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Press Release

ADL Calls U.N. Human Rights Investigation on Gaza “A Farce”

New York, NY, August 12, 2014 …    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called a newly appointed United Nations Human Rights Council panel to investigate human rights violations related to the recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas, “a farce” with the outcome “all-but preordained.”

The Human Rights Council announced yesterday the appointment of Professor William Schabas as chair, and Doudou Diène as one of the members of an independent commission of inquiry to investigate “all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”  Amal Alamuddin, a Lebanese-British lawyer, was originally tapped as a third panelist, but declined the post.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

Here we go again.  As if on cue, the United Nations Human Rights Council has appointed a so-called “independent” panel to investigate Israel’s conduct in the recent conflict in Gaza, with the outcome all-but preordained.  This farce began with an illegitimate Council resolution and will predictably end with an illegitimate panel investigation and report, entirely biased against Israel, which places the blame squarely on Israel for “war crimes” and other violations of international law and pays no attention to the terrorism of Hamas.

We have seen this theater of the absurd before. The inquiry will be stacked against Israel through the appointment of individuals with anti-Israel bona fides like Professor William Schabas. Israel, understandably, will refuse to cooperate. And, finally, a harsh, biased and fundamentally flawed report will be issued, providing fodder to those who have already found Israel guilty on all counts and handing Hamas a phony victory in the court of public opinion

Schabas has made comments critical of Israel’s leadership in the past, and participated in the 2012 Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a conference in which Israel is put on trial, with its guilt on war crimes fully presumed.  Diène has served as U.N. Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance from 2002 to 2008 and as the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d’Ivoire from 2011 to 2014.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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February 2, 2015

On February 2, William Schabas resigned as chair of the HRC Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict after it was revealed he had failed to disclose that he had a conflict of interest because he was retained in 2012 by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to provide a legal opinion and he received a fee from the PLO for the opinion.

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