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Earlier this week, a United Nation report faulted Israel for civilian casualties in Gaza during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge. But by looking closer at the report Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin finds that even the U.N. realizes that the blame falls on Hamas for hiding its weapons and conducting its terrorist attacks from schools and other civilian locations:
On Monday the United Nations issued a report about attacks on their facilities in Gaza during last summer’s fighting between Hamas and Israel. The report’s conclusion was widely reported as finding that the deaths of 44 civilians were the fault of the Israeli military. Strictly speaking that’s true, as there’s little doubt that the casualties at some of their facilities were killed or wounded by Israeli fire. But before the anti-Israel propaganda machine starts cranking up to denounce the Israelis as war criminals—as the Palestinians are preparing to do at the International Criminal Court—a close reading of a document that was prepared by a hostile UN reveals a far more nuanced picture of what happened in Gaza…
The story told in the UN report is not one of callous Israeli behavior. Rather, even this indictment shows that the Israel Defense Forces sought to avoid civilian casualties wherever possible and didn’t fire indiscriminately.
The problem for those wanting to use this document to bash Israel is that it confirms much of what the Israelis said about the use of UNRWA facilities, and specifically the schools designated as shelters. The report admits that several such schools were used for storing Hamas weaponry. Others were, as Israel insists, used as observation posts for Hamas military action. Many were the sites of firing of rockets at Israel and Israeli forces. While UNRWA sought to deflect blame for the use of their buildings for terrorism, even the UN report notes that their security measures to avoid this were inadequate and the agency needs to take the problem more seriously…
Even more to the point, the reason why Israelis were in Gaza—from…Read More » Comments (5) »
Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at 8:19 AM | Stand For Israel
The United Nations has made many audacious and biased claims against Israel. But now the U.N. has placed the Jewish state atop its list of nations that violate the rights of women. Fox News’ Anne Bayefsky writes about the U.N.’s ridiculous claims against Israel, especially in light of the lack of women’s rights elsewhere in the Middle East:
Guess who is the number one violator of women’s rights in the world today? Israel. Violating the rights of Palestinian women.
At least that is the view of the UN’s top women’s rights body, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). CSW ends its annual meeting on Friday, March 20 by condemning only one of the 193 UN member states for violating women’s rights – Israel.
Not Syria. Where government forces routinely employ rape and other sexual violence and torture against women as a tactic of war. Where in 2014 the Assad regime starved, tortured and killed at least 24,000 civilians, and three million people – mostly women and children – are refugees.
Not Saudi Arabia. Where women are physically punished if not wearing compulsory clothing, are almost entirely excluded from political life, cannot drive, cannot travel without a male relative, receive half the inheritance of their brothers, and where their testimony counts for half that of a man’s.Not Sudan. Where domestic violence is not prohibited. There is no minimum age for “consensual” sex. The legal age of marriage for girls is ten. 88% of women under 50 have undergone female genital mutilation. And women are denied equal rights in marriage, inheritance and divorce.
Not Iran. Where every woman who registered as a presidential candidate in the last election was disqualified. “Adultery” is punishable by death by stoning. Women who fight back against rapists and kill their attackers are executed. The constitution bars female judges. And women must obtain the consent of their husbands to work outside the home.
In fact, not only is there no possibility that the UN Commission on the Status of Women will criticize Iran, Iran…Read More » Comments (7) »
Friday, March 20th, 2015 at 3:01 PM | Stand For Israel
We have been witnessing ever greater violence worldwide – anti-Semitic attacks in Europe through 2015 so far, as well as anti-Christian attacks in the Middle East just this week. In response to these attacks on freedom and faith, Ron Prosor – Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations – had this to say to the U.N. General Assembly:
Seventy years ago, the roar of the guns fell quiet over Europe and the Second World War came to a close. Today as we mourn the human tragedy of this war, we must also recognize those who made victory possible and ensured that freedom triumphed over tyranny. We owe our freedom to the courage and sacrifices of the soldiers of the Allied armies.
I stand before you as a man who has seen and experienced war — as a soldier, a diplomat, and the father of children who themselves have been sent to war. I also speak to you today as the son of a man who fled Nazi Germany to escape the annihilation of his people …
Mr. President, today, we are here to confirm that the responsibility for preventing atrocities rests on our shoulders. Seventy years ago, with the ashes of World War II still smoldering, the victors of the war came together to establish the UN and ensure that “Never Again” will not be a hollow promise.
Today the values at the very heart of this institution are being threatened by extremist ideologies that target our way of life. From West Africa to the Middle East, extremists group have unleashed a plague of persecution believing that by silencing individuals, they can silence civilization.
The terrorists that stormed the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris attacked liberty – the right of every person to express him or herself. The terrorist that targeted Jews in Paris and Copenhagen attacked equality – the idea that every person, no matter his faith, is equal. By aiming their attacks at innocent civilians, the terrorists also attacked brotherhood – the bonds of our shared humanity.
Make…Read More » Comments (6) »
Friday, February 27th, 2015 at 9:03 AM | Stand for Israel
In today’s Daily Dispatch we report on the resignation of William Schabas, the anti-Israel head of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s commission to investigate last summer’s Gaza. While Schabas leaving is a positive, Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin writes that the investigation itself is still an affront to the Jewish state:
When the United Nations Human Rights Council announced its plan to convene a commission to investigate last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas, it didn’t even bother pretending to be fair to the Jewish state. The UNHRC spends most of its time ignoring all of the most egregious violations of human rights and atrocities around the world and, instead, concentrates almost all of its energies on demonizing Israel and its efforts to defend its citizens against terrorist attacks. The commission it impaneled reflected that same bias. At its head was William Schabas, a Canadian law professor who had already denounced Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as a war criminal and stated his belief that Hamas was not a terrorist group. Schabas bitterly resented the criticism that rained down on his head from those who considered the commission to be a kangaroo court. But rather than continue, he has now resigned, still insisting on his fitness to lead the effort. That is to be commended, but Israel ought not to be suckered into taking the UNHRC’s bait. Though it is possible that his successor might be a less egregious pick, Israel should stick to its decision not to cooperate with this travesty.
