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U.N. Gaza Inquiry Chairman: 'The International Criminal Court is sitting in the wings'

September 4th, 2014
01:50 PM ET

by Henry Hullah

The war between Israel and Hamas has left both sides accused of committing war crimes as Gaza lies shattered.

In less than two months a reported 17,000 homes were destroyed while tens of thousands have been left destitute and without a place to live.

On top of this, Israel is confiscating around 1,000 acres of Palestinian land near Bethlehem. Human rights expert Professor William Schabas is chairman of a U.N. inquiry in to the conflict.

He's received criticism in this role and the Commission of the Inquiry he is leading has been labelled a 'Kangaroo court' by the spokesperson for the Israeli foreign minister. Schabas seemed optimistic about the prospect of speaking with unenthusiastic officials.

"They can't prevent us doing an inquiry by refusing to give us access."

"I'm hopeful that we're going to convince Israel to cooperate with the inquiry. You know, five or six years ago, there was a controversial inquiry that was presided over by Richard Goldstone."

"He later said that if he had known things when the report was being prepared that he later learned, the report would have been different. I think that's a powerful lesson for Israel about the interest it has in actually coming forward and cooperating with the inquiry."

'There already has been some unpleasantness'

Previously, in the context of an attack on the Goldstone inquiry, Schabas didn't shy away from attacking the current Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stating that "If I had to choose an individual who would be the greatest threat to the survival of Israel, I'd probably choose Netanyahu."

But he told the program that this inquiry differs greatly to the one five years ago:

"The big difference this time, compared to what the inquiry that was done five years ago about Operation Cast Lead, is that the International Criminal Court is sitting in the wings. Palestine has not yet accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. But it seems it's making signals to indicate that that's very likely."

"And so the report that this commission will carry out may, depending on its conclusions, provide material that would then go to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court."

"That's a pretty big stick if we come to the conclusion that there were war crimes that may have been committed."

A renowned expert in international human rights law, Professor Schabas has been at the forefront of human rights issues around the world for years.

Many admire his work but, just as the U.N.'s Former Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay told the program recently, this role comes with a price.

"There may be some backlash; there already has been some unpleasantness. I'm prepared for it."

"It goes with the territory of being a human rights investigator that you're going to get people angry at you. And I'll have to live with that."


Filed under:  Gaza • Israel • Latest Episode • Palestinian territories
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Nyikadzino

    I realy love Amanpour ,hey Christiane deserves absolute respect. She is someone vibrant ! The way she asks her question reflect intelligence n all that brilliance!!!!!!!!!!! I SALUTE you dear!!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • Ben

      Instead of an investigation why didn't the UN stop the shooting of rockets at Israel. Why didn't the UN berate Hamas Palestinians group from even shooting during a cease fire. UN is a useless outfit. Shut up!

      September 5, 2014 at 9:42 am | Reply
  2. Kenneth Gelnick

    Prof. Schabas
    Will you also be investigating Hamas for having committed the crimes of genocide and attempted genocide? Hamas's charter calls for the killing of Jews because they are Jews (Articles 7, 13, 15, & 28). Article 2 of the Convention defines genocide in part genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; and chapter 3 defines the following acts as punishable: (a) Genocide; (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide; (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; (d) Attempt to commit genocide; (e) Complicity in genocide. It seems to me they clearly did that in all their encounters with Israel.

    September 4, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Reply
    • NYCView

      We presume - and expect - that any such investigation will be looking, intently, at the roster of crime issues Hamas has raised in their terrorist-fueled conduct, including utilizing their own men, women and children as human shields, and intentional action of diverting schools, churches and other civilian-populated locals as the munitions banks and launching pads for their relentless rocket fire into Israel.

      September 4, 2014 at 11:37 pm | Reply
    • Michael Smith

      Read the "Koenig Memorandum" before spouting off.

      September 5, 2014 at 12:19 am | Reply
      • Ron Bechky

        I'd not heard of the Koenig Report. So I researched a little. Seems authentic but its recommendations were rejected by all Israeli governments. You may want to believe that the KM represents the innermost thoughts of Israelis but that belief is unsupported by events.

