Ho hum, here we go again. In case we might have been allowed to forget, the UN’s favourite whipping boy is back in the stocks. In its annual Bash-Israel day (or week, or month, or year) Israel was the subject of 5 different Human
Wrongs Rights Council condemnations.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday slammed the United Nations Human Rights Council for “absurdly” condemning Israel in five resolutions last week while censuring Syria and Iran only once.
“This march of hypocrisy is continuing and we will continue to condemn it and expose it,” he told his cabinet at the start of its weekly meeting in Jerusalem.
“The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC ) condemned Israel five times, this at a time when the slaughter in Syria is continuing, innocent people are being hanged in the Middle East and human rights are being eroded,” he said.
“In many countries free media are being shut down and the UN Human Rights Council decides to condemn Israel for closing off a balcony. This is absurd,” said Netanyahu.
On Friday, the UNHRC ended its 25th session by voting almost unanimously, 46-1 in favor, on four resolutions condemning Israeli treatment of Palestinians. It also condemned Israeli human rights abuses against Syrian citizens of Israel who live in the Golan Heights, voting 33 to 1, with 13 abstentions.
Out of the 42 resolutions adopted by the council on a wide range of human issues only 10 censured the actions of a specific country, out of which five of the condemnations were leveled against Israel.
Look at the numbers and understand the screaming double standards:
The 47-member council voted 21-to-9, with 16 abstentions on the situation of human rights in Iran.
It voted 23-to-12, with 12 abstentions on “reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka,” as well as voting 30-to-6 ,with 11 abstentions on the situation of human rights in North Korea.
It voted 32-to-4, with 11 abstentions on the grave deterioration of human rights and humanitarian situation in Syria. The resolution strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons. It also condemned the “bombardment of civilian areas, in particular the indiscriminate use of barrel bombs, ballistic missiles and cluster bombs and other actions which may amount to war crimes against humanity.”
An Israeli official said the fact Israeli actions on the Golan Heights garnered slightly more support, with 33 countries approving it, was “almost a bad joke.”
It was particularly upsetting, the Israeli official said, that the UNHRC approved such a resolution a time when hospitals in the north of Israel are treating scores of Syrian victims from the civil war.
The Israeli official also took issue with the strong united stance against Israel by nine member states of the European Union including: Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Austria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Ireland.
All nine EU countries supported the four resolutions that condemned Israeli treatment of Palestinians, supporting the Goldstone Report on Israeli actions in Gaza and encouraged a boycott of West Bank settlements and Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem.
They abstained but did not reject the resolution condemning Israeli violations of human rights against Syrian citizens on the Golan Heights.
“It’s a pity that some Western democracies choose to jump on the automatic anti-Israel bandwagon at the UNHRC ,” an Israeli official said.
“It is a pity they did not use that moment to demonstrate moral leadership, instead of that they became part of the travesty. They became partners in a cynical one-sided farce,” the official said.
But the official lauded the United States, which was the sole country to stand with Israel and reject all five resolutions.
“They showed moral leadership,” the official said.
The UNHRC condemnations are of a piece with the announcement of the outrageous nomination of yet another virulently anti-Israel official to be the UN’s “Special Rapporteur” on Israel’s violations of human rights. The very title presumes Israel’s crimes a priori . No presumption of innocence before being found guilty for Israel at the UN.
Bowing to new pressure from the powerful Arab Group in the race to replace controversial official Richard Falk, the president of the U.N. Human Rights Council has decided to ignore the vetting committee’s official choice, and instead appoint Christine Chinkin — co-author of the Goldstone Report, and a law professor at the London School of Economics — as the UN’s next special rapporteur on “Israel’s violations of the bases and principles of international law.”
In a second highly controversial move, the president also announced that he would name Falk’s wife, former Turkish government adviser Hilal Elver, to another top U.N. human rights post.
The only power that can yet stop these outrageously partisan and problematic appointments before tomorrow’s plenary decision is the Obama Administration.
Like her husband Richard Falk, Elver has promoted the writings of the world’s leading 9/11 conspiracy theorist, accused Israel of “genocide” and “Water Apartheid”, and systematically blames Western society for the world’s ills, accusing America and Europe of systemic Islamophobia and racism. UN Watch summarized her failure to satisfy the job’s minimum requirements here.
UN Watch has more on Chinkin’s disgraceful anti-Israel record:
Although Indonesia’s Makarim Wibisono had been widely reported by diplomats as the slated pick, in the end the Arab states, following Ramallah’s lead, only wanted Chinkin. A proven, pro-Palestinian legal campaigner, in their view, will be far more effective to promote their global lawfare and BDS agenda than a Muslim diplomat.
