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January 28, 2005
Smoking Something At The UN

In yet another example of moral obtuseness, the UN's "special rapporteur" of human rights in Southwest Asia has accused Israel of war crimes, apartheid, and insists that Israel will remain an occupying power in Gaza even after Israel pulls out:

International law will continue to view Israel as an occupying force in Gaza, even after its planned withdrawal, says a United Nations human-rights envoy.

John Dugard said Israel would remain responsible for Palestinian civilians in the territory, as it planned to retain control of Gaza's borders.

Dugard, a South African law professor, claims that Israel wants to retain its "grip" on Gaza even after the pullout, although the BBC doesn't explain how a retreat equates to an occupation. As far as the moronic notion that guarding an international border equates to occupying one's neighbor, the entire world would exist in a state of mutual occupation if Dougard's advice carried the day. Does Pakistan occupy India? Does Syria occupy Israel? Israel guards the border in order to keep Gazans from crossing over and killing Israeli civilians by suicide bombings in pizzerias.

If the UN takes that position, why should Israel withdraw at all? They might as well force the Palestinians out and annex Gaza instead.

Mr Dugard also spoke out against the barrier Israel has built along the West Bank, which it says is a defence against infiltration by suicide bombers. Palestinians regard it as a land grab.

"The restrictions on freedom of movement imposed by the Israeli authorities on Palestinians resemble the notorious 'pass laws' of apartheid South Africa," he said.

How very hip of Dugard to reference apartheid, but as a South African must know, the term has no application between two different states. The Palestinians aren't interested in limited autonomy within Israel; they claim Gaza and the West Bank as separate territory. In fact, one cannot be both an occupying power and a practitioner of apartheid simultaneously. Either the West Bank and Gaza rightfully belong to Israel, which means there is no occupation, or they don't, which means separation of the populations make sense -- especially when one side keeps attacking the other.

The wall isn't meant to keep Palestinians out of Israel, as a number of them work in Israel on a daily basis. It's meant as a border control to keep people from unauthorized entry into Israel as protection against terrorist attacks. As such, it's been pretty effective, which is why the Palestinians gripe and Dugard does his best to undermine it. Since the UN's position has been that the occupation must end in a two-state solution, Israel's wall makes perfect sense. Dugard could dispute its location, but then he can't call it apartheid.

He also said Israel's policy of responding to militant attacks by destroying Palestinian homes was a form of punishment forbidden under the Geneva Convention. "It is difficult to resist the conclusion that punitive house demolitions constitute serious war crimes," he said in the report.

The house demolitions may indeed be problematic in terms of international law, although in my opinion they don't amount to war crimes. But here's the real crux of the problem: Dugard talks about all of these issues without any inclusion of the context in which they occur -- the ongoing attacks on Israeli citizens by Palestinian terrorists! Once again, the UN attacks Israel for not following Marquess de Queensbury rules while it turns a blind eye to the bloodthirsty bombers who deliberately target women and children for murder. Dugard continues this moral equivalence -- nay, moral inferiority -- of knocking down homes to purposely killing babies on civilian buses.

It provides us yet another glimpse of the moral decay that eats at the heart of the United Nations.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 28, 2005 1:34 PM

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The fiscally responsible, corruption-free, fair-and-balanced United Nations says it will regard Israel as an occupying power in Gaza even if it pulls out (BRILLIANT! Good work, guys - glad to see all those billions are going to good use)... [Read More]

Tracked on January 28, 2005 6:56 PM

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