The Washington Jewish Week reported Friday that Sen. Charles Schumer (D – NY) called on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to rescind its appointment of Prof. William Schabas, a controversial professor with a long record of anti-Israel statement, from heading an investigation into possible war crimes committed by Israel during Operation Protective Edge.
If the UNHRC doesn’t rescind the appointment, Schumer called on the United States government to stop funding the council.
“[A]llowing Mr. Schabas to head the U.N. Gaza Commission is like allowing a biased prosecutor to be the judge,” Schumer said in his statement. “[T]hat’s why I’m urging the United States to both stop all funding and pull out of the U.N.’s Human Rights Council if Mr. Schabas is not removed. Any investigative findings from Schabas on Israel will be completely subjective and a sham.” …
The United States provides the UNHRC $1.5 million annually, which makes up 22 percent of the agency’s annual budget, according to Schumer’s release.
Schumer’s call to potentially defund the UNHRC is the first specific call to cut payments to the agency. Last year Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) introduced a bill demanding greater transparency of the UN as a prerequisite for its funding to be included in the federal budget.
Shabas’ most controversial statement was that he would like to have Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prosecuted for war crimes. He also declared that Syria’s use of chemical weapons against its own citizens last year was not technically a war crime. While Schabas did acknowledge the prevalence of double standards at the UN, his pronouncements on Israel make it clear that double standards do not bother him.
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