Centrist Democrats blast UN for probe into May Gaza war

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

A group of eight centrist Democrats in the US House of Representatives have issued a statement condemning the United Nations General Assembly vote to probe last May’s conflict between Israel and Gaza terror groups, as well as an ongoing investigation into the conflict.

“Set up in May 2021 just days after the conflict with Hamas, the Commission of Inquiry ignores Hamas’s terror activities preceding and during the May conflict, and instead attempts to discredit Israel by focusing on ‘root causes’ of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” say Reps. Brad Schneider, Ted Deutch, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Kathy Manning, Elaine Luria, Josh Gottheimer, Dean Phillips, and Lois Frankel.

“This is unquestionably just another attempt by the United Nations Human Rights Council to unjustifiably target Israel,” they argue.

Representative Brad Schneider, Democrat-Ilinois, in Washington DC on January 28, 2020. (Samuel Corum/ GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

“The Biden Administration has rightly stood with our ally Israel, opposed this COI, and worked to minimize its impact. However, we must not stop there. We look forward to working with the administration to end this one-sided COI and reform the Human Rights Council, including through the institution of membership standards and the removal of the standing agenda item on Israel, the only country-specific agenda item,” the representatives say.

The statement led by Schneider follows a letter that 42 US lawmakers from both parties sent to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling on him to work to block the UN commission’s establishment.

But the statement strikes a different tone than the letter did, carefully praising the Biden administration’s positions on Israel thus far.

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