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Recently resigned UNHRC war crimes panel head William Schabas - Not a good Schabas

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.

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“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
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NGO Monitor provides information and analysis, promotes accountability, and supports discussion on the reports and activities of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) claiming to advance human rights and humanitarian agendas.

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