        September 5, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
    • J

      Schabas is biased against Israel for years !! he is hypocrite and i'm not sure how he got this task.....

      September 5, 2014 at 5:52 am | Reply
    • shawn

      No, Hammas should not be charged for was crimes but corruption. It is a stupid organization who can't tell their head from a hole in the ground. 3000 innocent children and women have died and they claim that a victory. They should learn a few things from their Lebanese neighbors :)

      September 11, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Reply
      • Mart T

        Shawn, does your comment mean that Hamas has no responsibility in the death of 3000 Palestinians ?
        If this is the case, please rethink of exactly what happened there as for example: 1- Children and women kept by force as human shields 2- Children who built tunnels were killed by Hamas after the work was completed. 3- Firing of rockets from civilian areas and right among them 4- Leaflets distributed by the Israeli army for civilians to evacuate but these civilians were retained by force by Hamas 5- The children killed on the beach were killed by Hamas on purpose to condemn Israel ....etc I could go on and on
        So does your comment still mean that Hamas has no responsibility in the death of 3000 Palestinians ?

        October 18, 2014 at 7:21 am |
  3. RLTJ's

    Strike out the words Israel in there and put the word U.S. instead, if U.S. strikes ISIS in Syria. As for the result Gaza already shows them.

    September 4, 2014 at 11:08 pm | Reply
  4. RClark

    Prof Schabas has every reason to project confidence. Long ago he announced his hatred of Israel and started working on his "case" years ago. His findings will not surprise anyone, sadly due to his slanted views rather than any information he will actually collect. Like the UN itself and it's various committees and agencies, he's a friend of Hamas. UN personnel in Gaza so embrace Hamas that they kindly returned munitions that Hamas "hid" in a UN-sponsored school. Funny, no mention of almost two dozen summary executions conducted by Hamas in the wake of the conflict. The executioners dressed in black with black masks, just like their comrades in ISIS. "Kangaroo Court" is too kind of a term when referencing the UN-ICC anti-Israel lynch mob delighting in the prospect of their "investigation" results. Hitler smiles from the bowels of hell.

    September 4, 2014 at 11:20 pm | Reply
    • RLTJ's

      He is another enemy of Israel is what you are saying.

      Making friends can be hard. Sometimes they require self sacrifice.

      September 4, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Reply
    • RLTJ's

      Ok. killing a dog for its ticks is funny.

      September 4, 2014 at 11:30 pm | Reply
    • RLTJ's

      But would not it be right to pick the ticks you hate without killing the dog?

      September 4, 2014 at 11:32 pm | Reply
    • Nazareth

      I am afraid all you guys will have a hard time spinning the atrocities and murder of the innocent of the Christian and Muslim Palestinians. We know you can't help your hatred for the Palestinians but that doesn't excuse Israel from paying for war crimes.

      September 5, 2014 at 2:18 am | Reply
      • J

        Naz, has the word fact mean anything in your vocab ??

        HAMASS cowards hide their faces and cower behind their women and children.
        HAMASS teaches parents to strap suicide vests on teenagers and children.
        HAMASS TV shows how good children will sacrifice their lives to destroy evil Israel.
        HAMASS teaches parents not to leave their homes with their children when circulars fall from the sky telling them of an impending airstrike.
        HAMASS stores rockets and bombs in UN Schools and then quickly removes them before airstrikes.
        HAMASS wants screaming and dead Palestinian children to use as PUBLICITY so they can get idiots like you to believe they are the true victims.

        September 5, 2014 at 5:54 am |
      • diana

        there was never an attack on Christians. Muslims hate Jews and Christians.

        September 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
      • Thinker23

        The Plestinian leaders are those hating Palestinians the most. Aftr all, it's them who are responsible for the war that goes on for 66 years despite multiple peace offers rejected by Palestinian leadership. the simple truth is that one side can initiate and maintain a war but BOTH sides are necerrary to make peace. This means that as long as the Palestinian leaders are willing the war to continue it will continue. More settlements will be built and more Palestinians will be killed. When the numer of ded Palestinians will satisfy those still aliive they will FORCE their leaders to ask for peace.

