The McGowan Davis/Schabas Inquiry: The UN Legal Pogrom

Articles and Reports: Responding to the Pogrom

Reports


"Operation "Protective Edge" IDF Activity from the Perspective of International Law, Particularly with Regard to Mechanisms of Examination and Oversight of Civilian and Military Echelons" The State Comptroller of Israel, March 14, 2018


"An Assessment of the 2014 Gaza Conflict" High Level Military Group, October 2015


"The Gaza War 2014 The War Israel Did Not Want and the Disaster It Averted" Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Hirsh Goodman and Dore Gold, 2015


" Filling in the Blanks: Documenting Missing Dimensions in UN and NGO 'Investigations' of the Gaza Conflict" NGO Monitor and UN Watch, June 11, 2015


"The Gaza Conflict in 2014: Preliminary Report" High Level International Military Group, May 31, 2015


"How the AP Botched Its Investigation of Civilian Deaths in the Israel-Hamas War" Observer, Richard Behar and Gary Weiss, March 11, 2015


"2014 Gaza War Assessment: The New Face of Conflict" The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, JINSA-commissioned Gaza Conflict Task Force, March 10, 2015


"Submission To The United Nations Independent Commission Of Inquiry On The 2014 Gaza Conflict" Richard Kemp Blog, Richard Kemp, February 21, 2015


"Hamas's Violations of International Law" The Lawfare Project, undated


Articles


"An Exercise in Extreme Moral Relativism: The UNHRC Gaza Reports" Arutz Sheva, Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld and Jamie Berk, September 4, 2015

"An extreme example of the moral relativism enacted by UN agencies are the UN Human Rights Council reports on violent conflicts in Gaza. The first was the Goldstone Report, chaired by South African human rights judge Richard Goldstone, on Israel's 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead...Moral relativism was also frequently employed in the 2015 UNHRC-commissioned report on the 2014 Protective Edge campaign in Gaza..."

"Reflections on the UN Commission of Inquiry Gaza Report, Part I: The Historical Narrative" Lawfare, Daniel Reisner, August 20, 2015

"I might begin by asking how the COI writers could so confidently state that 'International law does not require the continuous presence of troops of the occupying forces in all areas of a territory, in order for it to be considered as being occupied.' All international lawyers, in fact, know that this issue is much more complicated than as presented by the COI...I might also ask the COI drafters how they can claim that Israel has 'effective control' over the Gaza Strip if it needed to launch a large-scale land operation into this region in an offensive which was severely contested by Hamas forces throughout in order to try to stop the recurring rocket, mortar and tunnel attacks against it..."

"New Israel Fund Groups Influenced UN Report on Gaza by Accusing Israel of War Crimes" The Algemeiner, Matan Peleg, July 16, 2015

"At least four prominent organizations that are supported by the New Israel Fund presented their own reports to the United Nations, reports in which they accused the State of Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces of war crimes, violating international law, torture, and more...It is specifically for this reason that the NGO Bill and Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), presented by MK Yinon Magal (Jewish Home) three weeks ago, must be passed into law."

"The UN's Obsession with Israel by the Numbers" American Thinker, Sha'i ben-Tekoa, July 14, 2015

"The latest United Nations indictment by its so-called Human Rights Council of the Israeli Defense Force for its self-defense in the summer 2014 should not surprise. The record of the United Nations on the world's only Jewish state, expressed in simple numbers, convicts the UN itself of suffering from a serious obsession with that tiny country..."

"Analysis: IDF vs. ICC Phase 2 - More Talking, More Controversy" The Jerusalem Post, Yonah Jeremy Bob, July 12, 2015

"[O]n Monday, Lt.-Col. Neria Yeshurun is to be questioned by IDF Military Police under caution, making him the first high ranking commander to be examined in a serious criminal investigation of alleged war crimes...

Of course, all of this is a prelude to the ultimate question: Will [ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou] Bensouda accept the IDF's investigations as valid or not? Whether Israel likes it or not, that answer may be tied to how many 'Yeshuruns' get indicted, and will determine the direction of the legal debate for months and years to come."

"Israel Opens First Investigation of Senior Officer Over Gaza War" The Times of Israel, Tamar Pileggi and Daniel Bernstein, July 12, 2015

"Israel is set to launch its first investigation of a senior IDF commander for alleged criminal decisions during last summer's Gaza war.Lt. Col. Neria Yeshurun will face allegations that he ordered the shelling of a medical clinic in the northern Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya in retribution for the death of one of his soldiers killed the previous day by a Hamas sniper firing from the clinic.

The investigation into Yeshurun is one of three new criminal investigations into IDF conduct during the Gaza war opened by the Military Advocate General last month..."

"PA Leader Forms Committee to Investigate Possible Crimes by Israel in Last Year's Conflict" The Jerusalem Post, JPost Staff, July 12, 2015

"Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordered Sunday the formation of a higher national committee to investigate possible war crimes committed by Israel during last year's Operation Protective Edge, according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an. Palestinian Chief Justice Farid al-Jallad was appointed by the PA leader to head the committee, which will investigate accusations along the lines of previous UN inquiries..."

"Pristine War and Zero Casualties" American Thinker, Shoshana Bryen, July 9, 2015

"Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said Israel in the 2014 Gaza War went to 'extraordinary lengths' to protect the civilian population within which Hamas had hidden...

The White House, which criticized Israel at that time for not being careful enough, appears to have set its own standard for the U.S. Air Force: zero civilian casualties... The result of 'the way we do conflict' is that ISIS has had time to spread itself among the civilians of Iraq -- much like Hamas amid the civilians of Gaza..."

"Exclusive: Israel Decides to Open Dialogue With ICC Over Gaza Preliminary Examination" Haaretz, Barak Ravid, July 9, 2015

"Israel has decided to reverse its policy and open talks with the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague over the preliminary examination the ICC is conducting into Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip last summer, as well as the situation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Israel's reason for opening contacts with the ICC's Office of the Prosecutor is only to make its position clear to the court - that the ICC does not have any authority to hear Palestinian complaints on the matter..."

"Israel: If Hamas is Allowed to Wage Warfare Through International Courts then Islamic State Will Be Next" International Business Times, Yiftah Curiel, July 9, 2015

"Imagine that IS hired lawyers to produce a report accusing the UK and the coalition of war crimes. Imagine that IS then presented such a report to the International Criminal Court (ICC), with encouragement from the UN...

What seems like a ludicrous suggestion is actually happening with regard to Hamas and Israel...

If Israel is not protected from lawfare, then Britain and other Western democracies will fall victim to it soon after."

"The UN Report Shamefully Equates Hamas and Israel" The Algemeiner, David Shayne, July 7, 2015

"The report ... places Hamas on the same footing legally as the State of Israel, treating each as 'lawful combatants.'

This is wrong. Hamas rocket attacks are criminal, as is the purpose of the organization: to commit genocide. International law authorizes all nation-states to prevent and punish such crimes... Characterizing Hamas' crimes as 'military' grants Hamas unwarranted legitimacy..."

"As PA Expresses 'Shock' at India's UN Vote, Israel Voices Appreciation for Abstention" The Jerusalem Post, Herb Keinon, July 7, 2015

"The Palestinian Authority was 'shocked' at India's abstention on an anti-Israel resolution passed at the UN Human Right's Council, the PA's ambassador to India said Tuesday...

Israel hailed India's abstention, which was viewed in Jerusalem as 'dramatic' and a sign of the very strong relations between the two countries, especially since the election last year of Prime Minister Narendra Modi..."

"What the UN Report on Gaza Left Out" The Hill, Laurie R. Blank, July 7, 2015

"...[T]he commission makes no recommendations at all with regard to the use of civilians as human shields, comingling with the civilian population and using civilian objects and infrastructure for military purposes (such as launching rockets from hospitals, mosques or United Nations schools), or fighting while disguised as civilians...

[T]he report hands Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups a free pass to continue their modus operandi. A report analyzing the conduct of Israel and Hamas under the law of war has to use all of that law. The report's glaring omissions of foundational legal principles emasculate the law, weakening the essential tools for the protection of civilians and emboldening those who use civilians as pawns for their own strategic gain."

"Analysis: Making Sense of Germany's Vote Against Israel in the UN Human Rights Council" The Jerusalem Post, Benjamin Weinthal, July 7, 2015

"In a year full of celebrations marking 50 years of German-Israel diplomatic relations, diplomatic niceties were absent at last week's UNHRC Gaza report vote in Geneva, where the Merkel administration condemned Israel for its military methods during Operation Protective Edge...

German and Israeli critics hammered away at the Gaza report because of its one-sided attack on Israel. Philipp Mißfelder, a leading Christian Democratic Union part MP in the Bundestag , told the Post on Monday, 'Germany should not have supported the UNHCR report covering Operation Protective Edge...'"

"Report: Israel Asked UK to Vote in Favor of UN Gaza Resolution" The Times of Israel, Times of Israel Staff, July 6, 2015

"A British newspaper claimed Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked his UK counterpart to vote in favor of the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on the Gaza conflict on Friday, which accused Israel of possible war crimes... Jerusalem was concerned that if the resolution was shot down, a reformulated draft would be tougher on the Jewish state..."

"Exclusive: The Real Reason Britain Voted Against Israel at the UN" The Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard, July 6, 2015

"Britain voted in favour of a UN resolution based on a report that condemned Israel's actions in last summer's Gaza war and accused it of war crimes – at the request of Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli prime minister's office rang David Cameron on Friday morning asking him to change his plan to support Israel's public stance on the resolution because it represented a considerably watered-down version of an earlier one, the JC understands..."

"UN Unfairly Rages Against Israel" Newsmax, Herbert London, July 6, 2015

"The latest U.N. report that advertises itself as 'even handed' is anything but fair. There is a moral gap between those that want to protect their people and those who intentionally put noncombatants in harms way. For those who need additional fuel for their flame of indignation this report delivers. For those who care about truth, this U.N. report is another in a long line of provocative and false allegations against the state of Israel."

"Disregarding Reality, Yet Again: The Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry Report" Canada Free Press, Pnina Sharvit Baruch, Keren Aviram, July 6, 2015

"The misguided and unprofessional analysis of combat actions taken in populated areas is based on erroneous methodology, unrealistic expectations, and standards that exceed those contained in the laws of armed conflict and applied by other military forces in the world. This is potentially detrimental not only to Israel but to the ability of other law abiding countries to confront similar challenges of warfare."

"Why Did India Abstain from UN Gaza Report Vote?" YNet News, Itamar Eichner, July 5, 2015

"India's decision to abstain from voting during the UN Human Rights Council vote on adopting the councils report on Operation Protective edge, symbolizes an unprecedented diplomatic victory for Israel, according to high ranking officials in the Foreign Ministry. India chose to abstain with only four other countries: Kenya, Ethiopia, Paraguay, and Macedonia. Only the US voted against the motion.

The move represents a major change in India's stance. It was the first time in decades that India abstained from a decision against Israel in an international forum..."

"Cruz: US Should Withdraw from UN Human Rights Commission" The Hill, Ben Kamisar, July 3, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is calling on the United States to withdraw its membership from the United Nations Human Rights Commission over its vote Friday to condemn Israel for the 2014 conflict with Palestinians...

'Our single vote in opposition is just and the abstentions of our friends are welcome, but at this point they are meaningless gestures. It is time to stop ceding moral authority to the UNHRC and tell the truth about this hopelessly biased and anti-Semitic institution,' Cruz said in a statement Friday...

"Netanyahu Blasts UNHRC for Ratifying Gaza War Report as Projectile from Sinai Hits Israel" The Jerusalem Post, Herb Keinon, Tovah Lazaroff, July 3, 2015

"Those who are afraid of coming out against terrorism in the end will be attacked by terrorism, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday in response to the passing of an anti-Israel UN Human Rights Council resolution on the Gaza war last summer.

'The UN Human Rights Council is not interested in the facts and is not really interested in human rights,' Netanyahu said...

"UN Human Rights Council Adopts UN Protective Edge Report" YNet News, Itamar Eichner, July 3, 2015

"The UN Human Rights Council on Friday voted to adopt a report made by a UN inquiry commission on Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last summer, calling on Israel and the Palestinians to prosecute alleged war crimes and to cooperate with the International Criminal Court's preliminary investigation.

Forty-one countries voted in favor of adopting the report, five abstained - India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Paraguay, Macedonia - and only one, the United States, voted against, saying it was biased against Israel..."

"Vote Approving UN's Gaza War Probe a Case of Much Talk, Few Consequences" The Times of Israel, Raphael Ahren, July 3, 2015

"It came as no surprise whatsoever that the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday approved a resolution backing the controversial McGowan Davis report on last summer's 50-day Israel-Hamas war.

The European Union deliberated until virtually the last minute on how to vote, but eventually decided to throw its full support behind the resolution welcoming a report that Israel considers to be deeply biased and skewed..."

"US House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Slams UNHRC for Anti-Israel Resolution" The Algemeiner, Eliezer Sherman, July 3, 2015

"Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ed Royce (R-CA) lambasted the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday for adopting a resolution condemning Israel over alleged war crimes during last summer's Operation Protective Edge.

'This resolution is a black mark on the Human Rights Council,' Royce declared, adding that 'it undermines prospects for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to resolve their differences...'"

"A Jurisprudential Framework for Defending Israel" The Algemeiner, Alan Dershowitz, July 1, 2015

"The way Israel is being judged today is a dramatic exception to the rule of law... Justice must not only be done, but it must be seen to be done and treating Israel differently from other similarly situationed nations undercuts both the rule of law and the quest for justice."

"UN Gaza Report May Hamper Fight on Terror, Military Experts Warn" The Times of Israel, Elhanan Miller, July 1, 2015

"Israel has complied with, and even exceeded the requirements of international law during the 2014 Gaza war with Hamas, senior military experts told the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday.

The military experts warned that a recently released United Nations report on the war, which concludes that both Israel and Palestinian terror groups may have committed war crimes during the 50-day conflict, may incentivize terrorists worldwide to embed themselves in civilian populations in future conflicts..."

"Will the UN's Gaza Resolution Be Totally Anti-Israel or Just Mostly So?" The Times of Israel, Raphael Ahren, June 30, 2015

"A resolution endorsing a controversial report on last year's Gaza War will be voted on by the United Nations Human Rights Council later this week, and while its passage is all but a foregone conclusion, the exact wording of the measure is still being hotly debated between the Palestinian delegation and the European Union.

The Palestinians' first draft ... is blatantly one-sided. It contains various harshly-worded condemnations of Israel but doesn't mention Hamas once or suggest any guilt on the part of the Palestinian terror group, which is seen as the de-facto ruler of the Gaza Strip..."

"Expert: Hamas, Not Israel, Caused Civilian Deaths in Gaza" Arutz Sheva, Ben Ariel, June 30, 2015

"During last year's Gaza war, Hamas did more to inflict death, suffering and destruction on its own civilian population than any other terrorist group in history, Colonel (ret.) Richard Kemp said on Monday...

It was Hamas, and not Israel as the UN says in its report, that caused thousands of civilians to be killed in Gaza, Kemp said.

"Former British Commander Kemp Says Mix-Up Cost Him UN Gaza War Commission Appointment" Algemeiner, Eliezer Sherman, June 30, 2015

"'I was approached by the president's office of the UNHRC and asked if I would take part in this commission and I agreed to,' explained Col. Richard Kemp during a debate at the U.N. on Monday over its recent report condemning potential war crimes by Israel and terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip including Hamas, during last summer's 50-day Operation Protective Edge.

'I then was told I'd be hearing back soon confirmation. I heard no more, but subsequently I was told, by other sources, I had refused the appointment,' he said, adding that the mix-up was 'obviously, unintentional confusion...'"

"How the UN Report Shot Itself and Human Rights in the Foot" i24 News, Gerald Steinberg, June 30, 2015

"Like the discredited Goldstone Report and virtually every other UN "inquiry" on Israel, political NGOs (non-governmental organizations) provide the basis of the investigation and findings...To anyone familiar with the political agendas of these NGOs, the UN's latest 'findings' – namely, condemnations of Israel – come as no surprise..."

