Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson

On November 12 of last year, when the Palestinian Intifada was already in full swing, Mary Robinson, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, came on an official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Ze'ev Schiff
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Ze'ev Schiff

On November 12 of last year, when the Palestinian Intifada was already in full swing, Mary Robinson, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, came on an official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories. Mary Robinson was famed in the past for being the president of the Republic of Ireland. Whether because of her position in the UN or for other reasons, she had a reputation as anti-Israeli. This did not interfere with her visit because her hosts in Israel decided to afford her respect. But something extraordinary happened that day.

While Mary Robinson was visiting the area of Hebron and Kiryat Arba, those who were accompanying her proposed that she visit Tel Rumeida. Her bodyguards were provided by the local UN force, known as TIPH - Temporary International Presence in Hebron. As the convoy was traveling to the town, shots were fired at it. One tracer bullet hit the vehicle accompanying that of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Immediately, the accusation was that those who had opened fire were Israelis, apparently Jewish settlers who were trying to hit the important guest. When Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat greeted the guest, he offered her the armored car in which he usually travels, for protection against the Israelis. With her silence, the guest carried on the line of accusations against Israel.

The remnants of the bullet were extracted from the UN vehicle and sent for ballistics tests. Ironically, these were performed by the ballistics department of the Danish police. Recently the UN report on the ballistic tests was published. And the findings show that the bullet that hit the vehicle had been fired from a Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle. This is a weapon with which Palestinians, including members of the security forces, are armed. Israel Defense Forces personnel and the Jewish settlers do not have such weapons.

To the credit of the TIPH people, they did not confine themselves only to ballistic tests. Their personnel in the area carried out a reconstruction at the site of the shooting, together with the Danish experts. The report notes that the reconstruction "clearly designated the origin of the shot: a house in the H1 area, north of Bal al-Zawiya. A reminder: H1 is the area under Palestinian control in Hebron. From all this, it should have been concluded that those who fired at Mrs. Robinson's convoy were Palestinians.

This ended the affair, but what is missing here was a statement by the honorable lady, Mary Robinson. More precisely, an apology for the blame cast on Israel. And this has not been forthcoming. It is to be hoped that she conducts international affairs in the field of human rights with more objectivity. Courage and honesty are not what she has displayed in the case before us.

The truth in this matter was discovered by Danish ballistic experts at the very time when an unbelievable campaign is being conducted in that country against the person who has been designated to be Israel's ambassador to Copenhagen, Carmi Gillon. Denmark is a country blessed with all things good. It has no minority trying to change the face of the country and it has never suffered from acts of terrorism. It even passed through the era of Nazism without any real damage.

What is worrying about Denmark is that the radical left in that country has succeeded in pulling anti-Semitic sentiments out of their national hiding-places. Perhaps Denmark is more suited to the friendship of the radical Pol Pot, who is still admired there by the left. They are not out to get Carmi Gillon, they are out to get Israel. Carmi Gillon, who never demanded that torture be carried out, even though the Danish press has said so, is too good for Denmark. As an Israeli, he is sacrificing a lot to ensure that Israel does not end up sending no ambassador at all to Denmark, as several Knesset members have proposed. After all, in Denmark there are presumably also good and rational people and not just hypocrites who put Denmark's past to shame.



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