        September 17, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
  5. RLTJ's

    I cannot imagine a Gaza not totally flattened and Hamas dead and finished.

    September 4, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Reply
    • TJ

      Gaza flattened? Are you as heartless as you sound? How can you support the destruction of a city that holds nearly2 million? People like you are the biggest obstacle to peace, I just hope you are never in a position to influence any kind of policy or have your voice heard by anyone who can, and just by your comments I am confident you are not. I also hope you don't have children to pass your hate onto, and if you do, that you have a spouse who is a better person than you to counter the perpetuation of your disgusting and hateful thoughts to the next generation. Sick you are my friend, sick, you should be ashamed.

      September 5, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Reply
      • diana

        N AND ET AL: Henry Hullah is Brittish , that alone disqualifies him as an OBSERVER of any kind. He has always been biased in the subject of Israel. As far as W. Schabas, who is a sad-self-righteous-pompous creature, I opine that Israel shouldn't cooperate with him and/or any of the kangaroo courts that are in use at the UN, UNRWA, International Criminal Court, etc. All the Human Rights org. are totally CORRUPT. The UN is USSELESS. The UN and all its ancillary organizations are totally corrupt. I resent very much that my tax payers money is used to maintain a useless bureaucracy full w/ petty minded agendas
        In 2005 Israel WITHDREW from Gaza living behind businesses, one of which was a very successful horticultural enterprise (look at the last interview Hillary Clinton gave to Jon Stewart – 3 to 4 minutes into the interview). The Gazans destroyed these enterprises saying that they didn't want anything from Israel. The shooting started and Gazans proceeded to vote Hamas in. If I am being shoot at, I expect my gov. to protect me. Israel has said, before the invasion several times "if you stop shooting will do so. The blockade started in 2007 in response to rocket fire on Israel.
        Do you expect a gov. not to protect its citizens? And don't forget that Egypt was and is also a partner in the blockade. GAZANS ARE THE RAT LAB FOR HAMAS, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, QATAR, and et al. Arab hatred towards Israel and the rest of the WESTERN world runs very DEEP. Some 800.000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries loosing life as well as property.
        Over 110 Million Blacks were killed by Islam.… a minumum of 28 Million African were enslaved in the Muslim Middle East. Since, at least, 80 percent of those captured by Muslim slave traders were calculated to have died before reaching the slave market, it is believed that the death toll from 1400 years of Arab and Muslim slave raids into Africa could have been as high as 112 Millions. When added to the number of those sold in the slave markets, the total number of African victims of the trans-Saharan and East African slave trade could be significantly higher than 140 Million people. – John Allembillah Azumah, author of The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa: A Quest for Inter-religious Dialogue. By the year 750, a hundred years after the conquest of Jerusalem, at least 50 percent of the world’s Christians found themselves under Muslim hegemony… Today there is no indigenous Christianity in the region [of Northwest Africa], no communities of Christians whose history can be traced to antiquity.– “Christianity Face to Face with Islam,” CERC. Don’t forget the 1.5 million Armenian Christians killed by the Turks during WWI. We do know that over five centuries, vast numbers of Christian boys were kidnapped to become Islamic Janissary mercenaries for the Turks. After Muslims came to power in the early 15th century, animist hill peoples eventually disappeared due to their enslavement and ‘incorporation’ into the Muslim population of Malaya, Sumatra, Borneo, and Java via raids, tribute and purchase, especially of children. Java was the largest exporter of slaves around 1500. –Islam Monitor. The coming of the Spanish saved the Philippines from Islam, except for the Southern tip where the population had been converted to Islam.– History of Jihad.org
        Algeria: 1961 Oran: Jewish heritage destroyed. 1962 : when non-Muslim being excluded from citizenship
        Bahrain 1948 : two days of demonstrations, looting homes and synagogues,
        Beatings and murders
        Egypt : 1945 Cairo Pogrom; 1948: bombs, jews arrested, properties confiscated. 1950 withdrawl of Egyptian nationality.
        1951 Protocols translated into Arabic; 1952 pogroms; 1956 (Suez) 1000 arrested and 500 bus. Confiscated and expelled.
        Iraq: 1941: Farhud riots; aprrox 120.000 were expelled.
        Lebanon: Jews emigrated, were not expelled.
        Libya: 1945 Tripoli pogroms. 5 Synagogues destroyed in Tripoli and 4 in province.1951 withdrawl of right to vote.
        1967 Pogrom, confiscation of property.
        Morocco: 1948 anti-Jewish riots in Oujda and Djerda. 1954, 55, and 56 emigration.
        Syria: 1947 Aleppo burning of Jewsih quarters. 1948 Damascus pogrom
        Tunisia: 1956 anti-Jewish policies. Last 2002 Ghriba Synagogue bombing.
        Djibouti 1947 riots . (Operation Magic Carpet from Yemen)