"Skipping Session on Gaza, Israel's Envoy Slams UNHRC" The Times of Israel, Judah Ari Gross and AFP, June 29, 2015

"Israel's representative to the United Nation's Human Rights Council on Monday blasted the international organization for being 'morally flawed,' as the findings of a UN report on the Gaza summer conflict were presented to the council.

Eviatar Manor, who represents Israel in the UNHRC, did not attend the day's session in protest...

'I am out here and not in there because the Human Rights Council has abandoned fairness, has become morally flawed and has entirely politicized its concern for universal human rights,' Manor told reporters...

"Pro-Israel Rally at UNHRC" The Jewish Press, Hana Levi Julian, June 29, 2015

"Some 1,000 demonstrators attended a rally Monday at the Place des Nations in Geneva to express their support for the State of Israel as the United Nations Human Rights Council held its debate on Israel and the Schabas Report on last summer's counter terror operation in Gaza...

'Gaza is still an occupied territory, but the occupier is not Israel. It's a terrorist movement called Hamas. Blaming Israel for every woe has become a sport. Not just here at the U.N., but here especially...'"

"Report: Netanyahu Considering Severing Ties with UNHRC" Arutz Sheva, Tova Dvorin, June 29, 2015

"Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may sever Israel's ties with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) after their inflammatory report over Israel's conduct during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, he said Monday...

Netanyahu called the UNHRC 'a hypocritical committee' during a closed session, according to Army Radio... Netanyahu ... will 'consider whether to stay in or leave the Human Rights Council...'"

"Commission Presents Protective Edge Report at UN" YNet News, Itamar Eichner, June 29, 2015

"The United Nation's international investigation commission's report on Operation Protective Edge was submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, with hundreds of pro-Israel activists expected to arrive outside..."

"The UN's Failure to Live Up to Its Charter's Ideals" Canada Free Press, Joseph A. Klein, June 29, 2015

"...Yet the UN Human Rights Council treats Israel as a worse violator of international law than the Syrian regime...Too often today, the UN has lost its way, as so vividly illustrated by the moral equivalence, if not worse, it applies to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the massacres in Syria."

"Expose UNRWA's Absurdity" Israel Hayom, Calev Myers, June 28, 2015

"The extent of the condemnation Israel has endured from the U.N. and several of its subsidiary bodies is enough to understand the biased rules of the game the U.N. is playing...

It is time to pass the ball to the court of our adversaries, in this case the U.N., and expose its hypocrisy and double standards. Most importantly, we must highlight the fact that the U.N. is the entity largely responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians, by means of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees..."

"What's Israel Supposed to Do? Ask the UN For Help?" National Post, Robert Fulford, June 27, 2015

"The report, from a committee headed by an American judge, Mary McGowan Davis, said that both sides made war in ways that could amount to war crimes. But there wasn't much context to give that statement meaning. News stories on the Davis committee didn't say much about who started the war (Hamas) and didn't make any fuss about who turned civilians into shields by placing military establishments among families (Hamas)...

She didn't say what Israel should do the next time unguided missiles fired from a housing complex begin falling on Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Call the UN?..."

"Palestinian Leaders Deserve to be Hauled Into the International Criminal Court" Commentary Magazine, Jonathan S. Tobin, June 26, 2015

"[W]hile there's no doubt that such any international court will be biasedagainst Israel and judge it by a double standard in terms of its measures of self-defense or settlement policy, the Palestinians also need to be reminded of an old truism: people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones..."

"Destroying International Law by Tying the West's Hands" Commentary Magazine, Evelyn Gordon, June 26, 2015

"[T]this report is part of a broader campaign with much more ambitious goals: depriving the entire West of any conceivable weapon – military or nonmilitary – against terrorist organizations and thereby leaving it no choice but capitulation..."

"Obama Refuses to Follow Law Cutting Off Aid to PLO" Frontpage Mag, Daniel Greenfield, June 26, 2015

"Two lawmakers are warning the Palestinian Authority (PA) that its economic assistance from the United States could be suspended because of its decision to initiate charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC)...

But Abbas need not worry. Barack has got his back..."

"UN Charges Israel with War Crimes - is the US Next?" The New York Post, Benny Avni, June 25, 2015

"Washington must stop the United Nations' attempt to criminalize Israel's war on terror not only because it's the right thing to do - but because America's military may well be next in its crosshairs..."

"Analysis: UN Report Cherry-Picks Evidence to Fit NGOs' Anti-Israel Narrative" The Tower, Yona Schiffmiller, June 25, 2015

"The report by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the 2014 Gaza conflict, released earlier this week, is substantiated in large part by the allegations of political advocacy NGOs (non-governmental organizations). One such group, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), was cited 16 times...

PHR-I's so-called investigation was one-sided, methodologically flawed, and largely based on hearsay. More resembling a kangaroo court than an independent body, PHR-I found Israel guilty from the beginning, then twisted the available evidence to 'convict' it of indiscriminately bombing civilians and purposely targeting medical personnel. The repetition of these unreliable allegations severely impinges on the integrity of the UN's findings."

"The anti-Semitic UN Human Rights Council" The Jerusalem Post, Earl Cox, June 25, 2015

"As a sovereign nation, Israel has not only a right but also a duty to protect her land and her citizens from unprovoked attacks. Israel's retaliatory response to Hamas's unprovoked attacks this past summer was absolutely justified..."

"The U.N.'s Gaza Report Is Flawed and Dangerous" The New York Times, Richard Kemp, June 25, 2015

"As a British officer who had more than his share of fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans, it pains me greatly to see words and actions from the United Nations that can only provoke further violence and loss of life. The United Nations Human Rights Council report on last summer's conflict in Gaza, prepared by Judge Mary McGowan Davis, and published on Monday, will do just that...

Most worrying, Judge Davis claims to be "fully aware of the need for Israel to address its security concerns" while demanding that it "lift, immediately and unconditionally, the blockade on Gaza." Along with the report's endorsement of Hamas's anti-Israel narrative, this dangerous recommendation would undoubtedly lead to further bloodshed in both Israel and Gaza."

"Being Right About Gaza War Report Isn't Enough" YNet News, Giora Eiland, June 25, 2015

"Israel is rightfully slamming the conclusions of the United Nations commission of inquiry into Operation Protective Edge, but being right is not enough...

Our resentment over the fact that the UN is treating us, a civilized country, with the same standards that it treats a terror organization like Hamas is understandable. But getting insulted in this case is the wrong approach. The right thing to do is to actually demand equal standards..."

"US: Palestinian Moves Against Israel at ICC 'Counterproductive'" AFP, June 25, 2015

"The White House said Thursday that efforts to have Israel charged with war crimes at the International Criminal Court were 'counterproductive' and would be opposed by Washington.

The United States has 'made clear that we oppose actions against Israel at the ICC as counterproductive,' National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey told AFP..."

"State, Congress Face Off Over Palestinian Aid" Al-Monitor, Julian Pecquet, June 25, 2015

"Congress and the Obama administration are increasingly at odds over $370 million in annual economic assistance to the Palestinians.

The latest clash comes after the Palestinian Authority (PA) on June 25 shared hundreds of pages of war crimes allegations against Israel with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Key lawmakers said the move should trigger an indefinite suspension of aid, but the State Department told Al-Monitor that it doesn't agree..."

"Former Top British Commander Warns UN Gaza War Report Will Embolden Terrorists and Cause More Bloodshed" The Algemeiner, Eliezer Sherman, June 25, 2015

"A former commander of British forces in Afghanistan warned on Thursday that the recent U.N. report on the 2014 Gaza war was likely to embolden terrorists and cause violence...

He said that an immediate and unconditional lifting of the Israeli blockade on Gaza, which the report called for, would 'undoubtedly lead to further bloodshed in both Israel and Gaza.'"

"Lawmakers Warn Palestinian Actions Could Suspend US Aid" The Hill, Rebecca Shabad, June 25, 2015

"Two lawmakers are warning the Palestinian Authority (PA) that its economic assistance from the United States could be suspended because of its decision to initiate charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

'By formally submitting allegations against Israeli forces to the ICC Chief Prosecutor, President [Mahmoud] Abbas has triggered a provision in U.S. law that suspends all economic assistance to the PA,' Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement..."

"Analysis of the U.N. Report on 2014 Gaza Conflict: The Distorting Effect of Flawed Foundations" JINSA, Professor Geoffrey Corn, USA (ret.), June 25, 2015

"Unfortunately, the condemnations directed against the IDF lack credibility, are often based on erroneous interpretations of the LOAC, and reflect an overall lack of competence in the relationship between the LOAC and military operations...

[I]t is remarkable that in a report spanning 183 pages, approximately 15 pages are devoted to analysis of Hamas's LOAC violations, with the vast majority of the remainder of the Report devoted to a critique of IDF operations. This reflects a disparity in focus, but also a perplexing inverse relationship between the blatant nature of Hamas's LOAC violations and the extent of analysis and critique..."

"Palestinians to Make First Submission to International Criminal Court" YNet News, Itamar Eichner, June 25, 2015

"The Palestinian are expected to turn in preliminary information against Israel to the International Criminal Court Thursday, with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki asking the general prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to open a criminal investigation on the matter of alleged Israeli war crimes...

'These actions are a Palestinian spin,' said an Israeli official on the move. "We are talking about a submission of information that is meant to manipulate and influence the prosecutor to open an investigation...'"

"Moral Equivalence on the Rampage" The Algemeiner, Jerold Auerbach, June 25, 2015

"The report of the international commission of inquiry, established by the United Nations Human Rights Council to allocate responsibility for last summer's Gaza war, exposed moral obtuseness masquerading as moral equivalency...

Surely one expects no better from the United Nations, which seems ever ready to justify the Palestinian terrorism for which it subsequently holds Israel responsible..."

"Mads Gilbert and the Theater of the Absurd" The Jerusalem Post, Gerald Steinberg, June 24, 2015

"The latest 'report' on Israel produced by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) includes a list of four 'experts' with whom the two commissioners and their staffs consulted.

One of them is Dr. Mads Gilbert, a full-time propagandist from Norway who exploits medicine to promote hate..."

"The United Nations Unleashes Yet Another Egregious Attack Against Israel" American Center for Law and Justice, Marshall Goldman, June 24, 2015

"The United Nations (U.N.) is once again accusing Israel of war crimes because Israel lawfully acted in self-defense in response to ongoing indiscriminate rocket attacks from Hamas..."

"What to Make of the UN's Special Commission Report on Gaza?" Lawfare, Benjamin Wittes, Yishai Schwartz, June 24, 2015

"The UN Human Rights Council's Independent Commission of Inquiry report on the 2014 Gaza war, released Monday, is a bad piece of work-bad in almost entirely predictable and boring ways, but no less bad for being bad and predictable...

Hamas uses civilian infrastructure as both base and hiding place. Yet just as Hamas's targeting practices are treated as a matter of some doubt, the commission also lets the group's defensive practices shift the responsibility for civilian death from Hamas's own behavior to Israeli targeting decisions..."

"The U.N.'s Israel Inquisition" The Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2015

"U.N. reports on Israel sometimes remind us of the classic Monty Python sketch 'Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!'... So it is with Monday's inquisi-er, 'Inquiry'-by the U.N. Human Rights Council on last summer's war between Israel and its terrorist enemies in Gaza..."

"The World's Betrayal of Israel" The Huffington Post, Shahar Azani, June 24, 2015

"The United Nations and the international community's behavior towards Israel, manifested by such biased and one-sided reports, erodes the very foundation for any potential opportunity to bring about a peaceful resolution to the situation on the ground...

By putting Israel and Hamas on the same level, this international community is telling Israelis that they are on a par with a terrorist organization, infamous for blowing up buses in Israel in the course of the 90's, killing hundreds of innocent people..."

"No One is Surprised Anymore that Israel is Singled Out" Arutz Sheva, Eliran Aharon, June 24, 2015

The UN report which accused Israel of committing "war crimes" in Gaza should not be surprising anyone, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) told Arutz Sheva...

Israel, Hikind pointed out, 'does everything in the world' to ensure that civilians aren't hurt, but 'Israel is singled out. Israel is treated differently...'"

"Jerusalem Pushes Democracies to Reject UN Gaza Report" The Jerusalem Post, Herb Keinon, June 24, 2015

"A day after the Human Rights Council presented its report on last summer's war in Gaza, Israeli diplomats began trying on Tuesday to convince as many countries as possible on the 47-member council not to endorse the report when, as expected, it comes up for a vote next week.

With 30 percent of the council made up of either Muslim countries that can be counted on to vote against Israel, or those like Cuba, Bolivia and Venezuela who do not have diplomatic ties with Israel, government officials acknowledge that winning a vote is almost impossible..."

"Washington Calls on UN to Ignore 'Biased' Gaza War Report" The Times of Israel, June 24, 2015

"The UN report into possible war crimes in last summer's Gaza conflict should not be taken to the Security Council or used in other United Nations work, the US said Tuesday, challenging the fairness of the Human Rights Council that commissioned the inquiry.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Washington viewed the UNHRC as having a 'clear bias' against Israel, tarnishing the report released Monday, which accused both Israel and Palestinian militants of possible war crimes during a 50-day conflict last summer..."

"National Post View: Latest Study Offers Another Gloomy View of Eternal Stalemate Between Israel and Gaza" National Post, June 23, 2015

"The problem with the report, as with others before it, is that it misses the point...[T]here is simply no way to compare the conduct of Israel, a Western democracy with civilian-led armed forces, with Gaza - essentially a terrorist enclave run by numerous, often competing armed groups, which tragically happen to share the same geographic space as a million trapped civilians."

"A War Against the Entire West" Israel Hayom, Rafael Bardaji and Joseph Raskas, June 23, 2015

"The ruling that the so-called human rights campaign seeks to impose is not regarding what type of force Israel can impose on Hamas, but whether or not democratic armies of the West have the right to use force of any kind.

Western nations pursue war only after careful deliberation leading to a conclusion that war is necessary and just. Once that conclusion has been reached, however, a war must be fought to be won."

"This is My Truth: IDF Troops React to War Crime Accusations" Israel Hayom, Israel Hayom Staff, June 23, 2015

"[S]everal IDF soldiers provided personal testimony of their experiences on the frontline in a number of operations, demonstrating the Israeli military's utmost priority of respecting human life and efforts to minimize harm...

'[B]ecause we sent warnings to the civilians to clear out -- we lost our element of surprise. As a result, eight of my friends were killed, seven of them in the APC disaster,' he recalled."

"Is it 'OK to Drop a One-Ton Bomb in the Middle of a Neighborhood' If You're at War and That's Where Enemy Forces are Located?" The Washington Post, David Bernstein, June 23, 2015

"If the rule was 'you may never bomb [use 'explosive weapons'] in a residential neighborhood if civilian casualties may result, regardless of the value of the military target,' it's pretty obvious what would happen - enemy forces would simply plant themselves in residential neighborhoods knowing they would be immune from attack.

So, for example, Hamas could launch all the missiles it wanted at Israel from the middle of Gaza City, and use apartment buildings, schools, etc. as staging grounds and headquarters, and Israel would be helpless to respond..."

"An Outrageous Comparison"Israel Hayom, Dan Margalit, June 23, 2015

"There is no comparison. There was no investigation into the murderers of 21 civilians who were shot and killed without trial in a city square. How can that be compared to the IDF, which did not dispatch even one soldier into Gaza without prior consultation with a legal advisor? The conclusion is disheartening. The IDF tried for the first time in the history of humanity to fight according to the precise limitations of international law, and even that step did not earn it any points at the U.N..."

"Did the UN Panel Not Know About the Hamas Victim Doctrine?"I24 News, Gabi Simoni, June 23, 2015

"Hamas easily identified Israel's weakness in international public opinion, and worked to refine and develop this approach through the development of a deadly and cynical 'victim doctrine.' One of the 'achievements' of Hamas during Operation Protective Edge was the significant implementation of 'the victim doctrine', the main concept of which is exposing civilians to Israel Defense Forces fire."

