Saturday, February 7, 2015

Scandal Rocks the U.N.

A report on human-rights violations has been compromised not once but twice. - Anne Bayefsky/National Review

Four days ago, on February 2, the head of a U.N. commission of inquiry created to investigate war crimes in Gaza was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had taken money from the PLO for providing legal advice. William Schabas’s U.N. job was to expose war criminals and recommend how to hold them “accountable.” William Schabas’s PLO job was to show them how to use the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hold Israeli war criminals accountable. He didn’t think there was a problem.

His conflict of interest did not surface, however, until after the inquiry he was heading had “largely completed” its evidence-gathering, and the writing of the requisite report had begun, according to Schabas himself. But instead of taking the only legitimate route and setting aside the whole tainted exercise, the president of the U.N. Human Rights Council, Joachim Rücker of Germany, claimed he was “preserving the integrity” of the inquiry simply by accepting Schabas’s resignation....

Hence, the Schabas inquiry’s mandate was to examine human-rights violations “in the occupied Palestinian territory,” not “in Israel.” The date cited for the beginning of the inquiry was June 13, 2014, because Palestinian terrorists had kidnapped (and later murdered) three Israeli teenagers the day before — and Israeli aggression was a given of the investigation. The mandate never mentioned “Hamas” or its terror tunnels, almost half of which opened into Israel.

With the terms of the “inquiry” set to ensure the desired outcome, Schabas and two others became the council’s tools. They were selected by President Rücker “in consultation” with the Palestinians in the belief that they could be counted upon to deliver a guilty verdict.