During a meeting in Geneva Wednesday morning, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay charged Israel with possibly committing war crimes. While the media are reporting the claim, they are ignoring Ms. Pillay’s history of advocacy of hatred toward Israel during her U.N. tenure.
NBC News as well as other media outlets reported Wednesday:
Israel may have committed war crimes by killing civilians and shelling houses and hospitals during its two-week-old offensive in the Gaza Strip, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Wednesday. Pillay, opening an emergency debate at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, also condemned the indiscriminate firing of rockets and mortars by Palestinian militants into Israel.
Citing cases Israeli air strikes and shelling hitting houses and hospitals in the coastal enclave, she said: “These are just a few examples where there seems to be a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.
In addition to ignoring the fact that Pillay’s assertion is totally wrong — as tragic as civilian deaths are, collateral damage resulting from one warring faction using civilians as human shields is not a war crime — the media are ignoring is the High Commissioner’s record as an anti-Israel advocate. The left-leaning Daily News wrote at the time of her promotion to her current position in 2011:
Pillay’s enthusiasm for the Durban “anti-racism” agenda goes hand in hand with her single-minded pursuit of the demonization of Israel throughout her tenure. In January 2009, Pillay called for the creation of what became the Goldstone inquiry. In August 2009, she issued a report that lauded Hamas for having “made public statements that it is committed to respect international human rights and humanitarian law.” After Goldstone claimed that Israel had intentionally targeted civilians, Pillay said on Sept. 30, 2009, “I lend my full support to Justice Goldstone’s report and its recommendations.” Goldstone has since recanted the veracity of his slur; Pillay has not.
In July 2010, she made a rare appearance before the Security Council on “situations where the protection of civilians has been and remains of great concern” around the world – and made only two pleas to the council, both about Israel. Referring to Gaza, she said: “I urge the council . . . to ensure the lifting in full of the blockade” — which would stymie Israel’s ability to limit the flow of arms to Hamas. And she made this plea: “I urge the Security Council to support the recommendations of the U.N. Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict” — that is, the Goldstone report.
After a visit this past February to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, she said this at her final Jerusalem news conference: “The clearest manifestation of institutional discrimination is the fact that during all my meetings with government and state officials, I do not believe I met a single Palestinian citizen of Israel.” She could have easily determined that Israeli Arabs are members of Israel’s parliament, in the diplomatic corps and on the Supreme Court. The discrimination that was apparently unclear to Pillay was the institutional charter of the Hamas government in Gaza, which calls for the annihilation of the Jewish citizens of Israel, and the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to recognize the right of a Jewish state to exist at all.
In 2011, Pillay suggested that the U.S. operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden should be investigated for violations of international law:
Admitting that taking bin Laden alive was “always going to be difficult,” Pillay nevertheless signaled the United States needs to explain more about what happened in the compound.
“This was a complex operation and it would be helpful if we knew the precise facts surrounding his killing,” Pillay said. “The United Nations has consistently emphasized that all counter-terrorism acts must respect international law.”
Cross-posted at The Lid