This post might be the start of an occasional (or even regular) series, but certainly there is no shortage of candidates for the Chutzpah of the Week award. This week we go for a two-fer. Or even a three-fer.
The Balad MK Hanin Zoabi accused PA President Mahmoud Abbas of treason – well, she should know. She makes this accusation on the basis that Abbas has ordered the PA to cooperate with the Israeli security forces in searching for the three kidnapped teenagers. At least the Israeli authorities are finally taking her treason seriously, as the police recommend a criminal investigation of her. I don’t see what needs to be investigated – Zouabi’s filthy declarations of sympathy with Hamas are out there in the public record for all to see. It shouldn’t take an Inspector Clouseau to find out the truth. Zouabi belongs in jail along with her Hamas pals.
The UN Human
Wrongs Rights Council (UNHRC) is the second recipient (together with its “big brother the UN Security Council – see further on) of Chutzpah of the Week award (not the first and I’m 99.9% sure this won’t be the last) for condemning Israel’s actions in searching for the teens.
In a heart-rending speech at the UNHRC in Geneva today, Rachel Frenkel, mother of Naftali, one of the kidnapped boys, pleaded with the closed-minded audience that “there was much more to be done” to rescue the boys.
So what did that gracious institution do?
Before and after her address, Israel was subjected to scathing criticism by numerous international human rights representatives for its military actions in the West Bank and alleged human rights violations. Most of the delegates made no reference to the kidnapping.
Numerous delegates, including those of Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria, Turkey, Morocco, Maldives, Qatar, South Korea, Libya, Chile, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia decried the “Israeli violations of human rights of Palestinians in the West Bank.”
Ah, those bastions of human rights and democracy. Those citadels of shining calm and serenity. Where ISIS is running wild, where barbaric hordes of Muslim Jihadists are slaughtering each other, where Palestinian refugees from Syria are refused entry or are warehoused in real (not imagined) refugee camps and left to starve to death, where journalists are imprisoned, Sharia law and gender apartheid reign supreme, where minorities have no rights… I could go on but you get the picture.
The Brazilian representative called for a two-state solution and a renewal of peace talks, but refrained from condemning Israel directly. [How gracious of them -Ed.]
NGOs took the floor at the summit as well. One organization said it was “taking the opportunity to condemn Israel,” called the recent arrests “collective punishment,” denounced the ongoing hunger strikes among the Palestinian administrative detainees, and declared the Knesset’s force-feeding bill as a violation of international law.
As of 2014, Israel had been condemned in 50 resolutions by the Council since its creation in 2006—the Council had resolved almost more resolutions condemning Israel than on the rest of the world combined. […]
The council voted on 30 June 2006 to make a review of alleged human rights abuses by Israel a permanent feature of every council session. The Council’s special rapporteur on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict is its only expert mandate with no year of expiry. The resolution, which was sponsored by Organisation of the Islamic Conference, passed by a vote of 29 to 12 with five abstentions.
UN Watch issued this letter of protest exactly 3 years ago – to no avail whatsoever as we have seen from today’s actions:
History will record that at a time when citizens across the Middle East were being attacked by their own government—by rifles, tanks, and helicopters—the UN focused its scarce time and attention on a country in that region where this is not happening; the only country in the region which, despite its flaws, respects the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion; the only country in the region with free elections, an independent judiciary, and the equal treatment of women; the only country where gays are not persecuted, arrested or stoned to death, but, on the contrary, march in their own annual parade, as they did in Tel Aviv three days ago.
Mr. President, that is why the logic of this agenda item represents the opposite of human rights, and why it embodies the pathologies that so discredited this council’s predecessor.
Indeed, this item is so unjust, so biased, so selective, so politicized, and so contradictory to this council’s own principles of equality and universality, that it was condemned by the Secretary-General himself, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, on 20 June 2007, the day after its adoption.
And so we ask: In its recent 5-year review, despite everything happening in the Middle East, why did the Council decide to perpetuate this item, an act that will be finalized this week by the General Assembly?
