Last April the President of the Human Rights Council set up the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict with a mandate “to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza during the period from 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, whether before, during or after.”
The result was assured before the fact-finders sat down for their first session. The goal was to discover “war crimes” committed by the IDF during last winter’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and the Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict: Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories, a.k.a. the Goldstone Report (pdf), did exactly that.
For instance, here’s a paragraph (#1733, page 538) chosen at random:
The Mission further considers that the series of acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights to access a court of law and an effective remedy, could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed.
In other words, Israel’s response to violent rocket attacks from Gaza had a negative impact on Palestinian daily life. In wartime, how could it be otherwise? Civilians in a war zone inevitably suffer privations. So, as far as the Mission and the UNHRC are concerned, the state of Israel cannot defend itself without violating the Palestinians’ human rights and committing crimes against humanity.
Not everyone agrees with this travesty. Here’s what Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, had to say in his testimony before the UNHRC:
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Go over to UN Watch to read a full transcript.
Hat tip: Vlad Tepes.