For an entity that maintains access to a lot of important addresses, the Simon Wiesenthal Center sets the mold for firm but polite.
The leadership of the Jewish, pro-Israel Human Rights non-governmental organization met with the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, on Tuesday, August 13.
Sometimes even people who value diplomacy and access feel compelled to inform a gracious (at least outwardly) host that he’s chosen the wrong party to back. And the SWC leadership was unequivocal in the message they delivered, even while coaching the verbiage in friend-to-friend terms.
After the United Nations meeting yesterday, the SWC presented Ban with a letter detailing the ways in which Hamas is the evildoer in the Gaza conflict, and gently reminding him that the U.N. has been hammering the wrong party – Israel – repeatedly.
After thanking the secretary general for meeting with them, the authors of the letter immediately launch into a bold, unequivocal statement:
we must frankly ask you how many times will the world allow itself to be held hostage to Hamas? This is the third time since 2005 when Israel unilaterally left Gaza that Hamas has brought death and destruction to the people of Gaza. Once again they are using the people of Gaza, the civilian infrastructure and UN facilities in its non-stop campaign to terrorize the Jewish state.
After asking the million dollar rhetorical question and plainly stating the general point, the SWC proceeds with what it calls, “a number of truths that must not be ignored.”
Among those truths are: Israel never willfully targeted any Palestinian civilians; the U.N. must act quickly to repair its “tarnished integrity” caused by UNRWA having allowed itself to become an instrument of Hamas.
NO MORE UNRWA IN GAZA
The SWC states plainly that UNRWA must not be permitted to continue in its role of funds distributor or auditor, as it has failed at both. Again, the rhetoric soars:
The systemic hijacking of previous aid, cement and building materials by Hamas to build an underground superhighway of terror is scandalous and a violation of the wishes of the donors who did not contribute funds for rockets or tunnels. Those who failed to stop such theft and serial abuse of humanitarian aid must be held accountable and should not have any involvement in supervising or dispersing of future funds.
NAVI PILLAY SHOULD BE CENSURED
The Jewish pro-Israel NGO then comments on the eruption of “anti-Semitism and genocidal hatred against Israel from Europe to Australia,” while the UN’s own High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has actually contributed to it, rather than attempted to disarm it, “by being so rabidly one-sided in her criticisms of Israel.” The SWC calls on Ban to issue a public censure of Pillay:
During her tenure there was no effort to investigate previous crimes against humanity by Hamas, including its own admission that 160 Palestinian children died building their terrorism tunnels.
TAKE SPOTLIGHT OFF ISRAEL, ESPECIALLY GIVEN GLOBAL DISASTERS
And the U.N. secretary general must also help “ensure that the upcoming U.N. General Assembly, which is confronted with a human rights disaster of epic proportions in Syria, with ethnic cleansing in Iraq, with a difficult situation in Ukraine and with continuing human rights outrages in North Korea, not be allowed to degenerate into an anti-Israel hate fest.”
19 VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW BY HAMAS
The letter concludes with eight additional pages in which 19 separate violations of international law are laid out. These include rocket attacks directed at Israel’s civilian population centers; staging attacks from residential areas and protected sites (such as schools, medical facilities and places of worship); booby-trapping civilian areas; using human shields; exploiting children; interfering with humanitarian relief efforts; using the uniform of the enemy; targeting civilian objects; mistreating the dead.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com
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