The Gaza flotilla imbroglio has provided the UN with the pretext for a new wave of anti-Israeli incitement. The Security Council instantly summoned an emergency meeting, which merely served as an arena to slander Israel and endorse a US-modified resolution demanding an investigation of its actions. The bias of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was even more blatant. It immediately condemned Israel, and only subsequently demanded an investigative commission which, like the notorious Goldstone Report, would simply be a kangaroo court.
The idealists who founded the UN and crafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would turn in their graves were they aware that the noble institution they created has been hijacked by rogue states.
Today the majority of the 192 UN members consistently turn a blind eye to the abuse of human rights and outright massacres, frequently even among their own citizens.
Examples abound: Russia’s response to the Chechnya insurrection in which Grozny was razed to the ground leaving 700,000 corpses; China’s brutal suppression of dissent in Tibet; the genocidal killing of more than a million Christians and animists by the Islamic government in Sudan; the barbaric crimes committed by Saddam Hussein against his own people.
UN international initiatives have also culminated in disaster. During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the UN recalled its peacekeeping force, facilitating the brutal massacre of more than a million Tutsis. Subsequently, a UN force mandated by the Security Council provided a safe haven for the Hutu killers. This was under the watch of secretary-general Kofi Annan, who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.
During the cruel ethnic war in Yugoslavia, a UN battalion in July 1995 handed over 8,000 Muslim civilians to the Serbs, who promptly slaughtered them. In fact, it was only after 250,000 people had been killed that the Americans bypassed the Security Council and intervened to end the conflict.
THE MOST damning UN humbug is the ferocious hatred directed against Israel, the sole UN affiliate whose right to exist remains under threat. Efforts to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state serve to unite the Islamic world, rogue states and Third World countries. They effectively resurrected the rescinded notorious Soviet UN resolution which bracketed Zionism with racism, harnessing the entire bureaucracy of the UN to portray Israel as the primary source of the evils threatening mankind.
Alas, motivated by realpolitik and a desire to curry favor, most democracies either stand on the sidelines or support such unethical conduct.
It is particularly distressing that the US which, prior to the Obama administration, represented somewhat of a barrier against such perfidious behavior has muted its opposition, conforming to its new policy of “engaging” Islam.
The appallingly misnamed UNHRC is the principal subcommittee driving the anti- Israel campaign, with more than 80 percent of its condemnatory resolutions directed against the Jewish state. Whereas the Bush administration boycotted the UNHRC, one of President Barack Obama’s first foreign policy initiatives was to join it.
Today, democracies comprise only 40% of UNHRC membership. Last month, seven additional authoritarian regimes were elected – unopposed – joining other “human rights devotees” such as Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba and Russia.
The most notorious, Libya, is a dictatorship which sanctions torture and lethal amputations, executes women for violating moral codes and criminalizes homosexuality. Currently, the Libyan envoy, notorious for his anti-Semitic outbursts, is president of the UN General Assembly. Libya’s flaky dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, provided a state welcome to the perpetrator of the 1988 Pan Am flight bombing over Lockerbie which killed 270 people, and behaved like a buffoon at the UN General Assembly, where he delivered an incoherent two-hour speech.
The brutal Iranian regime of Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (a frequent speaker at the General Assembly) withdrew its nomination for UNHRC membership in return for a backroom deal to obtain a seat on the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women. To enable Iran, which probably holds the world’s worst record of abuse of women, to participate in an organization purportedly advancing women’s rights transforms the UN into a total farce. It also highlights the growing clout of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which allegedly brokered the deal.
The venom of the UNHRC is almost exclusively directed against Israel, while the other member states get a free pass. The murder of innocents in Iran, Pakistan, Kenya, Zimbabwe, China, Nigeria or Afghanistan is ignored.
Sudan, the site of the Darfur genocide, was cited in 2009 for its “progress” in human rights. After the horrific slaughter of civilians that took place when the government subdued the rebel Tamils, the UNHRC passed a resolution praising Sri Lanka. It refuses to take action against human rights abuses in Iran.
The UNHRC has created a number of subcommissions exclusively for the purpose of bashing Israel. There is also an advisory committee chaired by Halima Warzazi, who shielded Saddam Hussein from UN censure after the 1988 gassing of Kurds. The deputy chair is Jean Ziegler who, following the Libyan bombing of the Pan Am airliner, recommended Gaddafi for a human-rights award.
The UNHRC Durban II Conference, purportedly launched to combat racism, was transformed into an anti-Israeli hate-fest.
The most recent UNHRC initiative was the notorious Goldstone Report, which brands Israel a criminal state and accuses the IDF of deliberately murdering Palestinian civilians.
This is now being augmented by the “investigation” of Israeli “barbarism,” “banditry,” “piracy,” “massacre of civilians,” etc. in relation to the Gaza flotilla.
The UNHRC also promotes anti-Semitism on its Web site. It currently reproduces a document accusing Israeli physicians, medical centers and rabbis of “plucking organs of dead, kidnapped and killed Palestinians” – a monstrous replay of the medieval blood libels.
REGRETTABLY, DESPITE outstanding UN ambassadors like Dan Gillerman, the government fails to take the offensive. It is scandalous that an impending appointment of a new UN ambassador has been delayed for over a year, allegedly because the prime minister and foreign minister cannot agree on a candidate. In this context, we should note the valuable contribution toward exposing the scandalous behavior of the UN by the NGO UN Watch, headed by Hillel Neuer (see video here).
The US together with European countries funds the bulk of the $20 billion plus budget.
Unfortunately, despite the UN concept of human rights having become a macabre travesty, the Obama administration avoids confronting the antidemocratic bodies. It even failed to formally object to the inclusion of Libya on the UNHRC. This month it announced that it would join the UN “Alliance of Civilization,” another body whose agenda is driven by Islamic nations purportedly to combat Islamophobia, but in fact to institutionalize limitations in freedom of speech.
Were it not for the Obama administration’s obsession to “engage” with rogue states, it would now be timely to question maintaining this sham body which primarily serves the interests of tyrannies, and consider forming a new multilateral association limited to countries that are broadly democratic and share genuine respect for human rights.
This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post