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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘William Schabas’

Pro-Israel NGO Calls on US to Reject UN Gaza Commission

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

The leading officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to reject the United Nation’s Human Rights Council’s “independent” Commission on Gaza.

Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, Dean and Associate Dean of the SWC took the unusual step of sending a letter to Kerry and Holder because, they wrote, the Commission’s Chair, William Schabas, has already outed himself as biased against Israel.

Schabes publicly stated that the UN should not be prosecuting the president of Sudan, but it should prosecute then-Israeli President Shimon Peres. He also said that his first choice for person to put in the dock at the International Criminal Court to be tried for war crimes is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

In addition to Schabas being unfit to head the Commission, Hier and Cooper also pointed out that the Commission itself is fatally flawed: “The text of the [UNHRC] resolution unequivocally affirms that, in the Council’s view, Israel has been judged guilty and only Israel’s actions in defending its citizens from relentless rocket attacks are to be investigated.”

There is no inclination to look into any violations of human rights or commission of war crimes on the part of Hamas.

“There is little doubt that the Commission’s statements will in fact be incorporated in various legal proceedings and entities in an attempt to vilify isolate and even prosecute Israeli leaders. Of course, the unrelenting terrorist crimes of Hamas are not part of the mandate of this commission,” the NGO’s letter asserts.

B ut the appointment of Schabas Was beyond the pale. In 2009, Schabas made clear that as far as he was concerned, any wrong done by Hamas was understandable and forgivable.

“Maybe Hamas didn’t behave properly… but it doesn’t challenge in any significant way the conclusion that Israel violated International Law,” Schabas wrote.

It is the strongly held position of the Simon Wiesenthal Center that the U.S.  must denounce the biased Commission and Commissioner and make public that it will not accept any of the Commission’s findings.

“To do otherwise and to wait for Professor Schabas and his commission to conclude its investigation would only validate his appointment and set a dangerous precedent for future judicial biases, which would mock and weaken the global efforts against terrorism and the right of democracies to defend themselves against naked aggressions by non-state actors,” Hier and Cooper concluded.

Former NY Supreme Court Judge to Join UN Panel Probing Israel

Monday, August 25th, 2014

A member of the commission who carried out the follow-up to the United Nations Human Rights Commission’s Goldstone Report has been tapped to serve as the third member of the newest probe committee.

Former New York Supreme Court Judge Mary McGowan Davis is to take the place of British Lebanese attorney Amal Alamuddin, who declined the invitation to serve on the panel led by Canadian law professor William Schabas. The two will be joined by Doudou Diene.

The commission is intended to investigate whether the Israel Defense Forces were guilty of committing war crimes in countering terrorist activity this summer in Gaza, Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem; however, the panel is beginning its work without even acknowledging the basic definition of Hamas as a terrorist organization.

At present, Israel has decided not to cooperate with the panel in its investigation, based on past experience with probes that led to skewed conclusions based on false Gaza testimony and Israeli evidence omitted from reports.

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

War crimes are a serious business. Governments that commit them ought to be held responsible. The Allied forces did a good job doing that after the Holocaust, where Nazi Officials were tried for crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials. Many leaders of the 3rd Reich were found guilty of genocide against the Jewish people and were hanged.. That event in 1945-46 was clearly an exercise in justice.

Fast Forward to today. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has created a panel to investigate whether there were any war crimes committed by Israel during its recent war with Hamas in Gaza. To compare in any way what the Nuremberg trials were about in 1945 with what is going on today, is a blasphemy. It is an insult to any version of ethics and morality that anyone can imagine.

During the course of the war, Israel was singled out for criticism by Navi Pillay, a U.N. human rights official. She accused Israel of deliberately defying international law and should be held accountable for possible war crimes.

From the Forward:

Israel has attacked homes, schools, hospitals, Gaza’s only power plant and U.N. premises in apparent violation of the Geneva Conventions, said Pillay, a former U.N. war crimes judge.

