New York rally in support of Israel Gaza campaign, July 28, 2014 .
(photo credit: ANNA HIATT)
NEW YORK – Members of the US House of Representatives, including the ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Eliot Engel (D-NY), blasted the UN for suggesting Israel had committed and should be held accountable for war crimes.
At a rally Monday attended by more than 6,000 people and held at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza half a block from United Nations Headquarters, Steve Israel (D-NY) scolded the UN Human Rights Commission and told the crowd that he and more than 100 US representatives had signed a letter to the UNHRC chief Navi Pillay.
“If you are thinking of investigating Israel for alleged war crimes, give that up. Give that up.” The representative from New York added, “We will not take the United Nations seriously unless they take Hamas war crimes seriously.”
The representatives expressed frustration that the UNHRC had not said it would investigate whether Hamas had committed war crimes, and representative Israel called on them to do so.
Representatives Israel and Engel made light of the partisan split that has plagued Congress for years, saying that though representatives couldn’t agree on much, they could agree on Israel.
In early July, representatives Israel and Tom Cole (R-OK.) introduced a resolution to the House of Representatives, which called for the US to support Israel during this round of conflict. The non-binding resolution was passed unanimously.
“One hundred and fifty co-sponsors. Passed unanimously on the floor of the House of Representatives.
That is unprecedented. That is a modern miracle,” Israel (D-NY 3rd District) said.
After Chuck Schumer (D-NY) spoke, Engel turned on the media. “The media has not exactly been fair to Israel, and it’s time we stand up and say, ‘We’re not going to accept this biased, one-side coverage.’ The media must be fair, and it must be accurate, and we have not seen fairness and accuracy at all.”
Engel cited the conflict in Syria and asked why the media wasn’t paying more attention to that.
Monday’s rally was just one in a string of pro-Israel gatherings across North America since the current round of fighting began.
Most recently, on Sunday, Stand With Us held a rally in downtown Toronto at which they played the sound of a siren and gave all 3,000 attendees 15 seconds to lie on the ground.