UNHRC: Epitome of hostility and double standard - opinion

The consistent hostility, bias and double standard against Israel that typifies the international media and liberal political elements in the Western world appears to have reached an apex.

DEBRIS IS all that remains of the Ashkelon home of Uri Kimhi, 88, after it was hit by a rocket launched by Hamas from the Gaza Strip last month. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
DEBRIS IS all that remains of the Ashkelon home of Uri Kimhi, 88, after it was hit by a rocket launched by Hamas from the Gaza Strip last month.
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Much has been written and spoken by leaders in the international community and in the media regarding the recent round of fighting between Hamas – the terrorist organization running the Gaza Strip – and Israel. Israel’s inherent right to defend itself and its civilians against the aggressive, willful and indiscriminate barrage of more than 4,000 rockets launched by Hamas over 11 days in May has been widely acknowledged by the international community.
However, it did not take long for the routine wave of international criticism and condemnation of Israel to materialize and grab international headlines, especially given the graphic pictures displayed by various media sources at the direction and guidance of Hamas and its propaganda apparatus.
The fact that Hamas and its sister organization, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, committed multiple war crimes by willfully targeting Israel’s civilians, seems to have been completely overlooked and forgotten. Perhaps this is partly because Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system prevented more than 90% of the rockets from hitting their civilian targets and causing massive, indescribable human casualties.
The fact that Hamas willfully and cynically used its own Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip as human shields by placing multiple weapons-storage facilities, rocket-firing platforms and emplacements next to their homes, hospitals, mosques, public buildings and schools all seems to have been deliberately overlooked.
The fact that Hamas dug hundreds of kilometers of cross-border attack tunnels underneath Gaza’s public road system, hospitals and schools, thereby rendering all Gaza’s civilian infrastructure a legitimate military target, also seems to have been overlooked and ignored.
And the fact that Israel’s targeting of Hamas’s military targets was carried out with near-surgical precision in order to avoid civilian casualties, including issuing warnings to civilians, seems to be deliberately and conveniently overlooked by Western commentators, politicians, activists and media.
The regular and consistent hostility, bias and double standard against Israel that traditionally typifies the international media and liberal political elements in the Western world appears to have reached a cynical apex. This was reflected in the recent resolution by the one international body within the United Nations that is, according to its constitutional mandate, supposed to act with “universality, objectivity and non-selectivity,” devoid of “double standards and politicization” in order to advance the cause of human rights in the world.
Indeed, members of the Human Rights Council belonging to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation include such paragons of international humanitarian virtue as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cuba, Eritrea, Gabon, Indonesia, Libya, Mauritania, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Uzbekistan and Venezuela. It also includes observers from Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen, Iran, Iraq and others (including the so-called state of Palestine).
THAT SAME UNHRC adopted a resolution, dated May 27, 2021, that decided “to urgently establish an ongoing independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since April 13, 2021, and all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability, and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity.”
Strangely, the Council appears to have forgotten the 4,000-plus rockets aimed at Israel’s civilian population, as well as the multiple war crimes committed by Hamas against its own civilian population,
One wonders if this biased, hostile and one-sided resolution could be considered compatible with the basic aims and purposes of the UNHRC as set out in its enabling resolution, adopted in March 2006 by resolution 60/251 of the UN General Assembly, to “ensure universality, objectivity and non-selectivity in the consideration of human rights issues, and the elimination of double standards and politicization,” and to base its functioning on “the principles of cooperation and genuine dialogue.”
One also wonders if this resolution is guided by the principle enunciated in the Council’s enabling resolution that “the work of the Council shall be guided by the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity, constructive international dialogue and cooperation,” and that it be “transparent, fair and impartial and shall enable genuine dialogue.”
As stated by British military commander Col. Richard Kemp in an article published by the Gatestone Institute on May 16, commenting on the Human Rights Council: “I have taken part in every UN Human Rights Council evidence session and emergency debate on Gaza conflicts in the last 15 years. The willful ignorance combined with malice has always been breathtaking. Every commission of inquiry determined Israel’s guilt before it even met for the first time. Every debate and vote has overwhelmingly and of course falsely affirmed Israel’s supposed war crimes and crimes against humanity. Meanwhile, Hamas’s actual multiple war crimes have been brushed aside.”
Clearly, the UN Human Rights Council, with its consistent propensity and fixation against Israel, and with its questionable membership, has lost any credibility as an independent, universal, objective, impartial and constructive organ of the UN.
To the contrary, it is prejudicing any bona fides and integrity of which the UN could potentially boast.
The writer is the director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center, and the head of the Global Law Forum. He is a member of Mivtahi – Forum for a Safe Israel (FFSI). He served as the legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and as Israel’s ambassador to Canada.