UN Chief admits anti-Israel bias in the UN but doesn’t disband anti-Israel committees

UN anti Israel biasIn a quite amazing turn of events, Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, admitted to a group of Israeli students that there is indeed an “unfortunate” bias against Israel in the UN:

Responding to a student who said Israelis felt their country was discriminated against in the international organization, Ban confirmed that there was a biased attitude towards the Israeli people and Israeli government, stressing that it was “an unfortunate situation.”

Ban met with the students as part of the UN Model international academic convention initiated by students at the College of Management.

[...]

Addressing the attitude towards Israel, Ban said that the Jewish state was a UN member and should therefore be treated equally like all other 192 member states. Unfortunately, he added, Israel has been criticized and sometimes discriminated against because of the Mideast conflict.

Despite these stirring words however, Ban Ki-Moon hasn’t done anything to ease the built-in bias against Israel.

A couple of blatant examples are seen in the persistent distorted focus on Israel in the Human Rights Council and UNESCO.

The Irish pro-Israel blogger Rob Harris (also a regular commenter on this blog) has written an outstanding and thoroughly researched essay (also posted at Crethi Plethi) about another, little-mentioned in the media, but equally dangerous UN committee which could easily be dismantled: The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

Recently a United Nations entity, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), awarded official UN accreditation to an NGO called the Perdana Global Peace Foundation. The NGO is led by its founder, Mahathir Mohamad, a former Malaysian prime-minister known for his overtly anti-Semitic views. CEIRPP Chairman Abdu Salam Diallo wished to “thank him and congratulate him for everything he has done in his political career and for the Palestinian people”.

In 2003 Mahathir Mohamad became rather infamous for his anti-Semitic views, after he attacked Israel and the Jewish People in an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) speech, which was criticised internationally.

[...]

it is quite evident that the CEIRPP seeks the nullification of Israel’s Jewish status by proposed demographic methods. To quote an annex of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 35/169:

69. The second phase deals with the return to their homes of the Palestinians displaced between 1948 and 1967. The Committee recommends that:

(a) While the first phase is being implemented, the United Nations in co-operation with the States directly involved, and the Palestine Liberation Organization as the interim representative of the Palestinian entity, should proceed to make the necessary arrangements to enable Palestinians displaced between 1948 and 1967 to exercise their right to return to their homes and property…

Thus, if there is any truth to the CEIRPP’s assertions, the only two-state solution they advocate would be two Palestine’s, where one is Israel in name only, its populace subsumed by Muslim-Arab migration. Such a stance has long been advocated by Arab-Palestinian leaders, and many groups hostile to Israel.

The CEIRPP has for many years organised conferences devoted to Israeli occupation “from 1948 onward” — 1948 being the very point of Israel’s creation. Clearly they do not recognise Israel’s right to exist in any meaningful sense.

[...]

The United Nation’s decades-long animosity toward Israel has become the stuff of legend. Indeed, Kofi Annan admitted in 2006:

On one side, supporters of Israel feel that it is harshly judged by standards that are not applied to its enemies, and too often this is true, particularly in some UN bodies.

[...]

The UN’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) is a principle source of anti-Israel NGO funding, although for the most part the organisation has not issued details of its funding network publicly.

Rob Harris goes on to demonstrate how the CEIRPP is but one of many UN committees, sub-committees, groups and divisions etc.,  all dedicated to one particular population, the Palestinians, as opposed to all the other suffering peoples of the world who have to rely on general UN committees and funding, without specific dedication:

The CEIRPP is a central element of the UN’s policy toward Israel. Its unique status, dedicated to a specific people is redolent of the UNHRC’s permanent anti-Israel agenda at its meetings, treatment that is not afforded to other states. UNRWA is the only UN refugee agency dedicated to a specific people, the Palestinians. In contrast to UNHCR, the general UN refugee agency, UNRWA has been shown to systematically radicalise those in its care, perpetuating their refugee status instead of resolving it through integration and resettlement.

There are eleven primary committees that serve the United Nations General Assembly. The CEIRPP is one of these eleven, oddly placed among other committees performing very generalised roles within the UN or dealing with generalised subject areas, such as outer space and atomic energy. There is a separate category of seven explicitly specific “ad-hoc” committees, of which the UNRWA is one. Again it is the only entity of this group dedicated to a specific people. Finally there are four “special” and three “advisory” committees, where again only one is dedicated to a specific people, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (SCIIHRP)!

