Claude Cartaginese

UN Human Rights Council Takes Up anti-Israel Gaza War Crimes Report

Posted on October 16 2009 1:25 am
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Democracy Now!’s take on the hopelessly biased and flawed UN (United Nations) War Crimes Mission Report released last month condemning Israel’s Gaza incursion earlier this year was, predictably, one-sided and itself biased.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has now begun discussions of the report’s findings, which concluded, in essence, that Israel’s incursion deliberately targeted the Palestinian civilian population:

While the Israeli government has sought to portray its operation as essentially a response to rocket attacks in exercise of its right to self-defense, the Mission considers the plan to have been directed, at least in part, at a different target: the people of Gaza as a whole.

Democracy Now!’s host Amy Goodman bolstered this view by quoting Palestinian representative to the United Nations Riyad Mansour, who pontificated on the report’s importance in heralding an end to “Israeli aggression,” against a victimized Palestinian population:

Riyad Mansour: The culture of impunity that Israel—allowed Israel to get away with murder for the last sixty years is no more. We are entering a new culture of accountability, and this process is not a short process. It’s a long process, but we are all determined to defend international law, international humanitarian law, and to bring the criminals to face justice.

For added dramatic effect, Goodman’s report concluded with the following statistic:

Around 1,300 Palestinians were killed in the assault, compared to thirteen Israelis, a ratio of 100-to-one.

At the conclusion of this “news” segment, one could be forgiven for thinking they had just completed viewing an al-Jazeera description of the Mission’s findings, as all semblance of impartiality were lacking from Goodman’s report.

For anything remotely resembling the Israeli perspective on the UN Report, one must go elsewhere, as Democracy Now! makes no pretense for being fair and unbiased, two concepts which appear to be anathema to them.

Had it been otherwise, in the interests of fairness, Goodman’s crew could have engaged its viewers by addressing the following points, which may not have portrayed the Palestinian side quite so sympathetically:

•Are not the repeated, indiscriminate and deadly Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks on Israel civilians also war crimes worthy of condemnation, and will the Palestinians firing those rockets at Israeli civilians be held to the same standards of conduct expected of the Israelis?

• As it has been shown that one of the four members of the Mission panel (Professor Christine Chinkin of the London School of Economics) is on record as having stated that “the rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas do not amount to an armed attack entitling Israel to rely on self-defense,” could that not make the rest of the Mission’s findings suspect?

• If, as the Mission report states, Israel’s disregard for civilian casualties was deliberate, how should Israel have confronted an enemy that blends in with the civilian population, firing from mosques, hospitals or even UN facilities, which the report admits “might have occurred,” and acknowledges that “It may be that the Palestinian combatants did not at all times adequately distinguish themselves from the civilian population.”

These points of discussion will not be found in the reporting of Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!.

Don’t expect them to be impartially addressed at the United Nations either.

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