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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Fixed Inquiry: The Biased UN Commission Against Israel

On May 27, 2021, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution to “urgently establish an ongoing, independent, international commission of inquiry (CoI) to investigate, in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel, all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up and since 13 April 2021.”

Purportedly created in the wake of Israel’s self-defensive campaign against Palestinian Hamas terror group in May 2021, which fired approximately 4,500 rockets at Israeli civilians, the resolution establishing the commission of inquiry makes no mention of Hamas. Indeed, this Council is yet to ever condemn Hamas. Instead, the Council has established a new open-ended commission to effectively investigate “all underlying root causes” of the conflict, meaning in practice – an investigation against Israel in perpetuity, since the Jewish state’s inception in May 1948, and prior.

In essence, this commission of inquiry is unprecedented in scope and brazen in anti-Israel bias, where the Jewish state’s guilt has already been pre-determined before the ink on the mandate was even dry. Like every commission, resolution and factfinding mission against Israel that preceded it, it only further underscores this Council’s systematic and pathological obsession, bias and demonization of the State of Israel, hijacking international law and repeatedly denying Israel equal treatment, as ought to be afforded to every Member State under the UN Charter.

This is the ninth such investigative commission established against Israel, nearly a third of all such bodies created by this Council, where Israel remains the only country with a stand-alone item on the Council’s agenda, is subject to continuous investigation by a permanent Special Rapporteur and has been condemned almost more times than all the other countries of the world combined.

Instead of holding to account the world’s most egregious human rights abusers, the Council continues its relentless obsession with singling out Israel for opprobrium and double standards. Indeed, some of the Council’s current members include gross abusers like Russia, China and Venezuela while the budget establishing the commission of inquiry far exceeds that of any other commission of inquiry, including Syria, where an estimated 500,000 people have been killed and millions displaced.

Nowhere though is the systematic bias of the Council more evident, than in the make-up of those appointed to ostensibly judge Israel in an ‘independent and impartial’ manner.

On July 22, 2021, it was announced that former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem (Navi) Pillay (South Africa), who has a longstanding and fervent hostility against the State of Israel, would chair this commission of inquiry, along with Miloon Kothari (India) and Chris Sidoti (Australia).

Both Sidoti and Kothari also have well-documented biases against Israel. An examination of some of Pillay’s past remarks and actions only underscores her extreme bias and inability to act in a fair and impartial manner concerning Israel.

Pillay has previously:

  • Referred to Israel as an “apartheid regime” and has accused the Jewish state of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity.”
  • Openly supports the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and has called for called for military embargoes.
  • Has been one of the most ardent supporters of the Durban Conference, an event that has becomes synonymous with unhinged Jew hatred, antisemitism, Holocaust distortion and demonization of Israel. Thirty-eight democratic nations withdrew from the 20th anniversary of the Durban Conference at the United Nations, in September 2021.
  • Repeatedly adopted flagrant double standards when applying international law to Israel.
  • Met with organizations and individuals affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an internationally designated terror group, including a convicted PFLP terrorist.
  • Hired a senior staff member who was previously employed by Israel designated terror organization and PFLP-affiliated group Al-Haq.
  • As outlined in the report below, Pillay’s fellow commission of inquiry members, Miloon Kothari and Chris Sidoti, likewise have very problematic and biased histories concerning Israel, including having previously made various incendiary statement and charges against the Jewish state, while also showing support for Palestinian terror groups.

In summary, the appointment of these individuals is a complete and unequivocal betrayal of the UN Human Rights Council’s own rules and guidance on Commissions of Inquiry and Fact-Finding Missions, which clearly state that:

“Members should, in all cases, have a proven record of independence and impartiality. It is also important to ensure that the background of candidates, prior public statements or political or other affiliations do not affect their independence or impartiality, or create
perceptions of bias.”

Download a copy of ‘Fixed Inquiry: The Biased UN Commission Against Israel’

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