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April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘William Schabas’

Schabas Replaced — With Goldstone Investigator

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Just a day after William Schabas quit as head of the UN’s anti-Israel Gaza investigation, the UN Human Rights Council has quickly managed to replace him, and they didn’t have to search very far to find exactly who they needed.

Mary McGowan Davis, a member of the Goldstone Report team, the previous anti-Israel UN report, has been appointed to succeed Schabas.

Schabas’s anti-Israel bias was open for anyone to hear, though it was a surprise to many when Schabas revealed in his resignation letter that he had worked as a consultant for the PLO in the past. Apparently Israel had discovered and exposed that fascinating tidbit, forcing Schabas to step down.

Mary McGowan Davis is a former New York Supreme Court Judge.

Her former investigative partner Richard Goldstone, after whom the Goldstone Report was named, retracted the main accusations of his own anti-Israel report, after it was published.

McGowan Davis on the other hand, continued with her separate report based on the assumption that the report was factual, despite it’s primary author’s retraction.

McGowan Davis said, “Our mandate was to take his report as given and start from there.” – don’t confuse her with the facts.

Obviously if you begin with a false premise you’re going to likely reach false conclusions.

It will be interesting to learn what else Israel digs up on these UN “investigators”.

Schabas Resignation: What Else Has Not Been Disclosed?

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Reposted from NGO Monitor

JERUSALEM – The appointment and resignation of William Schabas from the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict is a symptom of corruption and immorality in the United Nations and other platforms for anti-Israel demonization, warned Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor. The United Nations should suspend its investigation into Israel and immediately investigate the disturbing revelations of its own incompetence and bias.

“The damage has been done. William Schabas, whose bias against Israel was well established, should never have been appointed in the first place,” said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “Since the Commission has completed its fact-finding stage, the final report will be tainted by Schabas’ leadership until this point.”

The revelation that Schabas previously did legal work for the PLO raises numerous questions, which should be publicly and transparently addressed by the UNHRC.

  • What other conflicts of interest did Schabas not disclose?
  • What connections and consultancies did Schabas have with politicized NGOs such as Amnesty International and what role did these NGOs have in the UN “investigation”?
  • How did the UN’s vetting process fail? According to news reports, Schabas “was not asked to detail his consultancy work when he was appointed.”
  • If UN officials were previously aware of Schabas’ connections to the PLO, why was this information not disclosed earlier?

Journalists also have a responsibility to pursue these avenues of inquiry.

“Before there is further embarrassment, the Commission should disband immediately,” continued Prof. Steinberg. “From the beginning, the Commission’s mandate was part of the campaign to single out of Israel through the exploitation of human rights and international law. The Human Rights Council failed to learn the lessons from Judge Goldstone’s denunciation of his own pseudo-investigation in 2009.” As shown in NGO Monitor’s detailed submission to the Schabas Commission, NGO statements on armed conflict in general, and concerning the 2014 Gaza War in particular, are unreliable and were a primary reason the Goldstone Report was so thoroughly flawed.


For more information on William Schabas’ conflicts of interest and obvious unsuitability for an investigation concerning Israel, see:

  1. NGO Monitor, “William Schabas – Head of New UN Gaza Commission – and the Anti-Israel NGO Network,” August 13, 2014
  2. Hana Levi Julian, “Anti-Israel UN Investigator Prof. William Schabas ‘Can’t Say’ If Hamas is Terrorist Entity,” JewishPress.com, August 13, 2014
  3. Click here to read NGO Monitor’s Submission to the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict

Biased Schabas Resigns, Must Scrap Tainted ‘Investigation’ and Report

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

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.

Israel Okays Ban’s UN Commission on ‘UNRWA Incidents’

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

The Israeli government has decided to cooperate with a United Nations commission set up by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to investigate events this summer near facilities in Gaza owned by the UN Relief and Works Agency. The commission is to be headed by Patrick Cammaert, the former commander of the UN peacekeeping mission to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and a retired Dutch general.

Hamas has yet to confirm whether it will cooperate with the panel in its investigation.

