Thursday, March 05, 2009

UN Human Rights

5 March 2009

Israel calls on Commissioner to condemn rocket fire
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman's Bureau)

In a letter sent on Tuesday (3 March 2009) by Aharon Leshno-Yaar, Israel's Ambassador to the UN Institutions in Geneva, to Pillay Navanethem, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and to Nigerian Ambassador Martin Uhomibhi, he appealed to them to speak out and denounce the ongoing Hamas rocket attacks being launched at the civilian population in southern Israel.

In the two-and-a-half years since the Human Rights Commission was established, its activities have been characterized by acute politicization and a continuously negative attitude towards Israel. While the Commission completely abstained from making its voice heard with regard to such countries as Iran and passed a relatively soft resolution regarding the tragedy in Darfur, it adopted 11 strong condemnations of Israel, and five special sessions were dedicated to Israel - one half of the total special sessions convened by the Commission.

At a special session on Israel's operation against Hamas in Gaza on 12 January 2009, the Commission adopted a resolution - without the support of the Western and democratic nations - calling for the formation of a committee to examine and report on Israel's actions. The resolution does not include any condemnation of the firing of missiles at Israeli civilians, does not even mention Hamas, and does not call for an examination of the violation of the human rights of Israeli citizens.

In light of the continued disregard by the UN Human Rights Commission of the constant firing of rockets at civilian centers in southern Israel since the end of Operation Cast Lead, Ambassador Leshno-Yaar wrote to the High Commissioner and to the President of the Council for Human Rights, calling on them to denounce the attacks on Israeli citizens and to uphold Israel's right to live in peace and security: "All too often, Israel is singled out for criticism, and yet when terrorists strike against us, the international community responds with a resounding silence. Without such public condemnation the international community gives its approval to Hamas and other terror organizations to harm innocent Israeli civilians and further contributes to the inability to achieve a sustainable and durable ceasefire."

Ambassador Leshno-Yaar recalled the objective universal values which the United Nations General Assembly laid down for the work of the Commission, as well as the need to abstain from politicization and the application of double standards. Contrary these basic rules, the Commission justified the actions of Hamas and other terror organizations, while focusing its criticism only on Israel.

"It is time", Leshno-Yaar concluded, "that the voice of the High Commissioner and the Council President speak out clearly on this issue."