Israel Uninterested in UN 'War Crimes' Sideshow

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 |  Ryan Jones

Israel, the United States and the European Union have all dismissed a UN commission of inquiry into possible war crimes committed during the Gaza war as little more than a sideshow with a foregone conclusion.

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Monday named a three-man panel to investigate allegations of Israeli war crimes during the Jewish state’s month-long battle against Gaza’s terrorist infrastructure.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the committee amounted to a “kangaroo court” whose findings were “predetermined.” This, the Israelis insisted, was made all the more clear when the UN decided to name Canadian Prof. William Schabas (pictured) to head the panel.

Schabas has previously called for the prosecution of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former President Shimon Peres for alleged war crimes, and asserted that past Israeli offenses against the Gaza terrorists (in 2009 and 2012) were more severe than any other crisis taking place in the world.

Naming Schabas to the panel “proves beyond any doubt that Israel cannot expect justice from such a body,” a Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement read.

The Obama Administration shared Israel’s assessment. “There’s a way to investigate things that’s not one-sided and biased, and there’s a way that we don’t support,” US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters in reference to the Schabas-led commission.

The European Union (EU) had already voiced its discontent weeks earlier when the UNHRC voted to establish the commission. The resolution ultimately accepted by the UNHRC was “unbalanced, inaccurate and prejudges the outcome of the investigation,” read an EU statement.

Also named to the panel was British human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, best known worldwide for being the fiancé of Hollywood actor George Clooney. Critics accused the UN of trying to score publicity points by choosing Alamuddin, who later declined the invitation, citing a heavy workload.

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