On October 27, the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) anti-Israel Commission of Inquiry (COI), led by Navi Pillay, is slated to present its findings to the UN General Assembly in New York. Pillay will outline her open-and-shut kangaroo court case deeming Israel guilty of various atrocities, from its founding in 1948 until today. Much of this will likely be based on anonymous testimonies alleging Israeli human rights abuses.
At the same time, hundreds of thousands of unique submissions regarding mass murder and institutionalized promotion of violence by Palestinian leaders and terrorist groups will almost certainly be ignored. According to an article on the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs website, by Prof. Anne Bayefsky, the COI has received submissions from tens of thousands of victims and their families from a variety of groups that are concerned about these issues:
What are the issues reported?
By February 8, the “inquiry” had been sent 11,699 submissions from Palestinian Media Watch (PMW); by March 1, – 11,132 submissions from the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) and its Jewish Virtual Library; by March 5 – 12,642 submissions from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI); by March 9, – 2,872 submissions from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center; and by March 10, – 7,807 submissions from the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA).
Additionally, over 10,000 people around the world have signed a StandWithUs petition rejecting the legitimacy of the COI and declaring no confidence in the UNHRC’s ability to fulfill its mission.
This widespread outrage is not about defending every single Israeli action in the conflict or blaming everything on Palestinians. It is based on the fact that the COI is the latest in a long history of systemic discrimination against Israel at the UN.
The COI is only one of two such bodies that does not have an end date. It has nearly twice as much funding and staff as a similar inquiry about the Syrian Civil War. Additionally, despite UN policies requiring impartiality, Navi Pillay and the other officials leading the COI have long records of taking anti-Israel positions. Pillay’s colleague, Milloon Kothari, even made an antisemitic remark in an interview about the COI but was not removed as a commissioner.
Meanwhile, the UNHRC ignores human rights abuses worldwide or actively protects dictatorships, like the Chinese government, from accountability. People have simply had enough of this bias, corruption, and abuse of power from an institution that is meant to protect all human rights globally.
This is why even before Pillay presents the COI’s “findings,” it is, unfortunately, easy to predict what she will not say.
What topics will Pillay avoid when saying anti-Israel stuff?
The COI’S stated purpose is to investigate, “all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions.” But Pillay will not tell you about how Palestinian leader Haj Amin al-Husseini worked closely with Hitler, trying to bring the Holocaust to the Middle East. The undeniable role of Husseini and other leaders in sparking and fueling the Arab-Israeli conflict will not be covered either. Palestinian leaders could have accepted peace deals in 1937, 1947, 2000, and 2008, or at least made a counteroffer.
They chose violence and war to destroy the Jewish state instead and justified it by painting the Jews as foreign invaders with no rights in the region. The sad truth is that Pillay will likely double down on their destructive narrative, which erases the history and connection of Jews to their ancestral home, Israel.
This twisted approach also means that decades of terrorism by the Palestine Liberation Organization, Fatah, Hamas, and other Palestinian groups will be ignored, minimized, or justified as “resistance” to Israel, in Pillay’s report. This includes barbaric massacres like the ones at Ma’alot and the Munich Olympics and plane hijackings such as the ones at Entebbe. It includes the Second Intifada, which lasted from 2000-2005 and was launched and promoted by former Palestinian president Yasser Arafat.
In that period alone, more than 1,100 Israeli men, women and children were murdered, and thousands more were maimed in suicide bombings or other terrorist attacks, including the ones that targeted Israeli children and teens, like the Sbarro Pizzeria, and Dolphinarium massacres. The report will undoubtedly ignore the tens of thousands of rockets and missiles fired at Israeli homes and playgrounds from Lebanon and Gaza, from the 1980s until today. It will also ignore sniper attacks like the one that murdered 10-month-old Shalhevet Pass, stabbings, car rammings and so much more.
Some root causes are less direct but no less important. For example, the current Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas does not directly engage in terrorism. He even has his security officials coordinate with the IDF against Hamas in some cases. However, his government financially rewards convicted terrorists who are in Israeli prisons, thus providing an incentive to murder more Israelis. In fact, the more severe the crime, the more lucrative the salary from the Palestinian Authority. This too will be missing from Pillay’s report.
If terrorism against Israel is discussed at all, it will ultimately be blamed on Israel. Pillay will not share that in 1929, long before Israel declared independence, Haj Amin al-Husseini instigated an antisemitic massacre in Hebron by falsely claiming that the Jews were foreign invaders trying to destroy al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
This particularly horrific blood libel has now proven to be a reliable tool for creating mayhem and murder for nearly 100 years. Former Palestinian president Yasser Arafat used it to incite the Second Intifada, and more recently Hamas and other terrorist groups have repeated it for similar violent, destructive purposes.
There will be no meaningful discussion about how lies, bigotry, and violence are flagrantly promoted across the Palestinian education system and media. This happens in institutions controlled by Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
Most disturbingly, it also takes place in schools funded by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), a watchdog organization dedicated to studying Palestinian textbooks, presents evidence year after year showing how Palestinian children are abused and taught to hate through math and other dangerous, demented lessons.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Media Watch constantly exposes the vicious anti-Jewish bigotry promoted through TV shows, songs, school plays, religious sermons and more. Instead of demanding accountability, the international community has often continued to fund these appalling practices. Don’t hold your breath for Pillay to suggest any self-reflection about this when presenting her “findings.”
The cost of ignoring all these root causes of the conflict will not be paid by Pillay and her colleagues. It will be paid by innocent Israelis and Palestinians, as the UN and others enable their ongoing suffering. Shame on all those who have an opportunity to save lives by creating change, but continue to turn a blind eye. Further, shame on the UN and its agencies represented by destructive leaders like Navi Pillay, for engaging in dangerous, modern-day antisemitism.
The writer is the CEO and co-founder of StandWithUs, an international non-partisan education organization that supports Israel and fights antisemitism. Learn more about SWU’s campaign and sign the petition at www.standwithus.com/unhrc-campaign.