Friday, July 25, 2014

The UN’s Propaganda War Against Israel

Joseph Klein

As usual, the United Nations has the Palestinians’ back while repeatedly stabbing Israel in the back. Hamas not only uses civilian human shields in Gaza to protect its operatives and weapons. It hides behind the diplomatic propaganda shield that the UN too willingly provides.
Most notably, the United Nations kangaroo court, known officially as the Human Rights Council, has decided to launch its own investigation into Israel’s actions in Gaza. In its one-sided resolution, adopted in Geneva on July 23rd by a vote of 29 states in favor, 1 against and 17 abstentions, the Human Rights Council “condemned in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 13 June 2014.”
The Human Rights Council also “demanded that Israel immediately and fully end its illegal closure of the occupied Gaza Strip.”
Never mind that Gaza, which is under Hamas’s control, has not been occupied by Israel since 2005. And never mind that the closures of border crossings have been necessitated by Hamas’s aggressive attacks launched against Israeli civilians. Truth is never a consideration when the UN Human Rights Council and other UN bodies get involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In its perversion of truth, the UN human rights body provided Sudan, whose government has the blood of hundreds of thousands of civilians from decades of documented genocide and ethnic cleansing on its hands, with a platform to accuse Israel of maintaining a “policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide.” Iran, whose ruling thugs regularly imprison, torture and execute political dissidents, got a platform to claim that Israel was engaged in “massacres and crimes against humanity.” On the same day that Iran’s representative was fulminating against Israel in Geneva, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that “Israel’s annihilation is the only real cure.”  Is it any wonder that Israelis are very concerned that Iran is getting closer and closer to achieving its nuclear arms ambitions while Iran buys more time in phony negotiations that have just been extended?
The United States was the only Human Rights Council member to vote against the travesty of a human rights resolution passed by the UN’s three-ring circus. Russia, the enabler of the pro-Russian separatists who blew the Malaysian civilian passenger plane out of the sky with 298 innocent civilians on board, was among those countries that voted for the resolution. The dhimmi European member states abstained in fear of violent reactions from their own Muslim populations if they opposed the anti-Israel resolution.
The Human Rights Council acted against Israel, following an outrageous statement on the Gaza fighting by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. She equated Israel’s defense of its citizens from rocket attacks deliberately aimed at Israeli population centers with Hamas’s launching of those rockets and using Palestinian civilians’ homes, schools, hospitals and mosques as hiding places for Hamas’s deadly weapons and operatives. She cavalierly dismissed Israel’s unprecedented attempts to warn civilians to get out of harm’s way before Israel took any military action against those sites. She said that the warnings were insufficient. One wonders whether she would like unarmed Israelis to politely knock at the front door of a house concealing caches of weapons with a warrant to search the place.
“Civilian homes are not legitimate targets unless they are being used for, or contribute to, military purposes at the time in question,” Pillay stated, which is precisely how the Gaza homes and other facilities that Israel goes after are being used. However, she brazenly accused Israel of overreacting in confronting the situation that Hamas has created by using Palestinian civilians as human shields. She demanded proof beyond any doubt that the Gaza facilities are being used for military purposes before any force can be used against them. Even then the response by Israel must be “proportionate,” whatever that means, in the situation that Israel finds itself.  In the case of Israel’s response and the ensuing civilian casualties, Pillay claimed that “there seems to be a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.”
At best, Pillay is uninformed. Far more likely, she is simply reflecting the UN’s ingrained institutional bias against Israel which she shares. Indeed, she need look no further for proof of what Hamas is up to than the UN’s own schools which its runs in Gaza. At least two such schools have been identified so far as hiding places for Hamas rockets. The first batch of rockets was handed over to what the UN has described as the “local authorities” – i.e., Hamas, which is the governing authority in Gaza. After the discovery of rockets in the second school, they have supposedly gone missing. That’s because they were left overnight unguarded for all intents and purposes by the UN agency in charge (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency). Pillay conveniently left this bit of conclusive proof of Hamas’s civilian exploitation strategy out of her statement, although UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon did issue a statement of his own on July 23rd expressing “his outrage and regret at the placing of weapons in a UN-administered school.”
