UN Gaza War Inquiry: Legitimate or Whitewash?
by Stephen Lendman
On November 10, the UN Media Center headlined “Gaza: Ban forms independent panel to investigate recent conflict,” saying:
An “internal inquiry aim(s) (to review) ‘certain incidents’ reported at United Nations facilities in the Gaza Strip during the recent summer conflict there between Palestinian factions and the State of Israel.”
“(W)here UN facilities – including schools run by the UN agency tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) – sustained hits resulting in the deaths of numerous innocent civilians and UN staff members.”
As well as “incidents in which weapons were found to be present on United Nations premises.”
Establishment panel member figures include:
Dutch Major General Patrick Cammaert chairman. Former Democratic Republic of the Congo UN Force Commander. Secretary-General military advisor.
UNESCO legal advisor Maria Vicien-Milburn. Former UN Office of Legal Affairs General Legal Division director.
Diplomat Lee O’Brien. Senior US official in UN Secretariat’s diplomatic department.
International Law Professor Pierre Lemelin.
Former UN security officer KC Reddy.
A previous article said hold the cheers. Ban’s credibility is sorely lacking. A notorious imperial stooge. Supporting US-led Western interests.
Mindless of right over wrong. Longstanding Israeli high crimes. Premeditated wars. Blockading Gaza. Collective punishment.
Deliberately murdering civilians. With impunity. Because Western leaders support Israeli slow-motion genocide. Ongoing for decades.
Ban ignores it. His word isn’t his bond. He says one thing. He does another.
“I look forward to a thorough investigation by the Israeli Defense Forces of this and other incidents in which UN facilities sustained hits and many innocent people were killed,” he said.
“I am planning to move forward with an independent board of inquiry to look into the most serious of those cases, as well as instances in which weaponry was found on UN premises,” he added.
His spokesman Stephane Dujarric said he’ll move quickly. “A board of inquiry is sort of normal procedure when there is damage to UN property or UN premises,” he said.
No details of what’s planned provide. Specifics coming later, he said. Final report conclusions won’t surprise. Far short of what’s needed for sure.
Whitewashing Israeli premeditated naked aggression. Mass murder and destruction. Calling Palestinian self-defense terrorism.
Justice systematically denied. Israeli impunity. For high crimes too egregious to ignore.
In 2010, former UN Humanitarian Coordinator Denis Halliday and former UN chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter accused Ban of being a Security Council (SC) instrument.
A longstanding imperial tool. Chosen for that reason. Shaming the office he holds.
Mocking its legitimacy. Making the UN a wholly owned US subsidiary. Established this way from inception.
In 2010, Ban appointed a sham four-member commission to investigate Israel’s Mavi Marmara massacre. Independent in name only.
Its members included:
Former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, commission chairman.
Former Colombian president, Alvaro Uribe, vice-chairman. Tainted by corruption, scandal, drug trafficking, close military ties to Israel, mass murder and other human rights abuses.
Calling human rights defenders “rent-a-mobs at terrorism’s service who cowardly wave the human rights flag.”
“Human rights traffickers.” “Charlatans.” “Bandits.”
Regional human rights defenders call Colombia the “Israel of Latin America” for good reason.
Israeli Discount Bank board member Joseph Ciechanover Itzhar.
Former Turkish ambassador and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ozdem Samberk.
Their findings didn’t surprise. Outrageously calling Israel’s lawless Gaza blockade legal and appropriate.
Collective punishment by any standard. Israel’s political motive for instituting ignored.
Having nothing to do with security. Claims otherwise are Big Lies.
Turning truth on its head claiming Israeli commandos “faced organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers…” Requiring “them to use force for their own protection.”
Ludicrously saying “(t)hree soldiers were captured, mistreated and placed at risk…Several others were wounded.”
Photographic evidence showed passengers aiding disarmed Israeli attackers. Protecting them from harm.
Report findings called cold-blooded premeditated mass murder self-defense. At the same time, saying force was “excessive and unreasonable.”
Basing findings on Israeli-supplied politicized misinformation. Fabricated rubbish. Willful Big Lies.
Interviewing no survivors or witnesses. Ignoring indisputable evidence. Including indiscriminate live fire by Israeli commandos.
Targeted assassinations. Burying hard truths. Whitewashing them. Justifying the unjustifiable.
In contrast, a separate UN Human Rights Council (HRC) fact-finding commission said “Israel’s naval blockade of the Palestinian territory was unlawful because of the humanitarian crisis there, and (its) military raid on the flotilla (was) brutal and disproportionate.”
An “outrageous attack on aid ships attempting to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip.”
It called doing so “piracy, (an) act of aggression, (a) brutal massacre, (an) act of terrorism, (a) war crime, (a) crime against humanity, unprovoked…unwarranted…atrocious, (and) brutal.”
Onboard humanitarian activists were “peaceful, innocent, noble, unarmed, (and) defenseless.”
