Recently, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was in Israel and, in response to a question, acknowledged that the UN was not always treating Israel fairly. Then, a short while later, he reversed himself and said it was.
The Secretary-General is a good man, and he was right the first time. In fact, one might conclude after observing the United Nations’ debates, reading its resolutions and walking its halls (especially since 1967) that a principal purpose of the world body is to censure Israel.
The campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel in every UN and international forum was initiated by the Arab states together with the Soviet Union after the 1967 Six Day War, and supported by what became known as an “automatic majority” of Third World member states. UN bias against Israel is overt in bodies such as the General Assembly, which each year passes numerous resolutions against Israel and almost none against most other member states, including the world’s most repressive regimes.
While Israel has been the target of disproportional UN attention, a mere handful of the UN’s other 191 countries have been cited only once. Since its creation in June 2006 the UN Human Rights Council has criticized Israel on more than 30 occasions in resolutions that grant effective immunity to Hamas and Hezbollah, and their state sponsors Iran and Syria.
In the first year of its existence, the Council failed to condemn human rights violations occurring in any of the world’s other 191 countries.
In its second year, the Council criticized one other country when it “deplored” the situation in Burma, but only after it censored out initial language containing the word “condemn.” It even praised Sudan for its “cooperation” while it was conducting a genocidal campaign against the people of Darfur.
The UNHRC’s fixation with Israel is not limited to resolutions. Israel is the only country listed on the Council’s permanent agenda. Moreover, Israel is the only country subjected to an investigatory mandate that examines the actions of only one side, and presumes those actions to be violations and therefore not subject to standard review.
Emergency Special Sessions of the United Nations General Assembly are rare. Between 1983 and 1998 no such session was ever convened with respect to the Chinese occupation of Tibet, the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, the slaughters in Rwanda, the disappearances in Zaire or the horrors of Bosnia.
Israel is the only member nation of the UN that is prohibited from serving on the UN Security Council.
As anyone reading my blog knows, I am hopeful that the current Israeli-Palestinian talks bear fruit and result in an end-of-conflict two-state solution with the creation of a state of Palestine sitting side by side with the state of Israel. I pray that both sides do everything possible to make this happen and that the people of Israel and the people of Palestine vote in separate referendums by majorities to affirm the peace agreement.
That being said, the interest of truth requires the world to characterize the consistent demonization of Israel in the United Nations as a “rogue” nation as an assault not only on truth, but on common decency and simple fairness. The hate of the “automatic majority” in their ongoing war on the state of Israel is a cancer in body politic of the world body, and should be treated as such.
This past week, David Harris of the American Jewish Committee wrote an open letter to the UN Secretary-General in articles in the Huffington Post and the Jerusalem Post, which continues the list of discriminatory practices against Israel.