“This commission makes a complete mockery of international law and is tantamount to an all-out assault against the Jewish state.”
By Mike Wagenheim, JNS.org
A coalition of 25 pro-Israel organizations from around the world has signed on to an International Legal Forum (ILF) report castigating the UN Commission of Inquiry against Israel as “singularly unprecedented, unjust and completely lacking in impartiality or any legal basis.”
Israel faces a first-time-ever, open-ended UN commission of inquiry created by the UN Human Rights Council. The UN General Assembly voted late last year to give the commission a budget of $4.5 million a year, allowing it to hire some 18 full-time staff members—almost the same number as the human-rights office branch of the United Nations covering all of Asia and 60 percent of the world’s population.
The original basis of the inquiry was the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip last May, when the terror group launched more than 4,000 rockets towards Israeli population centers.
The inquiry, however, calls for submissions of evidence of any crimes ever allegedly committed at any point in the past—back to the “root causes” of the conflict or even in the future—as the inquiry’s mandate knows no end, provisions unique to this particular commission.
ILF chair and CEO Arsen Ostrovsky says “this commission makes a complete mockery of international law and is tantamount to an all-out assault against the Jewish state. It only underscores the UNHRC’s persistent, systematic and relentless bias against the State of Israel, which is consistently denied equality before the UN body and pronounced guilty from the outset. When it comes to the UNHRC, Israel does not even stand a chance.”
‘Another UN Entity Based on Foul Play’
The ILF-led report takes particular aim at Navi Pillay, a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and chair of the Commission of Inquiry, whose appointment is contrary to the UNHRC’s own guidelines calling for a history of independence and impartiality in its Commission of Inquiry selections.
The report contends that “any examination of Pillay’s past remarks on Israel makes it clear that she is unable to act in a fair and impartial manner.”
It notes that Pillay has “referred to Israel as an “apartheid regime” and accused the Jewish state of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity”; openly supported the anti-Israel BDS movement; been one of the most ardent champions of the antisemitic Durban Conference; repeatedly adopted flagrant double standards when applying international law to Israel, while whitewashing Palestinian terror; and has ties to organizations and individuals affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an internationally designated Palestinian terror group.”
In the preface to the ILF report, Israel’s former UN ambassador Dore Gold wrote, “With the appointment of Navi Pillay to head this ‘Commission of Inquiry’ against Israel, it “would become yet another [UN] entity based on foul play and not on strict international legality with some modicum of fairness.”
The report’s signatories join other pro-Israel organizations battling the inquiry, including a group submitting a trove of evidence of Palestinian terrorism in an attempt to balance the commission’s pre-conceived narrative.
The commission’s first report is due next month and is likely to be forwarded to the UN General Assembly for recommendations of legal action against Israel in international courts.