(photo credit: Associated Press)
The UN Human Rights Council report that has scathingly condemned Israel for last
May’s Mavi Marmara incident was no bolt from the blue.
Indeed, any other
conclusion to the UNHRC’s hasty “probe” would have been nothing less than a
All UN forums are notoriously tilted against Israel but, even
in this inhospitable context, the UNHRC stands out in infamy.
report was a separate pet project, conducted independently of the UN
secretary-general’s own Mavi Marmara
inquiry. Incredibly, the UNHRC probe was
preceded by the verdict. The Council’s investigation followed a UNHRC resolution
that harshly scolded Israel for what was termed “an outrageous
In other words, the UNHRC brazenly revealed itself as a kangaroo
court – a self-appointed tribunal that violates established legal procedure to
deliver a sham judgment, predetermined in disregard of the facts and the
But not only is the UNHRC a kangaroo court, it also obsessively
strives to put only one defendant – Israel – in the dock. This, after all, is
the forum that initiated the Goldstone Report.
Pro forma the Geneva-based
council was born only in 2006, but in actual fact it started out as the
much-discredited UN Human Rights Commission. Former UN Secretary- General Kofi
Annan took the extraordinary step of abolishing it because of its unabashed
politicization, which mostly manifested itself in its fixated demonization of
Israel – singled out for censure on any occasion and under any
The unlamented Commission was replaced by the Council amid
promises for sincere introspection, contrition and most of all the cleaning up
of the Commission’s shameful record. Nonetheless, the Commission’s preposterous
patterns reasserted themselves in full from the get-go.
consistently discerns nothing more urgent with which to occupy itself than
Israel’s alleged human rights abuses.
THE COUNCIL is the Commission’s
carbon copy, with one exception. The Commission held a single yearly
The Council treats us to multiple annual
Twenty-seven of its 47 seats are Asian/African, with
Arab/Muslim states accounting for the bulk of these. This not only guarantees
massive anti-Israel bias, but it makes mockery of human rights. Among the
council’s members are such stalwart champions of civil liberties as Saudi
Arabia, Libya, Bangladesh, China, Jordan, Pakistan, Algeria, Angola, Burkina
Faso, Cameroon, Djibouti, Mauritania, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia, Malaysia and
For a nation to be castigated by those on the list above
unequivocally attests to the precise opposite of whatever they may allege. When
such a thoroughly disreputable band points the finger of blame so unanimously,
their guilty verdict becomes a veritable badge of merit. Any accolade from this
assortment would have to be regarded with the utmost suspicion. The fact that
they abhor Israel ought to be a source of pride.
What worries us,
therefore, is not their animus but the disingenuous respect with which the
UNHRC’s rulings are treated by the minority of democratic UNHRC members and how
they are generally reported without reservations by the media of the free world.
It is this cynical acquiescence to injustice in the West, both by governments
and journalists, which must deprive anyone who cherishes justice of residual
peace of mind.
The ongoing travesty produced by the UNHRC is twofold. Not
only does it grotesquely target Israel (the subject of 90 percent of its
resolutions) but the compulsive preoccupation with Israel also diverts attention
from where it ought to be focused. Thus the UNHRC studiously ignores the
oppression of the Kurds in Iran, Turkey and Syria, as well as of Berbers in
Algeria. It managed only two resolutions on Sudan’s mass murders in Darfur. One
declared the Khartoum regime responsible for maintaining law and order; the
other actually heaped praise on Khartoum for the admirable job it was
The inherent flaw in UN institutions – whether they are dubbed
commissions or councils – will not be eliminated unless the world’s democracies
stand up to the danger that threatens them, too, even if Israel currently seems
the global punching-bag. Because of their numerical preponderance, Arab/Muslim
states can skew all international discourse to the detriment of Western
If democracies submit to bullying facilitated by a
prearranged anti-democratic majority, then all their high-minded principles are
per force rendered a fetid farce. The UNHRC, with its skewed machinations and
manipulations, is a dismal case in point.