Israel's Decision not to Cooperate with the UNHRC Investigative Committee

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)


13 November 2014



Given that the Schabas committee is not a commission of inquiry but rather a committee of foregone conclusions pretending to conduct an investigation before publishing its conclusions and following consultations among the relevant people, the government has decided Israel will not cooperate with the committee established by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the conflict between Hamas and Israel (summer 2014). This decision was made taking into account the council’s obsessive hostility towards Israel, the committee’s one-sided mandate and the publicly expressed anti-Israel positions of the committee’s chair.


While Hamas launched thousands of rockets at Israel, the Human Rights Council decided in advance that Israel was guilty and established a committee to act as a rubber stamp for its known positions. This is evident in the fact that the committee was instructed to investigate only the events occurring after the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas terrorists. Further evidence of bias can be seen in the appointment of Prof. William Schabas – who is known for his anti-Israel views – to head the committee.


Some examples of Schabas’ anti-Israel statements:


7 January 2013: “My favorite would be Netanyahu within the dock of the International Criminal Court” (in connection with Operation Cast Lead in 2009, when Netanyahu was head of the opposition).


In 26 December 2010 he wrote: Netanyahu is “the single individual most likely to threaten the survival of Israel.” 


Again in connection with Operation Cast Lead, Schabas said, “Why are we prosecuting the president of Sudan for Darfur at the International Criminal Court, and not President Peres for Gaza?”


Schabas has also defended past president of Iran, Ahmadinejad, and claimed that his repeated calls “to wipe Israel off the map” were not calls to genocide, but merely “political opinions”.


In media interviews, Schabas refuses to call Hamas a terror organization, although it is defined as such in the United States, the European Union, Britain, Canada, and numerous other countries.


The Council’s obsessive treatment of Israel since its establishment, revealed in its disproportionate focus on Israel and its unjust accusations against it, the unreasonable mandate [of the committee] and appointment [of its chair] prove once again that the Human Rights Council has betrayed its original purpose – instead of investigating war crimes perpetrated by terror organizations such as Hamas, the Council has again chosen to focus blame on Israel while granting legitimacy to terrorism.


Israel is committed to international law and in all of its actions during Operation Protective Edge adhered to the standards and rules incumbent upon states fighting terrorism. In contrast, Hamas deliberately committed heinous war crimes.


Israel has already set in motion investigations into the events of Operation Protective Edge in accordance with the highest international standards.


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