It was announced late on Monday, Feb. 2, that the man named last year by the United Nations Human Rights Council to head an investigation and craft the official UN report on Israel’s conduct during last summer’s war has resigned due to repeated allegations of bias against Israel.
The investigation, however, is over and the report is due to be published next month; that means all of the substantive work is complete.
If the allegations against Schabas’s bias against Israel were so strong and enduring that he was forced to resign, then the entire investigation and report is tainted.
The investigation must begin anew, with an unbiased official overseeing the entire enterprise. That is the essence of the statement issued by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following the resignation of William Schabas.
Here is Netanyahu’s statement:
After the resignation of the committee chairman who was biased against Israel, the report that was written at the behest of the UN Human Rights Council – an anti-Israel body, the decisions of which prove it has nothing to do with human rights – needs to be shelved. This is the same council that in 2014 made more decisions against Israel than against Iran, Syria and North Korea combined.
It is Hamas, the other terrorist organizations and the terrorist regimes around us that need to be investigated, not Israel, which this past summer acted in accordance with international law as it defended itself against the Hamas war criminals who used residents of Gaza as human shields to fire at Israeli citizens. Israel will continue to defend itself against the terrorism that is being directed against it on all fronts.
An excellent compilation of the many charges of bias against Israel by Schabas is available at the UN Watch site.
Schabas had said how eager he was to get the Israeli prime minister “in the dock” for human rights violations long before he was chosen to head the very team charged with conducting an impartial investigation.
What is less well known is that while a Ph.D. student and active member of the radical group SDS at the University of Toronto, he was charged and convicted with violating human rights and freedoms by physically obstructing a visiting Harvard professor from speaking on campus. Schabas was found guilty on four charges and was kicked out of the university for several years as the result of his actions.
So this human rights violator who is biased against Israel should not get off with only resigning from the investigations committee. He never should have been chosen in the first place, and the report concocted under his leadership must be scrapped. The entire process must begin anew.