        • 1860: massacre of Greek Catholics in Damascus in response to a jihad called by Muslim authorities.
        • 1861: massacre of Christians in Lebanon, who were saved by the armies of Napoleon III,
        • 1894-96, at the time of the Dreyfus affair: massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman empire.
        • 1915-16: genocide of Armenians throughout Turkey. Forced conversion of children, women and girls impregnated as “war booty,” to create genuine Muslims.
        • 1923: expulsion of all 1 million Greeks from Turkey.
        • 1948: pogroms in Cairo.
        • *1952: burning of Jewish properties in Cairo.
        • 1952-1961: cleansing of Egypt; emigration of all “foreigners”.
        • *1956: emigration of all “foreigners” and Jews from Tunisia.
        • 1954-62: emigration of foreigners from Algeria. War was jihad. In the years from
        • 1960-1990: mass flight of Christians from the Near East (Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Iraq). At the end of the
        • *1960s: organized emigration of Jews from Morocco.
        • 1970-80: foreign population (Italian, French, Maltese, Spanish) in Morocco was reduced to one-quarter — its percentage fell after the “moroccanization” of available employment. Assets and businesses fell from 400,000 to less than 100,000.
        • 1978-90: Copts massacred in their own country, Egypt.
        • 1980-90: genocide of Christians and animists in Sudan (1 million dead); prisoners enslaved.
        • 1976-96: one fourth of the population of Timur eliminated by Muslims. The
        • 1980s and 1990s: massacre of Christians in Indonesia, and in the southern Philippines.
        • 1990s: Murder of “foreigners,” either native residents or those who had entered as tourists, in Algeria, Egypt, etc.
        • 1990 and following years: pogroms against mostly Christianized Chinese and Indonesians.
        Christians are decimated in the Arab countries not in Israel . Stop lying and use facts if you want people to read your opinions. Otherwise you are writing DRIBBLE.

        September 5, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
  6. AA

    Talk about pure bias against Israel. First the sentence, then the trial! Before he even hops into his role as the head marsupial of this kangaroo court, Shable is talking about prosecuting Israel at ICC. He is getting ready for the PA to gets the paperwork done and applly to the ICC for membership..

    September 5, 2014 at 12:14 am | Reply
    • Bradley

      You mean like israel massacring all those 2,000+ palestinians, destroying billions of dollars in property, and then stealing 900 acres of palestinian land after the three dead teens incident and before any presentation of evidence, any arrests, any trial by jury?

      September 5, 2014 at 12:33 am | Reply
      • benjamin

        there is a say in arabic:"if you live in a glass house do not throw stones on your neighbours"

        south Israel

        September 5, 2014 at 2:24 am |
    • Nazareth

      It sounds to me like the bias is only coming from the Israeli side and those who defend them.

      September 5, 2014 at 2:21 am | Reply
      • TJ

        Agreed, debates should be encouraged, the stronger arguments on both sides the more interesting the debate and lasting resolution. On this issue in particular, however, the defenders of Israel's action on this blog generally appear to be speaking out of emotional bias and hate rather than rational thoughts derived from and supported by facts. + 2000 dead on the Palestinian side and – 100 dead on the Israeli side in this last round of atrocities, I would also struggle to forumulate a coherent argument supported by evidence to defend Israel's actions, there really isn't one.

