Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
MKs and Knesset candidates across the political spectrum approved of William Schabas’s resignation from the UN Human Rights Council committee investigating last summer’s Operation Protective Edge on Tuesday, condemning the probe as inherently biased.
Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett said Schabas made the right decision to take his name off of a “shameful, anti-Semitic report against the State of Israel, one of a long line of anti-Semitic reports against Israel.”
Speaking at Kibbutz Alumim near the Gaza Strip, Bennett added that he could have “saved Schabas the investigation, because the IDF is the most moral army in the world, while on the other side of the fence, they hid and shot from behind schools and preschools to harm Israeli civilians, and the IDF fought those terrorists and deserves an award for such moral behavior.”
Bennett repeated his assertion that IDF combat soldiers should not be probed, saying that “heroism will not be investigated.”
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) said Schabas’s appointment was inappropriate and that, with his resignation, the committee should be dissolved.
“This is another proof of that our determined diplomatic efforts and the strong stance by our government in defending our truth, that the IDF acted completely morally facing the war crimes perpetrated by Hamas with the encouragement of the Palestinian Authority, brings success even in the hostile arena of the UNHRC,” Levin added.
Former Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, the Zionist Union’s candidate for defense minister, said that Schabas’s resignation is not enough and the entire investigation must be removed from the UNHRC’s agenda.
“This is a committee born in sin at the UNHRC, an organization that targets IDF soldiers and the State of Israel. The attempts to create equivalency between the commanders and soldiers of the IDF and of murderous terrorist organizations continue all the time,” he said.
Terrorist organizations are the ones committing war crimes that should be investigated, while Israel is committed to protecting its soldiers from any panel and organization that tries to harm them based on preposterous, false legal pretexts, Yadlin added.
Koolanu Knesset candidate and former ambassador to the US Michael Oren also called the Schabas Committee “born in sin,” saying the fact that someone who was a legal adviser to the PLO and called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and former president Shimon Peres war criminals led the committee shows the UNHRC’s biased agenda.
“The time has come for the international community to start looking at the war crimes and injustices in Gaza caused not by Israel, but by Hamas, which cynically and repugnantly holds its people captive,” Oren said.
According to Yahad chairman Eli Yishai, Schabas’s resignation is better late than never and the UN has been biased against Israel since it was founded.
“The investigative committee is a joke, and the fact that [South African jurist Richard] Goldstone’s twin, Mr. Schabas, was put at its head, was an attempt to turn it into a blockbuster comedy,” Yishai quipped. “Schabas’s [resignation] is the only praiseworthy thing he’s done, and let’s hope he will be an example for the whole contemptible committee.”