Of the other working groups assisting the UN General Assembly, only one is specific to a distinct group of people, the Working Group on the Finance of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

Another UN entity, the Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR), has a quasi-symbiotic role in assisting the CEIRPP with its many international conferences and reports. In 2005 Anne Patterson, Deputy US Representative to the UN, stated:

The U.S. seeks the abolition of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian and of the Division of Palestinian Rights because both are inimical to the aim of ensuring that UN monies are directed to our highest priorities and in achieving a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict… The United States strongly opposes the use of scarce UN resources to support the biased and one-sided political activities carried out by the Committee.

[...]

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has been a core international component of Israel’s demonisation since 1975. Fittingly, it was created when the United Nations Arab and Islamic blocs managed passage of General Assembly Resolution 3379, an infamous text that declared Zionism to be “a form of racism and racial discrimination.”

UN Resolution 3379 was repealed in 1991 but the CEIRPP succeeded in reintroducing the same meme that self-determination of the Jewish People equals racism, at the equally infamous United Nations 2001 Durban “anti-racism” Conference. Durban I is seen by many as a crucial catalytic event that has greatly advanced Israel’s demonisation.

[...]

The Committee’s successes are notable. In 2007, the CEIRPP hosted a conference at the European Parliament in Brussels. The event was called “International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace.” The title is yet another example of Orwellian propaganda since speakers uniformly demonised the Jewish State.

A number of European Parliamentary members aptly described the CEIRPP’s corrosive influence:

Despite the neutrally sounding title of its conference, CEIRPP has a proven record of anti-Israel bias, spreading propaganda that presents only the Palestinian narrative, including the delegitimization of Israel — a UN member state. The CEIRPP casts a shadow on the UN role in the Middle East conflict and is first and foremost harmful to the UN.

Similarly, in 2011 the CEIRPP was an important tool in galvanising support for a unilateral bid for Palestinian statehood at the UN, a move which went against the spirit of a negotiated peace as enshrined in the Oslo Accords.

Read the entire article.

If Ban Ki-Moon is genuine in his concern for the automatic anti-Israel bias in his organization he could take a first step by disbanding the CEIRPP. Then he could take a second step by disbanding all the other special Palestinian-focused committees.

But somehow I don’t see that happening any time soon. I look forward to being surprised.

This entry was posted in Antisemitism, International relations and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to UN Chief admits anti-Israel bias in the UN but doesn’t disband anti-Israel committees

  1. Rob Harris says:

    Thanks for such positive feedback on my article Anne! :)

    We have to see the significance of Ban Ki-moon admitting that there is bias against Israel, even if he is not prepared to do anything about it because he makes the second leader to do so (Kofi Annan spoke about it on a few occasions). Thus the two figures who have held the prime position of Secretary-General of the United Nations since 1997 have both admitted there is considerable bias against Israel. That is an excellent point to club the UN-Bias-deniers out there with! lol

    BTW there there is a good pic of Ban Ki-moon at a primary CEIRPP conference last February http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/mtg.htm – I wonder he was complaining about bias then… er no!

    • anneinpt says:

      Thank you Rob for all your hard work and research!

      I’m much more cynical than you. Even though it is no bad thing that 2 UN SG’s have admitted to there being anti-Israel bias, the fact that they have done nothing to prevent it speaks volumes.

      It is a win-win situation for them to make such an admission to Israeli or Jewish groups. The audience is happy and the SG goes home and does nothing more. The true proof of their intentions is in their actions and so far we haven’t seen any improvement.

  2. Pingback: Let’s play the “Blame Israel” game | Anne's Opinions

  3. Wallace Edward Brand says:

    Readers may be interested in a paper that I wrote: “Claims of the Jewish and Arab Peoples under International Law to the Right of Political Self-Determination in Palestine” – http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2385304 – in which I have concluded that the Jewish people own the political or national rights to all of Palestine west of the Jordan River and the Arabs residing in Palestine do not and have no right of self-determination, inalienable or not.

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