Pillay's Pogrom:

The UN's "Commission of Inquiry" Targeting Israel

The Mandate

The Origins of Pillay's Pogrom

The mandate of Pillay's Pogrom arises from a resolution of the UN Human Rights Council. It was adopted at a special session of the Council that was held on May 27, 2021.

The session was convened at the request of Pakistan (on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation) and the "State of Palestine." The request was supported by 20 of the 47 state members of the Human Rights Council: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burkina Faso, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Eritrea, Gabon, Indonesia, Libya, Mauritania, Mexico, Namibia, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Uzbekistan and Venezuela. More than half of the requesting states are members of the OIC and ten of the requesting states have the most appalling human rights records on the planet.

At the special session, the Council adopted Resolution S-30/1, entitled: “Ensuring respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel.”

The vote on the resolution was 24 in favor (Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, China, Cote D'Ivoire, Cuba, Eritrea, Gabon, Indonesia, Libya, Mauritania, Mexico, Namibia, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela), 9 against (Austria, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Germany, Malawi, Marshall Islands, United Kingdom, Uruguay), with 14 abstentions (Bahamas, Brazil, Denmark, Fiji, France, India, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, Poland, Republic of Korea, Togo, Ukraine). Over half of the states voting in favor were Islamic states (OIC). Not a single western democracy voted in favor of the resolution. 22 of the 24 states voting in favor of the resolution are not even considered to be “fully free” democracies on the Freedom House scale.

The Mandate of Pillay's Pogrom

The resolution contains the following mandate:

"The Human Rights Council...1. Decides to urgently establish an ongoing independent, international commission of inquiry, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to investigate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021, and all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity;"

The resolution further mandates the Inquiry:

“2. (a) Establish the facts and circumstances that may amount to such violations and abuses and of crimes perpetrated;
(b) Collect, consolidate and analyse evidence of such violations and abuses and of crimes perpetrated, and systematically record and preserve all information, documentation and evidence, including interviews, witness testimony and forensic material, in accordance with international law standards, in order to maximize the possibility of its admissibility in legal proceedings;
(c) Have the capacity to document and verify relevant information and evidence, including through field engagement and by cooperating with judicial and other entities, as appropriate;
(d) Identify, where possible, those responsible, with a view to ensuring that perpetrators of violations are held accountable;
(e) Identify patterns of violations over time by analysing the similarities in the findings and recommendations of all United Nations fact-finding missions and commissions of inquiry on the situation;
(f) Make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring legal accountability, including individual criminal and command responsibility, for such violations, and justice for victims.
(g) Make recommendations on measures to be taken by third States to ensure respect for international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in accordance with article 1 common to the Geneva Conventions, and in fulfilment of their obligations under articles 146, 147 and 148 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, including by ensuring that they do not aid or assist in the commission of internationally wrongful acts;
(h) Report on its main activities on an annual basis to the Human Rights Council under agenda item 2 as of its fiftieth session, and to the General Assembly as of its seventy-seventh session.”