"UN Human Rights Council Says Israel Moral Equal of Hamas" Fox News, Anne Bayefsky, June 23, 2015

"Arrest Benjamin Netanyahu and any other 'suspected' Israeli war criminals wherever and whenever you can get your hands on them. That is the shocking bottom line of a scandalous report released today from the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva...

While the point of all this hate speech is to demonize and delegitimize Israel, the war crimes label takes the campaign one step further. It deliberately ravages Israel's right of self-defense..."

"Counterpoint: United Nations Continues Biased Treatment of Israel" The Chicago Sun-Times, Irit Kohn, June 23, 2015

"The United Nations Human Rights Council is unfortunately dominated by countries in which human rights are often abused. These same countries systematically single out and condemn Israel. The UNHRC set up the Schabas/Davis Commission on the 2014 Gaza conflict...

The constant, biased treatment of Israel at the UN does not contribute toward a peaceful settlement of the conflict. It serves only to embolden Hamas and other terrorist groups to intensify their unlawful methods."

"The UN Council for the Encouragement of Terrorism"Israel Hayom, Boaz Bismuth, June 23, 2015

"The most damaging aspect of the report is that if the world today no longer allows Israel to win wars unequivocally (as attested to by the recent rounds of fighting), then its writers are essentially preventing Israel from fighting or even just defending itself..."

"Shame On You, Mary McGowan Davis" The Times of Israel, David Horovitz, June 23, 2015

"Shame on you, Mary McGowan Davis, for accepting the mandate to sit on the commission in the first place, and then to replace the discredited William Schabas as its head, when the UNHRC that appointed you and set your terms is so demonstrably, openly, ridiculously, obsessed with delegitimizing and thus weakening Israel, in a gross distortion of its ostensible purpose..."

"UN Report Gives Hezbollah the Green Light" YNet News, Ron Ben-Yishai, June 23, 2015

"The report fails to mention the fact that Hamas is the one which opened fire and initiated the fighting, and it gives no weight to the fact that Israel did everything in its power to reach a ceasefire before moving on to a full-scale counterattack, including a ground offensive in the Strip...

If nothing radical is done in the international arena to neutralize the effect of the 'second Goldstone report,' this report may critically erode Israel's ability to defend itself in the next war, whether it erupts in the north or in the south."

"A Damning Indictment" Algemeiner, Ruthie Blum, June 23, 2015

"The report is 183 pages long... Lulled by its legalese, bullets, numbers and fine print, a reader is liable to miss some of its more revealing details. You know, like the fact that far-Left organizations such as B'Tselem and Breaking the Silence are among the more prominent sources on which the 'evidence' is based.

But never mind. All that was to be expected, as was the Orwellian inversion of events and reverse attribution of war crimes - so that Israel rather than Hamas appeared to be the guilty party where using human shields was concerned. Indeed, it would be hilarious if it were not so nauseating..."

"Soldier from Operation Protective Edge Responds to UN Report: 'We Have Paid for Morality in Blood'" The Jerusalem Post, Captain (Res.) Dor Matot, June 23, 2015

"The report which was published disregards my friends who were killed in battle. The claim that the IDF acted immorally is an untrue statement, and our situation in Shejaiya is the best example of this. Hamas operatives were waiting for us there, and we were sent into a carefully laid trap because of our considerations in harming the Palestinian population. We saw the infrastructure, the trails, the tunnels, and the booby-trapped houses. The claims that this neighborhood was a civilian neighborhood? This was a Hamas military outpost in disguise..."

"US Jewish Organizations Deride UN Report on Gaza War" The Times of Israel, Stuart Winer and Times of Israel Staff, June 23, 2015

"US Jewish organizations on Monday responded with sharp criticism to a United Nations Human Rights Council report that found Israel may have committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip during fighting last year against Hamas and scorned the document for viewing the IDF and the Palestinian terror group in the same light.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee attacked the notion that Israel and Hamas had an equal moral standing..."

"Next Time, Ask a General" The Times of Israel, Mitch Ginsburg, June 22, 2015

"The UN report on last summer's Gaza war... is still willfully or perhaps unknowingly ignorant of modern military affairs. What it needed, aside from Israeli cooperation and an open mind, was a general, preferably one who has commanded troops under fire in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

The first thing this officer could have provided is perspective. Whether one accepts the UN death toll, as provided by the Hamas Interior Ministry, or the Israeli one, an international reader still has no way of knowing if the tragic toll in human life - of civilians as opposed to enemy combatants - is disproportionately or even outrageously high..."

"Breaking Down the UNHRC Report on 2014 Gaza War" The Jerusalem Post, Yonah Jeremy Bob, June 22, 2015

"McGowan Davis makes a huge point of attacking Israel for the use of explosive weapons in those parts of Gaza that are densely populated. But that is most of Gaza, and the IDF has said Hamas intentionally and systematically abused civilian locations to fire rockets, hide weapons and undertake attacks. The report does not seem to consider how else the IDF could fight Hamas under these circumstances..."

"UN Report: Tunnels into Israel Legitimately Targeted IDF" The Times of Israel, Marissa Newman, June 22, 2015

"The United Nations Human Rights Council report on the 50-day Gaza conflict said there was no indication Hamas's cross-border tunnels were constructed to attack Israeli civilians, since the terror group exclusively targeted "legitimate" Israel Defense Forces positions during the summer war...

In October 2014, the IDF confirmed a report in Vanity Fair that Hamas had planned to carry out a massive assault by penetrating Israeli communities via tunnels under the border from the Gaza Strip, and then killing or kidnapping as many civilians as possible..."

"The UN's Blood Libel" New York Daily News, Editorial Staff, June 22, 2015

"In 'Alice in Wonderland,' the Queen of Hearts famously declared: 'Sentence first! Verdict afterwards.' She would have felt right at home at the United Nations...

The Council's commissioner returned Monday with a 200-page document that concludes, in effect, that Israel has no right to self-defense..."

"Head of UN Gaza Commission Rejects Claims of Bias" The Times of Israel, Jonathan Beck, June 22, 2015

"The head of the United Nations Human Rights Council commission on the Gaza war rejected claims of bias by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday...

'I think we tried very hard to be even-handed, and there's no bias at all in the report,' she added...

McGowan Davis also dismissed a question about whether she considered Hamas a terror group. 'I am not going to go into that,' she told Channel 2. 'They obviously didn't abide by the rules of international law. We use that label a lot in my country and I try to stay away from labels like 'terrorists...'"

"Gaza Report Reveals Nothing But UN's Cluelessness" The Times of Israel, Avi Issacharoff, June 22, 2015

"The bottom line, and most salient fact, is absent from this report: Israel did not initiate the war and was primarily focused on stopping Hamas's rocket fire. From nearly day one, Israel agreed to stop the fighting, but Hamas insisted on continuing the rocket fire from within residential areas, knowing that it would carry a heavy price. This price - the sizable death toll - was not only anticipated by the terror group, but welcomed. The Gazan rulers knew that the international condemnation of Israel would come, and this report proves that..."

"US General Denounces UN Human Rights Council Report on Gaza War" The Washington Free Beacon, Emma-Jo Morris, June 22, 2015

"U.S. Gen. Charles Wald, the leader of a task force of retired senior U.S. military officers who studied and reported on the 2014 Gaza War, issued a statement Monday denouncing the U.N. Human Rights Council's report on that conflict...

'The UNHRC report on the Gaza conflict is unbalanced and fails to accurately assess which parties violated the Law of Armed Conflict,' Wald said..."

"UN Gaza War Report Leaves No Room for Israeli Self-Defense" Commentary Magazine, Jonathan S. Tobin, June 22, 2015

"After months of anticipation, the report by the United Nations Human Rights Council about last summer's Gaza war is out today and its contents are no surprise. While the UNHRC acknowledged that Hamas's indiscriminate firing of rockets and missiles at Israeli cities and towns were acts of terrorism, it concentrated most of its fire on Israel's attempts to defend its territory and citizens...

In effect, what the UNHRC is doing is to create rules that allow Hamas to hide amid a civilian population, using them as human shields, and then to claim those trying to stop terror are the real criminals. The United States must not only reject this dangerous precedent, but it ought to withdraw from a biased UN agency that seems to exist largely to single out the Jewish state for unfair treatment..."

"Israel Fires Back at UN Report Accusing It and Hamas of Violating World Law in Gaza War" Fox News, June 22, 2015

"A UN report released Monday found both Israel and Palestinians committed 'serious violations' of international law and possible war crimes in last summer's seven-week battle in Gaza, a finding Israel swiftly denounced...

The report could be used in an ongoing war crimes inquiry by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court..."

"UN Report Has Jewish Blood on its Hands" Arutz Sheva, Cynthia Blank, June 22, 2015

"Israel rushed on Monday to condemn the United Nations report alleging that it had committed war crimes during last year's Operation Protective Edge.

Blasting the report as biased, the Foreign Ministry stressed: 'It is well known that the entire process that led to the production of this report was politically motivated and morally flawed from the outset...'

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, addressing his Jewish Home party's faction meeting, also attacked the report stating it 'has blood on its hands [for] allowing the murder of Jews...'"

"Law NGO to Seek ICC Prosecutor's Disqualification" The Jerusalem Post, Yonah Jeremy Bob, June 22, 2015

"Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center will soon be seeking the disqualification of ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda from dealing with issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, due to her alleged bias, the NGO is to set to announce on Monday...

Bensouda had improperly published her view that Palestine was essentially a state already in an op-ed in August 2014, prior to the legal issue being brought before her in January 2015, [Shurat Hadin director Nitsana] Darshan-Leitner said.

Further, Bensouda should have solicited the views of all key parties on the issue, including Israel's, before arriving at a decision, Darshan-Leitner asserted."

"Par for the Course: EU- & NIF-Funded NGOS Central TO UNHRC Lawfare Attack" NGO Monitor, June 22, 2015

"The report of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the 2014 Gaza War, headed by William Schabas and then Mary McGowan Davis after the former's resignation over his undisclosed paid work for the PLO, quotes extensively from biased and unreliable political advocacy non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Although these groups lack credibility and do not employ professional fact-finding standards, the COI repeated the NGOs' unverifiable factual claims and allegations of Israeli 'war crimes'..."

"The U.S. and Israel Are Preemptively Discrediting The UN's Report On The Gaza War" The Huffington Post, Jessica Schulberg, June 21, 2015

The Israeli and U.S. governments have launched a campaign to preemptively discredit a forthcoming United Nations Human Rights Council report on possible war crimes committed during last summer's Gaza war.

Anticipating that the report would be highly critical of Israel, U.S. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke reminded reporters Monday that the U.S. opposed the creation of the Gaza investigation. 'There is, unfortunately, a long history of anti-Israeli bias in UN resolutions and mechanisms, including at the Human Rights Council,' he said..."

"UNRWA Admission of Hamas Military Presence in UNRWA Schools" Breaking Israel News, David Bedein, June 19, 2015

"Only eight months ago, UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness viciously attacked our agency on Fox News claiming that our agency acts in a fraudulent manner without 'evidence' when we documented that the Hamas military wing had been present in the UNRWA schools in Gaza, as revealed in our book.

Gunness said over and over that there was no 'evidence'.

Now the UNRWA director admits that Hamas military presence in the UNRWA schools was there all along."

"U.N. Beats Familiar Anti-Israel Drum" The Boston Herald, Jeff Robbins, June 19, 2015

"Naturally, the U.N., owned for all practical purposes by the powerful Organization of Islamic Conference and the enviable petrodollars that Arab states bring to bear, is expected to issue another report condemning Israel...

The predictable chorus of those signed up to blame Israel regardless of the circumstances charges Israel, which struggled to stop the rockets and prevent the tunnel attacks, with deliberately killing Palestinian civilians. Streams of military experts who examined the evidence have pronounced these charges utter nonsense..."

"Expert: Israel Didn't Commit War Crimes in Gaza" Arutz Sheva, Yoni Kempinski and Eliran Aharon, June 19, 2015

"Anne Herzberg, an international law expert and the legal advisor of the NGO Monitor organization, dismissed in an interview with the Arutz Sheva the accusations that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza...

'As an overall policy, do I think the IDF committed war crimes? Absolutely not,' she reiterated."

"Palestinians to Submit First Files to ICC in Hopes of Prompting Case Against Israel" The Jerusalem Post, June 18, 2015

"The Palestinian Authority is set to submit their first files next week to the International Criminal Court to open a case against Israel, AFP reported on Thursday.

Their accusations against Israel include allegations of abuses which occurred in Gaza during last year's war, and additional alleged crimes that have taken place in the Palestinian Authority territories since 2014.

The first files are to be submitted on June 25 for review by the board, Palestinian Authority official Ammar Hijazi was quoted as saying by AFP..."

"UN Investigators Fighting Wars on Paper" YNet News, Eitan Haber, June 17, 2015

"The question right now is not if the State of Israel is being rightfully or unrightfully persecuted – the fact is that it is being persecuted. The report of the United Nations' commission of inquiry into the events of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last year is just one symptom of a serious persecution disease, and not one of the gravest symptoms...

This report, like many before it and other similar reports, was authored by people who have never been in a battlefield. It was likely written in an air-conditioned room, under relaxed and good lighting, in an atmosphere which is completely different from the atmosphere in the middle of an exchange of fire. It does not contain the fear, the surprise, the bitter and tough enemy on the other side, the innocent civilians activating large explosive devices from surveillance by a window..."

"'Not Every Civilian Death Equals a War Crime'" Arutz Sheva, Eliran Aharon, June 17, 2015

"The question of whether Hamas committed war crimes during the summer war is obvious, Rosenzweig [Adv. Ido Rosenzweig, expert on international law and cybersecurity at University of Haifa] stated, referring to the group storing rocket arsenals in UN schools and other civilian centers in Gaza...

As to the deaths of civilians itself, Rosenzweig noted that the phenomenon is not new - and accounted for in international law.

'[International law] does not operate in favor of that, but not every civilian death equals a war crime,' he said. Instead, he noted, it's the responsibility of both sides to minimize civilian casualties as much as possible."

"Israel, Gaza, And The 'War Crimes' Issue" The Jewish Press, Editorial Board, June 17, 2015

"Last week Israel's Military Advocate General released a detailed report on its internal investigations into the conduct of the IDF in last summer's Operation Defensive Edge, finding that neither Israeli nor international law was broken.

The report came in advance of what is expected to be a highly critical report by the UN Human Rights Council. Inasmuch as the UN report is expected to trigger a full court press for formal UN war crimes charges and official sanctions, the role of the Obama administration looms very large. And there is cause for concern...

So far as we know, the administration still believes Israel was seriously delinquent in seeking to keep civilian deaths in Gaza at a minimum, notwithstanding what the highest ranking American military official believes to be the case. When the time for critical pushback against the UN Human Rights Council comes, will President Obama go with the facts, or will he make a calculated decision to distance the administration from Israel, as Mr. Earnest, Ms. Psaki, and other administration spokespeople suggested three months ago might be the case?"

"Hamas War Crimes in Gaza" American Thinker, Michael Curtis, June 17, 2015

"It is a cause of wonder, though not surprising, that the international community has not indicted the terrorist group Hamas on charges of war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and violations of international law, for its actions against innocent citizens, both Israelis and Palestinians, during the conflict in the Gaza Strip in summer 2014.

The evidence has been made clear in two sources. One is a 277-page report by the Israel Foreign Ministry and other authorities. The other is a report submitted to the United Nations by the High Level International Military Group, comprising non-Israeli former chiefs of staff, generals, and politicians and headed by General Klaus Naumann, the former chairman of the NATO Military Committee...

The two reports conclude that Israel not only met a reasonable international standard of observance of the laws of armed conflict, but in many cases significantly exceeded that standard."

