Military Committee, who led the fact-finding mission on which the HLIMG report is based, said Israel paid a price for following the law.
'A measure of the seriousness with which Israel took its moral duties and its responsibilities under the laws of armed conflict is that in some cases Israel's scrupulous adherence to the laws of war cost Israeli soldiers' and civilians' lives,' Naumann said."
June 22, 2015
"The report on Operation Protective Edge issued by the commission appointed by the UN Human Rights Council is biased. The commission that wrote this report was appointed by a council that calls itself the 'Human Rights Council.' In effect, it does everything but look after human rights...
Israel does not commit war crimes. Israel is defending itself from a murderous terrorist organization that calls for its destruction and which has perpetrated many war crimes. Any country that wants to live would have acted this way. But the commission expects a country, the citizens of which have been attacked by thousands of missiles, to sit idly by. We will not sit, and have not sat, idly by. We will continue to take strong and determined action against all those who try to attack us and our citizens, and we will do so in accordance with international law."
"The Palestinians have moved the battlefield to the United Nations. The UN is the true frontlines, the Human Rights Council serves as the soldiers of the Palestinians and Hamas, and this biased report is their weapon. The UN has been taken hostage by terrorist organizations, and in this battle the international community will lose. If we continue to give legitimacy to this attack, we will all pay the price.
Israel will continue to act with force and determination against Hamas, an internationally recognized terror organization calling for its destruction. In defending itself against attacks, Israel acted according to the highest international standards. As a democracy committed to the rule of law, Israel will continue to investigate alleged wrongdoing in accordance with international standards and to cooperate with those UN bodies that conduct themselves in an objective, fair and professional manner.
Any comparison between IDF soldiers who seek to defend innocent civilians, and the terrorists who indiscriminately target Israelis while deliberately endangering Palestinians is completely unacceptable."