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February 28, 2019 5:04 pm

UN Human Rights Council Derided as ‘Dangerous Joke’ After Issuing Anti-Israel Report on Gaza Border Violence

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Palestinians riot on the Israel-Gaza Strip border, August 3, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa.

A number of prominent Jewish groups disputed on Thursday a UN panel’s finding that Israel may have committed war crimes in its handling of Hamas-orchestrated riots on its southern border with the Gaza Strip last year.

“We strongly reject the latest anti-Israel report released by the United Nations Human Rights Council investigating Israel’s response to the weeks long violent attacks on its border organized and led by the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza,” Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Arthur Stark and Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a statement. “In its unceasing quest to vilify Israel, the so-called Human Rights Council’s politically motivated and inherently hostile agenda against Israel has once again driven it to new depths of hypocrisy and bias with marked indifference to the lethal exploitation of the people of Gaza by Hamas.”

“No nation in the world, including Israel, can or should stand by and allow an armed invasion of its territory,” Stark and Hoenlein added. “Every nation, including Israel, would and must act to defend its sovereign borders and its population against armed aggression, but not every nation would adhere to rules of engagement and processes of command and control to ensure that norms of international humanitarian law are followed, as Israel does. Today’s report brings shame on the Human Rights Council. In denying Israel’s right to defend its citizens, the UN Human Rights Council becomes a partner in Hamas’s terror.”

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder stated, “The independent commission of inquiry charged with evaluating the violence that erupted last year during the so-called March of Return on the Gaza border, and determining responsibility for these crimes, has produced an outrageous report that is both recklessly one-sided and a categorical misrepresentation of the sequence of events that took place and the sheer reality on the ground.”

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“The report is teeming with incorrect facts and blatantly biased accusations against Israel, and exoneration of Hamas, culminating with an absurd recommendation that Israeli individuals be referred to the The Hague based on absolutely refutable evidence,” Lauder went on to say. “We urge the members of the UNHRC to denounce this report as invalid, based on disputable facts and evidence. They should instead turn their attention to the terrorist practices of Hamas, which is the real destabilizing force in the region and which seriously violates the human rights of Palestinians and Israelis alike.”

B’nai B’rith International President Charles Kaufman and CEO Daniel Mariaschin stated, “The United Nations Human Rights Council is hewing to its anti-Israel track record with its new ‘Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.’ This latest anti-Israel UN ‘probe’ — whose biased outlook was set in advance — disregards Hamas terrorism while defaming Israel with the outrageous lie that Israel targeted ‘people with disabilities.’”

“The report looks at the Hamas-organized riots held along Gaza’s boundary with Israel between March 30 and Dec. 31 of 2018,” they continued. “During these events, Hamas terrorists rushed the border fence separating Gaza from Israel in an effort to infiltrate Israel, targeted Israeli soldiers with explosives and sniper attacks, set on fire thousands of tires causing environmental devastation across the region and launched explosive kites and balloons into Israel, which destroyed Israeli citizens’ property and incessantly threatened civilian lives.”

“Violent aggressors are not ‘protesters’ and marauding young men are not innocent ‘children,’” Kaufman and Mariaschin noted. “Hamas jihadists, openly committed to Israel’s destruction, own the blame for persistently forcing Israelis and Palestinians into harm’s way.”

The American Jewish Committee tweeted, “Yet another UNHRC report absolves Hamas of its responsibility for violence and denies Israel its right to defend itself. This Orwellian-named forum, which dedicates more time to Israel than to any other country on the planet, is a dangerous joke.”

The report was also slammed by Israeli officials, including the Jewish state’s UN envoy, Danny Danon, who said, “The countries of the world should consider their membership in the Human Rights Council, which supports a murderous terrorist organization. This is council is blinded by hatred of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces, and wastes its resources and time in political attacks and spreading lies. The report ignores the only truth: that IDF soldiers acted morally to protect Israeli citizens while Hamas sent children to the fence and used them as human shields.”

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