Schabas vows to investigate Israel for U.N. with or without government cooperation

The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. 

( Prof. William Schabas, selected to head the United Nations Human Rights Council inquiry into Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, has vowed to conduct his investigation with or without the cooperation of the Israeli government. Schabas's U.N. appointment has come under fire over his perceived bias against Israel.

“I might even come to Israel to examine things from up close,” he told Israel’s Channel 2. “When the U.N. gives us its final approval—and we hope this will be very soon—we will begin our work. It’s very important for us to come to Israel, but this visit won’t be important if the authorities in Israel don’t cooperate with us, despite my hope that they will cooperate.”

In the past, Schabas has made comments implying that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to be brought before an international tribunal for war crimes. In response, Israeli officials have called the U.N. inquiry “a kangaroo court.” Israel has also called for Schabas’s replacement, but he has vowed to remain in the lead role for the investigation.

Posted on August 19, 2014 .