New York Post, August 14, 2014
By Post Editorial Board
Once again, a UN panel has all but convicted Israel of human-rights abuses, this time in its recent conflict with Hamas. All the panel need do now is to launch a “probe” to support its finding.
Sound backward? Yep. Yet reaching a verdict before a probe even starts is par for the course for the UN Human Rights Council.
And it’s strong evidence that nothing has changed since the Obama folks ended a Bush-era policy of boycotting the group because of its blatant anti-Israel bias.
Closing its eyes to atrocities in Syria and Iraq, a council commission will probe abuses in Gaza and other “Palestinian territory.” Heading the team: Canadian law professor William Schabas.
Terrific. Schabas once demanded Israeli leaders Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres be tried for “war crimes.” Yet he won’t say if he considers Hamas a terrorist group.
“We need to start with a blank page” and investigate Hamas “in the most neutral and objective way possible,” he says.
Of course, don’t expect that standard for Israel. Remember the last time a UNHRC panel probed the Jewish state after a conflict with Hamas? Its report was so biased, even the panel’s own head, Richard Goldstone, later recanted key parts of it.
Wednesday, Israel’s UN ambassador, Ron Prosor, told Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that “one doesn’t need to be a fortune teller to predict” that any inquiry led by Schabas would be “a farce.”
And Prime Minister Netanyahu has understandably rejected Israeli cooperation with the panel, saying it should first “visit Damascus, Baghdad, Tripoli,” sites of real war crimes.
President Obama would be wise to send a message, too: America will no longer take part in anti-Israel HRC inquisitions.