Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Europe: Manchester bombing highlights UN and Europe hypocrisy on terror

As thousands of teens and young adults enjoyed an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena, Salman Abedi, a 23-year-old detonated a bomb he had strapped to his body. That he packed the bomb with nails made his goal clear: He not only wanted to kill as many innocents as possible, but maim many times more. 
The Manchester attack is terrorism, plain and simple. There is no justification nor would any self-respecting politician nor diplomat even attempt to offer one. 
But what if someone detonated a nail-packed bomb amidst a crowd of children and other civilians and both the human rights community and European diplomats said it was justified? 
That's exactly what happened 15 years ago when the United Nations Human Rights Commission, operating under the leadership of former Irish President Mary Robinson, did just that against the context of a wave of suicide bombings in Israel. 
In an April 15, 2002 vote, 40 countries — including Austria, Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain and Sweden — argued that Palestinians could engage "all available means, including armed struggle" to establish a Palestinian state. That U.N. Human Rights Commission resolution enshrined the right to conduct suicide bombing in international humanitarian law. After all, many academics, diplomats, and human rights activists argue that the U.N. and its human rights wings set the precedent that becomes the foundation for international humanitarian and human rights law. 
When the Human Rights Commission voted, Israel was weathering a months-long suicide bombing campaign that, at its height, saw multiple bombings of buses, cafes and other public buildings every week. Many European diplomats might have been frustrated with Israel's counter-terrorism policies and unwillingness to accept the European view of the peace process, but to channel that frustration into a resolution that legitimized deliberate targeting and murder of civilians created a precedent which went far beyond the politics of the day.

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