" to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014, whether before, during or after". [emphasis added]
The 47-member council voted 29-1 in favor of the resolution, with 17 members (11 of them European) abstaining. The lone vote against the commission of inquiry was the United States. Neither Israel nor the Palestinians are members of the council.
The U.S. opposition to the Human Rights Council investigating violations of international law comes just months after another UN human rights agency issued a report highly critical of more than two dozen human rights violations perpetrated by the U.S. Some of these violations continue unabated, such as prisoner treatment at Guantanamo, widespread surveillance of citizens everywhere, drone assassinations, and racial injustice by police and prisons. For the United States, these abuses are all well known and they express basic policy choices. The U.S. Senate provided a recent example.
100 U.S. senators approve Israeli war crimes, in advance
Senate Resolution 498 was introduced by Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on July 10 with 79 co-sponsors and the caption: "Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding United States support for the State of Israel as it defends itself against unprovoked rocket attacks from the Hamas terrorist organization."
Not surprisingly, the resolution provided plenty of opportunity for super-supportive senatorial Israel-bloviating. Even though the resolution text is a mix of Israeli propaganda and variously false assertion, no senator was moved to object, even to factual errors. No senator offered any amendment. On July 17, the resolution passed the Senate by unanimous consent, with no debate, resolving that the Senate:
(1) reaffirms its support for Israel's right to defend its citizens and ensure the survival of the State of Israel;
(2) condemns the unprovoked rocket fire at Israel;
(3) calls on Hamas to immediately cease all rocket and other attacks against Israel; and
(4) calls on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the unity governing arrangement with Hamas and condemn the attacks on Israel.
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