UNHRC report on the 2014 conflict B’nai B’rith add its voice

June 26, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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B’nai B’rith International and The B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) have denounced the report issued by the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) “independent, international commission of inquiry” into Israel’s defensive operations against Hamas in Gaza during the summer of 2014.

Dan Mariaschin, Executive Vice President of B’nai B’rith International, and Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the ADC, issued the following statement:

Dvir Abramowich

Dvir Abramowich

On various fronts, this unfair  report is flawed, lacks credibility and should not be viewed as a serious and honest evaluation of the necessary counterterrorism actions of the Israel Defense Forces.  Indeed, it is telling that U.S administration has dismissed the report, stating that it shows “clear bias” against Israel, and that there is no need for the report be brought to the Security Council for a vote or used by the UN for other work.

The Human Rights Council’s lack of self-awareness is again on display with the release of this report. After years of attacking Israel while claiming impartiality, the council stacked the deck from the start by appointing Schabas as the head of the inquiry. The discovery of his ties to the PLO should have been a huge embarrassment to the council and effectively eliminated any shred of credibility it had on this subject. Yet, here we are, with a laundry list of biased allegations against the only true democracy in the Middle East instead of a singular indictment of Hamas, an organization which is endangering the lives of civilians on both sides of the border.

Though objectionable, many of the report’s findings hardly seem surprising.  Because of the council’s singular and obsessive focus on Israel, anything produced by it on related matters must be viewed with a high level of skepticism. When the probe was announced last year, any casual observer of the Human Rights Council could have predicted that Israel would be unjustly condemned for the conflict that Hamas initiated and sustained. Those predictions were confirmed today with the release of the report.   The inquiry places undeserved blame on Israel, notwithstanding Hamas’ role as the provocateur that launched indiscriminate rocket attacks putting most of Israel’s population within the range of fire, Palestinian terrorist organizations’ use of U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools to store rockets and the dozens of tunnels dug into Israeli territory for the sole purpose of carrying out terror attacks against Israeli civilian communities near the border. It is outrageous that this report draws a moral parallel between the state of Israel, which went to extraordinary lengths to minimise civilian casualties and protect innocents, and the terrorist group Hamas which used Gaza residents as human shields.

From the very beginning there were problems with this enquiry. Since the council resolution that established the commission of inquiry found Israel guilty in advance and could not bring itself to use the words “Hamas” or “Islamic Jihad” even once, it could not reasonably be expected that the commission would meaningfully investigate and report on the hostilities.”

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