The UNHRC’s attempt to condemn Israel


Among the top fifty dumbest statements ever reported from the United Nations (UN), comes a statement from the High Commissioner for the UN’s Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), Navi Pillay, about the general sense of unfairness that Israel has displayed by not sharing its Iron Dome ballistic missile defense shield with the terrorist group Hamas.  Ms. Pillay further stated that this refusal to share technology with the terrorist group, governing Gaza, Hamas –that seeks the annihilation of Israel— may constitute a war crime on the part of Israel.

Washington Post

Washington Post

Anytime a high official seeks to condemn one side of a conflict, they usually qualify their remarks with something like, “Israel has a right to defend itself, but … ” and everything they say after the ‘but’ nullifies everything they said before it.  It’s the nuanced view of the world that suggests there are no good guys, and there are no terrorists, or that terrorists have children too, or that we should not label groups of people.  The idea behind this, other than the presumed attempt to present condemnation in a high-minded manner, is that if we view a conflict objectively it may resolve itself in an objective manner.

Ms. Pillay said as much in a reply to a July 25, 2014 letter from over 100 U.S. lawmakers that criticized Ms. Pillay’s UNHRC’s one-sided investigation of war crimes in the War in Gaza.  In this reply, Ms. Pillay stated:

Israel does indeed have a right to defend itself against the indiscriminate firing of rockets, but the actions of Hamas and other armed groups do not absolve Israel of its need to respect its obligations under international law.”

The July 25, 2014, letter from U.S. lawmakers states:

The UNHRC simply cannot be taken seriously as a human rights organization when it establishes a commission of inquiry to unjustly probe alleged war crimes and violations of international law by the nation defending its citizens from rocket attacks and terror tunnels, rather than the terrorist group whose depravity makes a policy of using its citizens as human shields while its terror commanders flee to fortified bunkers.

These grave violations of international law cannot be ignored,” the letter concluded. “Any nation or multilateral body that values human rights must condemn the use of civilians as human shields. This is the effort the United Nations should be leading and you should be speaking out against.”{1}

The authors of a piece at Truthdig.com weed through these letters, and find in favor of Ms. Pillay and the UNHRC.  They claim that Mr. Pillay has a well-established history of impartial advocacy, and that:

The lawmakers (that signed the letter) criticizing Pillay for attempting to do her job represent a government entangled with the interests of multinational business, including and especially purveyors of Middle Eastern oil,” and that the, “The United Nations’ investigative committees on the other hand have no property or state power to lose or gain.”   

Attempting to view the alleged anti-Semitic and anti-American Ms. Pillay’s UNHRC’s one-sided condemnation in an objective manner, in conjunction with Truthdig.com’s praise, one would have to say that their goal is to presumably to see to it that the least amount of any civilian causalities occur in the conflict, but if that were true Ms. Pillay would not have gone on to “absolve” the governing authority of Gaza (i.e. the terrorist group Hamas) by saying that Hamas’ terrorist actions do not “absolve” Israel of theirs.

Just because Hamas fires rockets indiscriminately aimed at Israeli civilian population centers without provocation and fires them from within its own population centers does not “absolve” Israel from its own legal violations,” Pillay told reporters in July.  (My emphasis.)

To contradict the Truthdig.com characterization of Ms. Pillay, and the UNHRC, Breitbart author, Thomas Rose, writes:

Marking the end of her contentious, six-year term as chairman of the notoriously anti-Israel UNHRC, Pillay saved her harshest condemnations for what she termed Israeli “targeting” of UN-run schools and hospitals in Gaza.  She did not mention, nor was she reminded by any of the reporters present, that as of this writing, at least three UN-run schools in Gaza have been used as rocket warehouses, a gross violation of international law that clearly falls within the category of war crimes.  Neither did she mention, nor was she reminded, that in at least two of the three cases cited above, the terror rockets found on UN property in Gaza were returned to Hamas by the UN.” {1}

Viewing this war in Gaza, in a less objective manner, one could say that Hamas has displayed little regard for Palestinian civilians.  They may use the civilian count as a propaganda tool to feed into the proportionality narrative, but they wouldn’t use UN-run schools as rocket warehouses if they truly cared about Palestinian citizens.  If that is true –and it has been reported by a wide range of outlets— then it could be stated, without too much fear of refutation, that if Israel had displayed this sense of fairness Ms. Pillay calls for, and shared their Iron Dome ballistic missile defense shield technology, Hamas would not use it to attempt to spare as many lives of Palestinian civilians as possible, but to end the life of more Israeli citizens by testing the technology, locating its weaknesses, and exploiting them to victory.

Ms. Pillay also extended her condemnations to the U.S. for their refusal to share this technology with Hamas, “As the U.S. has provided significant funding for the project.”  This seems a more reasonable complaint from Ms. Pillay, under the guise of the U.S. ostensibly choosing sides, until one views the conflict in terms of the respective roles each country has played as aggressor and defender.

As a piece in the Guardian points out:

By funding, developing and deploying anti-missile shields, the United States claims that it is not just protecting its allies but also strengthening stability in the region and disincentivising the use of force.” {3}

The important thing to keep in mind throughout this discussion, specifically regarding the Iron Dome ballistic missile defense shield technology, is that it is a defense mechanism.  As such, the U.S.’s goal, in providing significant funding, development, and deployment of this defense mechanism, was to give Israel a greater sense of security, a move the U.S. made with the idea that it would lessen the need Israel felt to be more proactive in defense of her citizens.  Another goal was to presumably discourage the aggressors in the region from attacking Israel with the thought that they might be led to believe that most of their missile attacks could be easily thwarted.  The primary goal of the U.S. was, thus, to try and disincentivize conflict in the region to whatever degree possible.  (Some analysis shows that the Iron Dome ballistic missile defense shield technology has had a 90% rate of effectiveness in taking down missiles sent by Hamas.)  After witnessing the success rate of the Iron Dome ballistic missile defense shield technology in this War in Gaza, other countries have approached the U.S. for the defensive mechanism to provide the aggressors in their region similar disincentives.

If you have any objectivity at all, on this particular issue, then you probably don’t need anyone to explain to you how lacking in objectivity the condemnation Ms. Pillay made regarding the Iron Dome ballistic missile defense shield technology is, regardless which side of the fence you sit on.  The purpose of this missile defense shield is to try to prevent terrorists from killing more Israeli citizens.  Sharing this technology would not only deprive Israel of its advantage against terrorist attacks, but it would probably eventually render it ineffective if her opponents housed it in scientific labs and found a way to defeat it.

{1}http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/truthdigger_of_the_week_navi_pillay_20140809

{2} http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/07/31/UN-Condemns-Israel-s-Latest-War-Crime-Not-Sharing-Iron-Dome-with-Hamas

{3} http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/06/iron-dome-israel-gaza-defence-usa

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