THE OPENING of the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva..
(photo credit: (ERIC BRIDIERS/US MISSION GENEVA))
The United Nations Human Rights Council recently convened in Geneva to rubberstamp its annual series of anti-Israel resolutions.
For an institution already predisposed to singling out the Jewish state, the past month has seen particularly egregious activity – it’s been a veritable March of folly.
One of the resolutions passed by the Council cited concern “at the suffering of the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan due to the systematic and continuous violation of their fundamental and human rights by Israel.”
To be clear, the Syrian Center for Policy Research estimates that 470,000 Syrians have been killed in five years of brutal civil war and millions more have been displaced. Countless UN reports document the atrocities committed by the Assad regime and Islamic State terrorists, and yet it is Israel, which has treated thousands of Syrians in its hospitals, that bears the brunt of the UN’s criticism.
If that weren’t enough, the UNHRC has appointed a new representative to monitor human rights in the “occupied Palestinian territories.” More troubling than the job description is the fact that the appointee, Canadian law professor Stanley Michael Lynk, has been a vocal critic of Israel and has proposed solving the conflict by going “back to 1948, the date of partition and the start of ethnic cleansing.”
Overt anti-Israel bias is seemingly a necessary qualification for UN appointees. William Schabas was selected to head the UN’s inquiry into the 2014 Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas, despite a record of public statements calling for the International Criminal Court to put Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former president Shimon Peres on trial. Schabas eventually stepped down, but only after evidence emerged that he had been paid to provide legal services to the Palestine Liberation Organization.
It should come as no surprise that Israel is subject to more condemnations at the UN than any other country. What’s new and troubling are the overtly anti-Semitic statements that are going unchallenged in the institution.
In a March 1 session of the UNHRC, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki called on nations to refuse entry to “settlers” and “impose economic sanctions on the occupying entity.” Here was a demagogue standing in the heart of Europe calling for the branding of Jewish businesses and the barring of Jewish people, and the delegates in attendance listened raptly.
Three weeks later, the council voted to create a “blacklist” of companies operating in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Not a single country voted against the motion.
The alarming bias extends across the UN system.
Earlier this month, Iran test-fired two ballistic missiles emblazoned with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” in Hebrew. No one can accuse the Iranians of being subtle about their intentions, and yet the UN Security Council has done little more than dither and dally.
That’s par for the course when it comes to Israel’s security. The institution has yet to condemn Hamas for brazenly digging tunnels from Gaza into Israel and boasting of its intention to kidnap and terrorize Israelis. The same blanket silence applies to Hezbollah. A recent report from the Israeli delegation to the UN documented over 2,300 instances in which Hezbollah violated the international “Blue Line” separating Israel and Lebanon last year.
Israel’s enemies are flagrantly mounting an offensive and the UN is too engaged in its own campaign of maligning the Jewish state to take note. The global body can never hope to advance the cause of peace and security so long as its institutionalized anti-Israel bias continues unchallenged.
But don’t hold your breath waiting for change. After all, the March of folly is followed by April Fools’ Day.The author served from 2013 to 2015 as director of speechwriting for Israel’s permanent mission to the United Nations.