This piece was written quickly.
Today, Friday, Jews around the world prepare for the Shabbat, our day of rest. Shabbat begins tonight—just an hour or so from now.
But as Jews wind down their week, the United Nations cranks up its anti-Zionist attack against the Jewish state. Just minutes ago, a news report has appeared to announce that Ms Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has created her own Human Rights Law. She is quoted as saying that, essentially, Israel has no right to defend itself. Her reason has nothing to do with existing Human Rights: Arab human shields (a war crime), she says, prevent Israel from legally attacking targets in Gaza (“UN Human Rights Commissioner Attacks Israel Over Self-Defense”, Arutz Sheva, July 11, 2014).
Human shields do not have that power. Her argument—and a follow-up from her office—pervert both justice and the rules of ethical war. She argues that reports of Arab civilian casualties in Gaza raise serious doubt about whether the Israeli strikes have been in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law (ibid). She ignores the Arab use of human shields. She ignores the fact that, on video, Arabs have recently (earlier this week) acknowledged they use human shields, praise themselves for it, and call upon Gazans to continue it as a way to thwart Israel and gain martyrdom.
Ms Pillay ignores Humanitarian law. She makes her own law.
There is no Humanitarian law that states that the use of human shields prohibits a sovereign state from attacking legitimate enemy targets. What the law states is that using human shields is a war crime.
Pillay ignores that completely. Instead, her spokesperson claims, with no basis in law, that there is no 'legitimate' reason to strike homes in Gaza - terrorist or not. Her logic is that "Buildings that are ordinarily used for civilian purposes, such as homes, are presumed not to be legitimate military targets even when a home is identified as being used for military purposes”(ibid).
That is complete nonsense. Re-read that statement. There is no existing rule of ethical war that states that a home used for military purposes is off-limits. There is no Humanitarian law that states that human shields can be used to defend military targets.
Ms Pillay uses her power and position to invent rules out of thin air. Israel has a right to defend itself. Israel has a moral duty to protect its citizens. Hamas has the same ‘Responsibility to Protect’ its citizens (this is a UN requirement). If, by using human shields, Arab civilians die, the responsibility for those deaths lay not with Israel, which is aiming at legitimate targets. The responsibility for those deaths lay with the authorities—Hamas—which control those civilians.
Hamas doesn’t protect its citizens. Instead, it happily announces its use of human shields. Hamas flaunts the rules of ethical war. It flaunts Humanitarian Law. It flaunts all law.
If Ms Pillay is to condemn or threaten anyone, it should be those who manipulate their civilians to become human shields. She should use her position to condemn in harshest terms those who would flaunt law and code.
Hamas is immoral. It is a war criminal. It is not to be defended or protected.
Ms Pillay ignores Hamas crimes to vilify the Jewish state. That’s not Human Rights. That’s anti-Zionism; and, as the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr once said, anti-Zionism is the same as anti-Semitism.
Navi Pillay is not a Rights advocate. She’s a bigot.