(CNSNews.com) – At the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday, the Iranian regime, backed by Venezuela, tried to shut down a civil society representative when he drew attention to Iran’s support for Palestinian terrorists whose errant rockets killed Palestinian civilians, including children.
The Iranian representative said the accusations were off-topic, and his Venezuelan counterpart complained about the use of “offensive words against sovereign states.”
The Geneva-based HRC was discussing a report by U.N. high commissioner for human rights Volker Türk on “the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and the obligation to ensure accountability and justice.”
While the report dwelt overwhelmingly with Israeli actions in the disputed territories, it did refer briefly to the deaths of Palestinians killed when rockets fired towards Israel by terrorists in Gaza fell short and landed inside the territory, which is controlled by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
In contrast to statements from many governments and non-governmental organizations focusing on condemning Israel, Hillel Neuer of U.N. Watch drew attention to the Palestinian deaths at the hands of Palestinian terrorists – and the question of who funds those terrorists.
“In psychology, attributing one’s own malicious impulses to others is known as projection. What we’ve heard from the world’s worst abusers of human rights here is a classic case,” he said. “The truth is that peace and security will only come when we confront the sources of hatred and terrorism.”
Neuer cited from Türk’s report an incident last August when rockets fired towards Israel by another terror group – Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) – fell short and landed inside Gaza, killing seven Palestinians including four children, and injuring 37 others, including 24 children.
Türk wrote in the report that his office’s “monitoring indicates that the cause of the explosion was a rocket fired by Palestinian armed groups that fell short of the intended target.”
“High Commissioner, your report does not ask the most important question,” Neuer continued. “Who stands behind the terrorists? Who’s giving the orders? The world knows the answer.”
He noted that as PIJ rockets were killing Palestinians, PIJ leader Ziad al-Nakhalah was meeting with senior regime officials in Tehran, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) chief Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami.
As an aside, Neuer recalled that Amirabdollahian had addressed the HRC just days ago, and was “greeted here with smiles.”
Neuer then quoted Nakhalah in 2021 as having praised the late IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani for arming and training his group. (Soleimani had been killed a year earlier in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.)
It was at this point that Iran’s representative called for a point of order, saying that “the allegation raised by this NGO is out of context of our discussion here” and asking the presiding official not to allow Neuer to continue.
The representative of Venezuela’s Maduro regime backed him up, but a U.S. representative also intervened, saying that, “without addressing the substance of the speaker’s statement” it was relevant to the discussion at hand and asked the chairman not to disallow the speaker. Britain made a similar point.
Neuer was allowed to continue, but was almost immediately again interrupted after returning to PIJ and Soleimani.
This time the Iranian delegate said U.N. Watch was “abusing and misusing” the session to raise allegations against “a third party that is not involved in the situation in the OPT [occupied Palestinian territory].”
Venezuela’s representative said NGOs must comply with “the rules.”
“They have to align their statements with the topics that are under discussion and not move outside of the topic and the mandate of this forum, and still less use offensive words against sovereign states,” he said.
The chairman then declared that Neuer had run out of time, and gave the floor to the next speaker.
Later in the session, Türk raised concern about the tone of some of the debate.
“When I hear mudslinging we know that it won’t help anyone. In fact it invites even more hatred and violence,” he said.
Türk also spoke out against “conspiracy theories,” “stereotypes” and “hateful rhetoric,” and asked for all member-states to play their part in helping the parties involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to “find the exit ramp.”
Headquartered in Damascus, PIJ is a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization and, like Hamas, is sponsored by the regime in Tehran, receiving some $30-$40 million a year, according to expert estimates.
According to the State Department PIJ, again like Hamas, “is committed to the destruction of Israel and to the creation of an Islamic state in historic Palestine, including present-day Israel.”
PIJ’s terrorist attacks against Israel over the years have included large-scale suicide bombings, gunfire attacks, and rocket and mortar attacks.
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