Israel supporters to rally in Geneva against UNHRC Gaza report

Opponents of the report, including the State of Israel, are upset that it appears to equate the IDF with the Hamas terrorist group.

June 26, 2015 00:31
2 minute read.

Demonstrators hold signs and Israeli flags during a rally outside Israel's Embassy in London, to show support for Israel's military action in Gaza. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Pro-Israel activists and human rights groups plan to rally in Geneva on Monday against the presentation of a UN Human Rights Council report that day, which charges that both Israel and armed Palestinian groups may have committed war crimes in Gaza last summer.

The report was published earlier this week, but this coming Monday its coauthors, former New York Supreme Court judge Mary McGowan Davis and legal expert Doudou Diène of Senegal, plan to present the document to the UNHRC that is holding its 29th session in Geneva this month.

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Opponents of the report, including the State of Israel, are upset that it appears to equate the IDF with the Hamas terrorist group. They see it as one more biased report by the UNHRC against Israel.

“We want to make it clear to the United Nations that applying double standards toward Israel, falsely portraying Israel as a serial violator of human rights or even putting the democratic State of Israel into the same category as Hamas and other terrorist organizations is not only unfair, but also does great harm to the reputation of the UN and to the protection of human rights,” World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer said.

Separately, nongovernmental groups such as NGO Monitor and UN Watch plan to hold a number of panel events with military and legal experts to explain that Israel held to the standards set by international law when it battled Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.

Israel is unlikely to formally speak at the UNHRC session and refused to cooperate with the two-person legal probe led by McGowan Davis, which produced the report.

It is instead working behind the scenes to make an impact on a UNHRC vote Friday on a resolution that is likely to condemn Israel and urge for action against it.

The text of the resolution is not to be published until Monday. But it links the McGowan Davis report with an earlier UNHRC report on the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, which took place in December 2008 and January 2009.

That report, authorized by South African judge Richard Goldstone, similarly found that the IDF and Hamas may have committed war crimes.

The majority of the UNHRC’s member states are expected to support the resolution.

Israel, however, hopes to sway European countries and others that are friendly to it, to either vote against the resolution or abstain.

The US is expected to stand with Israel with regard to the report.

Earlier in the week US State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters in Washington, that the US “challenges the very foundation upon which this report was written.”

Nor, he said, does it believe that the UN Security Council should take any action on it.

“We don’t believe that there’s a call or a need for any further Security Council work on this,” he said.

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