March 19, 2009

UN's "Unbiased Observer" Alleges Israeli War Crimes

Ynet reports that the a United Nations Human Rights Investigator alleges that Israel committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead.

Color me skeptical but the UN is not exactly a bastion of human rights. In fact if you look at who sits on the human rights committee and their supporters you'll see examples of countries that are human rights violators.

Color me skeptical but the man appears to have taken Palestinian press releases and just regurgitated them on UN letterhead. It is common knowledge that the terrorists do not wear uniforms and intentionally operate from within densely packed civilian areas, but that doesn't matter to Mr. Falk.

Before we go any further let's look at an excerpt from the story.


A United Nations human rights investigator said on Thursday that Israel's military assault on densely populated Gaza appeared to constitute a grave war crime.

Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said the Geneva Conventions required warring forces to distinguish between military targets and surrounding civilians.

"If it is not possible to do so, then launching the attacks is inherently unlawful and would seem to constitute a war crime of the greatest magnitude under international law," Falk said.

"On the basis of the preliminary evidence available, there is reason to reach this conclusion," he wrote in an annual 26-page report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council.

Falk gave the same death toll from Israel's offensive in December and January - 1,434 Palestinians, including 960 civilians - as the Palestinian human rights center.

Israel, which lost 13 people during the war, disputes the figures and has accused Hamas fighters in Gaza of using civilians as human shields during the conflict - an allegation which Falk said should be investigated.

Is Falk blind or unable to use the internet. There is raw footage that shows evidence of Hamas war crimes such as the video of them using children as human shields.

Maybe the issue is that he receives his information from biased members of the media such as
Nidal Rafa.

You know who Nidal Rafa is, don't you. She is the journalist who was employed by CNN. Tom Gross provides a short report that sheds some very interesting information about her partisan approach. It includes a YouTube video in which she verbally attacks a member of the Knesset.

I know, journalists would never be biased. They serve the public by providing an unbiased report of the news. If only that was the case.

To be clear I do not believe that all journalists are bad. I do not believe that journalists who portray Israel or other countries in a negative light are automatically bad. But there are lines and Rafa crosses them far too often.

And when you take a situation where the foreign press must rely upon interpreters I grow very concerned at what is being translated and what is not.

So it really warms the cockles of my heart when I see a fine man like Falk deliver such an important and well thought out report.

Ok trolls, go to town.

11 comments:

Jewish Atheist said...

Ha-aretz is reporting that some IDF soldiers offer similar testimony.

Soccer Dad said...

And Ynet's reporting that a number of active duty soldiers who served in Gaza are emphatically denying the charges.

Jack said...

JA,

I have seen that and I have seen the link that Soccer Dad provided.

War is messy. War is violent. War is tragic and I never expect to read about a war that doesn't involve some sort of investigation of war crimes.

That doesn't mean that I am excusing them, but that during inhuman activities the likelihood of such events is high.

The question in my mind is how prevalent is it and what does the service do to prevent it from happening.

As I have said many times Israel is not infallible and they should be criticized. But the difference between Israel and Hamas is that you can criticize it without fear of bodily harm.

You can conduct investigations without concern for yourself or your family.

It is an imperfect world and we are never going to see a perfect war where no one gets hurt and no one dies.

Jewish Atheist said...

Jack,

I'm certainly not arguing that the war crimes were unusual or more than expected. I was just pointing out that it's not just anti-semites and crazy people who are saying these things.

I also think that war crimes are more likely in such a conflict, just as massive civilian casualties were to be expected. Both of those are reasons I opposed this action, which achieved no significant positive results.

Jack said...

JA,

What would you propose Israel do to stop the rockets?

Jewish Atheist said...

Jack,

What would you propose Israel do to stop the rockets?

I'm not sure they can. The Gaza operation was a total failure anyway. Surely you're not arguing that a total failure that killed hundreds of people is better than doing nothing?

Jack said...

I am not sure that there is agreement that it was a total failure.

Jewish Atheist said...

Sure, not everyone wants to admit they killed hundreds of people and accomplished nothing. But Hamas is still in power and the rockets continue to launch. So what did they achieve?

Jack said...

JA,

That is not really an answer. What were the objectives of the war and were any of them accomplished?

Jewish Atheist said...

Did you not get my response to your last comment?

Jack said...

I don't think so.