"UN Human Rights Council Expected to Release 'Twisted and Anti-Israel' Report " Breaking Israel News, Ahuva Balofsky, June 16, 2015

"The United Nations Human Rights Council's (UNHRC) report on Israel's conduct during Operation Protective Edge is slated to be released Monday, but already it is being lambasted. Several media outlets are reporting on the comments of Israeli politicians and others across the political spectrum.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the investigation committee of being a sham, saying it pronounced Israel 'guilty even before the examination began.' Speaking to Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna, he noted that the UNHRC has passed more resolutions against Israel than against North Korea, Syria and Iran combined...

Netanyahu is not alone in preemptively dismissing the UN report. Speaking in London to Britain's Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Zionist Camp co-chair Tzipi Livni said, 'It is important that the British government have an accurate picture of the factual, ethical, and legal reality, because the UN report is expected to be so twisted and anti-Israel.'...

A recent report by world military experts corroborated Israel's position, placing the blame for most civilian deaths and the entire conflict itself squarely on Hamas's shoulders."

"Israel Braces for Propaganda Assault by the U.N." Frontpage Mag, Joseph Klein, June 16, 2015

The United Nations Human Rights Council is set to shortly release a so-called fact-finding report on the war last year in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, prepared by its "commission of inquiry." The report is scheduled for "debate" by the Human Rights Council members on June 29th. The only thing that is likely to be debated is which member of this hypocritical body, consisting of some of the world's worst human rights abusers, gets to use the most strident adjectives to condemn Israel for alleged 'war crimes and crimes against humanity.'...

The Palestinian propaganda machine, aided and abetted by their UN sympathizers, most notably by the grossly misnamed UN Human Rights Council and its kangaroo 'investigatory' commission, will try to drown the truth with distortions, omission of critical facts and outright lies. Sadly, as Winston Churchill once said, 'A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.'"

"Statement of PM Netanyahu to Polish FM Schetyna" Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, June 15, 2015

"We fulfill our responsibility to protect our people against terrorist who perpetuate and perpetrate a double war crime. Hamas terrorist deliberately target our civilians while deliberately hiding behind their civilians. That's a double war crime. And I think that it under-points the fact that there is a travesty here. Because even though we're fighting, Hamas terrorists who are committing the double war crime of targeting our civilians while hiding behind their civilians, Israel operates in accordance with the highest standards of international law. We take every step to avoid civilian casualties, including on the enemy's sides...

Now I compare this to this committee that we have. The UN Human Rights Committee that has put a so called investigation against Israel. Israel was pronounced guilty before the investigation even began. They appointed a person to head this committee who was being paid by the Palestinian. This committee has more resolutions against Israel than against North Korea, Syria, and Iran combined. This tells you of what we're dealing with. So this campaign, these attacks against Israel, these investigations against Israel have nothing to do with human rights. They have everything to do with politically inspired attacks in a cynical effort to de-legitimize Israel using UN bodies."

"The Pointless Battle of the Gaza War Reports" Commentary Magazine, Jonathan S. Tobin, June 15, 2015

"It doesn't matter how much care the IDF takes to avoid hurting noncombatants. If, like the HRC and other Israel-haters, you don't think the Jewish state has a right to exist or to defend itself, everything it does is illegitimate. By the same token, it doesn't matter how culpable Hamas is, their crimes are always going to be rationalized or even justified by those determined to smear Israel...

[T]hose legal details are unfortunately not going to influence the battle for international opinion. The plain fact is that those who think Hamas has the right to shoot at Israeli civilians and consider it bad form that the Jewish state takes so much trouble to protect its people actually aren't interested in the facts about the fighting. It doesn't matter to them that no other country in the world would seek to stop attacks on its cities with the degree of care that Israel demonstrates. Nor does it matter that the point of Hamas's 'resistance' is not to adjust the border in the West Bank but to destroy Israel.

By any rational standard, Israel's effort to stop Hamas missile fire and tunnels was a just war. But if you think Israelis deserve to be killed simply because they are Israelis and that the Jews are the one people in the world not entitled to a state or its defense, then it doesn't matter how hard the IDF tries to save Palestinian lives. Such bias has a name and it applies to those who hold such views whether they are Arabs or Jews: anti-Semitism. That and not the details of the reports about Gaza is what will continue to drive the debate about the war."

"Israel's Preemptive Strike at a United Nations Smear" New York Post, Post Editorial Board, June 15, 2015

"Even as he released a comprehensive 277-page report documenting Israel's adherence to international law during last summer's war with Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knew it would change no minds at the United Nations.

As Bibi said, the UN Human Rights Council investigation set to be released this week found Israel 'guilty even before the examination began.' Just so.

The UN, after all, continues to all but ignore the ongoing human-rights tragedy that ISIS inflicts on Palestinians at the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria. And the Israel-obsessed Human Rights Council closes its eyes to real war crimes in Syria, Iraq and Libya.

So expect the UN agency to declare Israel guilty of war crimes and hand the Palestinians a legal basis for bringing a case to the International Criminal Court."

"Attorneys at War: Inside an Elite Israeli Military Law Unit" The Weekly Standard, Willy Stern, June 15, 2015

"[T]he IDF's international law department [is] essentially the best little niche law firm you've never heard of. These distinguished attorneys carry assault rifles, get shot at frequently, and sit at the cutting edge of the law of armed conflict. The unit goes by 'Dabla,' the acronym for the Hebrew name of the international law department; Dabla, in turn, sits inside Israel's equivalent of the U.S. Army's Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps...

But to understand Dabla is to understand the insanity of the avalanche of criticism raining down on Israel for the way its military fights...

For better or worse, combat commanders and Dabla attorneys will bend over backwards to prevent civilian casualties. The concept is simply deeply embedded into the IDF culture."

"Israel 'Exceeded Legal Standards' in Gaza Conflict, Military Group Tells UN" Times of Israel, Times of Israel Staff, June 13, 2015

"A multinational military group comprised of former chiefs of staff, generals and politicians submitted a report to the United Nations on Friday indicating that Israel went to great lengths to adhere to the laws of war and to protect Palestinian civilians during last summer's 50-day war with Hamas in and around the Gaza Strip...

The group found that 'during Operation Protective Edge last summer... Israel not only met a reasonable international standard of observance of the laws of armed conflict, but in many cases significantly exceeded that standard.'

They wrote that 'In some cases Israel's scrupulous adherence to the laws of war cost Israeli soldiers' and civilians' lives.'...

While acknowledging that some Palestinian deaths were caused by some errors and misjudgments during the war, the panel said Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups 'as the aggressors and the users of human shields' were responsible for 'the overwhelming majority of deaths in Gaza this summer.'..."

"International Criminal Court Planning to Send Delegation to Examine Complaints Against Israel" Haaretz, Amira Hass and Barak Ravid, June 11, 2015

"A delegation from the prosecutor's office of the International Criminal Court at The Hague is due to arrive in Israel on June 27 as part of the prosecution's preliminary examination into whether war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in the occupied Palestinian territories, according to senior Palestinian sources...

The purpose of the preliminary examination is to determine if there is a reasonable basis to the claim that crimes have been committed that are within the court's authority to investigate. If the prosecution does decide to launch an investigation, it is possible they will not just investigate allegations of Israeli war crimes, but also actions committed by the Palestinians.

An independent attorney who is advising the Palestinian committee told Haaretz the delegation's visit is a good sign that indicates the court is taking the issue seriously..."

"UN Secretary-General Weighs Lumping Israel in with ISIS and Al Qaeda" Fox News, Anne Bayefsky, June 5, 2015

"...UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is now weighing whether to sign off on a report emanating from an Algerian U.N. 'human rights expert' that analogizes Israel to ISIS, Boko Haram and Al Qaeda...

Moreover, in the coming weeks, the U.N. will issue another report on Israel's 'criminal' response to Hamas genocidaires in Gaza, commissioned by UN Human Rights Council authorities like Russia, China and Saudi Arabia.

These attacks on Israel are part of a concerted effort by the vast U.N. machinery to rewrite international law to the advantage of terrorists who use civilians as human shields – thereby encouraging the use of more civilians as human shields. What begins as the demonization of Israel, affects every democratic society forced to defend itself against Hamas or Hezbollah or ISIS or Boko Haram or al-Qaeda..."

"PLO Prepares to Face Israeli Lawsuits at ICC" Arutz Sheva, Dalit Halevy and Ari Yashar, June 2, 2015

"The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorist group's Palestinian National Council (PNC), tasked with managing ties with the International Criminal Court (ICC), is preparing to deal with lawsuits against Palestinian Arabs submitted by Israel at the ICC.

On April 1 the Palestinian Authority (PA) joined the ICC in The Hague in breach of the 1993 Oslo Accords which formed the PA, seeking to use the court to attack Israel and accuse it of 'war crimes' - however, the move also opened up the PA and those living under it to lawsuits at the court, such as terrorists of the leading Fatah faction who fired rockets at Israeli citizens in Hamas's terror war last summer..."

"IDF Official: If Our War Crimes Probes No Good, All of the West's are No Good" Jerusalem Post, Yonah Jeremy Bob, May 18, 2015

"With a veiled threat to the International Criminal Court, a top IDF legal division official said on Monday that 'if others say that our investigations' into war crimes allegations are insufficient, then 'the entire Western world' must realize that their investigations will be declared insufficient.

IDF Deputy Military Advocate- General Col. Eli Baron . . . also predicted that Israel would have significant support from other Western countries which are impressed with the IDF's efforts to avoid civilian casualties in war and to investigate itself."

"The ICC has Become Politicized and is Out to Get Israel " Canada Foreign Press, Joseph A. Klein, May 16, 2015

"Ms. Bensouda appears unmoved that Israel's military has opened several criminal investigations into its conduct during the Gaza war and that Israel also has an independent judiciary with a demonstrated record of effective, transparent operation. This is despite the fact that the ICC is not supposed to expend resources on matters that can be handled in the first instance by national courts, under the principle of complementarity...

Even if Ms. Bensouda does include Hamas as a potential target for prosecution, it would serve only as a cover to try to legitimize her decision to go after Israel. A superficially balanced prosecution would amount in reality to the ICC's complicity with the Palestinians' strategy of asymmetrical lawfare against Israel...

For the ICC to treat Israel, which is a functioning democracy with an independent judiciary, on the same level as Hamas is a travesty of justice."

"International Criminal Court is New Battleground in the Fight Against Terror" The Hill, Aaron Menenberg, May 15, 2015

"The realization of a nightmare scenario that threatens U.S. national security is playing itself out right now at the International Criminal Court (ICC), and many in Washington are unaware of it. The Palestinian Authority, a long-time recipient of American foreign aid, is using the court to achieve political and military goals against democratic Israel by seeking a legal judgment that delegitimizes Israel's sovereign right to self-defense. If the ICC sides with the Palestinian Authority, America's enemies will know how to use the ICC against the United States...

If the ICC decides to prosecute the case, the right of Israel, a sovereign democracy just like America, to defend itself against terrorists will be put on trial by a court made up of judges who have neither the right nor the expertise to pass judgment on a country's security needs."

"The Latest 'Breaking the Silence' Report Isn't Journalism. It's Propaganda." Mosaic, Matti Friedman, May 14, 2015

"There are no dates or names. In most cases we are given a rank and the section of the army ('infantry,' 'armored corps') to which the soldier belongs; in a few cases there is no identification at all...

More seriously, having promised to reveal the secret of the civilian death toll in Gaza in the form of systematic Israeli misdeeds, and having selected, with that purpose in mind, the most incriminating segments from much longer interviews, the report fails to deliver...

The activists from Breaking the Silence aren't journalists, and their report is intended not to explain but to shock. It's propaganda."

"IDF Commander: Hamas Transformed the Gazan Civilian Sector Into War Zone" Algemeiner, David Daoud, May 10, 2015

"Speaking last week at the International Ground Forces Ceremony in Latrun, IDF Col. Uri Gordin - who commanded the Nahal Brigade during Operation Protective Edge last summer - discussed the differences between how Israel and Hamas treat their civilians.

He said Israel 'aims to protect its civilian population. The Israeli fighter endangers himself to protect civilians.' By contrast, Hamas 'was not trying to stop us, but wanted us to harm civilians... This way, it can negatively impact Israel's legitimacy to act against it'...

He said, 'you cannot fight without entering into these buildings, and in every fourth house, we found a bomb. This is an operational challenge. The entire civilian space was organized as a war zone.'"

"Publication of Israeli Soldiers' Accounts Clouded by Political Agenda" The Sydney Morning Herald, Gerald Steinberg, May 9, 2015

"On May 4, 2015, Breaking the Silence, a small Israeli non-governmental organisation, published anonymous allegations from Israel Defence Forces soldiers who are said to have fought in Gaza during summer 2014, purporting to 'close the yawning gaps between what the IDF and government spokespersons told the public about the combat scenarios, and the reality described by the soldiers ...'

Naming sources is a basic prerequisite for making legal claims, allowing accounts to be verified and witnesses to be questioned. Dates must be provided and locations cited to understand the broader context in which events were alleged to have taken place. Without this information, we are left with a radical political agenda that exploits the language of international law.

In the 200-plus pages of 'testimony', mostly from low-ranking soldiers, the names and the units in which they served are left unidentified. Similarly absent are dates of the alleged events, making verification by competent authorities impossible. In the very difficult war between Israelis soldiers and Hamas-led terror cells in Gaza firing missiles from houses, mosques, schools (as recently documented in a rare UN report), and hospitals, context is indispensable..."

"A Manipulation of Human Rights" Ynewsnet.com, Ben-Dror Yemini, May 9, 2015

"...The report released by Breaking the Silence is already making waves around the world. Isn't it simply wonderful to preach human rights? It's a position in high demand. The thing is, we're dealing here with another piece of major deception, another link in the chain of effort to turn Israel into a living monster, and more help for the BDS campaign.

Why deception? First, when Israel is accused of harming civilians, or when people talk about proportionality, one has to ask: What are the proportions? It turns out there aren't any – and not by chance either. Because every comparative review definitively shows that Israel causes less civilian casualties than those witnessed on other similar battlefields."

"Former UK Cmdr.: UN, Foreign Governments 'Deliberately' Twisting Laws of Armed Conflict on Israel" Breaking Israel News, Zach Pyser, May 6, 2015

"Col. (ret.) Richard Kemp, former commander of the UK's forces in Afghanistan... told Tazpit News Agency that the United Nations, foreign governments and human rights organizations were 'deliberately misunderstanding, and misrepresenting, international laws of armed conflict,' specifically referring to the law of proportionality. 'These organizations and governments are portraying Israel as breaking the laws of armed conflict, which according to my knowledge, they're not,' Kemp contended. "

"Europe to Breaking the Silence: Bring Us as Many Incriminating Testimonies as Possible" NGO Monitor, May 5, 2015

"On May 4, 2015, the political advocacy NGO Breaking the Silence (BtS) published a booklet of testimonies concerning the Summer 2014 Gaza conflict...It stands to reason that this publication is meant to support the UN's 'Schabas' investigation and bolster attempts to bring charges against Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC). As with many other BtS publications, this report lacks all credibility and objectivity. Likewise, the extensive foreign funding that Breaking the Silence receives, as well as its international political activities, highlight the problems with this publication...

Contrary to BtS' claim that 'the contents and opinions in this booklet do not express the position of the funders,' NGO Monitor research reveals that a number of funders made their grants conditional on the NGO obtaining a minimum number of negative 'testimonies.' This contradicts BtS' declarations and thus turns it into an organization that represents its foreign donors' interest, severely damaging the NGO's reliability and its ability to analyze complicated combat situations. "

"The United Nations on Hamas War Crimes" American Thinker, Michael Curtis, May 2, 2015

"The hypocrisy, or deliberate ignorance, of officials of UNRWA ... remains unabated. In spite of the clear evidence to the contrary, Chris Gunness, spokesman for UNRWA, said that its schools had been hit by the IDF though no weapons were discovered or fired from their premises. He stated that if militants did fire rockets from the schools, he would condemn them.

The reality, as found by the Board of Inquiry, was that three UNRWA schools were used by Palestinians to store weapons and that firing by a Palestinian armed group from them 'probably' occurred in two of the schools."

