New York, NY, July 9, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed serious doubts regarding the impartiality of the three individuals chosen by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to head up its fact-finding mission tasked with investigating Israeli settlements.
On July 6, the president of the Human Rights Council announced the appointment of Christine Chanet, a French lawyer and judge, to chair the fact-finding mission on settlements. Chanet has strongly criticized Israel's actions in the West Bank and Gaza. The other appointees are Unity Dow, a Botswanaian human rights activist and judge, and Asma Jahangir, a Pakistani lawyer and human rights activist.
"We have very little faith in the impartiality of those selected by the Human Rights Council to head up its fact-finding mission tasked with investigating Israeli settlements," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The Council's decision to dispatch a mission of this nature reeks of hypocrisy, and is further tainted by the expressed biases against Israel of those charged with overseeing this latest chapter in the UNHRC's anti-Israel agenda. Two of the panelists are already on record with distorted statements and reports regarding Israel."
In 2010, Chanet publicly stated in an official U.N. capacity that "it is very difficult to have a real dialogue (with Israel)." And in 2011, Jahangir presented the anti-Israel Russell Tribunal on Palestine with an unbalanced and unduly harsh assessment of Jewish control over religious sites in Israel.
"The Council's fact-finding mission was conceived with an illegitimate one-sided mandate and the composition of the panel confirms there should be very low expectations of a fair outcome and a good chance the mission will only serve to further inflame tensions between Israel and the Palestinians," said Mr. Foxman.
In March 2012, ADL strongly condemned the UNHRC resolution calling for the formation of the fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements, and urged the United States to formally withdraw from the Human Rights Council.