International inspectors discovered during the war that missiles were being stored in at least three UNRWA buildings by local terrorists. In each case, the agency immediately “ordered them removed” but it was never made public where they went, or to whom they were sent. At least six UNRWA facilities were hit by mortar shells or other types of fire during Operation Protective Edge; but the IDF identified concealed rocket launchers around all of them and even within several of the buildings themselves.

Israel intends to share its intelligence materials with the commission established by the UN secretary-general, believing its composition to be more professional than that established by the UN Human Rights Council at the outset of the war.

UNHRC High Commission Navi Pillay announced the need for a board of inquiry in a statement of outrage at the start of the conflict, accusing Israel of committing “possible war crimes” and crimes “against humanity” in Gaza.

That three-member panel, which is led by anti-Israel Canadian law professor William Schabas, is to be boycotted by the Jewish State. It was intended solely to probe events that occurred after July 17 and has not defined Gaza’s ruling Hamas organization as a terrorist group, though it is classified as such by the United States as well as Israel.

Schabas’s ‘Goldstone 2′ Investigation Team Denied Entry Into Israel

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The three members of William Schabas’s UN team, mandated to investigate Israel for daring to defend itself against Hamas terrorism this past summer have not been allowed into Israel. Their entry visas have been denied, and they are currently sitting on their thumbs in Jordan since the beginning of the week.

Furthermore, Israel has declared it will not cooperate with their openly hostile UN investigation against Israel.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry officials believe the conclusions of the report have already been decided.

Schabas’s investigative committee is being likened to its predecessor, the Goldstone report, which resulted in such a skewed, factually incorrect, and anti-Israel report that even Richard Goldstone, the fact-finding mission’s head eventually renounced it, and admitted the “original mandate [for the investigation] adopted by the Human Rights Council… was skewed against Israel”.

The Schabas team needs to enter Israel if it is to get into Gaza.

Due to Hamas and Gaza’s alleged connections to the string of Sinai terror attacks against Egypt, Egypt has shut down all passage into Gaza from the Sinai.

Perhaps they’ll blame that on Israel too.

Israel Attempts to Insert Reason into UN Debate About Middle East

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Once again on Tuesday, Oct. 21, Israel was on the hot seat before the United Nations Security Council.

Israel’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations David Roet had the pleasure of speaking to the “Question of Palestine,” which is always –  always – a topic on the U.N. Security Council’s agenda.

But before Roet spoke, U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon delivered his remarks on the topic.

The secretary-general’s focus was on the suffering of the Palestinian Arabs and on Israel as the responsible wrongdoer. And of course, Ban stated his iron-clad position that only the creation of a Palestinian State will spell the end to violence in the Middle East.

The secretary-general spoke particularly sharply about the “mile after mile of wholesale destruction” in Gaza. In fact, he said “nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed in Gaza.”

Really? Has the secretary-general seen pictures of the devastation in Syria? Has the secretary-general viewed the videos of beheadings and crucifixions in Syria, Iraq and Egypt, not only this summer, but continuing even now?

Ban curtly stated that he looked forward to a thorough investigation both by the IDF and by the independent Board of Inquiry regarding the suffering of Gazans and the hits on UN facilities and the deaths of many innocent people in Gaza.

THREE SENTENCES ON ISRAEL’S TRAUMA

After recounting the horrors visited upon Gaza by the IDF, the secretary-general devoted three sentences to Israeli suffering, and mentioned having visited terror tunnels, although he didn’t say who built the tunnels, or how they were built or upon whom attacks were launched using those tunnels.

Israelis also suffered during the conflict. I travelled to a kibbutz where I met the grieving family of a four-year-old child named Daniel who was killed by a Hamas rocket – another innocent victim of this mindless conflict. As I said in Gaza, firing rockets is unacceptable, and the rockets have brought nothing but suffering.

I also visited a tunnel built by militants to launch attacks.

But Ban was sanguine about at least some developments following this summer’s conflict. He was very pleased to report that “Palestinians are taking critical steps to forge a united path to the future.” He spent several minutes  praising the “historic meeting in Gaza of the Cabinet of the Government of National Consensus.”

One of the positive results Ban ki-Moon anticipates flowing from this historic unity government is the facilitation of “the flow of construction materials into Gaza.” More terror tunnels, coming right up!

