The travesty of the continued occupation of Palestine by Israel has been well documented and it does not really need any new effort to expose the deep injustice of the situation and the brutality of the occupying forces.
However, it is not a bad thing that the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has set up a new fact-finding mission to investigate how Israel’s Jewish colonies affect Palestinians. UNHRC will naturally focus on human rights, but any UN investigation should really be more wide-ranging than just human rights and frame its conclusions to cover the whole of the legal atrocity that is the Israeli occupation.
The new UNHRC mission will include three women: Christine Chanet of France, Unity Dow of Botswana and Asma Jahangir of Pakistan. Christine Chanet recently accused Israel of “total discrimination” and complained that “it is very difficult to have a real dialogue” with Israel. Asma Jahangir’s sister, Hina Jilani, had served on the important Goldstone Commission in 2009 which investigated Israel’s assault on Gaza.
The benefit of the new mission is that it will build new pressure on Israel to change and not allow the government of Benjamin Netanyahu to feel complacent as the major political changes throughout the Arab world have distracted international opinion from Palestine. The revolutions of the Arab Spring working through the whole region should not mean that Palestine is forgotten.