Tuesday, July 7, 2015

EU official who negotiated UN’s Gaza resolution married to UN inquiry team member

Typically, this type of information is revealed by a US Jewish organisation and not by a European Jewish organisation!

The Times of Israel reports:

European Union official involved in negotiating on behalf of the EU over the text of Friday’s UN Human Rights Council resolution that condemned Israel for last summer’s Gaza War is married to a staff member of the UNHRC commission that investigated the war.

The link between EU policy officer Jérôme Bellion-Jourdan, who was tasked with reviewing the Gaza war report and helping advise EU representatives on how to vote on it, and McGowan Davis Commission staffer Sara Hamood was known to the EU but not made public. 

David Harris, the head of the American Jewish Committee, protested what he called a “conflict of interest.” Harris told The Times of Israel on Monday that he took particular exception to the failure of the EU to disclose the marital connection between one of its key officials involved in dealing with the UNHRC report and a UNHRC staffer who worked for the commission.

Only on Tuesday, in response to a Times of Israel question, did the EU publicly acknowledge the connection for the first time. It denied there was a conflict of interest.

Judge Mary McGowan Davis, tasked by the UNHRC with investigating the 50-day Israel-Hamas conflict, presented her commission’s report to the UN body in Geneva on June 29. Shortly after her presentation, Bellion-Jourdan addressed the UNHRC plenary on behalf of the European Union, praising the work carried out by the McGowan Davis team. Neither he, nor anyone else at the EU, acknowledged that his wife worked on the McGowan Davis team, having also been a staff member of the commission under its original chair, judge William Schabas.  More.

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