The head of a U.N. inquiry into last summer's conflict between Israel and Gaza said on Monday he would resign after Israeli allegations of bias due to consultancy work he did for the Palestine Liberation Organisation.Everyone knew Schabas was biased. He referred to Zionists as "enemies." He participated in a kangaroo court against Israel. Even he admitted he was biased, but he claimed that he - unlike every judge on the planet - would be objective despite his having already formed his anti-Israel opinions.
Canadian academic William Schabas was appointed last August by the head of the United Nations Human Rights Council to lead a three-member group looking into alleged war crimes during Israel's military offensive in Gaza.
In a letter to the commission, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, Schabas said he would step down immediately to prevent the issue from overshadowing the preparation of the report and its findings, which are due to be published in March.
Schabas' departure highlights the sensitivity of the U.N. investigation just weeks after prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in The Hague said they had started a preliminary inquiry into alleged atrocities in the Palestinian territories.
In the letter, Schabas said a legal opinion he wrote for the Palestine Liberation Organisation in 2012, for which he was paid $1,300, was not different from advice he had given to many other governments and organisations.
"My views on Israel and Palestine as well as on many other issues were well known and very public," he wrote. "This work in defence of human rights appears to have made me a huge target for malicious attacks (...)."
This attitude was widely criticized by prominent lawyers, as are listed at UN Watch.
However, the sheer nerve that he shows here takes the cake. He finally decided to step down after Israel was ready to show evidence that he was paid by one of the sides that he was supposedly investigating. Instead of apologizing for hiding this very salient fact about his history when he was appointed to the commission, Schabas instead lashes out at those who exposed his utter contempt for the concept of impartiality.
Who just happen to be his "enemies."
The late-date move is a farce anyway. The commission has already written the majority of not the entire report by now. All of the evidence and testimony has already been slanted by Schabas' anti-Israel bias. If anything, his taking his name off of the commission might end up giving the slanted report a little more credibility after he has already poisoned it.
Here's one final question: If Schabas had planned from the beginning to be a new Richard Falk, and to use this UN commission to do everything possible to demonize Israel while paying lip service to the idea of fairness, would he have acted any differently than we have seen him act?