(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid continued his efforts to paint himself as Israel's shadow foreign minister Wednesday, when he sent a letter condemning the United Nations Human Rights Council's report about last summer's Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip to ambassadors from 30 countries in the council.
Lapid has stressed that when it comes to security issues, there is no coalition or opposition. The letter from the head of an opposition party emphasizes to the international community that Israelis are unified against the UNHRC report, which will soon be brought to a vote on the council. He urged all the countries on the council that have diplomatic relations with Israel to vote against any proposal.
"It is time to draw a clear line in the sand in the campaign against Israel," Lapid said. "This report and the farcical process accompanying it are just another step in the attempts to destroy the State of Israel by diplomatic means. Those who stand behind the ongoing campaign of delegitimization are not seeking a Palestinian state alongside Israel but a Palestinian state instead of Israel, or rather on the ashes of Israel."
Lapid stressed in the letter that terrorism is a global threat, and while Israel is too often on the front lines of the battle against terror, it should not be left alone to fight it either militarily or in the diplomatic arena.
"This report undermines the legitimacy of sovereign states to defend themselves against an enemy that has no respect for international law," Lapid wrote. "During Operation Protective Edge the IDF did more than any military in history to protect innocent civilians.
I sat in the Security Cabinet as we spent numerous hours discussing ways to reduce civilian casualties against an enemy who intentionally placed women and children in harm’s way and used them as human shields. While hundreds of thousands of people are killed and millions more displaced in Syria, terrorists behead people and force women into slavery in Iraq and basic freedoms are a distant dream for millions of people, the UNHRC has condemned Israel more times than the rest of the world combined."
Lapid said he knew the report would be adopted but he said there could be "moral significance" to a widespread rejection of the process by countries that care about human rights.
"The United Nations Human Rights Council lost its legitimacy and I urge your country not to play along with this farce any longer," he wrote. "There should be a complete reassessment of the Human Rights Council, a body that no longer fits its purpose."