Israel has a problem and it’s called the United Nations.
particularly the Human Rights Council, the successor to the failed UN Commission
on Human Rights, is notorious today for its anti-Israel bias.
week alone, the UN has come under scrutiny for adding fuel to the proverbial
Middle East fire.
On Monday, the US slammed the UN Human Rights Council
in Geneva for its biased treatment of Israel.
On the same day, Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blasted the council for facilitating an event
featuring a Hamas politician. Ismail al-Ashqar, a Hamas parliamentarian from
Gaza, spoke at an NGO event in the Geneva building.
Last week, Kuhlood
Badawi, a field officer for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs, posted a photo on Twitter leading followers to believe that a dead
child in the photo was killed by recent Israeli missile fire when, in fact, the
child had been killed in a car accident unrelated to Israel in
Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor expressed outrage at Badawi’s
conduct and called for her dismissal, but so far the UN has shown no sign that
it will fire her.
Notably, and to the UN’s credit, a recent UN report on
Palestinian state-building did acknowledge that the problems the Palestinians
are having managing their budget “may undermine its track record as a system
that meets the requirements of a well-functioning state.” The report also
acknowledged that the current divide between Hamas and Fatah contributes to the
failure of state-building efforts.
Unfortunately, this type of criticism,
which does not fault Israel for Palestinian problems, is truly rare. The fact
that it is an exception to the usual anti-Israel chorus demonstrates that the UN
has lost legitimacy.
THE PROBLEM with the UN today is that it is not
fulfilling the objectives it was originally created for. It is clear that the
intention over the years of an intergovernmental organization was to promote
peace in an unbiased fashion – not to unilaterally create states. The forerunner
of the League of Nations, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, was formed by peace
activists in 1889. Its aims were to encourage governments to solve international
disputes by peaceful means.
The League of Nations was founded as a result
of the Paris Peace Conference that ended World War I. It was the first permanent
international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace.
Its primary goals, as stated in its covenant, included preventing war through
collective security and disarmament, and settling international disputes through
negotiation and arbitration.
The League of Nations lacked an armed force
of its own and depended on the Great Powers to enforce its resolutions, which
they were unwilling to do. Its two most important members, Britain and France,
were reluctant to use sanctions and even more reluctant to resort to military
action. Immediately after the First World War, pacifism became a strong force
among both the people and the governments of the two countries and the league’s
resolutions were deemed irrelevant.
The UN was founded in 1945 after the
Second World War when it became clear that the League of Nations had failed in
its objective to prevent war. The aim was to maintain international peace and
security, develop friendly relations among nations and promote social progress,
better living standards and human rights.
The Tehran Conference, a
strategy meeting held between Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston
Churchill in 1943 at the Soviet Embassy in Tehran, was the first of the World
War II conferences held between all of the “Big Three” Allied leaders and likely
acted as a seed from which the UN would grow.
Today, the UN has placed
the Arab-Israeli conflict at the top of its agenda and blatantly ignores human
rights abuses around the world.
ON TUESDAY, UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights Navi Pillay wrote an op-ed in this paper in which she made
references to “occupied Palestinian territory” and “Israel’s occupation of
The question is, if Palestine doesn’t yet exist, how is
Israel occupying it? Clearly, Pillay and her colleagues at the UN have a
pro-Palestinian agenda. They seek not to fulfill the council’s mandate but
rather to create a Palestinian state.
The problem is, since when is it
the UN’s responsibility to ensure that any group of people ends up with a state
of their own? The mandate of the UNHRC includes “preventing human rights
violations, securing respect for all human rights, promoting international
cooperation to protect human rights, coordinating related activities throughout
the United Nations, and strengthening and streamlining the United Nations system
in the field of human rights.”
None of this calls for the creation of a
The UN has long overstepped the red line and has
demonstrated its total partiality when dealing with the Arab-Israeli
The UNHRC must be disbanded. There is no place in the 21st
century for those who drive a wedge between parties and favor one side while
remaining largely indifferent to the concerns of the other. There is no excuse
for the public to empower those who seek to instigate discord and incite
The council created to address human rights does nothing to
further its proliferation.
As Netanyahu said in his speech Monday, “I
have one thing to say to the UN Human Rights Council: What do you have to do
with human rights? You should be ashamed of yourselves.”
unrealistic to believe that the UN itself could be disbanded or even reformed,
at least at this point, but it is not far-fetched to call for the disbandment of
the UNHRC. It has destroyed its own integrity and should therefore cease
functioning. Perhaps its successor would truly be concerned with human rights
abuses and not the denigration of Israel.