"Gaza Casualties? Fault Hamas and UNRWA" Commentary Magazine, Jonathan S. Tobin, April 29, 2015

"On Monday the United Nations issued a report about attacks on their facilities in Gaza during last summer's fighting between Hamas and Israel... While some of the shelters in question might have been struck in error in the heat of battle in a confusing environment, even the UN was prepared to admit that many of their institutions in Gaza were being used as arms depots by Hamas and that armed fighters were shooting at Israel in the vicinity of many of the places that were attacked. While Israel's military can't be said to be perfect, the real fault for what happened belongs to both the Hamas terrorist overlords of Gaza and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that operated the facilities...

UNRWA has a long record of allowing itself to be used by Hamas as it employed their members and showed little interest in preventing its buildings from being used the same way all other schools and humanitarian institutions were employed-as cover for Hamas fighters...

Hamas continues to view all of Israel within the 1967 lines as 'occupied territory' that must be liberated from the Jews. As long as it rules in Gaza and UNRWA is its willing accomplice, there will never be any 'place of safety' in the strip or in Israel. That is the nub of the problem, not specific Israeli decisions to fire on areas where terrorists are shooting."

"I Don't Trust the AP's Report on Civilian Deaths in Gaza and Neither Should You" Algemeiner, Richard Behar, February 14, 2015

"...in the Meir Amit center's January report, they announced that 1,600 of the 2,140 Gazans who were killed have been identified as such: 55% are combatants, and 45% non-combatants. For the other 540 people, they do not yet know which category to put them in. The center also says that Hamas is obfuscating the actual lists and affiliations, partly because of objective technical difficulties (poor paperwork and a lack of access to some of the bodies), and partly deliberately as part of its propaganda campaign against Israel.

The article in AP is focused on 'a particular subset of the fatalities-those killed while inside houses ostensibly targeted by the Israelis,' defense analyst Hecht told me on Friday. 'I write 'ostensibly' targeted by Israelis because something in the order of 2,600(+) Palestinian rockets and mortar bombs were fired deliberately (most of them) or by mistake into Palestinian residential areas. The deliberate fire being against Israeli soldiers in that area-but without warning local civilians to move out. So of the 247 houses struck, how many were clearly struck by Israel and how many by Palestinian fire...'

'In short,' concludes Hecht, 'people are figuring with the numbers to suit their fancy (political agendas)...'"

"Half Of Names Of Gaza Journalist Casualties Are Terror Operatives, Or Members Of Hamas Media" Jerusalem Post, Yaakov Lappin, February 12, 2015

"...'The study, not yet complete, found that eight out of the 17 names were operatives who belonged to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, or who worked in Hamas media outlets,' the report, published Thursday, stated.



'The Palestinian Journalists Union and the Gazan branch of the Information Office tried to hide the military-terrorist identity of the terror operatives, and present them as journalists in every way,' it added.



It went on to categorize three levels of ties between some of the 'journalists' and Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Two terrorists, who were active in the military wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, belonged to the 'highest level,' the report said. This means that they were armed and uniformed, and carried out public relations missions in Hamas and Islamic Jihad combat units.

.."

"Schabas Resignation Means it's High Time to Address UN Bias on Israel" Algemeiner, Ben Cohen, February 9, 2015

"...I remember being rather staggered by that admission-the Human Rights Council had already announced that Schabas, a frequent and intemperate critic of Israel, was to head an investigation into the most bitterly contested aspect of a war that electrified the world, wrought devastation upon Gaza, and spawned anti-Semitic violence across Europe. And yet that same commission still didn't have a member of staff appointed to liaise with the press...

Convenient, I thought, if they didn't want people to know what they were up to...

But the blogger Elder of Ziyon helpfully dug out the application form that Schabas submitted to the U.N. In the section on professional ethics, Schabas answered 'no' to three separate questions asking whether there was anything-like a conflict of interest-that might compromise his independence and judgement. But we know now that he worked for the PLO and tried to hide that fact. And we knew when he was appointed that he regarded Benjamin Netanyahu not as the prime minister of Israel, but as a 'war criminal' who should be put on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC)..."

"Scandal Rocks the U.N." National Review, Anne Bayefsky, February 6, 2015

"Four days ago, on February 2, the head of a U.N. commission of inquiry created to investigate war crimes in Gaza was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had taken money from the PLO for providing legal advice. William Schabas's U.N. job was to expose war criminals and recommend how to hold them 'accountable.' William Schabas's PLO job was to show them how to use the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hold Israeli war criminals accountable. He didn't think there was a problem.

His conflict of interest did not surface, however, until after the inquiry he was heading had 'largely completed' its evidence-gathering, and the writing of the requisite report had begun, according to Schabas himself. But instead of taking the only legitimate route and setting aside the whole tainted exercise, the president of the U.N. Human Rights Council, Joachim Rücker of Germany, claimed he was 'preserving the integrity' of the inquiry simply by accepting Schabas's resignation...

The idea of the inquiry was to open a second front in the war, conducted by international lawyers, to tie the hands of Israeli decision-makers - political and military - behind their backs.

Hence, the Schabas inquiry's mandate was to examine human-rights violations 'in the occupied Palestinian territory,' not 'in Israel.' The date cited for the beginning of the inquiry was June 13, 2014, because Palestinian terrorists had kidnapped (and later murdered) three Israeli teenagers the day before - and Israeli aggression was a given of the investigation. The mandate never mentioned 'Hamas' or its terror tunnels, almost half of which opened into Israel.

With the terms of the 'inquiry' set to ensure the desired outcome, Schabas and two others became the council's tools. They were selected by President Rücker 'in consultation' with the Palestinians in the belief that they could be counted upon to deliver a guilty verdict..."

"Another U.N. Human Rights Fraud" Wall Street Journal, February 5, 2015

"...The inquiry was formed to investigate war crimes during last summer's Gaza conflict, which broke out after the Gaza-based terror group Hamas fired rockets at Israeli population centers. Yet the U.N. wanted to investigate only Israel. The resolution creating the investigating panel condemned "gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations" without mentioning Hamas.

That's a problem, because genuine rights abuses worthy of investigation include Hamas's placement of rocket launchers in schools and hospitals and its strategy of firing on Israeli civilians. As welcome as it is, Mr. Schabas's departure won't salvage the credibility of a commission that has been politicized from the start."

"Robbins: Probe Chief's PLO Ties Show U.N.'s Anti-Israel Bias" Boston Herald, Jeff Robbins, February 5, 2015

"...When the U.N. chose William Schabas to judge whether Israel should be blamed for attempting to defend itself from 4,500 rockets fired at it by Hamas last summer, the appointment seemed to reflect perfectly that body's unembarrassed anti-Israel animus. Defying ethical rules requiring judges to be both unbiased and free of the reasonable appearance of bias, the U.N. went ahead and appointed someone who had repeatedly made his bias entirely clear.

In the run-up to his selection as chair of the 'fact-finding' exercise, Schabas had recommended 'going after' Israel's president, Nobel laureate Shimon Peres, and had declared that 'my favorite would be [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu in the dock of the International Criminal Court.' He had asserted that 'Those who are to blame are Israel and its friends.' He had given the keynote speech at a Tehran conference tied to former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has vowed to destroy Israel.

The tip-off, for anyone who needed one, might have been that the U.N.'s choice of Schabas was praised by Hamas. 'Forming an investigative committee headed by Schabas,' noted Israeli diplomat Ron Pronsor, 'is like inviting ISIS to organize Religious Tolerance Week at the U.N....'"

"William Schabas' disgraceful exit is a testament to the corruption at the UN Human Rights" National Post, Anne Bayefsky, February 4, 2015

"...In his letter of resignation on February 2, Schabas defends himself against charges of conflict of interest on the novel grounds that he had clearly been partial from the start: his political views, he complains, were 'well-known' prior to his appointment. For this lawyer, evidently, two wrongs do make a right.

Among those 'views' was this statement from 2012: 'Crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression, all of which I think it can be shown have been perpetrated at various times during the history of the State of Israel...' Moreover, the job description assigned to the inquiry by the Council specifically asked it 'to identify those responsible' for 'the crimes perpetrated' and 'to make recommendations...on accountability measures...' Hence, the outcome of any Schabas-run inquiry was 'well-known.' He had already said back in 2012: 'my favorite would be Netanyahu in the dock at the International Criminal Court.'

It is a testament to the corruption at the Human Rights Council that none of this disqualified Schabas in the first place. Perhaps that explains how he might have dreamt that taking money from one of the sides to a dispute – to provide advice directly related to the subject he was now called upon to consider – would not be a problem for the UN.

As he tells the Council in his resignation letter, he imagined his 'legal opinion' to the PLO on how to capitalize on the International Criminal Court 'was a tiny part' of his 'enormous body of scholarly work.' (Non-lawyers and the less erudite might call this being a tiny bit pregnant.) He rants, further : 'when I was asked if I would accept nomination to the Commission of Inquiry, I was not requested to provide any details of my past statements and other activities concerning Palestine and Israel.'

In a final stunning display of hubris, Schabas claims that none of this should affect the legitimacy of the inquiry's forthcoming report, to be presented to the Council in March and then being sent to the ICC. According to Schabas, the research and evidence-gathering phase he had conducted, managed and directed for five months – which will form the basis of the entire report – was 'largely completed.' Indeed, 'the work on the drafting of the report is beginning...'"

"William Schabas Lied, Repeatedly, On His Application Form To UNHRC" Elder of Ziyon Blog, February 4, 2015

"Israel's Channel 2 reported that William Schabas lied in his resignation letter - and on his application form to become the head of the commission to investigate the Gaza war. In his letter, he wrote:

In early August 2014, when I was asked if I would accept a nomination to the Commission of Inquiry, I was not requested to provide any details on any of my past statements and other activities concerning Palestine and Israel. Of course, my views on Israel and Palestine as well as on many other issues were well known and very public. My curriculum vitae was readily available indicating public lectures and writings on the subject. My opinions were frequently aired on my blog. This work in defence of human rights appears to have made me a huge target for malicious attacks...

But his application did ask him about conflicts of interest..."

"Netanyahu: UN's Gaza probe should be shelved" Ynet News, February 3, 2015

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that the United Nations commission investigating potential war crimes in Gaza should be 'shelved' now that its head has resigned amid accusations he was biased against Israel.

Netanyahu said Tuesday that the commission, set up by the UN Human Rights Council, is an 'an anti-Israel body, the decisions of which prove it has nothing to do with human rights.'

Netanyahu said that in 2014 alone, it passed more resolutions against Israel that Iran, Syria and North Korea combined. 'It is Hamas, the other terrorist organizations and the terrorist regimes around us that need to be investigated,' said the Israeli leader...'"

"Threat Of Violence Silences Palestinian Journalists" Ynet News, Asmaa al-Ghoul, February 3, 2015

"...A late 2014 study by the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms found that 80% of Palestinian journalists in the West Bank and Gaza practice self-censorship of their writing.

Journalist Ghazi Bani Odeh, who conducted the survey, 'The Official Media and Freedom of Expression,' told Al-Monitor that attacks and harassment, and thus fear of them, are the main causes leading journalists to censor themselves.

He told Al-Monitor, 'There is no difference between the violations [against journalists] committed in the West Bank and those committed in Gaza, as journalists are equally suppressed, thus leading them to examine every word they write...'"

"Head of UN Gaza inquiry quits, cites Israel's bias claims" Times of Israel, Lazar Berman, February 3, 2015

"The head of the United Nations inquiry into the 2014 Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas announced on Monday that he was stepping down.

Canadian international law professor William Schabas sent a letter to the UN commission, citing Israeli allegations of bias over consulting work he did for the Palestine Liberation Organization, Reuters reported.

In 2012, Schabas was paid $1,300 for a legal opinion he wrote for the PLO...

Casting himself as a victim of 'malicious attacks', Schabas wrote that he did not want the charges to cast a cloud over the investigation...

The UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict , commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, is scheduled to release its report in March. Schabas said in his letter that most of the research was done, and the writing phase was underway..."

"Proportionality in the Gaza War: What Do Death Tolls and Missile Attacks in Gaza and Israel (Summer 2014) Tell Us?" Jerusalem Center for Genocide Prevention and Hebrew University Hadassah Genocide Prevention Program, Elihu D Richter, Talya Markus, Alex Burnley and Tamar Pileggi, January 30, 2015

"...The cumulative timelines in this report make it clear that Hamas bears the responsibility for the more than 2000 deaths from both sides. The final ceasefire that Hamas signed was essentially the same as the first ceasefire proposal, which Hamas refused to sign. These cease fires offered the openings of border crossings. Had Hamas truly been trying to achieve its goal of Israel lifting the blockade, and if Hamas valued the lives of its Palestinian citizens, it would have signed the first ceasefire proposal. We suggest that Hamas bears the responsibility for these 2000+ deaths..."

"Jerusalem begins diplomatic fight against UN Commission inquiry on Gaza" The Jerusalem Post, Herb Keinon, January 13, 2015

"...The commission, headed by William Schabas, is due to present its findings to the UN Human Rights Council on March 23, just six days after the elections. A vote on the findings will be held a few days later.

According to a Foreign Ministry cable sent to Israel's representatives abroad, the goal of the campaign is to get 'as many countries as possible – with the hope that at least 24 will not approve the committee's findings – to either vote against, abstain or not show up [for the vote]...'

Israel is refusing to cooperate with the commission, and the committee is therefore gathering testimony using technological means or through interviews done from Jordan.

Part of the campaign against the commission will be to discredit its head, Canadian international law professor Schabas, who in 2012 said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be his 'favorite person' to bring to the International Criminal Court.

In 2009 Schabas – who has accused Israel of war crimes and crimes against humanity – expressed surprise that Sudan's president, and not then-Israeli president Shimon Peres, would be prosecuted by the ICC.

'The Schabas Commission was born in sin,' said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon, explaining Israel's decision to launch a campaign to discredit it. 'Its mandate is highly distorted, and its head has decided to indict Israel even before the commission started its work. This is a sham, a mockery of justice, and reminiscent of the Inquisition trials.'

Nahshon labeled the Human Rights Council 'an anti-Israel body which has no intention whatsoever of judging Israel fairly and honestly...'"

"Opinion: Israel Should Get Its Retaliation In First" Newsweek, Peter Berkowitz, December 2, 2014

"...U.N. bodies, international and domestic courts, diplomatic circles, nongovernmental organizations, and the European and American legal academies are preparing the coming attack on Israel, a continuation of war by means of law and legal institutions.

In theory, calling Israel to account seeks to safeguard human rights, uphold international law and constrain the inherent brutality of war. In practice, it criminalizes Israel's right to defend itself and abuses key principles of international law. Also, by rewarding Hamas, which commits the double war crime of militarizing urban areas in Gaza and targeting civilian populations in Israel, the lawfare aimed at Israel incentivizes terrorism and weakens the ability of the United States and the West to defend themselves.

To defend itself while also bolstering the long-term interest of other liberal democracies engaged in the struggle against transnational terrorism, Israel should undertake a preemptive strike, both in the legal arena and in the court of public opinion. The facts and the law are on Israel's side...."

"Hamas, Inc" Tablet Magazine, Moshe Elad, November 18, 2014

"...Between 1995 and 2005 the PA, which had a population of 4 million people, has received $8 billion for building its industrial infrastructure to create jobs, improve its people's lives, and establish public institutions. Unfortunately, none of those projects shows evidence of having been implemented. Most of the funds went to private pockets, and the rest helped PA leaders to recruit more militia members. Monopolies of oil, gas, food, cigarettes, and cell phones have been granted to the prime minister's family and to a few government ministers and local security officers. Those who were deprived of their chance to feed at the public trough have not remained quiet. A year ago, Mohammad Dahlan who used to be a senior security Fatah officer in Gaza, filed an international lawsuit against President Abu-Mazen, claiming Abbas has stolen over $1 billion from the Palestinian budget..."

