SWC Condemns UN Commission of Inquiry’s Gaza Report that Inverts Victim and Victimizer

June 20, 2024

The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) condemned the UN’s ongoing so-called “Commission of Inquiry” for justifying Hamas’ murderous attacks on Israeli civilians last October 7th, which was the largest single day mass murder of Jews since the Nazi Holocaust, accusing the Israel Defense Forces of war crimes for its military actions to end Hamas’ genocidal goals, whose leaders insist they will continue to pursue.  


This latest report emanating from the UN’s never-ending Commission of Inquiry targeting the Jewish state, alleges ”...that Israeli authorities were responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including extermination, intentionally directing attacks against civilians, murder or willful killing, using starvation as a method of war, forcible transfer, gender persecution, sexual and gender-based violence amounting to torture, and cruel or inhuman treatment.”  The report ignores Hamas’ creation of an underground city beneath Gaza’s residents, including massive tunnels under hospitals, schools, mosques and other civilian buildings and the use of these locations below and above ground for storage and military attacks targeting Israelis.  


Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda, said “Like many UN reports before it, the UN Commission of Inquiry’s latest report engages in multiple lies of omission and commission.  The report makes no mention of the decades of incitement Palestinian society has perpetrated against the very existence of Israel and no mention of the intentional placement of missiles and rocket launchers in and under schools and hospitals.. Once again, the  “I” in this UN’s COI stands for ‘Inquisition.’” 


“The Wiesenthal Center is also incensed that the COI describes Israel’s actions as “extermination”, a term used to describe Nazi Germany’s mass murder of 6 million European Jews during the Shoah. Israel’s military is facing a terrorist enemy that wants the maximum number of Gazans to be killed in military exchanges with Hamas.”


Dr. Deborah Soffen, SWC Women’s & Children’s Advocate, who has been monitoring developments at the United  Nations, noted, "Not only does Hamas purposefully conduct its terrorist activities in civilian neighborhoods, schools and hospitals, it also recruits children to be child soldiers. It is misleading that this report does not distinguish between an innocent child and an armed combatant holding an RPG who is under the age of 18."

SWC noted that Navi Pillay, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry declared at a press conference in Geneva on Wednesday June 19th that “One person’s Terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter.” Rabbi Cooper retorted “This amounts to a moral blank check for Hamas mass murderers, rapists, kidnappers and hostage takers. A commission Chair who cannot take a simple moral stand against the beheading of babies and the burning of children has no right to sit in judgement of anyone.”

For further information, please email Michele Alkin, Director of Global Communications at malkin@wiesenthal.com or Erik Simon at esimon@wiesenthal.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed. 

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS, and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).   

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