Richard Grenell, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, attends the "Rally for Equal Rights at the United Nations (Protesting Anti-Israeli Bias)" aside of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, March 18, 2019.
(photo credit: DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS)
To apply one standard to Israel, and another to the rest of the world – as the UN Human Rights Council does – is to be antisemitic, US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell said on Monday in Geneva.
Grenell spoke at a demonstration protesting UN bias against Israel outside the UNHRC as it debated alleged Israeli abuses. The rally was organized by UN Watch.
“To pass resolution after resolution against Israel while ignoring China, Russia or Cuba is a horrendous hypocrisy,” Grenell said.
“It speaks to the integrity of the Human Rights Council that we already know what the decision will be even before the vote,” he said. “It speaks to the sincerity of the Human Rights Council that its agenda is determined by those who respect its mandate the least.”
The ambassador bewailed the fact that among those deciding whether Israel is violating human rights, “are representatives from absolute monarchies, one-party states and military dictatorships.” He also took the council to task for making a debate on human rights in Israel a permanent feature at every session.
The UNHRC “not only singles out Israel, but it does so on a permanent basis,” and its belief “that a single country and a single people merits such attention on a permanent basis,” is also antisemitism, he said.
“This is not just a sign of bigotry, this is a sign of intellectual and moral decay. [It is] an institution whose entire world view is dominated by the fear and fantasy of Jewish criminality,” Grenell continued. “It has lost the ability to be rational, to understand cause and effect, and to make positive change. “
Former Israeli ambassador to the UN Dore Gold told the crowd that what is happening at the UNHRC is nothing new, and that he experienced the same bias against Israel from his first day as ambassador in 1997.
“How can anybody take the UN seriously when it has shown that, when it comes to Israel, its reports have been highly politicized and seriously flawed?” he asked. “Is anyone protecting the human rights of Israeli farmers whose fields are regularly set ablaze by Hamas incendiary weapons?”
Gold said that Israel will defend itself by itself, and is not seeking international forces to protect it. “But it does expect one thing from the international community,” he said: “The truth.”
Col. Richard Kemp, who also spoke at the rally, called the activities of the UN Gaza Commission of Inquiry – which claims that the IDF shot innocent Palestinian protesters during the “Great Return” marches – a distortion of truth.
“I gave evidence to your less-than-wonderful Human Rights Commission of Inquiry just inside that building there for several hours,” he said. “I told them from my own professional experience what was [really] happening on the border, but they did not listen to one word I said. And in this report that they produced, nothing I said is reflected. This report is a tissue of lies, abuse, prejudice and distortion; it is not worth the paper it is printed on.”
Speaking at a panel session held by UN Watch prior to the rally, Kemp called the UNHRC an instrument and supporter of Hamas terrorism.
“This report fails both Palestinians and Israelis. It’s full of lies and distortions. The UNHRC is an instrument and supporter of Hamas terrorism; it is playing into their hands and is encouraging them.”
The rally, which was held under cloudy skies, saw some 300 demonstrators gather with flags and placards which read, among other things: “Stop Bashing Israel,” “We Support Israel, The Only Democracy in the Middle East” and “Stop delegitimizing Israel.”
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post one demonstrator spoke about the importance of rallying in support of Israel in front of the UN, a body that continuously persecutes the Jewish state.
“We have to defend Israel. It’s terribly persecuted by the United Nations, the club of the worst criminals in the world,” said Warsaw resident Eva Korulski. “I brought many Polish flags here today so we can show our solidarity. We, as a group of Polish Jews, feel really bad regarding the situation between Poland and Israel. We can’t focus on the past but we have to [instead] focus on the present and future. We have to come together and build a good future.”
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