Peter Beinart in Forward:
Late last month, in between the firestorm over Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s comments about AIPAC’s influence being “all about the Benjamins” and the firestorm over her comments about “allegiance to a foreign country,” the United Nations issued a report into Israel’s killing of 189 Palestinians — some of whom were journalists and health workers, and 35 of whom were children — and injuring of more than 9,000 during protests last year in the Gaza Strip.
The report, which was based on 325 interviews and over 8,000 documents, alleged that, “Israeli security forces killed and maimed Palestinian demonstrators who did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others when they were shot.”
It suggested that the killings may constitute a crime against humanity.
The United States is not a bystander in this. For many years, Israel has used American weaponry in Gaza: Apache helicopters, F16s, bunker busting bombs. Amnesty International has questioned whether Israel’s use of such weapons violates the Arms Export Act of 1976, which requires that American-made weapons not be used for “violations of internationally recognized human rights.”
None of this means Congress should take the UN report as gospel. The UN is a flawed institution populated by many regimes that don’t like Israel, and its evidence should be thoroughly interrogated.
But Congress didn’t debate the report. It didn’t investigate its claims. It pretended that it did not exist.