Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lashed out Wednesday at the UN Human Rights Council, accusing it of granting "legitimacy to terror organizations" by investigating Israel for alleged war crimes in Gaza.
"UNHRC gives legitimacy to murderous terror organizations like Hamas and Daash (Islamic State)," he said, accusing the rights body of overlooking "massacres" committed elsewhere in the Middle East in favor of investigating Israel for defending itself against rocket attacks from Gaza.
The UNHRC has selected Prof. William Schabas to head an investigation into Operation Protective Edge. Speaking in a 2013 panel, Schabas clearly revealed his great eagerness to bring about the prosecution of Israel over its actions in Gaza, even if that involved “twisting things and maneuvering” in the international legal arena.
Asked about the possibility of prosecuting Israel for “ecocide” as well, Schabas expressed optimism on gradually enlarging the scope of legal accusations against Israel. “Years ago there were no courts at all,” he noted. “When [the term] 'genocide' was invented there was no court at all. There was no court for crimes against humanity, but we have them now. And with a bit of luck and by twisting things and maneuvering we can get them before the courts.”
Schabas did not deny Wednesday, in an interview with Israel's Channel 2, that the international community has a double standard regarding Israel's conduct of war.
Channel 2's anchor, Danny Kushmaro, asked Schabas if there is not a double standard involved when that thousands of innocent civilians were killed in Chechnya by the Russians, and by NATO forces in Libya, yet there was “not one international investigation,” whereas Israel acted in self defense in Gaza and two investigations have been launched in the course of six years.
“There are a lot of double standards in the international level,” answered Schabas. “This is explained by the relative strength of the powers,” he added, and noted that some claim there is a double standard in Israel's favor in the UN Security Council, where anti-Israel resolutions are vetoed.