At the UN, only Israel is considered an “occupier”

Just like only Jews can be ethnically cleansed without a worldwide outcry, so too at the UN, only Israel – out of all the hundreds of brutal invasions and occupations – is called an “occupier”.  This is a further aspect to the usual Israel-blaming and non-stop condemnations of Israel for all kinds of war crimes, human-rights abuses etc. by the UN.  This hard-hitting and incisive article, by by Prof. Eugene Kontorovich and Penny Grunseid, appeared in the Wall Street Journal this week. Here are some highlights (emphases are mine):

New research we have conducted shows that the U.N.’s focus on Israel not only undermines the organization’s legitimacy regarding the Jewish state. It also has apparently made the U.N. blind to the world’s many situations of occupation and settlements.

UN - Useless Nations

UN – Useless Nations

Our research shows that the U.N. uses an entirely different rhetoric and set of legal concepts when dealing with Israel compared with situations of occupation or settlements world-wide. For example, Israel is referred to as the “Occupying Power” 530 times in General Assembly resolutions. Yet in seven major instances of past or present prolonged military occupation—Indonesia in East Timor, Turkey in northern Cyprus, Russia in areas of Georgia, Morocco in Western Sahara, Vietnam in Cambodia, Armenia in areas of Azerbaijan, and Russia in Ukraine’s Crimea—the number is zero. The U.N. has not called any of these countries an “Occupying Power.” Not even once.

It gets worse. Since 1967, General Assembly resolutions have referred to Israeli-held territories as “occupied” 2,342 times, while the territories mentioned above are referred to as “occupied” a mere 16 times combined. The term appears in 90% of resolutions dealing with Israel, and only in 14% of the much smaller number of resolutions dealing with the all the other situations, a difference that vastly surpasses the threshold of statistical significance. Similarly, Security Council resolutions refer to the disputed territories in the Israeli-Arab conflict as “occupied” 31 times, but only a total of five times in reference to all seven other conflicts combined.

General Assembly resolutions employ the term “grave” to describe Israel’s actions 513 times, as opposed to 14 total for all the other conflicts, which involve the full gamut of human-rights abuses, including allegations of ethnic cleansing and torture. Verbs such as “condemn” and “deplore” are sprinkled into Israel-related resolutions tens more times than they are in resolutions about other conflicts, setting a unique tone of disdain.

Israel has been reminded by resolutions against it of the country’s obligations under the Geneva Conventions about 500 times since 1967—as opposed to two times for the other situations.

In particular, the resolutions refer to Article 49(6), which states that the “Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” This is the provision that the entire legal case against Israel settlements is based upon. Yet no U.N. body has ever invoked Article 49(6) in relation to any of the occupations mentioned above.

Kontorovich and Grunseid’s conclusions are extremely pertinent but I have a strong feeling they are going to be completely ignored by the UN:

At a time of serious global crises—from a disintegrating Middle East to a land war and belligerent occupation in Europe—the leaders of the free world cannot afford to tempt the U.N. into indulging its obsessions. Especially when the apparent consequence of such scapegoating is that the organization ignores other situations and people in desperate need of attention.

Go and read the whole thing (if your blood pressure allows). If you can’t access the article, you can open it via Google.

On a similar theme, UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer exposed the Human Wrongs Rights Council’s hypocrisy as he questioned the High Commissioner of Human Rights on the Human Rights Council’s anti-Israel bias:

The High Commissioner rightly mentioned abuses by Venezuela, and said his office would speak out at “every opportunity.” If so, why has his Twitter account, followed by 1.5 million people, refused to post even one word on Venezuela over the past 6 weeks of escalating hunger, arbitrary arrests, and oppression?

The High Commissioner mentioned Crimea, Abkhazia, and Nagorno-Karabakh — yet failed to say that, under international law, these are occupied territories. Instead, he only used that term in one case: for the Palestinian territories. Why?

Finally, the High Commissioner criticized Iran, Syria and North Korea for refusing to cooperate with UN inquiries—and he then lumped in Israel with that list.

Let us be clear: UN Watch continues to demand that all countries cooperate with legitimate UN inquiries. But what if a UN mechanism is manifestly not legitimate?

The answer was provided three years ago by the High Commissioner himself, when he was Jordan’s ambassador to the UN.

In 2013, when the President of the UN General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic of Serbia, organized a debate about international tribunals, then-Ambassador Zeid refused to cooperate. He said: “When it became clear to us that there was a distinct agenda to this meeting—a ‘flavor’ to it—it seemed to me the president of the General Assembly was exploiting his position for a narrower aim, and that was unacceptable to us.”

Mr. President, when this Council’s inquiries prejudge Israeli guilt; disregard terrorist aggression; select biased judges who have done paid legal work for the PLO; and then hire biased staffers who are also spokespersons for the pro-Hamas flotilla—would not the High Commissioner agree, using his own words, that there is a distinct agenda, a flavor, to all of this?

Unfortunately no answer appears to have been forthcoming. On the other hand we could probably write the answer ourselves. It would include some anodyne condemnation of Palestinian terrorism and then more condemnations of the settlements as “illegal occupation” and urging Israel to show restraint in the face of the murderous terror targeted at it, not forgetting reminders of the Geneva Convention and other treaties which are always ONLY applicable to Israel.

I really don’t understand why we continue to belong to this hateful organization.

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6 Responses to At the UN, only Israel is considered an “occupier”

  1. Pingback: At the UN, only Israel is considered an “occupier” – 24/6 Magazine

  2. Brian Goldfarb says:

    Anne rightly notes that there is nothing new here, although she does limit the other places that are (not) occupied (possibly due to lack of space, or maybe compassion fatigue has set in – it has with me), such as Tibet by China, and, by extension, the lack of recognition of the right to self-determination by Kurds (the appropriate parts of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria, to name but 4 nasty regimes totally lacking in democratic legitimacy…And neither of us have started to draw attention to the truly extensive number of non-democratic regimes with truly horrendous records of human rights abuses. But who gives a damn if the alleged perpetrators are anyone other than the Jews of Israel.

    • anneinpt says:

      If I would start to list all the occupied countries of the world I would run out of bandwidth on this blog. But in any event I was simply quoting from the words of Kontorovich and Neuer. They probably also get fed up mentioning every single occupation in the world.

      It’s all pointless anyway. As you say, if it’s Jews its’ news. And if not, not.

  3. Reality says:

    So the conclusion is ,either to leave the UN or at each and every session,where Israel is singled out,our representatives have to state,ok we”ll consider doing this that or the other,when we first see that you have demanded the same from the other occupying countries ,or those countries with human rights abuses.Until you act impartially with us we won’t implement any demand made of us.Netanyahu started the ball rolling with his video,now he has to keep it moving,and ignore all his detractors.If he has the gumption to do this,maybe finally something will sink in at the UN.Alternatively,pigs may fly!

    • anneinpt says:

      I like your idea, but pigs will definitely fly, as will camels and cows, before anyone at the UN gives a damn. It’s not that they don’t know. They don’t care. More than that, they deliberately distort and ignore the truth because they’re antisemitic, rather than the other way round. It suits their purposes, that’s all.

      So I really don’t know why we still belong. What do we gain from UN membership?

      • Brian Goldfarb says:

        What Israel gains is the ability to remain a member in good standing of the UN. If it were to leave, all that would do would be to empower the haters to claim that all their accusations must be true, because Israel has left the UN.

        After all, the sane in the world know that the accusations are rubbish. Do nothing to undermine their belief.

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