        September 5, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
  7. george

    The UN definition of genocide is so overly broad so as to make it legally uncertain and not beneficial. Under this definition, the US attempt to destroy the Nazis in WWII might be called genocide, as would our destruction of the Iranian army [definitely much more force used than necessary and major difference as to the number of causalities on both sides. The current fighting among various Muslim sects may also fall into the definition, but the UN seems only interested in investigating Israel. Could this be because Israel is a European country and the UN is filled with a majority of third world countries?

    September 5, 2014 at 12:35 am | Reply
    • Ron Holzwarth

      No, it is because there are so many Middle Eastern countries that hate Israel, and they have crude oil that the advanced Western Nations need. The Islamic nations produce very little other than crude oil.

      September 5, 2014 at 1:35 am | Reply
    • Nazareth

      By your logic what the Germans did to the Jewish people was not a genocide it was, according to them at the time, a preventive strike to stop Jewish people from controlling Germany and then possibly the theft of German's land. taking over Germany and possibly stealing their land. Does that make sense, your logic that is? If not then it's the same thing here. Israel is doing so many bad things to the Palestinians and breaking so many laws and the worst of all is the killing of these poor peoples children. For what? So Israel can justify stealing land. Where is the sense in that?

      September 5, 2014 at 2:01 am | Reply
  8. E

    Israel OWNs what the world calls the West Bank. It was won in a war in which it was attacked by the sovereign of that land, Jordan. Jordan lost. Cookies. Tough.

    Israel fights for its survival. it will not wait for American soldiers, or French or English. About 70 years ago Jews swore they will never again depend on someone else's army.

    Look how pathetic the UN has been in protecting Israel thus far. Weapons inside UN schools in Gaza. UN-Nepalize soldiers taken hostage in Syria. What next?

    Now, they have been fighting against terrorists, longer than most. And more humanely than any other. No arab country fights insurgencies humanely at all, and no ester country fights terror, without some risk of civilian loss in enemy lands.

    ,

    September 5, 2014 at 1:03 am | Reply
    • Nazareth

      There is a huge difference between a war fought among two nations and the one sided war waged by Israel against defenseless women and children. Don't make the world laugh when you bring in Hamas as a threat to the army of Israel.

      Any nation that tries to justify their actions of destroying Palestinian homes and businesses only to turn around and steal them is a society that should not be respected by the American voters. This society called Israel is a corrupt and lawless nation. American citizens must work diligently to distance ourselves from this nation who is bent on the destabilization and destruction of the civilized world. Our politicians must be encouraged to place Americas interests ahead of any foreign nation's.

      September 5, 2014 at 1:27 am | Reply
  9. Robert Gillies

    Why worry about it? Much bigger war crimes are being committed by ISIS in Iraq. And how about the war crimes in Syria by Assad? And then we also have the situation in Nigeria. Not to mention Ukraine and many other places around the world. I mean in actual fact war crimes are being committed all over the world. Of course it always seems that for some mysterious reason the Israeli-Palestinian conflict somehow merits more attention from the UN and the so-called world community than other larger conflicts elsewhere.

    September 5, 2014 at 1:25 am | Reply
    • Nazareth

      When a nation commits war crimes, especially a nation that is an occupier it should be a concern to all of us because we all share this planet. Crimes committed by Germany were no less war crimes as crimes being committed by a nation that is quick to remind the world that they are a democracy and not a any society around them. They are trying to slowly wipe out the Palestinians and that is a concern to everyone. Why is it not a concern to you? Do you think your life is any more of value than theirs? If you even think yes then you are as guilty of war crimes as Israel because you are no better human being.

