The history of the United Nations' anti-Israel bias against Israel is well known. It includes decisions such as the infamous 1975 resolution equating Zionism to racism. The bias is so clear that it once brought Israel’s Abba Eben to quip that, “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.”
In 2022, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) bias continued unabated and even reached new lows. During the year, the UNGA adopted 15 different resolutions concerning Israel. Russia, which illegally invaded Ukraine, was the subject of only six resolutions. Serial human rights abusers like North Korea, Afghanistan under the Taliban and the homicidal mullahs in Iran only warranted a decision each. China’s ongoing persecution of the Uyghurs did not even warrant one decision.
Of the 15 Israel-related resolutions, two stood out.
In November, the UNGA adopted the shameful decision to mark the upcoming 75th anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence “by organizing a high-level event at the General Assembly Hall on May 15, 2023,” to mark the Nakba – the term the Palestinians use to describe the event, which means “catastrophe.” On December 31, the UN, at the behest of the Palestinians and via their proxies, decided to ask the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to provide an advisory opinion on the “legal consequences arising from the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.”
The latest resolution rewrites history and ignores the fact that the entire region from the river to the sea was allocated to the Jewish people to create the Jewish homeland in the 1920 San Remo Conference and then again in the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. It also ignores the fact that Jordan was a huge part of Palestine and that a vast majority of the Jordanian population is Palestinian. Jordan is the embodiment of Palestinian self-determination. Alongside Israel, Jordan is also the embodiment of the two-state solution: a Jewish state and an Arab state.
While there is little Israel can do to combat the inherent bias of the UN within the halls of the organization in New York, there are steps Israel can and must take at home to mitigate the damage being caused and to avoid the situation spiraling further out of control.
What can Israel do to mitigate damage caused by the UN?
Incredibly, no fewer than 22 different UN organizations connected only to the Palestinians operate in Israel. Of them, 18 have a physical presence. They work under the coordination of the UN Country Team (UNCT) whose task is to work closely with the Government of Palestine and other development partners to ensure that its work is aligned with the Palestinian Authority’s National Policy Agenda and deliver tangible results that enhance the development prospects for the people of Palestine.
IN PRACTICE, the UNCT and its member organizations implement a major part of their mandate by writing biased and hate-invoking reports about Israel.
These reports include, inter alia, of course, the reports of the UN children’s organization, UNICEF, which claims that Israel’s prosecution of Palestinian minors, including murderers, is a war crime, thereby equating the prosecution of these PA-recruited child terrorists to the Holocaust.
If one were to read the two or three weekly distorted context-lacking updates of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), whose director heads the UNCT, even staunch Zionists would begin to question Israel’s legitimacy.
In their quarterly reports, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process consistently whitewashes Palestinian terror, while never missing an opportunity to vilify Israel and even condone Palestinian terror.
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has one central purpose: To support, legitimize and promote the lie that ever-growing millions (currently over 5.7 million) of so-called Palestinian refugees will one day flood Israel and destroy the Jewish national homeland from within.
Other outrageous UN organizations include the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), established in 1949 to supervise the implementation of the Israel-Arab Armistice Agreements. Despite having failed miserably in its mission and while those Armistice agreements have been defunct for decades, the UNTSO still occupies the ever-growing – without permission of course – historic Government House in Jerusalem.
Individually and more so when combined together, the work of these UN organizations provides the basis for much of Israel’s bashing in the UN. Israel, similar to a battered wife who cannot break free of her abuser, is victimized into hosting these venomous organizations.
Considering the open hostility of the UN and specifically the local UN organizations, the question begs, why do we allow these cancerous growths to remain in Israel?
Responding to the UNGA referral to the ICJ, Israel’s security cabinet rightly adopted a number of decisions to penalize the Palestinian Authority for its sedition. While the PA must be sanctioned, it would be a mistake for Israel not to also take action against the plethora of UN organizations it hosts that constantly feed the virulent Jew and Israel hatred. It’s time Israel stood up for itself instead of just kvetching. It’s time to throw the malignant UN organizations out.
The writer is the director of legal strategies for Palestinian Media Watch. He served for 19 years in the IDF Military Advocate-General Corps. In his last position, he served as director of the Military Prosecution in Judea and Samaria.