Attacking them “was unnecessary, disproportionate, excessive, inappropriate and resulted in the wholly avoidable killing and maiming of a large number of civilian passengers.”
“Israel made “a deliberate attempt…to suppress or destroy evidence.” Fabricating its own version of events. Including fake videos. Other falsified materials.
Crimes against humanity were committed. So was piracy. Israel’s motive “a desire to punish (Gazans for) elect(ing) Hamas. (A)mount(ing) to collective punishment as defined by international law.”
Spurning irs obligation to obey it. Violating it egregiously instead.
HRC’s report based on dozens of eyewitness and survivor interviews. Hard facts. Forensic evidence.
Written statements. Video footage. Other photographic materials. Indisputable confirmation of Israeli high crimes.
Ban’s commission report based on what Israel wanted to hear. Its own inquiry burying truth.
Its so-called Turkel commission “clear(ing) the government and military of wrongdoing.”
Wrongfully blaming passengers for violence. By “clearly resisting capture.”
Outrageously accusing the IHH Turkish Islamist charity involved in “planned and extremely violent” resistance. (D)irectly connected to the ongoing international armed conflict between Israel and Hamas.”
Calling Israel’s lawless Gaza blockade lawful. Saying Israeli force governed by principles of “necessity” and use of “proportionate force.”
Associated with “human rights-based enforcement norms.”
Outrageous Big Lies claiming onboard activists used “a wide array of weapons, including iron bars, axes, clubs, slingshots, knives, and metal objects.”
Capable “of causing death or serious injury.” Activists “operat(ed) in groups when violently assaulting IDF soldiers.”
Using “firearms against (them) during the hostilities.” Polar opposite what happened. Will Ban’s Operation Protective Edge inquiry report similar Big Lies?
Burying hard truths. Ignoring premeditated naked aggression. Absolving Israeli high crimes against peace.
Wrongfully blaming Hamas for what happened. Calling legitimate self-defense “terrorism.” Israeli aggression “self-defense.”
Is more of the same planned? Exonerating Israeli government and military officials of high crimes demanding accountability.
Denying Palestinians justice. Freeing Israel to wage future naked aggression. At its discretion any time it wishes.
Legitimizing mass murder and destruction. Brutalizing Palestinians ruthlessly. With impunity. Getting away with what no one should tolerate.
Israel’s blood-drenched history spans 66 years. A unmatched regional criminal rap sheet. Demanding accountability. Justice remains denied.
A Final Comment
Netanyahu represents the worst of rogue leadership. Fascist rule writ large. An unindicted war criminal multiple times over.
Treating Palestinians like Nazis treated Jews. Enforcing ethnic cleansing. Slow-motion genocide. Wanting Arabs eliminated forcefully or otherwise.
Calling legitimate protesters “terrorists.” Saying:
“To all those who are demonstrating and shouting their denunciation of Israel and support of a Palestinian state, I can say one simple thing: you are invited to move there – to the Palestinian Authority or to Gaza.”
“I can promise you the State of Israel will not put any obstacles in your way.”
Palestinian MK Ahmed Tibi said Netanyahu had “gone off the rails.” Pandering to hard-right extremism.
Blaming victims. Ordinary Palestinians called Islamic radicals. Hamas and PA officials bashed.
“We are not prepared to tolerate more demonstrations in the heart of our cities in which Hamas or ISIS flags are waved and calls are made to redeem Palestine with blood and fire, calling in effect for the destruction of the State of Israel,” said Netanyahu.
“Standing behind this incitement is the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Abu Mazen (Abbas).
A longtime Israeli collaborator. An illegitimate leader. Installed to be Israel’s enforcer.
Betraying his own people in the process. Bashing Hamas irresponsibly. Wrongfully saying it’s breaching agreed on unity.
“(S)abotag(ing) and destroy(ing) the Palestinian national project.”
Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri called his comments “a web of lies, insults and disinformation.”
Denouncing Abbas as “sectarian and partisan.” Palestinians need “a courageous president,” he said.
A legitimate one. Not beholden to Israeli interests. Wrongfully imprisoned Marwan Barghouti urged “armed resistance.”
In response to Israeli violence. In a letter published Tuesday. On the 10th anniversary of Arafat’s death. Israeli state-sponsored murder.
Barghouti said “choosing global and armed resistance (reflects) faithful(ness) to (his) legacy, to his ideas, and his principles for which tens of thousands died as martyrs.”
He never supported Israeli civilian attacks, he said. He backs peaceful resistance.
He’s a prisoner of conscience. Palestine’s legitimate leader. Its most popular.
Able to win overwhelmingly if allowed to run for president. Incarcerated for this reason.
Not for fabricated crimes against him. Serving multiple life sentences unjustly.
Rogue states operate this way. Thousands of political prisoners languish in Israel’s gulag.
Brutally treated unjustly. For demanding rights everyone deserves.
Barghouti symbolizes hope and justice. Supporters hope he’ll be free one day to lead them.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.