Navi Pillay
Navi Pillay Reuters

The International Legal Forum (ILF), together with a global coalition of over 25 organizations, on Monday released a major in-depth report (“Fixed Inquiry: The Biased UN Commission Against Israel”), calling out the ongoing Navi Pillay-led UN Human Rights Council commission against Israel as “singularly unprecedented, unjust and completely lacking in impartiality or any legal basis.”

Purportedly created in the wake of Israel’s self-defensive campaign against Hamas, which fired approximately 4,500 rockets at Israeli civilians in May 2021, the UNHRC resolution establishing the Commission did not even mention Hamas, an internationally recognized Palestinian terror group, or Israel’s right to self-defense.

Instead, the Commission, which is expected to hand down its initial findings this June, will unjustly single out the Jewish state for condemnation, whilst giving a free pass to Palestinian terror groups, which just launched a fresh wave of violence, killing at least 18 Israelis since March this year. Moreover, the Commission will have an absurd open-ended carte blanche to investigate Israel in perpetuity, including before even its establishment in 1948.

A large number of bi-partisan Members of Congress have already written to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, expressing grave concerns about the bias of the Commission and it’s discriminatory singling out of Israel.

ILF Chair and CEO, Arsen Ostrovsky, said, “This Commission makes a complete mockery of international law and is tantamount to an all-out assault against the Jewish state. It only underscores the UNHRC’s persistent, systematic and relentless bias against the State of Israel, which is consistently denied equality before the UN body and pronounced guilty from the outset. When it comes to the UNHRC, Israel does not even stand a chance.”

In particular, the signatories of the report expressed “deep concern” by the UNHRC’s appointment of Navi Pillay to Chair this Commission, given her “long-standing bias and hostility towards Israel”, having already outrageously referred to Israel as an “apartheid regime” and accused the Jewish state of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity.” Pillay has also openly championed boycotts against Israel and had ties with organizations and individuals affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is designated as a terror group by the US, EU, Canada, Israel and others.

Ostrovsky said, “The appointment of Navi Pillay as Chair makes a complete farce of the UNHRC’s own rules and guidelines on Commissions of Inquiry, which require ‘a proven record of independence and impartiality’, something which Pillay demonstrably lacks, and as a result, ought to recuse herself immediately.”

Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations and currently the President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), who authored the preface to this report, noted that, with the appointment of Navi Pillay to head this “Commission of Inquiry” against Israel, it “would become yet another [UN] entity based on foul play and not on strict international legality with some modicum of fairness.”

Ostrovsky suggested, “Instead of the UNHRC focusing its attention on actual pressing human rights abuses around the world, it is, yet again, squandering millions of dollars and resources to continue its relentless obsession with Israel, and in the process, undermining the Council’s own credibility, while obstructing peace in the region and only fueling further antisemitism around the world.”

The signatories to the report conclude: “All those who truly care about the rule of law, justice and advancing peace in the Middle East, should call out this Commission over its inherent bias and refuse to afford it any kind of legitimacy or credence.”

Israel has announced that it will not cooperate with the UN probe, noting Pillay has endorsed “the shameful libel” branding Israel an apartheid nation and backed the boycott movement against Israel.

The UNHRC is notorious for its longstanding bias against Israel. Former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the UNHRC in 2018 due to this.

However, the Biden administration returned to the organization last year, even though it acknowledged its “disproportionate focus” on Israel.