Amnesty International’s infamous report was overwhelmingly rejected by Western countries like the US, Canada and Germany but was embraced by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the BDS Movement.
It was not just that the Amnesty Report claimed that the system Israel established in 1948 should be dismantled, but they also initiated a full-blown campaign against Israel that included a pre-meditated collaboration with BDS groups, a set of anti-Israel graphics and even a course on how to explain “the domination of Palestinians by Israel.”
Amnesty is another example of a human rights group gone rogue that has adopted the ideology of those who delegitimize Israel while avoiding the human rights of Jewish civilians that live in the Middle East, or anywhere, for that matter.
The Amnesty report, however, might just be a teaser for a greater assault taking place later this year on the legitimacy of the only Jewish state, this time by the United Nations.
The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has formed a Commission of Inquiry to examine the events that took place during operation Guardian of the Walls last May. Unlike previous inquiry mandates, this time the commission members have been encouraged by the UNHRC to examine the “root causes of current tensions” between Israelis and Palestinians, including “systematic discrimination and repression.”
The Commission of Inquiry is headed by South African Judge Navi Pillay, who has a history of openly supporting the BDS movement and who has spoken out against Israel numerous times in the past, often calling it an “apartheid regime.”
Due to Pillay’s documented bias against Israel, UN Watch recently released a detailed report that was sent to the UN, requesting Pillay recuse herself from the Commission of Inquiry. “Under UN guidelines, Pillay was obliged to disclose any information that may lead to questions being raised about [her] independence, impartiality and integrity,” UN Watch wrote. “The guidelines make clear that members of commissions of inquiry must have a proven record of independence and impartiality.”
Our experience, unfortunately, shows that impartiality is not to be expected from the UN, at least when Israel is concerned. However, this time it seems that even a facade of objectivity was ignored.
Not only organizations are speaking out against this inherently biased Commission of Inquiry, but also Israeli citizens, who have tired of staying silent.
This week, the Israeli Citizens’ Letter initiative was launched. The document, which I took part in drafting, is a unique letter that will be submitted to the UN Commission later this month. The Citizens’ Letter allows any Israeli citizen who was in Israel during operation Guardian of the Walls to voice what they experienced in May 2021 by adding their name to the letter.
As a lawyer activist well acquainted with the UN, I wish to emphasize that it is not the search for truth that worries us. On the contrary, we wish that was what the UN was really about. We are concerned by politicization and pre-written conclusions, which is unfortunately what our experience proves. An honest examination of international law would necessarily lead every objective inquirer to a clear and simple conclusion – a terrorist organization that deliberately targets civilians while using its own as human shields is the worst kind of criminal.
BDS and other delegitimization groups have tried for decades to push for the dismantling of the only Jewish state, and now it seems that Amnesty and the UN Inquiry Commission have decided to follow in their footsteps. It’s not about what borders the Jewish State should have, but rather if a Jewish homeland should exist at all. Whether this trend is rooted in antisemitism or led by good people being fooled by antisemites, Zionists everywhere must unite in the fight against it.
Yifa Segal, Esq. is an expert in international law, former Chair & CEO of the International Legal Forum, and former Chief of Staff to Israel’s Ambassador to the United States.
This op-ed is published in partnership with a coalition of organizations that fight antisemitism across the world. Read the previous article by Hananya Naftali.