The sudden resignation of William Schabas, the anti-Israel professor of law who headed the UN investigation into alleged Israeli “war crimes” in the recent Gaza war, has further highlighted the farcical attempts to indict Israel taking place under the façade of international law.
Mr Schabas was forced to quit after Israel informed the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that he had omitted to mention a consulting contract he had with the PLO – a blatant ethical violation that led a number of governmental delegates to request an investigation.
The UNHRC, Mr Schabas and their allies, such as Amnesty International, tried to spin this embarrassment into Israeli wrongdoing, and claimed that resignation would make no difference, as the report was already largely written. But, like the belated retraction by Judge Richard Goldstone of the 2009 UNHRC report attacking Israel that bore his name, the naming and shaming of Mr Schabas is a major blow to the Palestinian “lawfare” campaign which exploits false allegations and twisted versions of international law for political warfare.
Ms Davis, unlike Mr Schabas, is not a pathological Israel-hater. While Mr Schabas campaigned for this position, and worked closely with Palestinian officials and their NGO allies, Ms Davis does not have a reputation for unprofessional behaviour. She inherits a process – which would have been unacceptable in any credible court – that included a mandate to find Israel guilty before any evidence was provided.
Ms Davis has the option of bringing the curtain down on this farce, and avoid further destruction of the moral principles of human rights and international law.