Israel and its supporters, most notably Hillel Neuer, have been claiming for months that William Schabas, appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to head a committee charged with investigating alleged war crimes during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, was unfit for the task due to bias. Schabas himself disputed the charge (backed up by the Jewish Daily Forward, which pretty much said that Schabas can’t be biased because he likes pastrami).
We’ve now learned that Schabas has resigned, due to contacts with the PLO that do not appear to have been previously disclosed. As recently as 2012, Schabas apparently did legal work for the PLO — a clear conflict of interest with his now-vacated role for the UN. Even in his resignation, Schabas denies that the work he did for the PLO only three years ago would cause him to actually be biased or to create an appearance of bias, and claims that it is he who is a victim of “malicious attacks.” From the worldwide Jewish conspiracy, naturally.
Schabas himself obviously knew about this conflict, yet he repeatedly denied any bias as he went about his task of collecting evidence — a process that is now completed. He himself said that the writing of the report has already begun. Schabas’s failure to disclose these contacts when complaints against him were first lodged is plainly a material omission, basically fraudulent. Any report that comes out of this committee now will be irreparably tainted, both by Schabas’s bias and by his lack of personal integrity.