The UNHRC: Hard at work condemning Israel
At this session of the Human Rights Council a UN-accredited NGO distributed a publication containing the following picture:
The demonic Jew, with the swastika substituted for the star of David on the Israeli flag, is depicted as an octopus strangling freedom-loving innocents.
The Jews as a vile life-threatening octopus was also a feature of Nazi propaganda. Today, it is how the Turkish NGO, the International Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), is permitted to portray its attempt last May to defy a legal Israeli naval blockade.
An appeal made to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to take action against the IHH and to object to the distribution of this material on the UN “designated NGO tables outside the plenary room” was ignored.
The UN-accredited IHH “humanitarians” also delivered a statement at this Council’s session in which they said: “we consider the unlawful activities of Israel to be the most serious threat, one that is even more dangerous than that of a nuclear attack.”
Being fanatical hatemongers is evidently no barrier to being UN-accredited.
The IHH is not alone. On March 11 of the current session, the Council “Bulletin of informal meetings” advertised the time and place of a meeting entitled “Human rights in Palestine.” It was organized by the UN-accredited NGO “Nord-Sud XXI” and held in a UN-provided room near the Council chamber. Invited speakers manufactured such accusations as “people are buried alive in Israeli prison cells,” and “one woman had gangrene and they cut her foot off instead of treating her,” followed by “we want a future free of Zionist crimes,” and “we need revolution and intifada against this oppression.” Imad Zuhairi, deputy permanent observer of the Palestinian Authority to the UN in Geneva, was an enthusiastic participant in this event, made possible only with the assistance of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights despite its focus on advocating violence against Israelis. Zuhairi declared a few hours before the Fogel murders: “we cannot equate resistance against occupation with terrorism.”
Such NGOs operate hand-in-glove with the Council. Currently being discussed during the Council session is another resolution on the IHH flotilla, calling for still another report to condemn Israel on the same subject in June. Because the Organization of the Islamic Conference holds the balance of power at the Council, by controlling the regional groups that form the Council’s majority, the resolution is guaranteed to be adopted later this week.
Furthermore, the flotilla resolution is just one of many. There is another resolution on settlements. It condemns only Israel, references the Road Map only to allege Israeli violations, and demands Israel end “all settlement activity, including “natural growth.”
This is not just verbiage. Such UN settlement resolutions intimate that the three young Fogel children, while living and breathing, were criminals.
And still it does not end. Incredibly, at this Council session there will be a total of six resolutions adopted condemning Israel alone – on the flotilla, settlements, the Goldstone Report and its successors, the “Syrian Golan,” other “grave human rights violations by Israel,” and Palestinian self-determination.
Consider the absurdity of the resolution entitled “human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan.” The Council claims to be “deeply concerned at the suffering of Syrian citizens” and then demands that Israel “desist from…practices that obstruct the enjoyment of their fundamental rights.” There is no mention whatsoever of the Syrian government, its murderous rampages at this very moment in time, and its “obstruction” of the fundamental right of Syrians to live.
On the contrary, Syria is currently running for a seat on the Council and is widely expected to be elected in May.
Saudi Arabia is already a Council member and the ongoing crackdown on democracy advocates in Saudi Arabia is nowhere to be found in the Council’s repertoire. The only states other than Israel subject to a resolution of the Council at this session will be North Korea, Iran, Myanmar/Burma, and Cote d’Ivoire.
In sum, the Council is poised to adopt this week six resolutions condemning just Israel, one resolution for each of four other countries, and nothing for the other 187 UN member states. This is the highest number of resolutions dedicated to the demonization of Israel at a single session of the Council since it began in 2006 as the crown jewel of Kofi Annan’s UN reform.
A great many in the Western world believe either that discrimination against the Jewish people is an acceptable price to pay for progress on other fronts, or that the United Nations serves at worst as an incompetent but necessary escape valve for hot air and play-acting by weak countries with inferiority complexes. The atrocity committed against the Fogel family puts the lie to this reprehensible and deadly exploitation. The world should have learned long ago that demonizing Jews is not a human right.
The writer is the director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.