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$1,000 the U.N. Human Rights Council won’t spend

How about using it to investigate the abuse Hamas committed against the rights of its own children

I was reading the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Website and was surprised to learn that the planet’s supposed most important human rights address actively seeks online donations. It was there that I discovered that a $1,000 donation, “Can contribute to an investigation by a UN expert of a serious human rights violation.”

So here is a thought. How about we human rights activists launch a fundraising campaign to underwrite a UNHRC investigation of 160 Palestinian children who perished in Gaza. Make that under Gaza.

The number and fate of these (nearly) forgotten young martyrs was actually confirmed by Hamas officials. Yet to date their have been no NGO-led outcries for justice, no blaring headlines decrying these killings, no tears shed by Palestinian Sabeel Church activists over their tragic demise—and of course—no Goldstone Report either by the UN Human Rights Council or UNICEF, whose mandate is to protect and nurture the world’s endangered children.

Why not?

The answer is supplied in an important article in The Tablet, where reporter Myer Freimann cites a 2012 article in the Institute for Palestine Studies—no friend of Israel’s, to say the least—by Nicolas Pelham. He wrote:

“A similarly cavalier approach to child labor and tunnel fatalities damaged the movement’s [i.e., Hamas] standing with human-rights groups, despite government assurances dating back to 2008 that it was considering curbs. During a police patrol that the author was permitted to accompany in December 2011, nothing was done to impede the use of children in the tunnels, where, much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies. At least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels, according to Hamas officials. Safety controls on imports appear similarly lax, although the TAC insists that a sixteen-man contingent carries out sporadic spot-checks.”

According to Pelham, Hamas’ “Tunnel Affairs Commission” continued to stonewall any complaints about the lethal exploitation of child labor ever since 2008.

Hamas used at least 800,000 tons of cement—diverted to terror from supposedly civilian construction projects—that is enough to rebuild the pyramids. Historians debate whether the pharaohs relied on forced laborers or willing workmen. But nobody argues that they and Hamas used children to build their legacies for history.

While all the reasons behind the designs of ancient Egypt’s sphinxes and pyramids may never be fully known, all the world now knows the real purpose of Hamas’ multimillion dollar, multi-decade tunnel project that was so important that disposable Palestinian kids were pressed into service: Had the current fighting not exposed these tunnels, they would have served as underground highways on Rosh Hashanah, as thousands of Hamas terrorists would have emerged into Israeli territory to murder, maim, and kidnap thousands of Israeli civilians, with drugged survivors held hostage to further blackmail a traumatized Jewish state.

Some of us aren’t surprised by word of such abuse. What else is one to expect from a regime that brainwashes children as young as three with genocidal propaganda using Mickey Mouse characters to convert them to the cult of suicide bombers; that has rewarded the voters in Gaza who put them in power, by using their constituents as human shields?

Still, a UN investigation could at least restore a degree of dignity to these Palestinian kids that was robbed from them in life by their leaders.

So will it really take a thousand dollars to kick-start an investigation?

Afraid so.

We cannot expect that Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Chile, China, Cuba, the US, or any of the other 47 member states of the UNHRC to make the move that could embarrass Hamas. What about the secular high priests of ‘Civil Society’— those Human Rights Non-Government NGOs? Since the death of those 160 unfortunate kids can’t be pinned on the Jewish state, they are unlikely to raise the alarm. Indeed, the deaths at the hands of Hamas presents an inconvenient truth that flies in the face of the NGOs real priorities–drafting ‘Goldstone II’—and indicting Israel for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other alleged breeches of International human rights law.

So while the mixed choir of media pundits, cultural elites, and dapper diplomats keep hounding Israel about alleged “disproportionate response” to Hamas’s onslaught, we are witness, yet again to the world’s “disproportionate silence” over Hamas’ unending trail of murder, mayhem, and crimes against humanity against Israelis and their own Palestinian constituents.

All this confirms one other inconvenient truth: Only Israel can put an end to the evil that is Hamas. Decent people everywhere are (mostly) silently praying that Israel puts an end to Hamas’ endless barbarity, once and for all.

About the Author
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Associate Dean and Global Director of its Ed Snider Social Action Institute