History will record that when citizens were being persecuted or massacred by their own governments—in Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain and elsewhere—the UN chose to turn a blind eye to the victims, and instead endorsed the cynicism, hypocrisy and scapegoating of the perpetrators.
It is unnecessary for me to explain the chutzpah here. I would say it is beyond belief except that when it comes to the UN, nothing is incredible. Alice in Wonderland is a lesson in logic and reason compared to the UN, and more so to the UNHRC.
Meanwhile over at UN HQ, the Security Council hit an unfortunate snag when they didn’t manage to formulate an agreed-upon version to condemn Israel for that same crime of trying to rescue its kidnapped children:
The U.N. Security Council failed Friday to agree on a statement that would have deplored the deaths of Palestinians in the Israeli military operation following the recent kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in Gush Etzion.
Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, the current Security Council president, told reporters he proposed the press statement after listening to a Palestinian appeal for council action. But he said one council member wanted stronger language and another did not want any reference to Israel, so the council was unable to find “common ground.”
U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told the Security Council at an earlier open meeting that the situation on the ground had turned highly volatile following the suspension of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in late April and despite initial restraint on both sides.
He expressed alarm at the increasing Palestinian death toll from Israeli security operations, saying that more than 350 Palestinians have reportedly been arrested, many have been injured, and four were killed.
“We condemn all killings of civilians and call for an investigation into any such deaths,” Feltman said.
He also pointed to the intensive Israeli searches, tightened restrictions on Palestinian movements, a hunger strike by Palestinian detainees now in its 61st day, and new Israeli settlement building, which he said is “illegal under international law.”
Feltman urged Israel to exercise restraint and not to punish Palestinians “for offenses they have not personally committed.”
In the closed consultations, diplomats said the U.N. political chief expressed fear “we might get to the point of a third intifada.”
Suuure. He’s worried about a third intifada. He’s not so worried about the fate of kidnapped teenagers, one of whom is an American. He calls for restraint from Israel but not from the Palestinians. He doesn’t ask the Palestinians not to harm innocent Israelis.
In fact Jeffrey Feltman is the one who should receive the Chutzpah of the Week award, and not the Security Council. His fake concern for Israel’s security is so overloaded with hypocrisy and distortion of the facts that it’s positively nauseating.
Gerald Steinberg put it so well when he wrote “What Israel is allowed to do“:
It seems as if no matter what Israel does, no matter how justified and consistent with international legal norms, human rights groups will accuse Israel of acting illegally.
[…]This week, eleven Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which receive massive amounts of funding from European government bodies (10 also receive significant funding from the New Israel Fund) enabling immoral propaganda campaigns, published a public letter accusing Israel of “unnecessary violation of basic rights and collective punishment.”
The NGO approach to the kidnapping reflects a wider phenomenon: a sweeping campaign by human rights groups immorally ignoring vicious crimes committed by Palestinians against Israeli civilians and hampering Israel’s self-defense options. When Israel responds with military force, the actions are automatically labelled “disproportionate,” “indiscriminate,” and “war crimes.”
When Israel shifts to less invasive interventions meant to limit harm to civilians, such as the blockade of Gaza or the security barrier, these too are decried as “illegal” and “collective punishment.”
Ironically, by constantly moving the goal posts and reducing Israel’s options, albeit options that are sanctioned by international law, human rights NGOs are increasing the likelihood that Israel will turn to legitimate violent confrontations, which cause more harm to civilians.
Perhaps, if the NGOs had instead devoted more energy to opposing terror and delegitimizing Hamas and other anti-human rights groups, the current environment that tolerates attacks against Israeli children –whether in Israel, the West Bank, or on the Syrian border – would not exist.
Very wise words from Prof. Steinberg but I’m afraid they are falling on deaf ears. The likes of Hanin Zouabi, the UN and these NGOs will not be confused with facts.
And to remind us of the main story still sadly with us, with no progress in sight:
Please pray for the safe return of:
Yakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah יעקב נפתלי בן רחל דבורה
Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim גלעד מיכאל בן בת-גלים
Eyal ben Iris Teshura אייל בן איריס תשורה