B’nai B’rith International delivered a statement on March 23 at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), speaking under the biased anti-Israel item 7 to address the body’s just-deferred “Commission of Inquiry” report on Israel’s conflict with Hamas during the summer of 2014.
B’nai B’rith representative to the U.N. in Geneva Klaus Netter normally speaks under UNHRC agenda item 4, under which all countries except Israel are considered, but instead spoke under item 7 as the commission’s conclusions had previously been expected to be released in that context. Netter admonished the council for the selection of an outspoken critic of Israel, William Schabas, as the chairman of the inquiry. Schabas resigned following the revelation that he had served as a paid consultant to the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Netter explained: “We are speaking under this item, because we had expected that the report of the ‘Commission of Inquiry’ on last year’s conflict in and around Gaza would be submitted by today. Its submission was delayed on account of the most unusual resignation of the commission’s chairman, who had neglected to report his previous consultancy relationship with one of the parties to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Never in the council’s nine-year history—or indeed in the 60-year history of its predecessor [Human Rights] Commission—had such an embarrassment occurred. It should serve as a warning in future selections of commission members and special rapporteurs.”
Netter concluded by putting the Palestinian-Israeli conflict into perspective in the broader context of unrest in the Middle East, highlighting the council’s obsession with Israel and its willful ignorance of the incomparable atrocities being committed in Syria: “The number of victims in all past Israel-Arab hostilities constitute a small portion of the 200,000 victims caused by the Syrian conflict next door, but this relationship is hardly reflected in the number of resolutions coming before the council this week.”
A batch of rote anti-Israel motions and reports—more than those targeting any other country—are expected to be approved by the body, whose own members include serial rights violators.