"After Gaza 2014: Schabas" European Journal of International Law blog, Joseph Weiler, November 4, 2014

"...When the firing and killing ceases and judicial inquiry takes over it is in the interest of justice and the credibility of the bodies who administer it to adopt those other idioms of the law – dispassionate, 'blind', fair – and to heed the wisdom of justice needing not only to be done but to be seen to be done.

It is, thus, appropriate that the UN Rights Council speaks of an 'independent' inquiry to investigate 'purported' violations of IHL and HR. So it should be.

The Council in the same meeting condemned in the strongest terms 'widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms' perpetrated by Israel in the conduct of hostilities. It serves neither the interests of justice nor the credibility of the bodies charged in administering such to reach these categorical conclusions before the body set up, in the same breath, to investigate purported violations has investigated and reported. Careful factual and legal analyses are needed before any definitive conclusions may be reached. One might think that the appointing body, already sticking the arrow and drawing the target around it, may put undue pressure on the independent investigating body to reach certain conclusions. Even if these were the views of Members of the Council, they should have been withheld when the Council, a political body, exercised its investigative and judicial authority. The dissonance jars and is compromising. The same is true for the failure of the Council explicitly to make Hammas, the effective government of Gaza, alongside Israel an object for investigating purported violations of IHL and HR.

In fairness, the resolution was far from unanimous, with a large body of Western countries abstaining.

Which brings us to the appointment of Professor William Schabas. Schabas has perfect professional credentials for membership; he is a distinguished and justly influential scholar in the field. I know him to be an entirely honourable person of impeccable integrity. But once his statement, albeit in another context, emerged, available on Youtube, that 'Netanyahu would be his favourite to be in the dock of the ICC', I believe the only right thing was to recuse himself and step down..."

"International Law is Not a Suicide Pact" Arutz Sheva, Louis René Beres, October 29, 2014

"In the case of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and 'moderate' Fatah, there is ample evidence that these unrepentant terrorists are routinely guilty of 'perfidy.' To spark Israel's recent Operation Protective Edge, Palestinian 'freedom fighters' had fired intentionally and persistently at Israeli civilian targets, launching their indiscriminate assaults from Gaza schools, homes, and hospitals...

Viewed against the extensive landscape of terrorist crimes in Gaza, Israel is not guilty of 'disproportionality.' All combatants, including the terrorizing Palestinian insurgents in Gaza, are required to comply with the law of war...

In the manner of every other country in world politics, Israel maintains an unqualified right under international law to protect its citizens. Until now, in exercising this fully 'peremptory' right, Jerusalem's use of military force has remained closely measured and controlled. It follows that the international community should finally begin to shift its allegedly jurisprudential concerns from the crudely deceptive mantras of 'lawfare,' and focus instead on the still-escalating criminality of Palestinian terrorism."

"A Serial Israel-Basher Shouldn't Be Judging the Jewish State" Time, Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, October 9, 2014

"The iconic Lady Justice holding evenly balanced scales reflects a truth that national traditions, the law, and, yes, common decency demand that judges should be above reproach. Mocking this baseline ethical standard, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) selected a notorious anti-Israel zealot-Canadian lawyer William Schabas-to head its latest 'verdict first, trial later' inquisition against the Jewish state.

According to the U.S. Code governing judicial conduct, a judge should recuse himself or be disqualified if 'his impartiality might be reasonably questioned' for 'a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party.' That should have led the U.S. to immediately denounce a charade that violates American law and tradition and leaves open the possibility that this flawed international commission's findings could set legal precedents that not only further demonize our Israeli ally, but could negatively impact Americans defending our nation against terrorists in the future...

The UNHRC, renamed from the Human Rights Commission to the Human Rights Council in 2006, is an organization with a sordid history of invoking the cause of 'human rights' while suppressing action against the world's worst human rights abusers. It casts a blind eye to the inhuman rights records of Saddam's Iraq, the Assads' Syria, Bashir's Sudan, the mullahs' Iran, the Saudis' male-only theocracy, China's Tiananmen tank crew, sadists' targeting of Tibetan society, the geriatric Castro brothers and late Hugo Chavez's Latin prison farms.

Why didn't these outrages find the their way to the UNHRC's podium? For the simple reason that many of the heads these Orwellian regimes served on the UNHRC, sometimes even chairing it..."

"William Schabas' own colleague, human rights icon Aryeh Neier, calls for him to quit UN Gaza probe" UN Watch, October 1, 2014

"A top figure in the human rights world has called for William Schabas to step down from the new UN probe on Gaza, undermining Schabas' claim that the only people who believe he should go are critics of the UN.

The statement was made last week by Aryeh Neier, founding director of Human Rights Watch, former head of the ACLU, and President Emeritus of George Soros' Open Society Foundation...

In a lecture at the SciencesPo Paris School of International Affairs, where Neier teaches together with Schabas, the former said that commissions of inquiry are one of the few good things to come out of the UN Human Rights Council.

In regard to Schabas, Neier called him a well known and leading scholar. However, given Schabas' statement on bringing Netanyahu before the ICC, Neier said that 'Schabas should recuse himself.'

Neier said that 'any judge who had previously called for the indictment of the defendant would recuse himself...'"

"A betrayal of international law" The Jerusalem Post, Mordechai Kremnitzer, September 28, 2014

"The best way to give meaning and force to the norms set by the laws of war is for political leaders and senior military commanders the world over to internalize them.

To achieve this, it is essential that any proceedings that could lead to the assignment of criminal liability should be fair and just, and also appear as such. It seems that the committee headed by Prof. William Schabas does not meet this standard.

The body that established a committee to investigate suspected war crimes – the UN Human Rights Council – has a reputation for singling out Israel. The committee it appointed is suspected in advance of not having the pursuit of truth as its goal. What is more, even the resolution that set up the committee was worded in a way that suggests 'sentence first, verdict afterwards.'

This suspicion is only augmented by the fact that its members do not include a single citizen of the country whose military conduct is the focus of its inquiry - even though Israel has no shortage of retired judges and jurists of international repute. The damage to the inquiry is redoubled when its chair has already declared his desire to see the prime minister of Israel in the dock at the International Court of Justice - that is, the committee's chair has already formed a negative judgment about the head of the political system that oversees the military whose conduct is to be investigated. He cannot be perceived as an unbiased investigator..."

"Gazans Speak Out: Hamas War Crimes" Gatestone Institute, Mudar Zahran, September 19, 2014

"...Although Gazans, fearful of Hamas's revenge against them, were afraid to speak to the media, friends in the West Bank offered introductions to relatives in Gaza. One, a renowned Gazan academic, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that as soon as someone talked to a Western journalist, he was immediately questioned by Hamas and accused of 'communicating with the Mossad'. 'Hamas makes sure that the average Gazan will not talk to Western journalists -- or actually any journalists at all,' he said, continuing:

'Hamas does not want the truth about Gaza to come out. Hamas terrorizes and kills us just like Daesh [ISIS] terrorizes kills Iraqis. Hamas is a dictatorship that kills us. The Gazans you see praising Hamas on TV are either Hamas members or too afraid to speak against Hamas. Few foreign [Western] journalists were probably able to report what Gazans think of Hamas.'

When asked what Gazans did think of Hamas, he said:

'The same as Iraqis thought of Saddam before he was toppled. He still won by 90-something percent in the presidential elections. If Hamas falls today in Gaza, people here will do what Iraqis did to Saddam's statue after he fell. But even though Western journalists may not have been able to speak freely with Gazans, they still need a story to send to their editor by the end of the day. So it is just easier and safer for them to stick to the official line...'"

"Anatomy of a hanging" The New York Daily News, September 19, 2014

"The show trial is underway and the guilty verdict is guaranteed, as a United Nations panel makes a pretense of investigating human rights violations in the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas...

Hamas started the conflict by firing thousands of rockets indiscriminately into the Jewish state from heavily populated areas of Gaza, and prolonged the suffering by violating ceasefire after ceasefire that Israel honored.

While each Hamas rocket was a war crime, too much of the world attacked Israel for retaliating in self-defense. Among those in that camp is the UN Human Rights Council, a body dominated by Israel's foes that has focused incessantly on Israel while turning a blind eye to abuses by the world's worst regimes.

With the end of hostilities, the Council empaneled a commission 'to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law' during the war. But it dispatched the panel with marching orders to convict Israel.

To ensure the desired result, the Council named rabid anti-Israel international law professor William Schabas to chair the investigation..."

"Hamas Quietly Admits It Fired Rockets from Civilian Areas" The Wire, Adam Chandler, September 12, 2014

"...Throughout the seven-week conflict, Israel frequently charged that Hamas had been using schools, hospitals, and homes to fire rockets into Israel. The public line uttered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his surrogates was that Hamas was committing 'double war crimes' by firing from heavily populated civilian centers (using human shields) into Israeli towns (to attack other civilians.)

What eventually became the story's slightly buried lede was the peculiar admission by Hamas itself that it had indeed fired from population centers, only by 'mistake.' As a senior Hamas official Ghazi Hamad told the Associated Press:

'The Israelis kept saying rockets were fired from schools or hospitals when in fact they were fired 200 or 300 meters (yards) away. Still, there were some mistakes made and they were quickly dealt with.'

He added, inaccurately, that Gaza is 'one uninterrupted urban chain.'..."

"The Case Against William Schabas" The Jewish Week, Daniel Edelman, September 9, 2014

"...Schabas declared 'prima facie there is evidence of disproportionality' by Israel sufficient to declare the air strikes unjustified because 'there are a huge number of civilian casualties on one side and virtually no civilian casualties on the other.' The BBC interview is damning evidence sufficiently questioning Schabas' impartiality under a longstanding due process principle that judges or investigators 'should be, and should be seen to be, free of commitment to a preconceived outcome.'

Also on Sept. 4, Schabas championed his commission's adjudicatory relevance in a CNN interview, stating: 'the International Criminal Court is sitting in the wings,' and the commission will likely 'provide materials that would go to the prosecutor of the ICC and so that's a pretty big stick if we come to the conclusion that there were war crimes'...

The BBC and CNN interviews confirm that Schabas should be disqualified either for actual bias or the appearance of bias..."

"Schabas must recuse himself, or be removed" Cjnews.com, Irwin Cotler, September 8, 2014

"The International Commission of Inquiry established by a special session of the UN Human Rights Council – now known as the 'Schabas inquiry' after its appointed chair, Prof. William Schabas – is not only 'tainted at the core,' as I wrote of its predecessor Goldstone inquiry, but also partakes of a pernicious tripartite bias.

First, the resolution giving birth to the inquiry presupposes Israeli guilt, condemning 'in the strongest possible terms, the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations in the occupied Palestinian territory.' It is thus an Alice in Wonderland resolution, where the conviction and sentence are secured before the inquiry begins.

Second, and astonishingly so, the biased commission mandate not only presupposes Israeli criminality – which it references 18 times in the resolution itself – but it makes no reference at all to the Hamas spectrum of war crimes and crimes against humanity, let alone its ongoing terrorist war of attrition, during which it has launched 10,000 rockets targeting Israeli civilians since 2007.

Third, and astonishingly again, the resolution refers to Israeli perpetration of 'hate crimes,' but makes no reference to the Hamas Charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews wherever they may be – the toxic convergence of the advocacy of the most horrific of crimes, namely genocide, embedded in the oldest and most enduring of hatreds, namely anti-Semitism – and the perpetration of terrorist acts in furtherance of this genocidal anti-Semitism, which is the root cause of the conflict as a whole..."

"Why the Human Rights Council of the UN is 'eyeless in Gaza'" The Times , Lord David Pannick, September 4, 2014

"...Unfortunately, as confirmed this summer in the Gaza conflict, one of the world's leading magistrates, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, is plainly not capable of performing this essential function...

On July 23, the council adopted (by 29 votes to 1, with 17 abstentions, including the United Kingdom and the other EU states) a resolution condemning 'widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations' carried out in Gaza. The resolution decided to 'dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry' to investigate violations of international humanitarian law in Gaza. The commission of inquiry is to report by next March...

The chairman is to be William Schabas, an international law professor from Canada, and a critic of Israeli policy. He commented last year that Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, was his favourite candidate to see 'in the dock' of the International Criminal Court. He has made a similar statement about Shimon Peres, the former president of Israel. These are surprising statements given the strength of competing candidates in the Middle East and other repressive countries in the world.

The basic legal principle, summarised by Lord Hope of Craighead for the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords in 2001, is that a person should not sit in a judicial or quasi-judicial role if 'the fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts, would conclude that there was a real possibility that the tribunal was biased'. The appearance of bias is sufficient to disqualify a person. There is no need to show actual bias.

Professor Schabas responded to the criticism by insisting that he intended to leave his opinions 'at the door' of the inquiry and not be influenced by them. But, as Lord Hope added, 'protestations' by an individual accused of bias that he had an open mind 'are unlikely to be helpful'..."

"Request for William Schabas to Recuse Himself for Bias or the Appearance Thereof" UN Watch, September 4, 2014

"...On the basis of highly unusual facts, UN Watch requests that Prof. William Schabas recuse himself from the Commission of Inquiry established under resolution S-21/1 on the grounds that his numerous, recent, public and prejudicial statements-adverse to relevant parties, and pronouncing on the merits of the very question to be decided by the Mission-give rise to actual bias or the appearance thereof...

The impartiality requirement under international law is unequivocal. Scholars of international law list impartiality as the first principle of fact-finding. Impartiality as a requirement is further set forth in Articles 3 and 25 of the UN Declaration on Fact-Finding.

Finally, precedents from analogous international tribunals are equally clear. In the 2004 case of Sesay, the Special Court for Sierra Leone disqualified a judge who had published statements on the culpability of an organization connected to the defendants.

This precedent applies a fortiori to the case of Prof. Schabas, whose prior determination of guilt directly concerned one of the parties under examination...

Because of Prof. Schabas' highly unusual and prejudicial statements, the reasonable person would consider him to be partial..."

"World Too Hasty In Judging Israel's Conduct In Gaza" The Star, September 3, 2014

"...Was there a UN commission established to investigate NATO's Libyan campaign? Were there threats to drag Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard, the Canadian commander of the operation, to the International Criminal Court? Nothing of the sort. On the other hand, whenever it comes to Israel, there is this UN knee-jerk reaction to blame and prosecute.

No wonder Israelis are suspicious of UN commissions of inquiry. The one headed by Judge Richard Goldstone in 2009 condemned Israel for alleged crimes in the 2008 Operation Cast Lead. Goldstone regretted this later, writing in the Washington Post that contrary to what had been written in his report, 'civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.' But that was too little too late.

Now comes the sequel, with a new UN commission headed by Canadian professor William Schabas - a man who in 2012 already concluded that Israel was a serial war criminal. That this 'judge' didn't recuse himself shows how fair all this façade of international justice is..."

"Should Israel's leaders fear prosecution for the Gaza war?" Haaretz, Alexander Knoops, August 27, 2014

"...The IDF's overall aim of Operation Protective Edge revolved around the survival of the State of Israel, or at the least the protection of thousands of its citizens who were subjected to thousands of rocket attacks: a powerful military objective that can potentially override every argument of alleged disproportionality to be purported by the ICC Prosecutor. This overall aim was exactly NATO's justification for using overwhelming military force against Serbia in 1999 by conducting 10,484 airstrikes in two-and-a-half months: namely, further preventing a humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo.

The air strikes the U.S. is currently conducting against IS (formerly ISIS) in Iraq could become the ultimate litmus test for the eligibility of Operation Protective Edge and the prime minister of Israel in terms of a potential ICC case.

As exemplified by the ICTY inquiry into the 1999 NATO campaign, professional military forces showing allegiance to the laws of war should not be fearful for a potential ICC charge. Legal fear seems unwarranted; rather, fear for double standards may well be justified..."