      September 5, 2014 at 1:53 am | Reply
  10. Nazareth

    In the past 15 years I've noticed a drastic and alarming change in American policy, especially foreign policy. The America I know never places any foreign nation's interests and policies ahead of their own. The American politicians we all new never allowed a foreign interest lobby group to corrupt them. The America I live in is being manipulated to ignore war crimes by Israel, killing of innocent people, made threats to a nuclear nation rather than meet and discuss; and now the biggest crime of the century is occurring before all our eyes, Israel stealing Palestinian land, a 1000 acres no less, and the society that is a just society (America) is staying silent and allowing the injustice to continue as if Israel is RUNNING AMERICA. Why are we meddling in middle east policies when a few decades ago we kept our distance. These questions I'm posing are for the media to investigate and report to the American voters who are the politicians responsible for selling out America. These questions are also aimed at the readers. Ask your representatives why are they wasting our hard earned taxpayers dollars in the middle east instead of here on our soil. Terrorism is a word used by Israel not by America, so why are our politicians using the same term. Are they a mouth piece for Israel now? Ask your elected representative if he or she is working directly or indirectly with APAC and you'll have your answer.

    September 5, 2014 at 1:46 am | Reply
  11. Nazareth

    If Israel gets away with the war crimes committed against the defenseless Christian and Muslim Palestinians what kind of a precedent are we setting. How can the world justify prosecuting the Germans for war crimes but now when the Jewish nation does the same they are justified. What kind of a world will we have if any nation can be left to act lawless and get away with it? How can civilized nations and their people live with the blood of Palestinian children on their hands as if their lives meant nothing to the world?

    Israel's hatred for the Palestinians runs deep and they continue to display it regularly. They must not be allowed to continue to hunt and kill the Palestinian people one by one and the abusive treatment has gone on for far too long for the world to continue to side with the criminals. Listen to your own hearts and imagine living under the impossible treatment and abuse they get every single day while under the Israeli rule.

    Israeli's defense force every single night and in the middle of the night go to Palestinian homes in many villages to disrupt their sleep and to make their lives miserable because they are trying to make them leave their homes so Israel can take it. How can we sit and talk about justifying the continued nurture to 2 million Christian and Muslim Palestinians who receive the same treatment by Israel.

    Lawlessness by Israel must be stopped by the civilized world. Israel is irresponsible and they've proven that they can't live with the Palestinians and they can't be trusted to keep them alive. Palestinians must have their own land and other option Israel has proven is impossible. Segregation continues (APARTHEID).

    September 5, 2014 at 2:15 am | Reply
  12. KEVIN

    We are the laughing stock of the world because we can't control Israel.

    September 5, 2014 at 3:01 am | Reply
    • J Wink

      Humanity is a laughing stock because we can't control people like you!

      September 5, 2014 at 8:07 am | Reply
    • TJ

      yup you are

      September 5, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  13. lindy500

    Is it sitting in the wings for Syria? For Nigeria? The Congo? Russia? The UN is only interested in the palestinans
    and blaming Israel for everything..have no respect for them at all...

    September 5, 2014 at 7:20 am | Reply
  14. J Wink

    What a hypocrite

    September 5, 2014 at 7:55 am | Reply
  15. J Wink

    I see no evidence anywhere of the Palestinians being generally blamed for anything. In fact, quite the opposite. No group of people that I can think of in recent history have been so excused for plainly evil conduct and so held irresponsible for their own actions than the Palestinians. Intellectuals the world over go to great lengths to EXCUSE the Palestinians for all the bad actions their compatriots have committed over the past 60 years. It's always because they were provoked by the Israelis. These are a people who celebrate as national heroes people whose great heroic act was to sneak into homes at night and bash in the skulls of infants. Keep in mind, that if the Palestinians simply gave up their hopes of conquering all of Israel and made peace with Israel 50 years ago, they'd likely have their own country and enjoy a standard of living far surpassing their current state and the that of their Arab neighbors.

