The following statement was issued by the Jewish Council of Public Affairs, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community in the U.S.
UN report on 2014 Gaza War discounts Hamas culpability
Washington, D.C. – The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) expressed its deep disappointment with the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry Report on Operation Protective Edge.
“Last summer, Israelis were forced to defend themselves against rockets fired indiscriminately at their civilians,” said Susan Turnbull, JCPA Chair. “While neither party is blameless, the U.N. report is dangerously flawed because it fails to properly acknowledge that the entire conflict could have been avoided had Hamas not fired rockets or adhered to cease fire agreements. If the United Nations was truly committed to human rights, it would have established a commission free from bias and issued a report free from politics. Sadly that did not occur.
“Today, there are children on both sides who wake up with nightmares because Hamas refused to stop its relentless rocket fire,” said Ethan Felson, Acting CEO of the JCPA. “For more than 75 days last summer, Israelis heard sirens and had mere seconds to run to safety. And, for almost 50 days, Palestinians lived under return fire, resulting in a tremendous loss of life and property, all of which was avoidable – and this should have been the theme of the report.”
“We do take positive note that the U.N. report acknowledged serious transgressions from Palestinians in Gaza including the construction of tunnels, the “indiscriminate” nature of the rockets fired at Israeli civilians, and the storing of weapons in evacuated U.N. facilities,” Turnbull added. ” In the absence of the U.N. as fair player, we must all redouble our efforts to be peace builders, to work across divides, and to build the conditions for a better tomorrow. Sadly, the UN Human Rights Council does not appear to be much of a partner in this pursuit.”
JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 17 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.