Did you know that the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (the “Secretariat”) blamed “Israeli [p]ressures” and “allegations of bias” for William Schabas’ resignation as the head of the UN inquiry into the 2014 Gaza War. The Secretariat is a joint funding mechanism of Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Netherlands, administrated through the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) and a European firm.
The Secretariat attack closely follows that of Palestinian political advocacy NGOs, portraying Israel’s concerns as a “charade” and “Israel’s latest and unfortunately, far too common attempt to obstruct the work of international human rights and justice mechanisms.”
In fact, the resignation followed revelations that William Schabas had previously done legal work for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) – a clear conflict of interest that would have disqualified him from the beginning if it had been disclosed.
Furthermore, Prof. Schabas’ record of anti-Israel biases includes repeated calls for prosecuting Israeli officials for alleged “war crimes” at the International Criminal Court.
The Secretariat, which has a grants budget of approximately $13 million for 2013-2016, funds highly politicized NGOs that engage in legal warfare against Israeli officials and companies that do business with Israel, promote BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, advance a “1948 agenda,” exploit the false “apartheid” analogy to demonize Israel and even promote antisemitic propaganda.