Pillay not only ignores the facts in her zeal to condemn Israel. She ignores the relevant law as well. Under international law, the civilian population may not be made the object of attack. Acts of violence intended primarily to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited. That is precisely what Hamas, not Israel, has done and proudly brags about. Moreover, under international law, civilians may not be used to conceal military positions, or to serve as shields against an attack or military response. Again, that is precisely what Hamas, not Israel, has done. When a traditionally civilian object (such as a civilian house) is occupied and used by combatants, it becomes a legitimate military target under international law so long as precautionary measures are taken to minimize civilian casualties, such as the advance warnings to occupants that Israel has provided.
In terms of the number of civilian casualties in Gaza, the UN’s figures of approximately 600 killed and 3500 injured cannot be taken simply at face value. The loss or maiming of even one innocent civilian life, particularly a child, is tragic to be sure. But even the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which compiles the data, has stated that its figures are preliminary and subject to further verification. What’s more, OCHA has admitted that its data on the number of civilian injuries “is provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.” The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza is run by Hamas’s very own Mufiz al-Makhalalati. OCHA could not have chosen to rely on a more biased source which uses numbers and images of alleged civilian casualties as propaganda fodder.
For his part, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been visiting the Middle East region this past week in an effort to broker an immediate ceasefire. The ceasefire proposed by Egypt more than a week ago could have already been in place, saving many lives, but it was Hamas and Hamas alone that rejected it. Hamas’s leadership continues to rebuff ceasefire proposals. It is only willing to consider brief “humanitarian pauses,” which Hamas has broken before and uses simply to regroup.
The Secretary General compromised his ability to serve as a neutral mediator when he accepted a Qatari-chartered plane for his air transportation to the Middle East region. He started his trip in Qatar.
Qatar and Hamas are joined at the hip. Some of Hamas’s political figures, including Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal, have been living in the lap of luxury in Qatar. Qatar is Hamas’s main funder. In 2012, the emir of Qatar became the first head of state to visit the Gaza Strip since Hamas assumed full control of Gaza in 2007, pledging hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for Hamas’s Gaza. The emir used the occasion to lash out at Israel’s “Judaization in the occupied West Bank and especially in Jerusalem.”
Last June, Qatar attempted to transfer money to cover the monthly salaries of the civil servants of the Hamas-run government in Gaza that preceded the so-called “unity” government. The Arab Bank rejected the transfer under U.S. pressure.
Hamas and Qatar operate from the same jihadist playbook. Thus, it was no surprise that Qatar’s own version of a ceasefire proposal adopted virtually all of Hamas’s demands, including release of its operatives detained by Israel and the unconditional opening of all border crossings by Israel and Egypt.
Ban Ki-moon’s statements that Israel has the right to defend itself and his condemnations of Hamas rocket firings targeted at Israeli civilians ring hollow when he begins his mediation trip in the Hamas jihad-sponsoring country that has funded his journey there.
Since in 1977, the United Nations has sponsored the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29th, the date in 1947 when the UN General Assembly approved its partition resolution. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called November 29th a “day of mourning and a day of grief.”   The event takes place every year at UN headquarters in New York and at the UN offices at Geneva and Vienna and elsewhere. If that were not enough, on November 26, 2013, the General Assembly decided to proclaim 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
In other words, every November 29th, the United Nations publicly mourns the passage of its own original two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli dispute that could have resulted in an independent Palestinian state more than six decades ago. Israel accepted it. The Palestinian leadership and neighboring Arab countries rejected it. Instead, they sought but failed to make Israel a still-born state. Time and again since, Israel has offered land for peace. Time and again, the Palestinians have refused unless all of their demands are met – including their preposterous assertion of the right to return millions of so-called Palestinian refugees to live and effectively take over pre-1967 Israel. When Israel unilaterally pulled all of its forces and settlers out of Gaza in 2005 and left behind greenhouses and other facilities that the Palestinians could have used to begin building independent state infrastructure and a prospering economy, the answer was Hamas’s reign of terror. Hamas decided instead to use valuable resources and time to build a military infrastructure from which to launch unremitting attacks against Israeli civilians.
Even during the current Gaza conflict, Israel ceased its fire in response to Egypt’s ceasefire proposal. Hamas kept firing its rockets. And while Hamas has used a hospital to serve as a hiding place for its weapons and as a command center, Israel has built a real field hospital in Gaza to care mainly for injured Palestinian women, children and the elderly.
Hamas’s response to offers of cessation of hostilities is more hostilities directed at civilians and further crimes against humanity. Yet, in its perversion of the truth, the United Nations shamelessly sides with the jihadists against the rule of law and civilized behavior.

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