"The U.N.'s Grotesque Gaza Inquiry" National Review, Claudia Rosett, August 22, 2014

"...Bias against Israel is the most glaring problem with the new Gaza inquiry that the United Nations Human Rights Council launched last month. The council has appointed as its chief investigator a Canadian ​lawyer, William Schabas, ​who has said in recent years that he'd like to see Israel's prime minister and president hauled before the International Criminal Court. The resolution authorizing his inquiry is crammed with vilifications of Israel, but it makes not a single mention of Hamas, the terrorist group that rules Gaza and that is dedicated in its charter to obliterating Israel and killing Jews. And in the current Gaza conflict that the U.N. purports to investigate, Hamas plays no minor role: It is against the thousands of rockets fired by Hamas and the many miles of attack tunnels - conduits for Hamas death squads - that Israel, in Operation Protective Edge, has been defending itself..."

"Stop Blaming Israel And Wake Up: The Black Flag Of Jihad Is The REAL Threat To The World" Express, Douglas Murray, August 21, 2014

"...There are those who think that Israel is somehow the cause of the world's problems, or that in defending themselves from Islamic extremists Israel is somehow causing Islamic extremism. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The extremists of Hamas are the ideological bedfellows of the extremists of ISIS who are rampaging through Syria and Iraq, crucifying and beheading as they go.

The video of the apparent beheading of American journalist James Foley by an ISIS murderer with a British accent has shocked the world. ISIS or IS are the soul-mates of Boko Haram who kidnap and kill Christian villagers in the North of Nigeria and stole 300 schoolgirls earlier this year.

They also share the exact same ideology – if not yet the same means – as those people who were found in Birmingham earlier this year teaching British pupils to hate wider British society and cut themselves off from non-Muslims.
.."

"NY Sen. Schumer Demands UNHRC Dismiss Schabas" The Jewish Voice, Elad Benari, August 21, 2014

"Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Friday called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to rescind its recent appointment of William Schabas as head of the UNHRC's Gaza Commission, the Washington Jewish Week reported.

According to the report, Schumer said that if Schabas's appointment is not cancelled he will push for the United States to cut its financial support and participation in the council.

According to Schumer's release, Schabas has a history of anti-Israel bias including previous statements condemning the state of Israel and Israeli politicians.

'[A]llowing Mr. Schabas to head the UN Gaza Commission is like allowing a biased prosecutor to be the judge,' Schumer said in a statement.

'[T]hat's why I'm urging the United States to both stop all funding and pull out of the UN's Human Rights Council if Mr. Schabas is not removed. Any investigative findings from Schabas on Israel will be completely subjective and a sham,' he added..."

"The Media Intifada Bad Math, Ugly Truths About New York Times In Israel-Hamas War " Forbes, Richard Behar, August 21, 2014

"...As more than a month has passed since Israel began its Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, it's high time to dig through the carnage that many of my colleagues from major U.S. media outlets are leaving behind-especially the New York Times.

On August 11th, the normally Israel-averse Foreign Press Association in Israel conceded what those closely following the war coverage already knew: That Hamas has been intimidating foreign reporters. In a harsh statement, it condemned the terrorist group for 'the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month...'"

"Taking the battle to Schabas' own court" Ynet News, Eytan Gilboa, August 19, 2014

"...There are three reasons Israel shouldn't cooperate with the Schabas Commission: The anti-Israel organization that appointed it; the definition of its role as solely to investigate Israel's 'war crimes'; and the man who was chosen to head the commission, whose anti-Israel stance has already been revealed.

Schabas might indeed be a renowned expert on international law and genocide, but he lacks professional and academic integrity..."

"The Gaza War: Appearance vs. Reality" Gatestone Institute, Louis René Beres, August 19, 2014

"Contrary to carefully scripted outbursts from Hamas, Israel's defensive responses were never gratuitous or contrived. Unlike their adversaries, Israelis receive absolutely no joy from killing others. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and related terror groups operating from Gaza, on the contrary, always seem to take calculated steps to ensure that Israeli reprisals will kill or injure Palestinian noncombatants. By directing elderly women and young children to those areas in Gaza from which lethal rockets will intentionally be launched into Israeli homes, hospitals, and schools - with the knowledge that the Israelis will have to return fire to the places from which the fire originated - Palestinian leaders openly violate the most elementary restrictions of the laws of war. Under international law, holding civilians in front of one as a shield is specified as a crime.

Ironically, these criminals are now proposing to bring Israel's leaders before the International Criminal Court..."

"William Schabas' casual anti-Israeli bias makes him a perfect fit for a UN 'fact-finding' inquiry" Defending Democracy (Originally at National Post), Jonathan Kay, August 18, 2014

"...Mr. Schabas ...seems to embrace the casual anti-Israel bias that permeates the left-wing NGO and academic circles in which he circulates. Foreign Minister John Baird responded negatively to the news, correctly criticizing the UN Human Rights Council (under whose auspices Mr. Schabas will operate) as 'a sham,' and denouncing the investigation as 'an utter shame [that] will do nothing to promote peace and dignity in Gaza for the Palestinian people.' As for Mr. Schabas himself, a Canadian Foreign Ministry statement declared: 'His opinions against Israel are known to all, and prove without a doubt that Israel cannot expect justice from this body ... The report has already been written and the only question is who signs it...'"

"Critic of Israel doesn't belong on Gaza fact-finding panel" Chicago Sun Times, August 17, 2014

"...The United Nations last week chose a law professor who has made inflammatory anti-Israel statements to head a commission charged with examining possible war crimes in Gaza.

It's a mistake to include Canadian William Schabas, an expert in international criminal and human rights law, on the three-member panel. Schabas should recuse himself or the U.N. Human Rights Council should replace him...

Schabas' public comments exclude him from participating in this latest Gaza panel, even if he has stellar credentials and insists he can put aside his personal views..."

"Discredit the Schabas report" Israel Hayom, Eli Hazan, August 17, 2014

"...Although its ridiculousness is known, the council has not changed its pattern of behavior and it is establishing another committee to investigate the recent fighting in Gaza. The committee will be led by William Schabas, who has set a goal of finding Israel guilty and will do everything necessary to achieve that goal.

After all, Schabas has a long history of bias against Israel -- he called on the world to not 'exaggerate' former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's statements; he said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the greatest threat to Israel and should be put on trial at the International Criminal Court; and he stated that it was his 'profound belief, that international law can be used to demonstrate and underscore the violations committed by the State of Israel.' In 2011, Schabas spoke about the importance of human rights at a conference in Iran organized by a group directly tied to the same Ahmadinejad who called for the destruction of Israel..."

"Anti-Semitism of William Schabas, UN Panel Head to Investigate Israel" Jspacenews.com, Sheera Kipnees, August 13, 2014

"...When asked by Channel 2 as to why Schabas called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu his 'favorite' to indict in the International Criminal Court, instead of Syria's Bashar al-Assad or Hamas leader Khaled Mashal, Schabas explained that he merely 'echoed' the Goldstone Report, which says that the International Criminal Court should deal with issues from the Goldstone Report, such as human rights violations during Operation Cast Lead. However, Netanyahu was not in power at the time of the report, and, in fact, is not mentioned anywhere in the Goldstone Report.

During the interview, Schabas also refused to say if his commission of inquiry would examine crimes by Hamas and also said that he needs to check with the other commissioners. Schabas also refused to call Hamas a terrorist group, despite the fact that it is legally defined as such by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Jordan, Egypt, Australia, Japan, and Israel.

Schabas also said that Israel 'gets off light at the Security Council,' despite the fact that most countries, including many of the world's worst abusers, never get criticized at all in the United Nations Security Council, whereas Israel has been criticized in numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, debates, and presidential statements..."

"UN Gaza Probe Judge Won't Deny Double Standard Regarding Israel" Arutz Sheva, Gil Ronen, August 13, 2014

"...Professor William Schabas did not deny Wednesday, in an interview with Israel's Channel 2, that the international community has a double standard regarding Israel's conduct of war.

Channel 2's anchor, Danny Kushmaro, asked Schabas if there is not a double standard involved when that thousands of innocent civilians were killed in Chechnya by the Russians, and by NATO forces in Libya, yet there was 'not one international investigation,' whereas Israel acted in self defense in Gaza and two investigations have been launched in the course of six years.

'There are a lot of double standards in the international level,' answered Schabas..."

"William Schabas - Head of new UN Gaza Commission - and the Anti-Israel NGO Network" NGO Monitor, August 13, 2014

"On August 11, 2014, the UN Human Rights Council appointed William Schabas, a Canadian Professor, to head the latest 'inquiry' on alleged human rights violations in the Gaza conflict.

Prof. Schabas's record is riddled with anti-Israel biases, including repeated calls for prosecuting Israeli officials for alleged 'war crimes' at the International Criminal Court. He has also served as legal counsel to Amnesty International's Ireland branch, which has consistently shown a deep hostility toward Israel. Amnesty Ireland has repeated calls for an arms embargo on 'both sides' (July 14, 2014), denying Israel the right to defense against terror, and comparing legitimate Israeli responses to the aggression of Hamas. On August 6, 2014, its activists marched on the streets of Dublin demanding that the US 'stop arming Israel.'

Shawan Jabarin is an alleged senior PFLP activist and director of Al Haq, an NGO centrally involved in the lawfare strategy of attacking Israel by exploiting international judicial frameworks. In a 2009 blog post Schabas wrote: 'Shawan Jabarin, the director of Al Haq... has been refused the right to leave the Occupied Territory to travel to the Netherlands to receive the Guezen Medal, on behalf of his organizations... Shawan is a great friend of the Irish Centre for Human Rights....' In a 2010 blog post entitled: 'Shawan Jabarin and Canada's Rights and Democracy', Schabas refers to Shawan Jabarin as 'my dear friend'.

Schabas has participated in a number of Al Haq conferences. In July 2012, Schabas participated in a conference organized by Al Haq and Diakonia entitled: 'Annexation Wall: Lessons Learned and Future Strategy'. In November 2005, Schabas participated in an Al Haq panel entitled: 'From Theory to Practice: Upholding International Humanitarian Law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.'

Schabas has also defended Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, stating that his repeated calls to 'wipe Israel off the map,' do not constitute a 'call for genocide,' but are simply 'political views.' He also defended Human Rights Watch and its director Kenneth Roth for neglecting to take any action on this issue, despite criticism leveled at the organization for ignoring Iran's incitement to genocide.

Schabas also authored the foreword of a volume entitled 'Is there a court for Gaza: A Test Bench for International Justice,' in which he endorsed the discredited 2009 Goldstone report, and repeated his call for ICC prosecution of Israelis..."

"The UN Human Rights Farce Gets Worse" Commentary Magazine, Jonathan Tobin, August 12, 2014

"Over the past few decades, the bias against Israel at the United Nations has reached the level of caricature. The disproportionate interest in anything that the Jewish state does matched with the world body's general indifference to real crimes being perpetrated anywhere else is an object lesson in the definition of prejudice. But just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, the choice of a man to head a UN Human Rights Council probe of the fighting in Gaza who has already called for the prosecution of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demonstrates just how ridiculous the anti-Israel farce there has become.

That the UN Human Rights Council, whose membership is made up of many of the worst dictatorships and human-rights offenders in the world, wouldn't give Israel a fair hearing was already a given. The Council devotes most of its attention to attempts to undermine the Jewish state's legitimacy or to promote libelous attacks on its policies. While a lot of the attention on this panel was devoted to the decision of George Clooney's fiancée to decline participation in the probe, the appointment of Canadian law professor William Schabas demonstrates that the Council is not even interested in the appearance of fairness.

Schabas has already demonstrated his animus for Israel and actually called for Netanyahu to be hauled before the International Criminal Court in The Hague for prosecution. Lest anyone think he takes sides in Israeli political debates, he also advocated the prosecution of Shimon Peres in a comment in which he compared Israel's actions in Gaza to the genocide in Darfur..."

"Tunnels as war crime" The Times of Israel, Daphné Richemond-Barak, August 12, 2014

"...The tunnels built by Hamas in Gaza, in particular, present novel issues for international law. Gaza's tunnels are different from traditional military objectives like army bases or weapons depots. In their design, the tunnels burrow under an internationally recognized border, they traverse civilian areas, and their primary objective and effect – contrary to international law – is to harm and endanger civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian.

While being constructed, Gaza's tunnels pose a substantial risk to those building them – often children – and to the civilian structures under which they are dug. The last few weeks have shown us that most tunnel digging begins within homes, hospitals, mosques and other 'protected objects'. Filled with explosives and weapons, tunnels can detonate at any time, risking not only the lives of the diggers and operatives who use them, but also the civilians living above them. And this is only on the Palestinian side of the border...

Destroying a tunnel involves massive bombing from above or finding its access points and destroying it from within. An explosion on one part of a tunnel will inflict unforeseen damage on different and potentially unknown segments of the tunnel, or even to the land surrounding it – potentially damaging schools, civilian homes, and businesses. In legal terms, this means that the tunnel's interconnected infrastructure impedes the assessment of proportionality prior to its destruction, i.e. the determination of whether collateral damage resulting from the destruction of the tunnel might be excessive in the relation to the military advantage anticipated from that destruction. Even careful mapping of the tunnel ahead of a strike may not suffice to ascertain collateral damage, since tunnels can be expanded rapidly and beyond the detection of intelligence services. Tunnels thus present the special danger of unforeseen damage to civilians and protected objects on both sides of a conflict (from civilian infrastructure to cultural and religious objects and the environment) during their construction and destruction."

"Caution needed with Gaza casualty figures" BBC, Anthony Reuben, August 11, 2014

"In the Gaza conflict, most news organisations have been quoting from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which leads a group of humanitarian organisations known as the Protection Cluster.

Its recent report said that as of 10 August, 1,948 Palestinians had been killed and 66 Israelis and one Thai national since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 July... Among civilians, three times as many men were killed as women, while three times as many civilian men were killed as fighters...

The proportion of civilian men over 18 killed seems high and it is not immediately obvious why... A number of other news organisations have been considering the civilian-to-fighter ratio.

An analysis by the New York Times looked at the names of 1,431 casualties and found that 'the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll. They are 9% of Gaza's 1.7 million residents, but 34% of those killed whose ages were provided...'

'It's important to bear in mind that in Operation Cast Lead [the last Israeli ground offensive in December 2008-January 2009], Hamas and Gaza-based organisations claimed that only 50 combatants were killed, admitting years later the number was between 600-700, a figure nearly identical to the figure claimed by the IDF...'"

"Laurie Blank follow-up on Gaza, proportionality, and the law of war" The Washington Post, Kenneth Anderson and Laurie Blank, August 6, 2014

"...Professor Blank is one of the leading scholars of the laws of war, including author of a fine textbook on this topic, International Law and Armed Conflict: Fundamental Principles (Aspen 2013), and our thanks to her for this comment:

Proportionality: Principle, Perception, and Process

What does it mean to say something is 'proportionate' or 'disproportionate'? We may feel we have an instinctive sense of what those words and concepts mean in every day life, but in the context of war, these terms have very specific meanings and purposes - with the starkest of consequences. To that end, thanks to Ken Anderson and the Volokh Conspiracy for this invitation to follow up on some key questions about proportionality in armed conflict. A brief introduction: the law of war is the body of international law that governs the conduct of both states and individuals during armed conflict. It seeks to minimize suffering in war by protecting persons not participating in hostilities and by regulating how parties conduct hostilities. Other terms often used for this body of law are: the law of armed conflict, international humanitarian law, or jus in bello.

Another body of international law-the jus ad bellum-governs when it is lawful for a state to go to war, including in self-defense. These two legal frameworks, the law of war and the jus ad bellum, are independent of each other and international law steadfastly maintains this separation.

The law of war applies equally to both sides fighting in a conflict, regardless of why they are fighting, who claims to be right or just, who is a state, who is a terrorist group, or any other such considerations. This equal application is essential to ensure the protection of civilians and maximize the law's effectiveness. As a result, the justness or unjustness of one side's resort to force (a jus ad bellum question) does not change any obligations to follow the rules under the law of war. Imagine if it did: each side would simply justify any and all atrocities, including summary executions, indiscriminate attacks, even crimes against humanity, by saying it fights on the side of 'right'. The result: an invitation to unregulated warfare..."

