Colonel Richard Kemp is a former British Army Commander. He was also head of the international terrorism team in the U.K. Cabinet Office and is now a writer and speaker on international and military affairs. He is a Jack Roth Charitable Foundation Fellow at Gatestone Institute. - Follow Richard Kemp on Twitter
Putin went to war to turn into reality his much repeated insistence that Ukraine is an illegitimate state that has no right to exist and is inseparable from the rest of Russia. Similarly, the UN mandate allows it to question the very existence of the State of Israel. Unlike all other UN inquiries, this one has no historic time limit and enables the commission to range right back to the foundation of the state. The commissioners won't be bold enough to explicitly declare that Israel has no right to exist, but you can be certain that will be the subtext running throughout its report.
[E]ven before the notorious 2009 Goldstone Report, the UNHRC justified and encouraged Hamas violence, and that has played a crucial role in efforts to vilify and isolate Israel as well as incite greater bloodshed in the Middle East and attacks against Jews around the world.
Like Putin in Ukraine, Hamas's war against Israel aims to conquer the territory of a sovereign democratic state that it believes should not exist.
Both Hamas and Putin's Russia, like most dictatorships, habitually plead self-defence as their justification for aggression. Putin pretends that NATO is a threat to Russia, yet he understands it is a defensive alliance that has no hostile intent; Hamas claims Israeli aggression while knowing that Israel would not and has never used force except in defence of its sovereign land and people.
Hamas and Russia share totalitarian values; both are kleptocracies, both ruthlessly repress internal opposition and both readily resort to violence — be it political assassination, terrorism or all-out war.
The chair of the UN commission, Navi Pillay, has indirectly played into the Israel-Nazi theme, supporting and justifying the viciously anti-Israel UN Durban Conference at which fliers were handed out with a picture of Hitler captioned with an assertion that if he had won there would be no Israel. Durban is just one of Pillay's numerous credentials against Israel, set out in detail by the NGO UN Watch in a submission to the UN. Her indisputable anti-Israel bias is shared by her two fellow commissioners, Miloon Kothari and Chris Sidoti, as outlined in an article by David Litman earlier this month in JNS.
The funding level for this commission of inquiry is the second-highest of all 33 such investigations the UNHRC has ever conducted (after a probe on Myanmar). The budget for the first three years alone is $11.81 million followed by $5.47 million each year for an indefinite period. These eye-watering figures are an indication of the lengths the UN is prepared to go to push forward and publicise its anti-Israel agenda.
Like Putin's mock trials such as the one that recently convicted opposition leader Alexei Navalny... the UNHCR commission's findings were certain from the moment it was convened.
Commenting on the Russia-Hamas talks, Walid al-Mudallal, a professor of political science at the Islamic University of Gaza, said that while Moscow would be unlikely to supply weapons and finance directly to Hamas, "such support can be done in indirect ways, through Iran and Hizballah, which have forged an alliance with Moscow..."
Just like Putin, Hamas's "protection" was merely a sham, with the threat from Israel to Muslims and holy sites nothing other than fiction.
On June 13, among its wide range of anti-Israel findings, including accusations of apartheid (a calumny originally dreamt up in Moscow), the commission will deem Israel guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. As Putin supported the UN General Assembly resolution establishing the commission, he will support its report — for it will be a report that legitimises and justifies a mirror image of his aggression against Ukraine.
These future wars launched from Gaza will not only be enabled by weapons and funding supplied via Iran, including Russian weapons. The most important enabler will be the UNHRC with its trumped-up and provocative reports on Israel that provide political cover for Hamas violence. It should be a matter for international outrage when later this month the UNHRC supports the aggressors in a conflict and condemns the defenders while the deadliest European war since 1945 rages on.
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Pictured: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) greets Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Moscow on February 8, 2010. (Photo by Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images)