    September 5, 2014 at 7:56 am | Reply
  16. J Wink

    After Israel independence in 1948 all the Arab governments involved announced two things. First, they would not recognize Israel. Second, they would not admit Israelis of any religion to their territories, which meant that not only Israeli Jews but also Israeli Muslims and Christians were not allowed into East Jerusalem. Catholic and Protestant Christians were permitted to enter once a year on Christmas Day for a few hours, but otherwise there was no admittance to the holy places in Jerusalem for Jews or Christians. Worse than that, Muslims in Israel were unable to go on the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. For Christians, pilgrimage is optional. For Muslims it is a basic obligation of the faith. A Muslim is required to go on pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina at least once in a lifetime. The Saudi government of the time ruled that Muslims who were Israeli citizens could not go. Some years later, they modified this rule.
    At the same time, virtually all the Arab governments announced that they would not give visas to Jews of any nationality. This was not furtive—it was public, proclaimed on the visa forms and in the tourist literature. They made it quite clear that people of the Jewish religion, no matter what their citizenship, would not be given visas or be permitted to enter any independent Arab country. Again, not a word of protest from anywhere. One can imagine the outrage if Israel had announced that it would not give visas to Muslims, still more if the United States were to do so. As directed against Jews, this ban was seen as perfectly natural and normal. In some countries it continues to this day, although in practice most Arab countries have given it up.
    Neither the United Nations nor the public protested any of this in any way, so it is hardly surprising that Arab governments concluded that they had license for this sort of action and worse. One other example: unlike the other Arab countries, the Jordanians were at that time willing to accept Palestinian refugees as citizens, and the Jordanian nationality law of February 4, 1954, offered Jordanian citizenship to Palestinians, defined as natives and residents of the mandated territory of Palestine—“except Jews.” This was clearly stated. Not a murmur of protest from anyone, anywhere.

    September 5, 2014 at 8:14 am | Reply
  17. J Wink

    After the 1967 war, the Israelis came into possession of the former Arab-occupied Palestinian territories, including a number of schools run by unrwa, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. These schools were funded by the United Nations. When the Israelis had a chance to look at the Syrian, Jordanian, or Egyptian textbooks that these UN-funded schools used, they found many examples of unequivocal anti-Semitism. Although the Israelis could do nothing about anti-Semitism in textbooks in Arab countries, they felt that they could do something about anti-Semitism in textbooks used in schools funded and maintained by the United Nations. The matter was referred to the UN, which referred it to unesco, which appointed a commission of three professors of Arabic—one Turkish, one French, and one American. These professors examined the textbooks and wrote a lengthy report saying that some textbooks were acceptable, some were beyond repair and should be abandoned, and some should be corrected. The report was presented to unesco on April 4, 1969. It was never published.

    September 5, 2014 at 8:21 am | Reply
  18. J Wink

    Another example of double standard occurred in the Syrian city of Hama and in refugee camps in Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon. The troubles in Hama began with an uprising headed by the radical group the Muslim Brothers in 1982. The government responded swiftly. Troops were sent, supported by armor, artillery, and aircraft, and within a very short time they had reduced a large part of the city to rubble. The number killed was estimated, by Amnesty International, at somewhere between ten thousand and twenty-five thousand. The action, which was ordered and supervised by the Syrian President, Hafiz al-Assad, attracted little attention at the time, and did not prevent the United States from subsequently courting Assad, who received a long succession of visits from American Secretaries of State James Baker, Warren Christopher, and Madeleine Albright, and even from President Clinton. It is hardly likely that Americans would have been so eager to propitiate a ruler who had perpetrated such crimes on Western soil, with Western victims. The massacre of seven hundred to eight hundred Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatila that same year was carried out by Lebanese militiamen, led by a Lebanese commander who subsequently became a minister in the Syrian-sponsored Lebanese government, and it was seen as a reprisal for the assassination of the Lebanese President Bashir Gemayyel. Ariel Sharon, who at the time commanded the Israeli forces in Lebanon, was reprimanded by an Israeli commission of inquiry for not having foreseen and prevented the massacre, and was forced to resign from his position as Minister of Defense. It is understandable that the Palestinians and other Arabs should lay sole blame for the massacre on Sharon. What is puzzling is that Europeans and Americans should do the same. Some even wanted to try Sharon for crimes against humanity before a tribunal in Europe. No such suggestion was made regarding either Saddam Hussein or Hafiz al-Assad, who slaughtered tens of thousands of their compatriots. It is easy to understand the bitterness of those who see the implication here. It was as if the militia who had carried out the deed were animals, not accountable by the same human standards as the Israelis.

