The much anticipated UN report on the Gaza war in summer 2014 is finally out. In UN terms it may be considered a balanced report, putting blame on both sides, Israel as well as Hamas for allegedly committing war crimes. What is a ''balanced'' report as far as the Human Rights Commission of the UN is considered, is inherently suspicious of being flawed document, as it emanates from a decision of a UN body which has become a laughing stock for being a Israel-bashing organization, consistently obsessed with condemning Israel for every possible violation of human rights under the sun. For example, its attitude towards women. We talk here about Israel, not Saudi Arabia.
What indicates the initial built-in bias of this report is the fact, that the first chairman of the committee of inquiry, a Canadian by the name of William Schabas resigned after it was exposed that already in 2010 he expressed strong anti-Israel bias. Surely, the UN knew about Schabas's bias when they appointed him, and his resignation was the result of pressure by pro-Israel groups, not any realization by the UN , that it was wrong to appoint him in the first place.
What makes this report fundamentally wrong morally and very damaging politically though is the underlying reluctance by the UN to acknowledge one basic fact about the Gaza situation; Hamas, even if elected democratically is a terror organization which acts against the most elementary rules of international law, by refusing to accept the very existence of Israel , being engaged in a constant war of aggression against Israeli citizens, and only citizens. By Ignoring this , any inquiry about Gaza is ,by definition, a sham, as it creates a moral equivalence between aggressors, Hamas, and those who are acting in self defense, the state of Israel. From a political perspective, a report like that, is a recipe for continuing Hamas aggression against and rejection of Israel's right to exist, because there is nothing in the UN reports which criticizes it, and so giving them a license to persist , rather than change and moderate.
The report cannot conceal its preference to the terrorists by referring to them as the state of Palestine,a state which does not exist, not even being recognized by the UN as such, not being a full fledged member of the organization.
The report refers to events which unfolded AFTER the kidnapping and execution without trial by Hamas of the three Israeli boys,which is , of course, another clear indication , that the committee was ignoring the overall context of Hamas responsibility to the bloody events which followed. It is arguably the case , that this report tries to refer to Hamas war crimes in a way not seen before at the shameful Goldstone report. The reference to Hamas though is much less detailed than that of the alleged Israeli war crimes, reads more as a fig leaf , rather than as an attempt in creating a balanced account of events, and altogether absolves the terrorists of the overall responsibility to the situation as noted above. By referring to settlements which do not at all exist in Gaza , the report exposes another element of bias .
That said,the fact is, that the report causes a huge problem for Israel. It will add fuel to the fire over Gaza, encourage provocative sails of anti-peace activists, who could not care less about the massacres all over the Middle East of Arabs by Arabs and talk only about Gaza, and strengthen the hand of the BDS movement calling for a boycott of Israel. What it will not do, is providing even the slightest incentive for any move towards peace talks . It is peace promotion which should be the the bottom line of UN activities, but when it comes to Israel, it is always the opposite. The more anti Israel and inciting the reports are, the better it is.
Israel still cannot removes itself from all this by the mere representation of the report as being biased , which it is. It has to take steps as part of its own soul searching process. First, it should be more open to international inquiries of its military activities, provided, of course, that they are not initially mandated by biased, anti Israel organs, such as the laughable UN Human Rights Commission. Just few days ago, two well-reputed US military law experts, Michael Schmitt and John Merriam published a 52-page document, concluding that the IDF ''contentious'' targeting policy complies with international law. Surely, these experts will not be accepted as such by the anti-Israel international chorus of hypocrisy, but who says that they are less qualified than those appointed by a politically-motivated anti -Israel UN committee. Both of them are members of the US naval war college. The Israelis will have though to deal more harshly with those cases, which are the exception, not the rule, in which they did not comply with the international law.
Second, while there is NO real siege of Gaza, only a justified attempt to prevent introduction of weapons to the region, the question remains as to the advantages of maintaining even that limited form of unilateral Israeli supervision with all the bad political implications connected with it, as opposed to asking 3-5 other countries, among them Egypt, to maintain an international regime of monitoring. Third, and that may seem somewhat unrealistic at this particular moment , when Hamas gets wind in its back by the UN report, but can be relevant in the not too distant future, Israel should be amenable to the idea, floated recently by pro-Hamas elements, of a long-term cease -fire, what they call in Arabic Hudna. Stranger things have already happened in this part of the world.
The problem is, that judging by past experience, now is the time when the drums of propaganda and hatred will reign supreme, not the voices of reason and reality.