Posts Tagged ‘UN’
Israel is not likely to cooperate with a “kangaroo court” style investigation under the auspices of a committee set up by the biased United Nations Human Rights Commission.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made that clear in his response to Canadian legal professor William Schabas, the head of the committee, who advised on Tuesday that it is in Israel’s “best interest” to cooperate with his investigation into Israel’s defense against Palestinian Arab terror — and particularly Hamas efforts to terrorize — Israeli citizens.
Netanyahu spoke with reporters in a news briefing following a meeting with New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who flew to Israel to show his solidarity with the Jewish State.
“New York has always had a special relationship with Israel,” Cuomo told reporters. “As Hamas and other terrorist organizations continue to threaten Israel, now is the time to deliver that message of solidarity in person.”
The prime minister, who was asked whether Israel will cooperate with the UNHRC investigation, had some advice of his own for the committee (video is in Hebrew).
“The UN Human Rights Council gives legitimacy to murderous terrorist organizations such as Hamas and ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria),” he said.
“Instead of inquiring into Hamas’s attacks on Israeli civilians and its use of the residents of Gaza as human shields, and instead of inquiring into the massacres that Assad is perpetrating against the Syrian people or that ISIS is perpetrating against the Kurds, the UN has decided to come and check Israel – the only democracy in the Middle East, a democracy which is acting legitimately to defend its citizens against murderous terrorism.
“The report of this committee has already been written,” he said.
“The committee chairman (Canadian law professor William Schabas) has already decided that Hamas is not a terrorist organization; therefore, they have nothing to look for here.
“They should visit Damascus, Baghdad and Tripoli; they should go see ISIS, the Syrian army and Hamas – there they will find war crimes,” Netanyahu advised.
Israel accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza cease-fire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking.
“Here’s the difference between us,” explains the Israeli prime minister. “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”
Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity. Yet we’ve routinely heard the Israel-Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent “cycle of violence.” This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this most recent mini-war. And everyone knows the proudly self-declared raison d’etre of Hamas: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.
Apologists for Hamas attribute the blood lust to the Israeli occupation and blockade. Occupation? Does no one remember anything? It was less than 10 years ago that worldwide television showed the Israeli army pulling die-hard settlers off synagogue roofs in Gaza as Israel uprooted its settlements, expelled its citizens, withdrew its military and turned every inch of Gaza over to the Palestinians. There was not a soldier, not a settler, not a single Israeli left in Gaza.
And there was no blockade. On the contrary. Israel wanted this new Palestinian state to succeed. To help the Gaza economy, Israel gave the Palestinians its 3,000 greenhouses that had produced fruit and flowers for export. It opened border crossings and encouraged commerce.
The whole idea was to establish the model for two states living peacefully and productively side by side. No one seems to remember that, simultaneous with the Gaza withdrawal, Israel dismantled four smaller settlements in the northern West Bank as a clear signal of Israel’s desire to leave the West Bank as well and thus achieve an amicable two-state solution.
This is not ancient history. This was nine years ago.
And how did the Gaza Palestinians react to being granted by the Israelis what no previous ruler, neither Egyptian, nor British, nor Turkish, had ever given them — an independent territory?
First, they demolished the greenhouses. Then they elected Hamas. Then, instead of building a state with its attendant political and economic institutions, they spent the better part of a decade turning Gaza into a massive military base, brimming with terror weapons, to make ceaseless war on Israel.
Where are the roads and rail, the industry and infrastructure of the new Palestinian state? Nowhere. Instead, they built mile upon mile of underground tunnels to hide their weapons and, when the going gets tough, their military commanders.
They spent millions importing and producing rockets, launchers, mortars, small arms, even drones. They deliberately placed them in schools, hospitals, mosques and private homes to better expose their own civilians. And from which they fire rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Why? The rockets can’t even inflict serious damage, being almost uniformly intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. Even West Bank leader Mahmoud Abbas has asked: “What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?”
It makes no sense. Unless you understand that the whole point is to draw Israeli counter-fire. This produces dead Palestinians for international television. Which is why Hamas perversely urges its own people not to seek safety when Israel drops leaflets warning of an imminent attack.
To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel (see: the UN’s grotesque Human Rights Council), fueled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wants the government to order the IDF to assassinate Hamas leaders in Gaza if they do not return to Israel the body parts of fallen soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Doron Shaul, who were buried with whatever body parts were able to be retrieved.
Lieberman, speaking to mayors in southern Israel, the area that has taken the brunt of Hamas terror since the expulsion of Jews and withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza in 2005, said that ”we have to get rid of Hamas.”
He will get little argument from most quarters. It’s a great idea, but the government has been unable or to scared to do so, and even if it did, eradicating Hamas is useless without a “day after” pill.