"Has Hamas Overplayed Its Lawfare Strategy?" Justsecurity.org, Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., August 5, 2014

"In the current Gaza conflict, the adversaries are employing very different strategies to achieve their operational objectives. Israel is executing a robust military strategy. By striking rocket launch capabilities, as well as tunnel complexes, Israel is conducting what the generals calls a 'strategy of denial,' that is, operations that aim to 'deny' its adversary the physical capability to wage war.

Hamas' strategy is, however, quite different. Lobbing rockets indiscriminately at Israeli population centers along with engaging in a few firefights in an effort to kill at least some Israelis is not, militarily speaking, a meaningful warfighting effort.

Rather, Hamas is employing a 'lawfare' strategy. A lawfare strategy uses (or misuses) law essentially as a substitute for traditional military means; it is employing law much like any 'weapon' to create effects or obtain results in an armed conflict that can be indistinguishable from those typically produced by kinetic methods.

There are many versions of lawfare, but in this case Hamas is attempting to use the fact of Palestinian civilian casualties to cast Israelis as war criminals. In doing so it seems that Hamas is hoping to achieve their aims not by defeating Israelis on a Gaza battlefield, but rather by delegitimizing Israel in the eyes of the world community by establishing them as lawbreakers in an era when adherence to the rule of law is so important to democracies.

"Gaza's Civilian Casualties: The Truth Is Very Different" Gatestone Institute, Richard Kemp, August 3, 2014

"With few exceptions, reporters, commentators, and analysts unquestioningly accept the casualty statistics given by Gaza's Hamas-controlled medical authorities, who ascribe all deaths to the IDF. We have never seen so much as a glimpse of killed or wounded fighters.

Analysis of casualty details released by Qatar-based Al Jazeera indicate that so far most of those killed in Gaza have been young men of fighting age, not women, children or old people.

All Palestinian civilian casualties in this conflict result ultimately from Gaza terrorists' aggression against Israel, and Hamas's use of human shields - the most important plank of Hamas's war-fighting policy..."

"Fear and Trembling: Western Media and Hamas" The Commentator, Daniel Schwammenthal, August 1, 2014

"...With depressing regularity, each military confrontation between Israel and Hamas triggers the same old, tired cycle of misinformation among much of the international media. Instead of providing much-needed context, Israel's defensive war against Islamist terrorists hiding among their own civilians is turned into a simplistic morality play where, like in a sports match, the side with the higher score, i.e. casualty figures, wins.

No decent human being could not feel compassion and sorrow over the scores of dead Palestinian civilians. But the almost pornographic close-ups of injured and killed Palestinians without explaining the central role Hamas plays in their deaths and injuries do more to confuse then enlighten the public.

In many ways, CCTV coverage of the conflict without the networks' editorial picture selection and emotional but information-lacking voice-overs would probably do a better job at informing the public..."

"The Use of Human Shields and International Criminal Law" Opinio Juris, Tali Kolesov Har-Oz And Ori Pomson, August 1, 2014

"...In international humanitarian law (IHL), the term 'human shields' concerns 'civilians or other protected persons, whose presence or movement is aimed or used to render military targets immune from military operations.' The use of human shields both in international armed conflicts (IACs) and in non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) is considered a violation of customary international law...

[C]onsidering the famous Tadić dicta that the dichotomy between IAC and NIAC crimes 'should gradually lose its weight' and that 'the current trend has been to abolish the distinction and to have simply one corpus of law applicable to all conflicts,' it could be argued that the analysis of Rome Statute's provision concerning human shields in IACs is relevant to the analysis of the customary prohibition of the use of human shields in NIACs as well.

The specific elements relevant to the definition of the crime of using human shields in the International Criminal Court's Elements of Crimes document are as follows:
1. The perpetrator moved or otherwise took advantage of the location of one or more civilians or other persons protected under the international law of armed conflict.
2. The perpetrator intended to shield a military objective from attack or shield, favour or impede military operations.

In order to fulfil the required actus reus in Element 1 of the crime, it is not necessary to force civilians to relocate close to a military objective. The mere placement of military assets in the vicinity of civilians fulfils this requirement.

Since the actus reus of this crime is rather broad, it seems that great emphasis is placed on the mens rea. Thus, in order to be considered a crime of using human shields, the actus reus must be performed with the intention to 'shield a military objective from attack or shield, favor or impede military operations.' Additionally, this crime does not require any result; rather, it focuses solely on the acts and intention of the belligerent fearing an attack. Admittedly, there has not been international jurisprudence when no harm has occurred, which may cast doubts upon the customary nature of this alternative. In this case, the discussion is purely theoretical, since the use of human shields by Hamas has often resulted in actual harm. Nevertheless, it should be noted that some actions involving the use of human shields can also be examined through the prism of other war crimes, such as using children to actively participate in hostilities (art. 8(2)(b)(xxvi), (e)(vii); Norman, ¶53) or generally Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (art. 8(2)(a), (c); Blaškić, ¶176), which have been established as customary international crimes..."

"Forty Questions For The International Media In Gaza" The Washington Post, David Bernstein, July 31, 2014

"1. Have you or any of your colleagues been intimidated by Hamas?

2. Do you feel restricted in your ability to 'say what you see' in Gaza?

3. How do you feel about the Spanish journalist who said Hamas would kill any journalist if they filmed rocket fire?

4. Has Hamas pressured you to delete anything you have published?

5. Has Hamas ever threatened to take your phone, laptop or camera?

6. Has Hamas ever taken the phone, laptop or camera of a colleague in Gaza?

7. Have you seen Hamas fighters in Gaza?

8. If yes, why have you not directly reported Hamas fighting activity when you are eye-witnesses in Gaza, but rather indirectly reported about what the IDF says they Hamas has done?..."



"Putting Israel's Self-Defense in Context" U.S. News & World Report, Louis René Beres, July 30, 2014

"Viewed against the landscape of extensive and unapologetic terrorist crimes in Gaza, Israel is not guilty of 'disproportionality.' All combatants, including the terrorizing insurgents in Gaza, are required to comply fully with the law of war. This key expectation stems not only from the so-called 'Martens Clause,' which makes its first appearance in the Preamble to the 1899 Hague Convention No. II, and stipulates that that the right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited, but also from Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949. And it is found at the two binding protocols to these Conventions...

Faced with Palestinian terrorists in Gaza who still make no secret of their literally genocidal intentions, Israel displays persistently marked restraint. In contrast to the witting indiscriminacy of Arab terrorists in Gaza, and to undisguised Palestinian perfidy, Israel actually takes great care to minimize civilian harms. This self-imposed Israeli limitation on armed force is codified and followed, even when the consequent risks to IDF soldiers are significantly multiplied and enlarged.

Israel has an absolutely unqualified right under international law to protect its citizens. In exercising this 'peremptory' right, its use of military force has remained measured and controlled. It is, therefore, finally time for the international community to dispel all crudely propagandistic fabrications of Israeli 'disproportionality.'"

"International laws apply to Gaza as well" Europe Israel Press Association, Arne Willy Dahl (former Attorney General of the Norwegian Armed Forces), July 30, 2014

"...Employing human shields is a war crime, whether they be volunteers or not. The question is what the adversary is to do in such a situation.

The Israeli relationship to the population of Gaza and the West Bank, commonly referred to as the Palestinians, has several aspects applying to international law. I will here focus on the rules of International Law being of direct relevance to the fighting against the Hamas in Gaza...

International law carries with it a general ban on the use of force: self-defense against armed attacks being the most important exemption. Launching rockets carrying explosive payloads across border is a clear example of an armed attack. If it is a question of isolated and sporadic events; it will be required that the countermeasures are kept within the limits of necessity and proportionality.

Proportionality implies a reasonable relationship between the provocation and the response. When an armed attack reaches a certain extent; the attacked party has the option to act in such way as is needed in order to make his opponent unable to repeat the attack; this means going to a war or an armed conflict...

When one has resorted to war, no principle of proportionality applies to enemy soldiers or civilians taking direct part in hostilities. What applies is that no attack shall be carried out which may be expected to lead to excessive civilian losses in relation to the anticipated military advantage. By 'attack' it is hereby meant the use of armed force; even though one in a larger context is fighting a defensive war.

Coincidences may result in civilian losses being greater or lesser than expected. What counts are not the actual outcomes; it is what the attacker reasonably could expect as the attack was launched...

What is a military target? Military targets include military weapons and installations; however, also buildings which may be civilian in their basic purpose, but who are being used for military purposes, like using schools for the storage of munitions. If the building is used for both civilian and military purposes; the considerations towards civilian use and possible civilian presence has to be evaluated according to the principle of proportionality.

Part of this picture includes a duty on those expecting an attack to take measures to protect the civilian population. This includes avoidance of the interspersing of civilian and military objects; evacuating civilians from exposed areas or establishing shelters to them. What has been implemented or neglected concerning this; must be evaluated when guilt and responsibility is to be distributed. Those planning an attack on their hand have the duty to act such as to minimize civilian casualties.

Besides carefully considering whether the intended target to be attacked really is military; and whether excessive civilian losses can be expected, weaponry and methods to be used shall be chosen with the intention to avoid or reduce civilian losses. If the situation allows this; the civilian population shall also receive warnings over impending attacks; giving them the opportunity to take shelter or evacuate the areas..."

"Asymmetries and proportionalities" The Hill, Laurie Blank, July 29, 2014

"...The conflict in Gaza is replete with asymmetries: the number of civilian casualties on either side, the amount of destruction, the types of weapons used and technological capabilities of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas, or the resources poured into shelter and defense of civilians from attacks.

But asymmetric is not synonymous with disproportionate. When we talk of asymmetries, we compare facts to measure the effects or capabilities of the two sides - the IDF has precision-guided munitions whereas Hamas has rockets that cannot be aimed with any discrimination or precision; hundreds of Palestinian civilians and militants have died while a few Israeli civilians and 40-plus Israeli soldiers have died.

Proportionality, however, is a legal term with a specific legal meaning. It is one of a set of fundamental legal obligations that helps to minimize suffering during wartime. The principle of proportionality forbids attacks in which the expected civilian casualties from the attack will be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage gained..."

"Hamas Human Shields are to Blame, Not Israel" The Times, Richard Kemp, July 25, 2014

"...The tragedy of so many civilian casualties is to a large extent due to Hamas's policy of compelling men, women and children to stay in the path of danger.

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, blamed this use of human shields after 15 people, many of them children, were killed in the shelling of a UN-run school. Hamas hopes this will deter the Israelis from bombing but, with barbaric reasoning, its greater hope is that the attacks will go ahead, killing its own civilians. We have all seen the images of dead babies on Gaza's mortuary slabs. No amount of protest from Israel about the morality of its armed forces and their adherence to the laws of war can outweigh the influence of these images, used by Hamas supporters to incite mass protest against Israel.

It is a mistake to believe these marches are simply the natural outpouring of support for bleeding and beleaguered Palestinians. The chants of 'Jews back to Birkenau' would have had Oswald Moseley bristling with pride..."

"The Latest Hamas-Israel Confrontation - Some Pertinent Legal Points" Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Alan Baker, July 24, 2014

"...The ideological foundation of Hamas as set out in its national charter, and its actions of indiscriminate terror directed against Israeli towns, villages and citizens, clearly define its character as a terrorist entity. This is reflected in the fact that Hamas has been formally outlawed in several major states.

The terrorist actions by Hamas, including the indiscriminate targeting of Israel's civilian population centers and the deliberate and cynical exposure and use of its own civilians, mosques, hospitals and schools as human shields, are violations of international humanitarian law. for which Hamas' leaders and commanders are accountable and prosecutable.

International law recognizes Israel's right to defend itself, whether by the conventional international right of self-defense as set out in the UN Charter or by the international customary right to self-defense.

Accusations that Israel is collectively punishing the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip have no basis. Israel's military actions are solely directed to one strategic and tactical purpose, not to punish the population, but to halt the indiscriminate rocket fire and terror infiltration into Israel's sovereign territory.

The allegation leveled against Israel that it uses disproportionate force, is a misreading of the international rules of proportionality in armed conflict which are intended to regulate the extent of force needed in relation to the military challenge anticipated..."

"Israel's Just War in Gaza" The Hill, Fernando Espuelas, July 22, 2014

"Imagine terrorists targeting Miami. Now think of thousands of missiles raining down on Miami and neighboring cities every year - for more than a decade. What would America do? Is there the slightest doubt that the president would order a strike to destroy the missiles? Absolutely not. One missile hitting the homeland would rightly spark an overwhelming American military response.

Yet this is the reality that Israel faces every day. The jihadist group Hamas, categorized as a terrorist organization by both the United States and the European Union, has been using Gaza - self-governing since 2005, when Israel withdrew its forces and citizens - as a giant base for terror...

It's important to make a distinction often lost in the media. Hamas is not equivalent to the Palestinian people. While most of Hamas is made up of Palestinians, very few Palestinians have joined Hamas. Historically, most Palestinian people, like most Israelis, have favored the two-state solution championed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli government..."

"Moral Clarity in Gaza" The Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer, July 17, 2014

"...'Here's the difference between us,' explains the Israeli prime minister. 'We're using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they're using their civilians to protect their missiles.'

Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity. Yet we routinely hear this Israel-Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent 'cycle of violence.' This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war. And everyone knows the proudly self-declared raison d'etre of Hamas: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.

Apologists for Hamas attribute the blood lust to the Israeli occupation and blockade. Occupation? Does no one remember anything? It was less than 10 years ago that worldwide television showed the Israeli army pulling die-hard settlers off synagogue roofs in Gaza as Israel uprooted its settlements, expelled its citizens, withdrew its military and turned every inch of Gaza over to the Palestinians. There was not a soldier, not a settler, not a single Israeli left in Gaza..."

"Israel May Be Raising The Moral Standards Of Warfare" Business Insider, Will Saletan, July 12, 2014

"...Israel's air war in Gaza has now killed more than 100 people. Around the world, there's concern and anger. These concerns are appropriate-war is horrible, and any number of deaths should trouble us. But given that this war is happening, let's focus on the narrower question of how to minimize civilian deaths, now and in future conflicts. How bad is this war compared to others? Are Israel's attacks indiscriminate?

First, it's important not to get consumed by whether you love or hate Israel. There will be other wars in other places. We need to build rules that apply everywhere. Second, we don't need to debate the conduct of Hamas. Hamas rejects the whole idea that it's wrong to target civilians. So behaving better than Hamas isn't a standard worth talking about. Let's focus instead on what Israel is doing...

Do these factors-the fatality rate, the warnings, the shields-make Israel's conduct acceptable? I'll leave that to you. Either way, we need to cut through the propaganda on both sides, analyze the best information on the ground, and put it in context. In some ways, Israel is raising the standards of what can be expected in warfare. Our job is to clarify those standards and hold everybody to them, including Israel..."

"Getting the law right on the Israel-Hamas conflict" The Hill, Laurie Blank, July 11, 2014

"...International law has quite a lot to say about the latest violence that has flared up between Israel and Hamas. So do the media. Unfortunately, they rarely match, leading to unfortunate - and sometimes egregious - misrepresentations. In an age when both real and perceived violations of international law have a substantial effect on the legitimacy of state action, getting it wrong is way more than just bad journalism.

The core purpose of the law of war - a centuries-old framework regulating conduct during wartime - is to protect civilians and minimize suffering during wartime. In any conflict, all parties - states, rebel groups, terrorist organizations - have obligations to minimize harm to civilians. For each party, these obligations take two primary forms: protecting civilians in the areas where it is attacking, and protecting its own civilians from the consequences of attacks by the enemy party. Attacking parties must 1) attack only enemy personnel and objects; 2) refrain from any indiscriminate attacks; 3) refrain from attacks in which the expected civilian casualties will be excessive in light of the military value of the target; and 4) provide warnings for civilians of attacks where feasible. In their own territory, militaries and armed groups must refrain from locating military objectives in densely populated areas and take other steps to keep civilians out of harm's way. Specifically, the law also criminalizes the use of civilians as human shields..."