Sunday October 26, 2014
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26.10.2014
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Dr. Einat Wilf

Happy cat gets to guard the cream

There is no doubt George Clooney chose a smart woman to marry. The renowned actor's fiancee, Amal Alamuddin, a British lawyer of Lebanese-Druze descent who specializes in human rights law, rejected outright an invitation to partake in the United Nations Human Rights Council's investigative commission charged with examining possible human rights violations and war crimes allegations against Israel.

In doing so, Alamuddin contradicted an earlier statement by UNHRC Chairwoman Navi Pillay, who said Alamuddin agreed to join the investigative panel. With her decision, Alamuddin proved her fundamental understanding of what is already clear to anyone who wants to see the truth, which is that the commission was established for one purpose only: to provide international legitimacy and gravitas for that most ancient of hatreds.

It has been clear for years to anyone involved in these matters that there is no connection between the group with the Orwellian name -- "The United Nations Human Rights Council" -- and actual human rights. The council is unified around a singular purpose, and that is hatred of Israel. This is the council's normative state, and is even anchored in its foundational documents. Every few years the council enjoys the opportunity to mark this hatred by creating an "investigative commission," which is entirely dedicated to pouring oil on the flames of Israel hate.

In recent years, the council has stopped even trying to conceal its intentions toward Israel. In the past, when it created an investigative commission following Operation Cast Lead, the Jewish judge Richard Goldstone was appointed to head the panel. Goldstone's Jewishness was supposed to project that the council was not biased against Israel, and Goldstone himself declared his intention to investigate Hamas as well, even if such a task was not stipulated in the council's original mandate. However, after Goldstone distanced himself from the findings of the commission he himself had led, the UNHRC apparently decided it could no longer risk jeopardizing its goal, and has appointed an established Israel hater to chair the current commission, to ensure that Israel will indeed be found guilty of war crimes.

That chairman, Professor William Schabas, declared last year: "My favorite would be [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu within the dock of the International Criminal Court." Schabas has also called on the ICC to "go after" former President Shimon Peres, saying, Why are we going after the president of Sudan for Darfur and not the president of Israel for Gaza? In a 2009 blog post, Schabas urged the world not only to "ignore" then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejads racist statements, but to stop "exaggerating" them.

Based on this history, voices have already emerged calling for his removal as head of the commission, although it is perhaps preferable that the world know who is leading it, thereby making it impossible to argue that it is objective and balanced.

Considering Schabas' appointment, we can wonder why the commission was given until March 2015 to publish its findings. It is possible to speed matters up, spare the entire world the suspense, and announce today the commission's conclusion that Israel is a horrible state, which commits war crimes, genocide and any other atrocity found in the dictionary.

It is clear though that the objective is not the investigation or even the report, rather it is to give Schabas the stage he has been waiting for all this time to condemn Israel. It has been a long time since a cat has been this happy to be officially appointed to guard the cream.

Dr. Einat Wilf is a senior fellow with the Jewish People Policy Institute and a former member of the Knesset.

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