His latest brainstorm, the third in less than month, is to assassinate Ismail Haniyeh and Moahmmed Dief. Haniyeh officially no longer is prime minister because Hamas and its rival terror faction Fatah, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, pulled off a sleight-of-hand whereby Hamas and Fatah declared a unity pact that makes supposed civilian “technocrats” members of the government and placates the United States, which officially considers Hamas an outlawed terrorist group. So what if Hamas gives orders to technocrats?
Lieberman, like almost every other Israeli, is not so dumb as to swallow that position, but his solutions to the problem of Hamas do not put him ahead of the class.
How can it be that Israel, with the best army in the Middle East and one of the best in the world, cannot defeat a motley crew of 26,000 terrorists?
Just kill every single one of them. Nice idea, if it would work.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called Lieberman’s threats, calling them “ridiculous.”
Similar to his latest solution, Lieberman’s previous inspirations have raised the same question of what he would say if he were to lead the first tank into Gaza and hunt down all the murderers.
When the war began last month, Lieberman opined that Israel should simply take complete control of Gaza. Interior Minister Gideon Saar has suggested that Israel re-establish Jewish communities in Gaza, giving Israel an online presence. That also would help the economy in Gaza, and it might happen one day. But not today. Or tomorrow. Or this year.
Taking over Gaza would be the best solution for Gazans. Like it or not, they enjoyed their best society in decades when Israel took over Gaza in the Six-Day War in 1967. The flourishing economy rotted when the intifada began in the 1980s, and it has been downhill ever since. Hamas has trampled on civil liberties, has employed children to build tunnels for terror, and it killed many of the workers for ”knowing too much” about the locations. It has made life miserable for the few surviving Christians, and it has been well-documented that Hamas has bombed its own civilians whom it used as human shields.
Life under Israel would be great for Gaza. It also is the last thing Israel wants right now.
It would be the last thing Lieberman would want if he were to jump in the first tank into Gaza and absorb anti-tank missiles.
If he were to survive, he and tens of thousands of other soldiers would remain in Gaza for a few months, if not years, to keep all of the other jihadists from making trouble,
And there is UNRWA, which has perpetuated the miserable and hopeless lives of Gazans by declaring them to be “refugees,” just like a few million others in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon Iraq and other countries.
So perhaps taking over Gaza is not such a smart idea, at least not this year, but Lieberman then came up with the aberration of letting the United Nations take over.
Lieberman insisted to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, “A U.N. mandate over Gaza Strip is a possible option for Israel to rid itself off the headache of Gaza and pass the mission of demilitarization of the strip to the United Nations.”
The man chosen to head the United Nations Human Rights Council’s latest probe into the war in Gaza won’t state clearly whether Hamas is a terror group. Moreoever, he says “some believe Israel ‘gets off easy’ at the UN Security Council.”
International Law Professor William Schabas, appointed to head the UNHRC probe into Operation Protective Edge, also claimed in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 television news anchor Danny Kushmaro Tuesday that past comments he has made on the record, accusing Israel’s government leaders of war crimes were “exaggerated.”
Schabas was questioned about his alleged bias against Israel, which has led the foreign ministry to advise the prime minister not to cooperate with the investigation.
The man selected to investigate Israel’s counter terror operation against Hamas and allied terrorists in Gaza, Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem this summer said a year ago that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would be his choice of a leader to send to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.
Israel’s Channel 2 television news anchor Danny Kushmaro began the interview with a polite, if not cordial tone.
“Good evening Professor Schabas. Shall we say congratulations?”
“Uh… perhaps,” Schabas answered carefully.
Kushmaro then went right for the jugular, asking the UN investigator about his suggestion that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would be his “favorite” world leader to be brought before the International Criminal Court at The Hague to face war crimes charges.
“Not President Assad of Syria, Not Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal – you said, ‘Netanyahu.’ Can you explain why?’ the interviewer asked pointedly.
Schabas looked uncomfortable.
“We were having a discussion about the International Criminal Court,” he said, “and the fact that the International Criminal Court had focused all of its attention on African countries. I had referred to a statement by Archbishop Tutu, where he had said, ‘Tony Blair should be brought before the International Criminal Court to show that it can deal with Western countries as well as with countries from the south, and particularly from Africa.
“And so I said, well, uh, my favorite would be Netanyahu. I was, of course, echoing what was in the Goldstone Report, which is that the International Criminal Court should deal with the conclusions of the Goldstone Report, concluding the possibility that war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed during Operation Cast Lead.
“But as you know the International Criminal Court never did address those matters. So that was the context of my comment.”
Finance Minister Yair Lapid quickly pointed out in subsequent comments that the Goldstone Report was compiled during the administration of then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, not Netanyahu.
Schabas has also said he believes that former President Shimon Peres should stand trial before the Court as well.
The interviewer asked him whether he, as a professor of international law, would advise his own client to cooperate with “such an investigation” given what he had just heard.
“I think this is a great exaggeration of some of the statements. I expressed opinions about political leaders in the past. Is there a human being in Israel who’s never expressed political opinions about leaders in Israel? Once someone who sits in a commission or as a judge has to do is to put these things behind them, and start fresh, and this is of course what I intend to do.”
