Pillay's Pogrom:

The UN's "Commission of Inquiry" Targeting Israel

Anti-Israel NGO & Palestinian Advocacy

Anti-Israel NGO Advocacy to Establish the "Inquiry"

The resolution creating the “Inquiry” says:

“The Human Rights Council,...
4. ...encourages civil society, the media and other relevant stakeholders, to cooperate fully with the commission of inquiry to allow it to effectively fulfil its mandate and, in particular, to provide it with any information or documentation they may possess or come to possess…”

It was no accident that anti-Israel NGOs played a very active role in urging the creation of the “Inquiry” in the first place, including the recently designated terror-connected NGO “Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man.” Their public statements before and during the adoption of the resolution suggest Human Rights Watch and company may well have dictated the “Inquiry’s” terms and conditions.

Anti-Israel NGOs were some of the most prominent voices urging the creation of the "Inquiry" during the special session of the Human Rights Council:
  • The International Commission of Jurists: “The ICJ calls on the Council to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed by all parties, with a view to establishing the facts, documenting and reporting on alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, collecting and preserving evidence of crimes under international law committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Israel, and in the context of the Gaza hostilities, and identifying all those responsible for such crimes. This Council should call on all states to cooperate with the ongoing investigation of the ICC. All states and any mechanisms of this Council should cooperate and share relevant information with the Commission of Inquiry.”
  • Human Rights Watch: “This Council today needs to create a standing mechanism to advance accountability and address root causes.”
  • Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man: “We urge Human Rights Council Members to vote in favor of this resolution to establish a commission of inquiry which will address the root causes, enabling this Council to begin to effectively address the violations against the Palestinian people as a whole. Only then will third states be able to take meaningful and effective steps to prevent the further commission of violations and international crimes against the Palestinian people. We also urge you to support justice and accountability, including the ICC investigation and the annual updating of the UN database.”
  • International Service for Human Rights: “Israel has launched four wars on the Strip, systematically and deliberately flouting international humanitarian law by targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure. We therefore urge this Council to recognize that Israel is practicing the crime of apartheid against the entirety of the Palestinian people and support the resolution establishing an ongoing commission of inquiry.”
  • Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy: “We call on the Council to adopt the resolution establishing the Commission of Inquiry addressing the root causes of Israel settler colonialism and apartheid as a first step to accountability and justice.”
  • Medical Aid for Palestinians: “The international community’s failures to end impunity for these violations has once again put Palestinian health care in harm’s way. We therefore urge Members of the Council to support the resolution establishing this new commission of inquiry and finally ensure accountability to ensure the protection of Palestinians and their basic rights to health care from future violations.”
  • Amnesty International: “The international community must ensure an independent and thorough investigation parallel to and complementing the ongoing investigation by the ICC.”
  • Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel: “It is crucial for this Council to address these root causes, so we call for a vote in favor of the proposed resolution, which for the first time can inquire into the root causes of the conflict on both sides of the Green Line.”
  • Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling: “I’m calling the State Members to support the establishment of commission of inquiry that addressing the root cause of the situation and investigate the gender impact of that situation.”

Anti-Israel NGO Advocacy Supporting the "Inquiry"

