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November 25, 2015 / 13 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘William Schabas’

The Schabes Report Had ‘Biased Mandate’ and ‘Unreliable Sources’

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Israeli officials continue to analyze The Schabes Report sparked by the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and authored by the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict.” Most have noted the striking anti-Israel bias in the report.

“It is regrettable that the report fails to recognize the profound difference between Israel’s moral behavior during Operation Protective Edge and the terror organizations it confronted,” said a statement from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in response.

“This report was commissioned by a notoriously biased institution, given an obviously biased mandate, and initially headed by a grossly biased chairperson, William Schabas.”

Schabas, a Canadian professor of international law, was found to have been a past legal adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a clear conflict of interest that he tried to conceal from the United Nations, according to the Foreign Ministry. Israel revealed the history, forcing Schabas to resign in February 2015.

“The Commission of Inquiry … lacked the necessary tools and expertise to conduct a professional and serious examination of armed conflict situations,” the ministry added.

The human rights watchdog agency NGO Monitor noted in a separate statement that the report was an “improvement” over its UN investigation-generated predecessors, including the 2009 Goldstone Report.

However, “it still quotes extensively from biased and unreliable political advocacy NGOs,” noted the agency.

“The UNHRC report would be entirely different without the baseless and unverifiable allegations of non-governmental organizations,” said Anne Herzberg, Legal Advisor at NGO Monitor.

“Despite efforts to consult a wider array of sources, the report produced by McGowan Davis and her team lacks credibility as a result of NGO influence.”

NGO Monitor’s initial review of the Commission of Inquiry’s “detailed findings” showed that NGOs were referenced, cited, and quoted at a high volume: B’Tselem was the most referenced NGO with 69 citations, followed by Amnesty International (53), Palestinian Center for Human Rights (50), and Al Mezan (29). UNWRA and UN-OCHA were also featured throughout the report.

NGOs were also sourced for factual claims beyond their capabilities: in one instance, the report repeated B’Tselem’s conclusions about whether individuals in Gaza “posed [] danger to other persons.”

Human Rights Watch, as opposed to a military expert, was quoted with regards to the “lethal radius for a 155mm high explosive projectile.”

Breaking the Silence was cited as the basis for the accusation that the IDF adopted “the vast scale of destruction…as a tactic of war.”

The lack of military expertise in the Commission and the UN staff clearly hampered the investigation and the resulting publication,” continued Herzberg. “In particular, the COI makes numerous assertions about feasible precautions, identification of military objectives, military necessity, and standards applied by reasonable commanders.

“In at least four independent studies by military experts, including Richard Kemp, the former head of British forces in Afghanistan, former senior U.S. generals and the former senior military officer for NATO all concluded that not only did Israel exceed the requirements of international law in the Gaza Conflict, but that its precautionary efforts to protect civilians were unprecedented in the history of warfare.”

NGO Monitor and UN Watch have prepared an independent, fully sourced and detailed book on the 2014 Israel-Hamas conflict, called “Filling in the Blanks, which provides an alternative narrative to The Schabes Report. The book is available to readers for download in PDF format by clicking here.

What Will Schabas Do for $1300?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Mirabelle writing at Israellycool has pointed out something very important.

Mirabelle points out that Schabas claims he had no real financial gain from his work for the PLO, and therefore the charges of bias and conflict of interest are incorrect:

In his continuing effort to claim that he is just a victim of the Zionist cabal, Schabas points out that he received only $1300 in compensation for the work he did for the PLO. Therefore, he claims, he had no real financial motive for bias. This argument, however, reveals more about him that what he intends.

Mirabelle then provides a description of the work was that Schabas did for the PLO:

His description of the work that he did for the PLO is a seven-page legal opinion on issues involving Palestinian statehood and the International Criminal Court. This would likely involve hours of research on obscure issues about which Schabas had a rare expertise. If Schabas had charged a fair price for such work, the bill could have easily been ten times the amount charged, or more. He basically did the work for the PLO close to free of charge.

How many lawyers do you know would only charge $1300 for a 7 page brief in an incredibly esoteric area of legal expertise?

None that I can think of, unless they have personal interest or sympathy for the client or the cause.

A trial lawyer Schabas won’t be with holes in his argument so wide you can launch an entire battery of Hamas rockets through it.

It’s bad enough Schabas did work for the PLO and didn’t disclose that information, which is certainly enough reason to have disqualified him in the first place, but by not taking fair compensation for his efforts, he confirmed where his sympathies and bias lies – which means his entire “investigation” is tainted with that bias, as will be the final report, whether his name is on it or not.

Out of curiosity, what else Schabas will do for a mere $1300?

The letter sent by Israel to the UNHRC: Letter to UN on 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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/schabass-goldstone-2-investigation-team-denied-entry-into-israel/2014/11/13/

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