Sunday, December 14, 2008

Severe Human Rights Violations in Gaza.


Navanethem Pillay
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Esteemed Commissioner Pillay,

I wish to call your attention to egregious violations of human rights in Gaza, and to the part played by the UN as an accomplice after the fact in those violations.

The United Nations has maintained an incessant barrage of complaints regarding alleged Israeli violations of human rights in Gaza, allegations of a dire humanitarian crisis and impending disaster. Under the direct pressure of the United Nations, Israel recently transferred a large sum of money to the Hamas government in Gaza, ostensibly to pay salaries.

A part of this sum was used to finance a grotesque and barbaric public humiliation of the hostage (or "Prisoner of War") Gilad Schalit. The allegedly starving people of Gaza turned out en-masse to view this passion play elaborately staged by the Hamas masters of Gaza. This spectacle was no doubt watched by Schalit's parents and relatives, and very likely by Schalit himself, and could not fail to produce its intended effect: bottomless humiliation and agony.

Hamas treatment of Schalit has violated very norm of human decency as well as conventions regarding prisoners of war. No agency of the United Nations has done anything to secure his release or his treatment according to the Geneva conventions. Nor, for that matter, has the UN done anything whatever about the rain of missiles that are shot indiscriminately from Gaza on Israeli targets.

If the Gaza regime has rights under law, then they also have obligations and if so, Schalit is a prisoner of war and must be treated as such. If the Gaza regime are just barbarian criminal gangsters, then they need to be treated as such.

Under the terms of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War please note the following:

Article 3

....To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

...(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

Article 71

Prisoners of war shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards...

Article 72

Prisoners of war shall be allowed to receive by post or by any other means individual parcels or collective shipments containing, in particular, foodstuffs, clothing, medical supplies and articles of a religious, educational or recreational character which may meet their needs, including books, devotional articles, scientific equipment, examination papers, musical instruments, sports outfits and materials allowing prisoners of war to pursue their studies or their cultural activities.

Given that the UN has taken great pains to ensure the welfare of the Hamas regime in Gaza, they have, instead of being custodians of human rights, become accomplices after the fact in grotesque barbarities. This inhuman behavior, in disregard of every civilized norm is possible only because of resources and funds supplied to the Hamas government at the express insistence of the United Nations. If there was any justice in the matter, every UN official implicated in justifying or supporting the Hamas regime, accepting Hamas claims without substantiation and insisting on "humanitarian" support for this regime, would be tried as a war criminal.

Could you kindly explain why the United Nations has done nothing whatever to ensure the enforcement of these provisions of the Geneva Convention in the case of Gilad Shalit? Why has the United Nations done nothing to bring about cessation of bombardment of Israeli civilians as well as outrages committed by Hamas against its own subject population, including persecution of Christians and political opponents?

Doesn't it behoove the United Nations to maintain at least the verisimilitude of fairness in the handling of human rights issues?

Ami Isseroff

Postal address:
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Original content is Copyright by the author 2008.

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