Bennett: UN Gaza report has Jewish blood on its hands

Education minister blasts inquiry report on last summer's conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Naftali Bennett (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Naftali Bennett
The UN Human Rights Council report on Operation Protective Edge justifies the murder of Jews, Education Minister Naftali Bennett declared Monday at a Bayit Yehudi faction meeting, saying it “is born in sin and will be buried in shame.”
According to Bennett, the report has “blood on its hands,” as it permits the murder of Jews and cheapens their blood, ties the hands of IDF soldiers from being able to defend Israel, and ignores last summer’s kidnapping and murder of three teenage boys by terrorists with ties to Hamas.
The Bayit Yehudi chairman said the report “tries to create symmetry between us and Hamas, but it is not true. There is a good side and a bad side; a side that tries to avoid civilians and a side that targets them.”
“Israel will continue to defend itself, but to the UN, I say: Shame on you,” Bennett declared.
Later Monday, in a speech to the plenum, Bennett pointed out that the UN used B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence testimony to compile the report, and called for a bill limiting foreign government funding for NGOs to be passed as soon as possible.
“I saw Hamas supports the report. As for that, I say to the UN: Tell me who your terrorist friend is, and I’ll tell you who you are,” he added.
Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev said the only good decision the UN ever made was on November 29, 1947 – recognizing a Jewish State – and since then it forgot its purpose: to stop wars and help bring peace.
“I would expect from the UN to call on Hamas to lay down its weapons for the good of its own people, but, unfortunately, that did not happen,” she stated.
“Meanwhile, the UN chooses to ignore the massacre of the Syrian people and the Iranian nuclear threat.”
“The IDF is the most moral army in the world, and Israel will continue doing everything to protect its citizens, despite the UN’s biased reports,” Regev added.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union), who was in London Monday, said that he does not need an international report or committee to tell him that the IDF is a moral army.
“For Hamas, killing innocent people is the main goal, and I can say from my experience in many cabinet meetings that the question of harming uninvolved and innocent people always comes up and it is a heavy consideration in Israel’s decisions,” he said.
Herzog added that the most important thing for Israel to do now is to try to prevent another round of fighting in Gaza and support the demilitarization and rehabilitation of the Strip.
Speaking at the Jewish News Conference in London, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid called the report an “international outrage.”
“This isn’t an investigation – it’s Hamas propaganda,” he said. “It is intolerable for a report like this to be released...
Hamas is a terrorist organization and a criminal organization.
Instead of writing a report on it, they write one about a democratic country that defends the lives of women and children.”
Lapid pointed out that he was a member of the Security Cabinet during Operation Protective Edge and said he knows from up close that “there is no army in the history of warfare that did more than the IDF to prevent harming innocent people.”
Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman said that “Israel does not commit war crimes. The UNHRC and its committees are biased and made up of people who constantly commit crimes against humanity, rewrite history, and distort reality in which there is a country fighting to protect its children who are attacked by rockets by a terrorist organization that shoots from concentrations of children.”
MK Zehava Gal-On (Meretz) said the report should be a warning sign to Israel to stop boycotting UNHRC committees, because it makes Israel come out worse in their reports.
“This is a double loss. First, because the report is partly a result of Israel giving up the opportunity to present testimony, and second, because Israel missed the opportunity to use the committee as an arena to influence world opinion.
It is too bad we did not learn a lesson from previous, similar instances,” she lamented.
MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) expressed support for the report, calling Protective Edge an “ugly war...that cost the lives of about 1,500 Palestinian citizens, including about 500 children, and left over 10,000 people homeless and thousands injured.”
“War crimes of this kind require the report to be submitted to the International Criminal Court and for war criminals to be put on trial to avoid the continuing trampling of human dignity and liberty that happened in Gaza in 2014 and continues in the occupied territories every day,” she added.
MK Haneen Zoabi (Joint List) expressed support for the report, calling it “a serious and independent investigation examining the war crimes that took place. The report does not present the two sides’ crimes as equal. Rather, it talks about thousands of deaths on the Palestinian side, along with tens of thousands injured and neighborhoods destroyed, as opposed to only six civilians killed on the Israeli side,” Zoabi said. “The fact that senior government officials, other elected officials and even journalists are so disrespectful of the report shows that Israel is unable to undertake a serious and transparent investigation.”
Saeb Erekat, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement: “The State of Palestine will review the findings and recommendations of the commission with the highest consideration, in line with its staunch commitment to ensuring respect for these esteemed bodies of international law.”