Report claiming Israel commits crimes against humanity is a mark of shame for UN

Opinion: Not much can be expected from a committee comprised of a BDS supporter and a blatant antisemite; How the report is received proves Israel is suffering a continuous diplomatic defeat

A report by the UN's Independent International Commission of Inquiry is a disgrace to the international community, a shame to the UN, and a blot on the UN Human Rights Council. It is no coincidence that the report was released on Wednesday, a holiday and day of rest in Israel.
This report, another in a series by the "The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel," established by the UN Human Rights Council, continues its biased narrative. It accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes and sexual violence and exclusively accuses Israel of crimes against humanity, including genocide and starvation.
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מועצת הביטחון של האו"ם
מועצת הביטחון של האו"ם
United Nations council
(Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
How biased, false, and absurd is this report? Sometimes, before addressing the content, it is essential to consider the authors. UN Watch conducted a thorough investigation and found that all three commission members have a history of anti-Israel statements. The chair, Navi Pillay from South Africa, signed a 2020 petition labeling Israel as an apartheid state and another calling for sanctions against "apartheid Israel." The second member, Christopher Sidoti from Australia, is associated with a BDS-supporting organization.
The third member, Miloon Kothari from India, is the most problematic. "We are very disheartened by social media, which is controlled largely by the Jewish lobby... a lot of money is being thrown around," Kothari said in a 2022 interview. Such statements are astonishing. He also expressed opposition to Israel's membership in the UN. A long list of Western countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Canada, the US, the Netherlands, Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Brazil, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, protested Kothari's antisemitic remarks.
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Israeli troops aiding Gaza residents, November 2023
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
The European Union and UN Secretary-General António Guterres also condemned the statements. However, these condemnations led to no changes. The dark majority prevails. This is the council, and this is the commission. It is akin to appointing three Ku Klux Klan supporters to draft a report on African Americans in the US. But this isn't about African Americans; it's about the Jewish state.
The report cites numerous statements from ministers and Knesset members to support claims about Israel's intentions to commit war crimes. Journalists are also quoted, including the somewhat dubious commentator, Eliyahu Yossian. Though Yossian has disappeared from respectable platforms after making such statements, the committee seems enamored with him. These same quotes appear in South Africa’s lawsuit against Israel at the International Court of Justice – a clear case of copy and paste.
There are also quotes from Hamas leaders in the report, but they are treated differently. Not a single quote from Hamas leaders about exterminating Jews or taking over the world is included. On the contrary, the report claims, "Hamas does not pose an existential threat to Israel or the Jews." Of course not. When deliberately ignoring everything Hamas says, it portrays the organization as merely resisting the blockade. The Israeli blockade is mentioned, but there is not a word about the offers Hamas received from the international community, including the Quartet (the UN, the EU, Russia, and the US), to remove the blockade. Hamas rejected all of them. But why present the full story when the goal from the outset is to ease the burden on Hamas and accuse Israel of crimes against humanity?
False moral equivalencies in un commission of inquiry
The report should not surprise anyone following the UN Human Rights Council, which decided in May 2021 to establish a permanent commission to investigate the situation in the territories. Twenty-four countries voted in favor, nine opposed, and fourteen abstained. No Western country supported the commission. Yet, these same Western countries fund most of the council's budget, despite its automatic majority of repressive states against Israel. Thus, the commission was established, composed entirely of Israel's adversaries.
With the report's release, it made headlines in nearly all media outlets and news agencies. However, as far as I could see, at least in leading media outlets, there was not a single word about the commission's biased composition and its predetermined conclusions. What can one expect from individuals who have long excelled in hostile and antisemitic positions against Israel? And how can it be that a committee member who is antisemitic by any standard, authors a report on Israel?
בן-דרור ימיניBen-Dror YeminiPhoto: Avigail Uzi
The New York Times wrote that Israel did not cooperate with the commission, deeming it improper, but failed to note the prejudiced backgrounds of the committee members. Kothari was presented merely as a "human rights expert."
It was always clear that Israel's battle was twofold – military and political. We are not faring well in the former, and we are losing in the latter. The report published, taken with utmost seriousness, is yet another testament to that fact.
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