Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton Klein and ZOA Director of Special Projects Elizabeth Berney, Esq. released the following statement:
The anti-Israel United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sank to a new low when its extremely biased 3-person “Commission on Inquiry” published and widely publicized an absurd report that condemns and blames and defames Israel for morally defending her citizens against Hamas’s repeated invasion attempts in 2018. The UNHRC report gives Hamas an essentially free pass to continue hiding behind children and civilians, while the designated foreign terrorist group tries to invade Israel to carry out the Hamas Charter’s edict to murder every Jew. By smearing Israel for defending herself, the UNHRC report will cause more bloodshed. The UNHRC report will encourage Hamas to keep cynically deploying its infamous “human shield” tactics and its murderous violence under the guise of “protest.”
The UNHRC report utterly ignores the facts and libelously claims that Israel shot “peaceful protestors,” when in fact, Hamas spent over $10 million orchestrating operations in which it bused 40,000 violent Gazan rioters to the border to invade Israel. It also provided compensation to the rioters. Hamas head Yahya Sinwar threatened to overrun every inch of Israel and told the rioters to murder innocent Jews and “eat the Israelis’ livers.” (See also “The World Goes for Israel’s Throat,” by Giulio Meotti, Israel Nat’l News, Apr. 3, 2018.) Hamas supplied machete-armed rioters with maps to Israeli kindergartens. Hamas coordinated and incited violent mass attempts to rush and breach the border fence, and used civilian cover to plant bombs. Hamas terrorists donned civilian cloths and shot and lobbed innumerable Molotov cocktails and other projectiles at Israel and those defending Israel’s border, including incendiary kites that burned thousands of acres of Israeli land, crops and livestock.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF)’s responded morally and admirably to Hamas’ massive attempted invasion; the IDF made every effort to specifically target terrorists and those about to breach the border, and to avoid harming the civilians whom Hamas pushed to the front lines. Israel issued multiple warnings to Palestinian-Arabs to not approach the border. At great risk to themselves, IDF soldiers rescued and returned to her family a 7-year-old Palestinian-Arab girl whom craven Hamas operatives had placed in the line of fire. Hamas and Islamic Jihad admitted that many of the casualties were their own operatives. (See, e.g., “ZOA Praises IDF for Stopping Hamas’s Violent Attempted Invasion of Israel,” Apr. 2, 2018; “ZOA Head in JPost: Arab Nazi-Like Hamas Responsible for Violence On Gaza Border,” Apr. 3, 2018; “ZOA to NY Daily News: Apologize for Sexist Cover Mocking Ivanka and Falsely Maligning Israel’s Defensive Actions,” May 16, 2018.)
Every death in Gaza was solely the fault of Hamas. Former commander of British forces in Afghanistan Richard Kemp, who was at the scene and directly observed the Hamas-orchestrated violence at the Gaza border, explained:
“The true and malevolent purpose of Hamas’s plan is to incite violence in such a way that the IDF has no choice but to respond with lethal force, killing Gaza civilians. . . I have heard many armchair experts arguing that Israel should have acted differently, but not one credibly explain how. Instead, the UN, EU and a range of human rights groups and media organizations have devoted their efforts to unjustly condemning Israel’s actions. If there was genuine concern for human life and human rights among these people, rather than a fixation on unfairly vilifying Israel, they would harshly condemn Hamas. Instead, their criticism of Israel plays directly into Hamas’s hands and validates the use of human shields and the strategy of forcing the killing their own civilians.” (“Expected Upsurge in Gaza Violence,” by Richard Kemp, Gatestone Institute, May 13, 2018.)
The UNHRC report is full of falsehoods, from start to finish. It relies on vastly inflated casualty figures from the so-called Gazan “Ministry of Health” – a Hamas propaganda outlet – and portrays Hamas operatives as civilians. It tries to absolve Hamas and downplay Gazan violence, by claiming that only “a minority of demonstrators slung and threw stones, burned tires and cut and removed barbed wire” and that the Commission “found no evidence to suggest that they were directed or coordinated by armed groups.” The Commission repeatedly refers to Gaza and Israel as “Occupied Palestinian Territory” – although every Jew left Gaza 14 years ago.
The report also calls Israel’s weapons blockade to stop Hamas from importing more rockets a “campaign of economic warfare.” The UNHRC report ignores the daily hundreds of Israeli truckloads that have brought supplies to Gaza; the multi-million dollar greenhouses that Israel left to Gaza to boost its economy; the Arabs’ destruction of those greenhouses; the fuel that Israel pumps into Gaza; the Arab terrorist attacks to destroy those pipelines; and Hamas’s corruption and destruction of Gaza’s economy by investing Gaza’s resources into rockets, terror tunnels and terror operations instead of civilian needs and infrastructure. Instead of properly acknowledging Hamas’ fault for destroying Gaza’s economy, the UNHRC report blames Israel for Gaza’s economic conditions, and then uses this to try to justify the Hamas-sponsored violent attempts to invade Israel.
The report’s wall-to-wall anti-Israel falsehoods were pre-ordained from the outset of the UNHRC Commission on Inquiry’s “investigation.” The absurd, one-sided authorizing resolution, UNHRC Resolution S-28/1, passed by the UNHRC’s cabal of anti-Israel human-rights-violating countries, called for the Commission to investigate “alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests that began on 30 March 2018.”
As Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said: “This report was born in sin, in a politically biased, one-sided resolution that determined the outcome before the investigation even started.” (See “‘This Report Was Born in Sin’: Israel Rejects UN Report Accusing IDF of Intentionally Shooting Children,” by Emily Jones, CBN, Feb. 28, 2019.)
Moreover, the 3 members of the UNHRC’s “Commission on Inquiry” lacked any semblance of objectivity towards Israel:
(1) Sara Hossain, a Bangladeshi Muslim, is a board member of anti-Zionist George Soros’s “Open Society Justice Initiative.” Notably, Open Society Foundations boasted in December about “Supporting the Next Generation of Palestinian Human Rights Advocates” to document (meaning invent) purported Israeli human rights abuses. Soros spends millions funding anti-Israel NGOs. Ms. Hossain is also on the international advisory council of the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice – which promotes on its website the efforts of the “Palestinian Women Coalition of UNSCR 1325” to persuade the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute Israel for “war crimes.”
(2) Kaari Betty Murungi, a Kenyan (who also seems to be Muslim), is or was also a board member of the same anti-Israel “Woman’s Initiative for Gender Justice.”
(3) Santiago Canton, an Argentinian, previously served as a political assistant to the virulently hostile-to-Israel former President Jimmy Carter. (See also “Ex-Aide to Jimmy Carter Named Head of UN Probe into Gaza Clashes,” by Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, Sept. 20, 2018.)
ZOA accordingly calls upon all decent people to thoroughly reject the ludicrous defamatory UNHRC report attacking the Jewish State with lie upon lie. Shameful.