Israel was criticized for deciding not to play along with the UNHRC. It was asserted that by boycotting the panel, it was losing an opportunity to make its case to the world about its side of the story. The decision would, it was asserted, leave the field open for the Palestinians to paint the war as a tale of Jewish aggression against helpless Gaza civilians and completely ignoring the fact that Hamas not only used those people as human shields but also started the…Read More » Comments (10) »
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 at 8:35 AM | Stand for Israel
With attacks against Jews increasing throughout Europe – culminating in the recent Paris murders – something has to be done about the continent’s rampant Jewish hatred. Ron Prosor, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, has called on Europe’s leaders to stand against anti-Semitism:
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor called on European leaders on Thursday to take a stand against anti-Semitism.
The UN General Assembly held its first-ever meeting devoted to anti-Semitism in response to a global increase in violence against Jews – a meeting scheduled even before the recent attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris.
“Let the message echo from the halls of the UN to the streets of Europe to the capital of every nation – stand for human rights and human dignity by taking a stand against anti-Semitism,” Prosor said.
Prosor asserted that “The struggle against anti-Semitism must be a priority for every nation because the hatred that begins with the Jews never ends with the Jews. History has shown us time and again that when a nation’s Jews are not safe, the entire society is at risk.”
“Europe is being tested,” he said. “We don’t need any more monuments commemorating the Jews who were murdered in Europe, we need a strong and enduring commitment to the living Jews in Europe. If the governments of Europe succeed in defending their Jewish communities, then they will succeed in defending liberty and democracy.”
And vowed that “The days when Jews were the world’s victims are over. We will never again be helpless and we will never again remain silent. Today we have the State of Israel standing guard.
“We have seen the evil that man is capable of, and so we must be vigilant. We must spot the warning signs and act swiftly to condemn anti-Semitism. I call on every nation to stand tall beside us. Refuse to allow evil to take root. Refuse to be silent. And refuse to submit to indifference.”
Comments (13) »
Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 at 10:56 AM | Stand For Israel
The Palestinians submitted a draft to the United Nations Security Council today that calls for a 12-month deadline for a peace deal and set 2017 as the deadline for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In light of this resolution, Dr. Emmanuel Navon writes that Israel should submit its own U.N. draft demanding that the Palestinians drop their “right of return” and that the UNRWA be disbanded:
Rather than lobbying the United States to veto the PLO resolution, and rather than trying to convince France to drop its own supposedly more benign draft, Israel should submit its own resolution to the UNSC.
The Israeli resolution would demand a Palestinian renunciation of the so-called “right of return” and a UN commitment to dismantle the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) within two years. This way, UNSC members would have to vote on two resolutions: one that demands an unconditional and total Israeli withdrawal (the PLO proposal), and one that demands an unconditional and total end to the cynical perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee problem (the Israeli proposal). UNSC members that claim to support the two-state solution will then have to explain why they are willing to impose one ingredient of that solution (i.e. ending Israel’s partial control of the West Bank) but not the other (i.e. ending the Palestinian claim, clearly incompatible with the two-state solution, that six million Arab “refugees” should be granted the option of becoming residents and citizens of Israel).
The PLO’s refusal to end all claims against Israel (including the claim that the descendants of the 1948 refugees should have a “right of return” to Israel) is the reason Yasser Arafat rejected the December 2000 Clinton proposal (which would have granted the Palestinian state 96% of the West Bank) and the reason Abbas rejected the September 2008 Olmert proposal (which would have granted the Palestinian state 99% of the West Bank, after land swaps). Abbas admittedly has said that he does not intend…Read More » Comments (7) »
Thursday, December 18th, 2014 at 8:45 AM | Stand For Israel
Last week, Stand for Israel looked at the (sadly) unsurprising links between Hamas and the United Nations’ UNRWA agency. Now former U.S. national security adviser Elliott Abrams looks at the United States’ responsibility to investigate and fix these ties between the U.N. and the Gaza-based terror organization:
This month the Department of State published its “Framework for Cooperation Between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the Government of the United States of America for 2015″ …
The Framework might as well be legally binding, for all the reforms it demands of UNRWA.
What reforms might one seek?
Think about the discoveries of last summer, during the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas. July 17: 20 rockets found in a vacant UNRWA school. July 22: more rockets found in another UNRWA school. July 30: rockets found in an UNRWA school for the third time. Nor was that all. In the first case, it seems that Hamas was called upon to remove the rockets, which suggested that UNRWA was turning them back over to Hamas rather than seizing them or asking the UN for help. In the 2012 employee union elections, 25 of 27 seats apparently went to Hamas supporters. (This may make it slightly less mysterious why Hamas can hide rockets at UNRWA locations. And here is a more recent report of support for terrorism by UNRWA staff.) Finally, there was this moment during last summer’s war: “Three IDF soldiers were killed on Wednesday in Gaza in an explosion at a booby-trapped UNRWA health clinic that housed the opening of a tunnel….”
Here are some ideas for those regular bilateral consultations in 2015: No more business as usual. Thorough, independent investigations of each rocket incident. An investigation of the health clinic incident. An investigation of the influence of Hamas on UNRWA staff, and through that staff and its union on UNRWA schools and…Read More » Comments (5) »
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 at 8:34 AM | Stand For Israel