Editorial: Farce at the UNHRC

Because of their numerical preponderance, Arab/Muslim states can skew all int'l discourse to the detriment of Western progressive values.

UNHRC (photo credit: Associated Press)
(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 bombshell.
All UN forums are notoriously tilted against Israel but, even in this inhospitable context, the UNHRC stands out in infamy.
The UNHRC 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 attack.”
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 law.
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 pretext.
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.
The Council 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 session.
The Council treats us to multiple annual extravaganzas.
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 Qatar.
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 doing.
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 progressive values.
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.