Schabas: I Don’t Hate Israel

September 10, 2014  

William Schabas, the Canadian professor who was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to head a commission of inquiry into Israel’s military operations in Gaza, on Wednesday insisted that he is not anti-Israel, despite the many remarks he has made in the past proving the contrary.

Speaking to the Arab-language newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Schabas claimed that “even if Spiderman was heading the probe, they would’ve attacked him.”

“I do not hate Israel,” he declared, but also said, “I will put my prior positions aside.”

“This is an investigation that is necessary,” Schabas said. “I will not resign.”

A video from a 2013 panel recently surfaced, in which Schabas clearly revealed his eagerness to prosecute Israel over its actions in Gaza, even if that involved “twisting things and manoeuvring” in the international legal arena.

A second video  exposed later shows Schabas saying, “Frankly, if I had to think of an individual who would be the greatest threat for the survival of Israel, I’d probably choose Netanyahu.”

In an interview with Channel 2 News following his appointment, the Canadian law professor did not deny that the international community has a double standard regarding Israel’s conduct of war.

In that same interview, Schabas refused to define Hamas as a terrorist organization, saying he would need to consult with the two other members of the UNHRC committee before stating an opinion to avoid any “predispositions” in judgement.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has called on Israel not to cooperate with the UN’s probe. Finance Minister Yair Lapid called the UNHRC committee “a ridiculous committee of ridiculous commissionership, that instead of investigating the murder of millions of Muslims by other Muslims, investigates the most moral army on the planet; this is a disgrace for the UN.”

UN Watch, the Geneva-based NGO which originally exposed the videos of Schabas, released the following YouTube playlist in response to his remarks on Wednesday:

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