And then in an obvious pretense to seem even handed she said the following:

Hamas militants in Gaza have violated international humanitarian law by firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel.

Is there any doubt that this panel is anti-Israel from the get-go? The people on this must be some of the most ethically challenged individuals in the history of the UN. But the real culprit William Schabas, who by comparison makes Richard Goldstone look like a saint. Goldstone’s panel concluded that Israel deliberately targeted the citizens of Gaza in the 2009 war. A conclusion Goldstone himself retracted in 2011 (…no doubt to the chagrin of Schabas who suggested he be put on the short list of Nobel Peace Prize nominees when the Goldstone report was first issued).

I’m sure the UN purposely chose Jews like Goldstone and Schabas as a cynical ploy to show that this is not about Antisemitism.

But the fact that they are Jewish does not make them any more evenhanded about the State of Israel than the members of Neturei Karta who carry Palestinian flags as they attend anti Israel rallies with Muslim extremists and their sympathizers who join them in calling for the dismantling of the State of Israel.

How in heaven’s name can someone who has said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and former president Shimon Peres should be indicted before the International Criminal Court be considered even handed – and chosen to investigate whether war crimes were committed?

Even after he was appointed to head that committee, a video published by UN Watch revealed him saying the following to mocking laughter by other members of the committee:

“Honestly, if I had to think of a person who is considered the greatest threat to the survival of Israel, I would probably choose to Netanyahu,”

I agree with Israel’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ron Proser, who said the following:

“Forming an investigatory committee headed by Schabas is like inviting ISIS to organize religious tolerance week at the UN…”

(I’m sure their final report will include Israel’s disproportionate response to Hamas rockets. After all – not enough Jews were killed.)

Is there any sane individual that would say that a committee composed of these individuals has any credibility at all? That the UNHRC can set this up and call it even-handed with a straight face is proof positive that they are heavily biased against the Jewish State. Espicially since UNHRC has never called for similar inquiries into some of the most evil despotic genocidal regimes that are all members in good standing of the UN.

In Rambling TV Interview, UN’s William Schabas Scores Own Goal

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Netanyahu: ‘UNHRC Legitimizes Hamas & ISIS; Nothing to Look For Here’

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

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.

“Not here.”

Anti-Israel UN Investigator Prof. William Schabas ‘Can’t Say’ If Hamas is Terrorist Entity

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

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…

UNHRC Names Anti-Israel Critic to Probe Conflict with Hamas

Monday, August 11th, 2014

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Monday named a panel of three in Geneva to determine whether human rights violations were committed in the conflict between Israel and Arab terrorists this summer.

The investigation by the UN Human Rights Council is to be led by a known critic of Israel, international Canadian legist William Schabas.

In the past, Schabas called for the indictment of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and former President Shimon Peres before the International Criminal Court at The Hague. He accused Israel of having committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 and January 2009, and praised the author of the infamous UNHRC Goldstone Report – former South African Judge Richard Goldstone, who himself had second thoughts about the conclusions his panel reached after the report was submitted.

Also participating in the three-member panel will be Doudou diene of Senegal, a past UN special investigator on racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia; and British-Lebanese attorney Amal Alamuddin, engaged to marry Hollywood actor George Clooney.

The three-member panel tasked with the probe is specifically assigned to find those responsible for “violations of international humanitarian law” in Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and Gaza.

Basically, a witch hunt.

The Foreign Ministry announced Israel does not plan to cooperate with the investigation, which it compared to a ‘kangaroo court.’

“When the decision about the creation of the committee was announced on July 23, the prime minister and foreign ministry announced the the human rights council had long ago become the Terrorists’ Rights Council, a kangaroo court in which the results of its ‘investigations’ are predetermined,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“If we need more evidence of this, the appointment of the chairman of the committee, whose opinions and positions on Israel are known to all, proves beyond any doubt that Israel cannot expect justice from this body, and that the committee’s report is already written. What has just been determined is who will sign it.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/unhrc-names-anti-israel-critic-to-probe-conflict-with-hamas/2014/08/11/

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