Apparently unable to bear slighting the Palestinian Arabs who don’t live in Gaza, Ban addressed their needs as well.

According to the U.N. secretary-general, the devastation visited upon Gaza by the Israelis is paralleled by the voraciousness of the Israelis gobbling up living space in “occupied East Jerusalem.”

INTERNATIONAL LAW IS CLEAR?

“International law is clear: settlement activity is illegal. It runs totally counter to the pursuit of a two-state solution. I urge the Israeli Government to reverse these activities,” Ban said.

Actually, international law is far from clear on most topics, but it most certainly is not “clear” that Jews building homes anywhere is illegal. Even if building those homes undermines what people see as a two-state “solution,” that does not magically transform the building of those homes into illegal acts.

Ban then goes on to berate Israel for other alleged misdeeds, including “altering policies with respect to the Holy Sites that have been in place over many decades,” and “mounting numbers of attacks by settlers” and other imagined violations of “international human rights and humanitarian law.”

Ban’s conclusion, as is that of so many, is that the only hope for stability and peace in the region is for [Israel] to address the “underlying causes of the conflict: an end to the occupation that has grinded on for nearly half a century, a full lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip and effectively addressing Israel’s legitimate security concerns.”

IDF, Independent UN Commission to Probe Events at UNRWA Schools

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

The IDF and the United Nations are both investigating the events that took place in Gaza this summer during Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge, particularly at United Nations-run facilities.

The Chief Military Prosecutor of the Israel Defense Forces, Maj.-Gen. Dani Efroni has opened two criminal investigations: one into the July 16 air strike on a Gaza beach that left four Arab boys dead, and another into an attack at a United Nations school on July 24 in which 14 Gaza residents were killed.

Six teams of military experts who underwent specialized legal training and who are reserve officers have been assigned the task of investigating the incidents. A senior IDF officer was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying the teams would be able to render detailed decisions in a reasonable amount of time, inasmuch as they are not part of the chain of command due to their reserve status.

All told, the IDF MAG (Military Advocate General) Corps has opened reviews into 44 events that took place during this summer’s 50-day counter terror Operation Protective Edge. In addition, another 55 cases are to be investigated in the coming weeks, military sources told journalists on Wednesday. Two cases have already been referred for criminal investigation. Seven were closed, three are pending but may go to criminal investigations, and 12 others are being scrutinized.

One of the three pending cases involves a claim by a 17-year-old Gaza youth who said he was detained and held for five days by IDF soldiers. The youth said the soldiers beat him while moving him from place to place. The second incident involves alleged looting by an IDF soldier in Gaza City. The third investigation revolves around the death of a Gaza woman who coordinated an exit from her home, but ended up shot and killed.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is also setting up a separate, independent commission of inquiry to look into the events that took place at UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency) facilities in Gaza during the war. The separate commission, said Ban, will investigate attacks on UNWRA schools, and destruction of UNRWA facilities, the injuries and deaths of UNRWA employees in Gaza, as well as the use of UNRWA facilities as weapons storage areas by Hamas and allied terrorist organizations, “no matter what.”

The IDF has amassed a myriad of satellite photos and other concrete evidence documenting the exploitation of UNRWA facilities by Hamas and other terrorists.

Ban told the Arabic-language Al Hayat newspaper on Wednesday the special commission would operate independently from that established by the UN Human Rights Council, headed by anti-Israel Canadian law professor William Schabas. The UNHRC investigating committee was set up solely to investigate alleged human rights violations and suspected war crimes committed by the IDF during the operation.

The IDF still has a list of incidents to be checked out, military sources said. A few were closed after it was ascertained no criminal wrongdoing had occurred — for example, a strike on a journalist in Gaza who was later discovered to have actually been a terrorist. He was suspected of transporting a missile in his car.

In another incident, on July 8, eight members of the Kaware family were killed in an IDF air strike on a home in Gaza. Israeli fighter pilots had first fired a small ‘knock on roof’ dud missile to warn the family of an impending attack and the family members did indeed leave the home. But then, inexplicably, they ran back into the house after a second, armed missile had already been fired at the target. All were killed.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-independent-un-commission-to-probe-attacks-weapons-storage-at-un-schools/2014/09/10/

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