    September 5, 2014 at 8:28 am | Reply
  19. Ivan Smith

    UN helped Hamas to perform crimes against humanity by storing Hamas rockets and weapons in the UN buildings (thus abusing the international conventions on diplomatic immunity) and supplying these rockets to Hamas. UN also hid entrances to the military Hamas tunnels in its building and booby-trapped these buildings. So how can war criminals and criminals against humanity to investigate somebody's crime? Such an investigation intended to incriminate a whole country is itself a crime of genocide.

    September 5, 2014 at 11:07 am | Reply
  20. Susan

    This 'inquiry' is really just a joke. William Schabas is about as biased and individual that could be found to head it. Fortunately the only ones who will give his findings any merit are the UN and hamas. Funny how they are joined at the hip.

    September 5, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  21. Lane DiMarco

    Israel is a dog that needs to be flogged!!!! Filthy murdering Jewish parasites that have lied to the entire world. They are Zionazis guilty of holocausting Palestine. The Israeli Jews did 911 and then viciously framed the Arab world, mainly the Iraqis! The leader of ISIS is an Israeli Mossad agent named Elliot Shimon and Steven Joel Sotloff, the headless Jew was not American but Israeli. Israel tried to set up both Syria and Iran for war with the US. Israel also stole the Levithian oil field from Lebanon and is confiscating the profits with Noble Energy in Texas! Israel is bad!

    September 6, 2014 at 3:10 am | Reply
  22. BF

    The vast number of so called civilian deaths were in fact hamas terrorist as is obviously from the demographics 80% males of military age way different from the Gaza norm this has been verified by NY Times, Time Magazine and the BBC.

    The names and gender of the "civilian" casualties were obtained directly from Al Jazeera (no friend of Israel) 80% were males the vast majority at military age – the reason being that they were not civilian a product of Paliwood.

    Of you care about civilian casualties take it up with Hamas who use human shields and launch rockets from apartment complex UNRWA schools, mosques and athletic fields and don't forget the over 100 children that died making those tunnels.

    September 6, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  23. AR

    Israel is not perfect but it is not obliged to be! The Palestinians are the only so called 'refugees' to be held in captivity by their own brethren (camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan) – the only so called 'occupied people' to refuse numerous offers of statehood (from 1949 to 2007 all ratified by Israel with the intention of breaking the cycle of violence). Perhaps if they weren't so busy blowing up school buses they might have caught the boat to nationhood. I'm sick of it – there are many worthwhile humanitarian causes in the world but the Palestinians are not one of them – if they want to wallow in an endless cult of death leave them to it .

    September 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  24. dafi

    as an israeli jewish living all my life in israel, i can tell you that i was never taught in school or elsewhere to hate arabs or muslims , but the hamas schools teach their kids that it is good to kill jews and christians. if you ever go to Gaza- ask yourself: where are all the christians that used to live there in the past?
    also i can tell you that during this summer hamas threw 4000 rockets on israeli cities. i feel that israel always wanted to have peace with its neighbours- and in fact have peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan. but hamas doesnt want to have peace- their aim is to kill non-muslims and especially jews as many as possible. they are very similar to ISIS.
    i dont invent it- they declare it everywhere in the media.
    my grandparents families were killed in the holaucost 70 years ago. and now hamas wants to kill me and my family as well as all my people. hamas also kill its own people. they hang people with no trial, they shoot their own people in gaza. the only reason the gazan people dont protest against them is that they are afraid of them. i feel sorry that i have such neighbours. i have nice and worm relationship with israeli-arabs, they are nice people. by the way- there is not even 1 (out of 1 million!!) israeli arabs that wants to live in Gaza- can you guess why?

    September 16, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Reply

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