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Israel has long noted the seriously problematic mandate of the Special Rapporteur, unprecedented in its one-sided and prejudgmental nature, but over the past few years the problematic mandate has been overshadowed by the problematic nature of the Rapporteur himself. Again and again he has demonstrated, both in his reports and in his diatribes to the media, that he regards the title of Special Rapporteur as nothing but a platform for broadcasting his personal prejudices, and the actual situation in the region as merely fabric to be cut and shaped to conform to his predetermined political agenda.
Many, if not most, of the Rapporteur's allegations have been addressed, some repeatedly, in Israel's responses to his previous reports. However, even at the risk of repetition, some of the more egregious distortions cannot be left without some response.
B. General Observations
Before addressing the issues that the Rapporteur takes as the focus of his Report, a number of general observations are in order.
Context: Context: As in previous reports, the daily threat of terrorism faced by Israel is simply ignored. With the exception of a passing reference – in a list of Israeli human rights ‘ violations’ (!) – to the 1000 Israelis who have been killed and the 6000 injured since the outbreak of Palestinian violence, there is, in the 36 pages of the report, not a single reference to the terror faced daily by Israeli civilians, including 138 suicide attacks and 13,730 shooting attacks over the past four years. Nor is there any mention of the attempted mega-terror attacks against Israeli skyscrapers, ports and fuel depots, which could so easily have taken the lives of thousands more.
Balance: The failure to address the terrorism faced by Israel, does not simply mean that the picture painted by the Rapporteur is incomplete; it undermines any possible basis on which a balanced assessment of Israel’s defensive measures could be made. The legal and moral test for such measures is whether they are, in all the circumstances, a proportionate response to the threat faced by Israel. If there is no such threat, then no measure will be considered acceptable. And indeed, in the idyllic terror-free world presented by the Rapporteur, this is the case. Not a single measure taken by Israel to protect the lives of its civilians has ever been found by the current Rapporteur to be proportionate or acceptable.
Omission of inconvenient facts : The brutal terrorism faced by Israel is only one of the inconvenient facts ignored by the Report. Other striking omissions include:
- Humanitarian arrangements. No reference is made by the Rapporteur to any of the measures taken by Israel to ensure continued medical and water supplies, the daily transportation of children to schools, and the many other measures undertaken by Israel to help ease the humanitarian situation in the territories.
- Corruption and mismanagement in the Palestinian leadership. The Rapporteur stresses that “poverty and unemployment are rampant” among the Palestinian population but fails to mention the rampant corruption which has resulted in billions of dollars of donor funds, intended to alleviate hardship and suffering, being diverted to the private accounts of the Palestinian leadership.