Chinkin was famously criticized by fellow UN human rights expert Sir Nigel Rodley and others for having failed to recuse herself from the Goldstone inquiry despite having issued a prior statement declaring Israel guilty on the very legal question put before her commission.
Sir Nigel, Chairperson of the UN Human Rights Committee and a fellow English academic, criticized Chinkin’s failure to recuse herself from the mission, saying “there was regrettably a basis for questioning the appearance of bias” as a result of her public letter.
“If such a statement were made by a member of a standing fact-finding body,” wrote Rodley, “it could be expected that such a member would move to recuse himself or herself from the hearing of the issues.”
Chinkin was also criticized by a larger group of academics assembled by Chatham House, which, in diplomatic but unmistakable language, rebuked her by emphasizing that ”fact-finding missions should avoid any perception of bias,” that its members should not “act in a way that would damage their impartiality,” and should “therefore exercise great care when writing or speaking on international disputes that could potentially be subject to an investigation.”
When Goldstone in 2011 famously retracted the core charge of the Goldstone Report — that Israel killed civilians on purpose — Chinkin joined with two others in attacking him.
It looks like Chinkin is eminently qualified to continue the execrable Richard Falk’s anti-Israel activism, as the US’s Ambassador to the UN described Falk’s record:
Falk’s term as a UN human rights investigator had “tarnished” the body’s reputation and the United States was looking forward to his imminent departure, US envoy Samantha Power said on Monday.
Power said it was Falk’s incessant focus on Israel and the Palestinians that caused the blot on the UN’s record. “His publication of bizarre and insulting material has tarnished the UN’s reputation and undermined the effectiveness of the Human Rights Council,” Power said, referring to the Geneva-based UN affiliate that appointed Falk to the position. “The United States welcomes Mr. Falk’s departure, which is long overdue.”
Reuters quoted UN officials in Geneva as saying that Falk would not stay beyond May 1, when his term lapses.
In her statement, Power cited Falk’s “relentless anti-Israeli bias” and “his noxious and outrageous perpetuation of 9/11 conspiracy theories.”
Not every UN human rights official is anti-Israel however. According to the Iranians, the rapporteur on human rights in Iran is a either a Mossad agent or working for the CIA. Who knew?
In related NGO news, the Israeli legal rights group Shurat Hadin has released a full report showing Oxfam’s ties to the PFLP terrorist group:
Oxfam International is tied to banned terror group PFLP, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, because of its support of two front organizations, according to the Jerusalem-based legal rights group Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center. In its full report published on Wednesday, Shurat HaDin, directed by lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, mapped out the connections between UK-based Oxfam and the two charities, the Gaza-based UAWC, Union of Agricultural Workers Committees, and the UHWC, Union of Health Workers Committees.
The groups’ events honor fallen PFLP “martyrs” and their paid staff include well-known PFLP military leaders, Shurat HaDin said.
“Both the UHWC and the UAWC are well-known for their close connections to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), one of the oldest and most violent Palestinian terrorist organizations in the world,” Shurat HaDin said. “The PFLP is guilty of numerous suicide bombings, airplane hijackings, and assassinations; including some of the most notorious international terror attacks of the 1970s.”
“Our investigation has revealed that the UHWC and UAWC are not merely close to the PFLP but branches of the PFLP, founded, staffed, and operated by this designated terrorist group. It is a crime under international law, as well as US, UK, Israeli, and EU law, to provide material and financial support to terrorist groups, including ostensibly benign subsidiary organizations and branches of terrorist groups. It is our conclusion that Oxfam is currently in direct violation of these laws, and is liable for both criminal and civil penalties as a result.”
“International law makes no distinction between the military wing of a terrorist group and its various front organizations. Funds earmarked for ostensibly benign organizations run by terrorist groups, which often provide social services like education and medical care, can be easily diverted to terror activities, and they often share personnel with their parent organizations.”
“For both political and propaganda reasons, many terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas have operated social service branches since their inception. The PFLP has done the same for decades.”
In a statement to The Algemeiner, Shurat HaDin said that it is still considering “possible legal action” against Oxfam, which has yet to respond to the content of the allegations.
Read the entire report. It is shocking on the one hand, and yet when one stops to think about it, it is unsurprising when looking at their unbalanced and biased anti-Israel record.
NGOs like Oxfam, together with the UNHRC and other institutions, constitute a formidable front on which Israel has to fight, no less strongly than the military front, and yet it is here that Israel faces so many resounding defeats, even when the Foreign Ministry is not on strike and working at full strength.
Is it worth it for Israel to invest time and effort in countering this extreme anti-Israel, even antisemitic, activism? Or should we just up and walk away and leave them all to stew in their own bitter bile? I haven’t made up my mind on this yet.