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UNHRC War Crimes Head William Schabas Quits

February 7, 2015

“These are the things you are to do:  Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts.”  (Zechariah 8:16)

On Monday, more charges of blatant bias toward Israel were made against William Schabas, who resigned from his position as the head of the United Nation Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) “war crimes” probe of Israel.

His resignation follows the latest revelations that he did consulting work for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in 2012, a terrorist organization, supporting allegations that his bias against Israel prevents him from fairly conducting the probe.

When confronted, this professor of International Law said he didn’t think his legal briefing for the PLO constituted a conflict of interest, so he didn’t mention it on his UNHRC application.

“I didn’t imagine that it was important or relevant.  I’m a professional who is invited to give opinions to organizations and governments.  I don’t take sides and I didn’t represent the Palestinians,” he said.  (Arutz 7) 

Nevertheless, Schabas did not hide his profound bias against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during an interview with the Israeli paper Yedioth Aharonot:

“Even if there was another committee, Netanyahu would come out against it,” said Schabas.  “People like Netanyahu will accuse any committee of being anti-Israeli.”

William Schabas

William Schabas, a Canadian professor of international law known for his bias against Israel’s leaders, stepped down from heading the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) commission that will be investigating Israel’s conduct during Operation Protective Edge.

The appointment of Schabas as head of the investigation reveals the innate bias of the UNHRC against Israel and taints the evidence he collected.

It was no secret that Schabas was gunning for Israel and Netanyahu.  In fact, in 2012 he went on record saying, “My favorite would be Netanyahu in the dock at the International Criminal Court.”

In response to Schabas’ resignation, Netanyahu said that the report on which he was working should be discarded.  Netanyahu has described UNHRC as being an anti-Israel institution that has demonstrated by its decisions that there is no connection between it and human rights.

“This is the same body that only in 2014 passed more resolutions against Israel than against Iran, Syria and North Korea combined,” Netanyahu said.  “Hamas, other terrorist organizations and the terror regimes around us are the ones who need to be investigated, and not Israel.”  (JPost)

Despite the fact that Gaza deliberately targeted Israel’s populations and often launched their rockets from Palestinian civilian sites, which are clear-cut war crimes, it is Israel that is being investigated for war violations even though Israel warned Palestinian civilians of impending strikes on Hamas by dropping leaflets and making phone calls.  However, Hamas told civilians not to leave.

No mention at all was made of Hamas or the terror tunnels.

Explaining that direction of the committee is simply being handed over to one of the other equally biased members, Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, said, “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 free world not to shun both of them and renounce their legal pogrom.”  (National Post)

Anne Bayefsky_anti-Semitism_United Nations

On September 8, 2014, at the UN conference on “Antisemitism, a Threat to Global Peace and Stability,” Professor Anne Bayefsky said, “The United Nations is the leading global purveyor of AntiSemitism; it has launched a legal pogrom against the Jewish state as it singles out Israel disproportionally among its 193 members. The UN Human Rights Council condemned a single state in 35% of all its resolutions:Israel.  50% of ALL emergency meetings dealt with one state alone: Israel.  Of all the 2013 General Assembly resolutions criticizing specific countries for human rights abuses, 70% were about Israel.”  (YouTube capture)

The investigative commission has already collected almost all of its evidence and findings, and is scheduled to present them to the UNHRC on March 23rd.

Even so, last Tuesday UNHRC’s President Joachim Ruecker (who came to office in December) appointed retired New York Supreme Court judge Mary McGowan Davis as the new head of the UN inquiry into Operation Protective Edge.  (YNet)

Judge Davis, who is one of the three original members of the committee,  chaired the final report of the previous war crimes probe by the UNHRC, which found Israel not liable for “potential war crimes.”

The final report released in early 2011 looked at additional evidence not available to the first committee’s chair, Richard Goldstone.  Goldstone wrote in the Washington Post, “We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008–09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. 

“I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes.”

Noam Shalit-William Goldstone-United Nations-Goldstone Report-Operation Cast Lead

Noam Shalit (right, far side of room), father of the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, abducted by Palestinian terrorists in 2006, speaks at a meeting of the Human Rights Council on its investigation, led by Justice Richard Goldstone (third from left), into Israel’s 2009 Operation Cast Lead, during which Israel sought to end Gaza rocket fire into Israel.

Goldstone also admitted in his Washington Post article to the bias of the UNHRC:  “I had hoped that our inquiry into all aspects of the Gaza conflict would begin a new era of evenhandedness at the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose history of bias against Israel cannot be doubted.”

Judge Davis served from 1986–1998 as a Justice of the Supreme Court of New York.  Since then, she has trained public defenders in Afghanistan, worked on establishing special courts in Sierra Leone and Cambodia to try war criminals, and has been a frequent consultant and trainee for prosecutors at Rwanda’s International Criminal Tribunal.  (icj-usa)

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