Bias against Israel is the most glaring problem with the new Gaza inquiry that the United Nations Human Rights Council launched last month. The council has appointed as its chief investigator a Canadian lawyer, William Schabas, who has said in recent years that he’d like to see Israel’s prime minister and president hauled before the International Criminal Court. The resolution authorizing his inquiry is crammed with vilifications of Israel, but it makes not a single mention of Hamas, the terrorist group that rules Gaza and that is dedicated in its charter to obliterating Israel and killing Jews. And in the current Gaza conflict that the U.N. purports to investigate, Hamas plays no minor role: It is against the thousands of rockets fired by Hamas and the many miles of attack tunnels — conduits for Hamas death squads — that Israel, in Operation Protective Edge, has been defending itself.
This U.N. inquiry is not a problem just for Israel, however. With its unabashed prejudice, it is an assault on all those who stand up for genuine human rights, anywhere, around the globe. Ultimately, it is an attack on the foundations of a civilized world order.
If that sounds extreme, please consider. The outfit behind this inquiry is not some private club of freelance bigots. It is the Human Rights Council, officially the top human-rights body of the world’s leading international institution, the United Nations.
For its erstwhile role as a guardian of international peace, freedom, and human dignity, the U.N. is entrusted with special powers, privileges, and immunities, as well as billions every year in U.S. tax dollars. As part of the U.N. franchise, its officials enjoy access to a world stage, on which they appear as voices of authority, under the U.N. flag. It is of no small consequence when the U.N. system is exploited and abused in service of a diplomatic lynch mob.
This new Gaza inquiry, which is to provide a written report to the council next March, comes as a sequel to the U.N.’s 2009 “independent international fact-finding mission,” better known as the Goldstone Report, named for its lead investigator, South African jurist Richard Goldstone. That report savaged Israel over its 2008–09 conflict with Hamas. Two years later, Goldstone published an op-ed in the Washington Post, partially recanting — too little, too late — his committee’s findings against Israel. In his semi-apologia, Goldstone described the U.N. Human Rights Council as a body “whose history of bias against Israel cannot be doubted.”