Maurice Hirsch

The UN inquisition to vilify Israel

The third installment of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Inquisition to vilify Israel and the Jews is out, and it is safe to say that even Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels himself would be proud of the product. Using selective evidence, selected witnesses, manipulative techniques, sleight of hand, invented methodology, and standards, all mixed with a huge dollop of bias and classic antisemitism, Navi Pillay and her co-conspirators have produced another travesty of fact, justice, and morality. Considering the nature, scope, modus operandi, inherent bias, and the identity of its members, the “Commission of Inquiry” is more akin to a Middle Ages Inquisition to persecute Jews, than a legitimate UN human rights endeavor.

In May 2021, the UNHRC, well known for its pathological hatred of Israel, appointed yet another “Commission of Inquiry” to investigate Israel. While UN commissions of this nature are not new, this one was unique in the breadth of its scope, the enormity of its budget, and the absence of any end date.

While cloaking their report in the halo of “human rights”, Pillay’s Inquisition has already decided that the Jews and Israel are guilty, and having already fired the proverbial arrow, are now simply engaged in drawing the target around the guilt of the Jews.

In its newest “report”, which pays special attention to the alleged “shrinking space for civil society in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem and in Israel,” Pillay’s Inquisition weaves a not-so-careful web of deception.

In the Inquisition’s alternate reality, Palestinians are paragons of virtue who bear no ill feeling or ill intent towards Israel, Israelis, or Jews. No Palestinian terrorist organizations exist, no Palestinian terrorists exist, and no Palestinians have ever raised their hands against innocent victims. The Palestinian leadership does not incite terror on a daily basis, and even the Palestinian Authority’s nefarious ‘Pay-for-Slay’ terror reward policy does not exist.

In UN-funded and promoted Inquisitions alternate reality, it is Israel – created as a Nakba, the Arabic word which means catastrophe – and the “settlers” who disinherited the true “Palestinians”. Israelis and Jews are the aggressors, who wantonly and indiscriminately attack the innocent Palestinians. In the eyes of the Inquisition, Jews, at the very least those living in Israel, have lost their right to live.

To reach these outrageous conclusions Pillay’s Inquisition adopted two simple methods.

First, the Inquisition carefully selects its “witnesses”. The witness are questioned by the Inquisition using leading questions, assuming “facts” that have never been established, in order to reach conclusions that the witness themselves could not possibly have concluded. For example, one sweeping conclusion of the Inquisition is that “all [Palestinian] Human Rights Defenders operating in proximity to settlements and outposts are increasingly seen by settlers as legitimate targets of violent attacks, regardless of age or gender.”

Of course, the Inquisition, which claims to follow accepted “standards”, did not say who of the 127 interviewees and “witnesses,” testified on behalf of the over 700,000 “settlers” (Jews living in their ancestral homeland) and who of them testified as to their enthusiasm to randomly attack the innocent “human rights defenders.” The Palestinian and other witness could clearly not give evidence or testify as to how the Jews – the “settlers” – see them.

Second, after singling out the witness that would support their pre-determined conclusions, the Inquisition then cherry-picked the evidence it reviewed. Hundreds of thousands of submissions that did not support the goal of criminalizing the Jews, were either too late for the previous report or too early for the current report.

Using this biased and dubious methodology, the Inquisition came to the conclusion that anyone who dares identify Palestinians as terrorists or homicidal Palestinian terrorist organizations as terrorist organizations is nothing short of being a war criminal.

Following this conclusion, the inquisitors make two broad recommendations.

Firstly, they “recommended” to all the “member states of the UN” that they “publicly denounce campaigns by State and non-State actors against CSOs [Civil Society Organizations – M.H.] in Israel, the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories – M.H.] and worldwide that criticize Israeli policy and action or support Palestinian rights.”

According to this UN Inquisition, all states should denounce anybody, anywhere who condemns civil society operations that criticize Israel or support Palestinians – regardless of how that criticism or support is manifested. Put simply, it means that a UN Inquisition has launched a worldwide pogrom against anybody disputing the legitimacy, accuracy, or bona fides of Israel’s critics, or the reliability and integrity of Palestinian militants.

Second, the Inquisition calls on the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to pursue the designated offenders across the planet and lock them up. The report demands that the Prosecutor “prioritize” his investigation into the situation in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory” including of “individuals who aid or abet the commission of crimes under the Court’s jurisdiction.”

Showing its hand, the Inquisition assumed that the ICC Prosecutor will blindly accept and adopt their baseless findings and will use the full force of the ICC mechanism to prosecute, or should we dare say persecute, anyone who dares express a view contrary to that of the pre-determined Jew-hatred of the Inquisition.

Succinctly put, this report of the Inquisition, even more than its predecessors, exposes its true goal: To criminalize Jews living in their ancestral homeland, whitewash Palestinian terror and launch a global dragnet for the guardians, builders and defenders of the Jewish state.

Pillay’s Inquisition, was from the start, and remains, a shameful stain on the UN and should be disbanded without further delay.

About the Author
Lt. Col. (res) Maurice Hirsch is the Director of the Initiative for Palestinian Authority Accountability and Reform in the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a Senior Legal Analyst at Human Rights Voices and a member of the Israel Defense and Security Forum. He served for 19 years in the IDF Military Advocate General Corps. In his last position he served as Director of the Military Prosecution in Judea and Samaria.