Kushmaro: Do you plan to investigate Hamas crimes as well? Are you really able to investigate a terror organization who threatens its own people?
Schabas: “I cannot tell you what the commission is going to do in terms of interpreting its mandate because I’m only one member and I haven’t had a meeting with the other commissioners. We will have to agree on the interpretation…
It is remarkable that the UN expresses such criticism of Israel for the number of civilian deaths that occurred in Gaza, but no such outrage at Hamas for the ongoing traumatization of Israeli citizens who have had their lives disrupted by ongoing sirens and rockets fired at them from across the border.
I am outraged that at least two generations of Israeli citizens in the south have not known peace, they spend their lives ‘hyper alert’ to sirens, to run for safety, while the terrorists from across the border have only one mission, to destroy them.
I am outraged that a terror organization with a manifesto to “Kill The Jews Wherever They May Be, and to ‘Push Israel Into the Sea’ is suddenly defined as an elected “Government.”
I am outraged that the foreign press and social media sees fit to traumatize the world with images of dying women and children at the hands of the Israeli Aggressor without being held accountable for their criminal acts against humanity – the innocent citizens of Israel, now not only in the south, but in the north and center of this country.
I am outraged at the bastardization of the world media who continue to scapegoat Jews and Israel, while turning a blind eye to Muslims murdering other Muslims in the name of Allah.
I am outraged at Christian children being beheaded in the name of Allah, by a group that is now a self-declared Islamic State, while the world focuses on Israel’s alleged so-called ‘criminal acts against humanity.’
Gaza has allowed the world to become hyper-vigilant towards Israel, and totally blind to the rise of radical Islam that has no qualms about destroying everyone in its wake, and that does not adhere to its own tenets.
I am outraged, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, at the United Nations hypocrisy. I am outraged that history has been forgotten, that in 1948 there was an attempt to give both the Jews and the Palestinians their own State, but the Palestinians chose their own Diaspora.
I am outraged that the citizens of Israel have not known a moment’s peace since 1948.
I am outraged, Mr. Ban Ki-moon that the members of the General Assembly of the United Nations have chosen in their bias to rewrite history.
I am outraged that the media has chosen to depict a biased one-sided presentation of the truth and that the United Nations has contributed to this collusion.
I am outraged that UNWRA has allowed itself to be “used” for criminal causes, while all the while purportedly stating that its schools are bastions of refuge and education. That is at the first level. One short level down, the schools are store-houses for ammunition, and launching pads. And I am outraged at the collusion of the United Nations and its employees in their unwillingness to take responsibility for the position they find themselves in, in Gaza, as the “blind supporters” by default, of acts of terrorism.
I am outraged at the hypocrisy of presenting a one-sided picture of the situation in Gaza without giving equal presentation of Israel’s citizens traumatized by the ongoing sirens that have disrupted daily life for more than ten years in the south, and which has spread like a cancer to the north and the center of this country.
I am outraged at the accusations of Israel as an Apartheid State, by those who question its very existence. I am outraged at the ongoing anti-Semitism that continues in 2014, only now it is euphemistically labeled ‘anti-Zionism.’
And all of this, while the United Nations gives tacit approval for this situation to continue. And while you, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, seem to forget the historical context within which that esteemed body voted to give Israel statehood.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor warned the United Nations Wednesday that its willingness to be held ”hostage” by human rights abusers will boomerang on the entire world.
“Today I am here to issue a warning: Stand with Israel and stand against terror before it is too late, before the danger lands on your doorstep and self-preservation strikes its jarring gong,” Prosor said at a special session of the General Assembly that dumped on Israel.
His remark was a quote in a statement by Winston Churchill in 1935, four years before World War II, when he referred to the world’s allowing Germany to re-arm and stated, “The family of nations suffered from a want of foresight, an unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, and a lack of clear thinking and confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.”
Prosor told the ambassadors of the world that “Hamas must be disarmed, Gaza must be demilitarized., and the international community must divorce itself from the romantic notion of Hamas as ‘freedom fighters.’”
He cited the numbers of people killed in Arab countries and silence from the Arab world.
“In Iraq, over 1,600 people were killed in July. In Libya, clashes between rival militias killed 200 people last month. In Nigeria, Boko Haram has slaughtered nearly 3,000 people this year,” Prosor explained. “It may just be me, but I didn’t hear the Arab group rally to condemn these atrocities. Instead, this group gangs up against the only democratic nation in the Middle East that is defending its citizens from the totalitarian forces threatening every enlightened country in this Assembly.”
“Israel is on the frontline of the war against radical extremism,” Prosor added. “The battle we fight today is the same battle that you all will fight tomorrow….
And yet, some of you have abandoned the only democracy in the Middle East standing against the tide of terrorism. What does this say about your values? What does it mean for the next generation? This institution is being held hostage by some in this Assembly who are the worst human rights abusers.”