Friday, July 10, 2015

Frédérique Ries, EU lawmaker: UN Gaza Inquiry "biased from creation"

"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell 

Frédérique Ries, Member of the European Parliament, speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council, on behalf of UN Watch, Geneva, June 29, 2015.

Frédérique Ries:

I take the floor on behalf on UN watch, Mr. President.  I have been a member of the European Parliament for more than 15 years, and am therefore used to hearing a lot of things in the European Parliament concerning the Middle East. I am a journalist viscerally attached to the truth, to the facts, and to their consequences. And I must admit that what I have heard here since this morning is beyond comprehension.

We know well the members of this Human Rights Council: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China, Cuba, Russia, and so on, who virtually every day violate every article of the Universal Declaration, and who are highlighted in this regard at each of our sessions in Strasbourg.

Cuban representative:

Thank you, Mr. President. We are analyzing item 7, the situation in Israel. The situation of human rights in Palestine and other occupied territories.  Violations committed by Israel. We are not judging here other countries. We ask that you call the speaker to order and that she speaks and refers to only on the topic of the agenda. We will not allow that she continues to speak on human rights situations in other countries that do not correspond to this topic. Thank you.

Vice President:

Thank you very much. I’ll give back the floor to the speaker. Let me advise that indeed this is item 7, a specific item, so I do advice that we stick to the parameters of the item. Thank you very much, but  I do give you back the floor.

Frédérique Ries:

Human rights are universal, Mr. President, and so is my freedom of expression.
While we were warned of the Council’s shameful obsession with Israel, some of the statements here were simply astonishing.

What is the truth?

The tragedy of a war, the tragedy of the victims, who, in the words of Ms.Davis are much more than collateral damage. But I shall cite Camus: “Misnaming things adds to the evil of the world.” 

Israel is not the aggressor. And I have to contradict the statement made this morning by the Chair of the inquiry. It is Hamas, whom by the way she does not name, and why?   who for more than a year has rained missiles on the towns of Israel, something which no government in the world would have tolerated without  reacting.

The facts: this is an investigation that was biased from its very creation, the Council last July having declared Israel guilty in advance.

The facts: this is an investigation led almost until the end by a former consultant of the PLO. They lacked expertise, and they lacked information due to Israel’s refusal to cooperate in this context.

Ultimately, the report seeks to equate Israel with Hamas. Equal in condemnation then a terrorist organization recognized as such, and Israel, a democratic state, the only one in this combustible region which is based on human rights.

So, in the end, where are we heading? So no, war is not right, none is. Yes, Israel is  held to the high standards that we share. Yes, Israel should certainly have cooperated.

But, and I was just speaking about the consequences of our actions, I do not think that twisting the truth produces the slightest chance of peace. And that is what we seek.