In subsequent press releases and speeches at Human Rights Council sessions, anti-Israel NGOs continued the drum beat, embracing and ratcheting up support for the “Inquiry”.
  • Palestinian Centre for Human Rights: “The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) welcomes today’s adoption of a resolution by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council on the grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and in Israel…PCHR views the adoption of the resolution as an important first step towards holding Israel, the occupying power, accountable for its on-going international human rights and humanitarian law violations against the Palestinian people, which have increased in an unprecedented and dangerous manner during the recent period. PCHR stands ready to cooperate with the Commission and provide all necessary evidence and material to expose the brutality of Israel's actions.”
  • Al Mezan:
    • May 29, 2021: “Al Mezan has always held that challenging Israel’s impunity and triggering accountability mechanisms would be the only effective deterrent to the future commission of crimes and to ensuring respect for international law. Yet, our calls—including those demanding the implementation of previous UN recommendations on Israel’s impunity—were to no avail. Al Mezan welcomes the Human Rights Council’s decision to establish an international commission of inquiry into all violations of international human rights and humanitarian law leading up to and since 13 April 2021 and urges the commission to submit annual reports entailing accountability measures. The international community and the United Nations face a historic challenge to prove in practice their commitment to the values of justice, human rights, and respect for international law. Accordingly, Al Mezan calls for expediting the formation of the commission of inquiry and facilitating its work through ensuring Israel’s full cooperation, considering its long history of hindering international investigations and systematic violations of its obligations under international law.”
    • June 14, 2022: "Just now, some members have attempted to undermine this Council and the important Commission it has established while avoiding any mention of the double standards adopted by some States when it comes to the rights of the Palestinian people... This Council and other member of the international community can and must discharge their duty vis-à-vis the Palestinian people, including by supporting this new important accountability mechanism, engaging in good faith with the Commission and its report, and ensuring the allocation of sufficient resources and funding to fully discharge its mandate."
  • Independent Commission for Human Rights of Palestine: “ICHR demands the acceleration of the work of the ongoing Independent Commission of Inquiry that will be formed pursuant to the recent Human Rights Council resolution to investigate all systematic violations of IHL that the occupying power has committed against the Palestinians.”
  • Al Haq Law in the Service of Man:
    • May 29, 2021: “We urge Member States to support accountability mechanisms, including … the newly established Commission of Inquiry…”
    • June 14, 2022: "The latest efforts to undermine the work of this Commission will only further perpetuate violence, occupation, and impunity for international crimes perpetrated by Israeli authorities... Our organizations condemn this behavior by some states and call on member states and Third States to provide the utmost political, institutional and material support to enable this esteemed CoI to continue with its mandate unhindered."
    • August 12, 2022: "The undersigned organisations extend their full support and pledge their ongoing cooperation with the UN Commission of Inquiry on Palestine, which has been under mounting attack, led by Israel, including recent smearing of its work and members as antisemitic, and calls for its disbandment... Our organizations condemn and call for the end of the pressing attacks by Israel, the US-led coalition, and several organisations on the CoI. We call on all States to provide the utmost political, institutional and material support, and to engage in good faith with the mandate of the CoI, to enable this important accountability mechanism to continue with its mandate unhindered."
  • Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling: “Madam President, we urge all states to take effective measures to support international accountability measures, including … the Commission of Inquiry…”
  • Human Rights Watch:
    • October 4, 2021:“The United Nations played a central role in undoing South Africa’s system of apartheid. It can do so again. As a first step, this Council rightly put in place a Commission of Inquiry to investigate ‘root causes of recurrent conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity.’ We urge all states to engage constructively with the COI [Commission of Inquiry] in fulfilment of its important mandate.”
    • June 2022: "We were disappointed to learn of a proposed joint statement, led by the USA, which seeks to undermine the legitimacy of the COI on the OPT and Israel, created by a clear majority of the Human Rights Council (24 in favour to 9 opposed, with 13 abstentions) at a Special Session in May last year... We urge states not to support this ill-conceived joint statement, which contributes to the very 'polarization' it decries, and instead support the COI’s efforts to address these repeated cycles of violence, and the climate of impunity that fuels them."
  • Organization for Defending Victims of Violence: "ODVV urges the Human Rights Council and the international community to endorse the report of the COI on OPT; implement its recommendations and ensure that the report is transmitted to other international bodies such as the General Assembly and the International Criminal Court."
These accomplices and collaborators can be expected to provide the “Inquiry” with all kinds of (mis)information.

Palestinian Advocacy Supporting the "Inquiry"

  • "Hamas welcomes U.N. rights commission’s report on Israeli crimes," Hamas website, June 7, 2022

Published Anti-Israel Submissions to the "Inquiry" and Meetings with "Inquiry" Members

  • "Apartheid in the Occupied West Bank: A Legal Analysis of Israel’s Actions, Joint Submission to the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel," The International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, February 28, 2022
  • "Submission to the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel concerning killing by Israeli forces against Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip during May 2021," Defense for Children International – Palestine, March 26, 2022
  • "The High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel and Adalah to UN Commission of Inquiry: Israel practices racial segregation against Palestinian citizens of Israel," Adalah, March 31, 2022
  • "DCIP meets with UN Commission investigating Israel’s 2021 military assault on Gaza," Defense for Children International – Palestine, March 31, 2022
  • "Stand with the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry on oPt," Just Peace Advocates, Undated, last accessed April 4, 2022
  • "Rights group urges UN experts and rapporteurs to hold Israel accountable for its extra-judicial killing of Palestinians," Wafa News Agency, April 18, 2022
  • "Joint Submission by Al-Haq and other NGOs to the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel," Al-Haq – Law in the Service of Man, May 31, 2022
  • "PCHR’s Report to The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel," Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, January 3, 2023
  • "Joint Submission by Al-Haq and other NGOs to the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, on Israel’s Policies to Maintain and Entrench its SettlerColonial Apartheid Regime Violent Suppression of Demonstrations and Ensuing Wilful Killing and Injuries, Arbitrary Detenti : on, Torture, and Smear and Delegitimisation Campaigns against Human Rights Defenders and Organisations," Al-Haq – Law in the Service of Man, February 3, 2023