On Gaza, the UN Targets Israel Again

A new report is the gold standard of moral equivalence between killer and victim.


It was clever of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to use the United Nations General Assembly and New York's media to spew out yet more outrageous statements about Israel, the Holocaust, and America—the usual demonology of a despicable demagogue. The intention was an obvious diversion to distract the assembly from paying any attention to the theocratic dictatorship in Iran that has just murderously suppressed the human rights of its own people, who have risen in spontaneous outrage at the theft of an election.

The fact that 11 delegations walked out was the least to be expected of any civilized body. That any of them could sit and be tortured by the absurdly long and ridiculous posturing of another anti-Semite, Libya's Muammar Qadhafi, a terrorist-in-chief now going straight, unfortunately illustrates the degree of malice and hostility—or at least disregard—for Israel, the only democracy in the Mideast.

Of course, this is the same U.N. that tolerates the activities of its own Human Rights Council, a font of knee-jerk anti-Semitism that not long ago was risibly chaired by Libya. From time to time, spokesmen for the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands have been known to protest the council's antics, but the poison continues to flow. One of the most amazing and egregious examples is the report released last week on Israel's invasion of Gaza. For a start, just look at the terms of reference accepted by Richard Goldstone, a distinguished South African judge who said that, as a Jew himself, he was surprised to be invited to conduct the inquiry. He shouldn't have been, and he should never have accepted leadership of a commission whose mandate was designed to excuse the aggressor, Hamas, and punish the defender, Israel.

In the wake of combat in January between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas soldiers in the Gaza Strip, the council announced its intention to "dispatch an urgent, independent international fact-finding mission, to be appointed by the President [of the council], to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying power, Israel, against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, due to the current aggression, and calls upon Israel not to obstruct the process of investigation and to fully cooperate with the mission."

For a start, Israel is not an "occupying power" in Gaza in either fact or by international law. Israel voluntarily handed over the territory to the Palestinians in 2005—and look what they did with it. Gaza had a wonderful chance to be the building block of a new Palestinian state with millions of dollars in outside support. It could have done what the Israelis did: take a piece of land and build a model new state. It didn't happen. The citizens of Gaza elected the Hamas organization as their leadership, which in turn dedicated the territory to war and terrorism, with the only objective being the destruction of Israel. Hamas tormented the Israeli people beyond endurance with rocket attacks, ignoring repeated warnings to stop or face the consequences.

It seems to have escaped the worthy judge that Hamas is committed not just to fight Israeli soldiers, but to genocide plain, simple, and evil. And that by accepting the terms of reference imposed by the U.N. Human Rights Council, he would inevitably give Hamas a free pass for its relentless provocations and its torment of the people within range of the 8,000 rockets it launched—8,000!—every one of which was intended to kill as many people as possible. The fact that deaths were fewer was merely an accident or, in the eyes of Hamas, an unfortunate technical error.

Those rocket attacks were war crimes and ought to be universally condemned as such. Instead, by the twisted logic of the Human Rights report, it is Israel that is in the spotlight, accused of war crimes for a "disproportionate" response. While the rockets hit Israel over many months, there was no rush by the world's moralizers to pass censure in the United Nations to call for Hamas to behave. There was no urgency as there was in "world opinion" when Israel finally responded by sending troops to eliminate the source of the rockets. Then Israel was immediately condemned for a "disproportionate" attack. No one thought, "Now what is a 'proportionate' attack against an enemy dedicated to exterminating your people? A dedication to exterminating all of his people?"