End the Human Rights Parody at Geneva (COMMENTARY MAGAZINE) Jonathan S. Tobin 03/23/12)
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The United Nations obsession with demonizing Israel was once again on
display this week in Geneva where the world bodyís Human Rights
Council voted to investigate the impact of the Jewish presence in
Jerusalem and the West Bank on Palestinians. This so-called fact-
finding mission is yet another UN kangaroo court that is set up to
demonize the Jewish state and to allow the Palestinians to vent their
intolerance for Jews in the guise of displaying their victim status.
Since the Council has already made it clear that it considers that
Jews have no right to live anywhere in the territories and that
Israeli policies that make Jewish communities there possible are
illegal (an assertion that is palpably false even if it has become a
mantra of international diplomacy), the mission is really an
indictment rather than an investigation.
The Obama administration deserves credit for the fact that the United
States was the only one of the 47 members of the Council to vote
against the resolution, which was one of five anti-Israel measures
passed in Geneva this week. But this latest proof of the
institutionís moral bankruptcy requires a stronger response than the
rhetorical shrug of the shoulders that it generated that from
Washington. The Council, which prior to this latest session had
already devoted 39 out of the 91 actions it has taken since it was
reconstituted in 2006 to denunciations of democratic Israel, is a
parody of a human rights organization. At a time when the group is
either paying mere lip service or flat out ignoring real human rights
tragedies, the decision to devote the UNís resources to another
platform for hatred against Israel makes it imperative that the
United States withdraw immediately from the Council.
Of course, given the Obama administrationís blind faith in the value
of the UN, that isnít going to happen. But as this weekís spectacle
in Geneva ó which included the reception at the Council of a
representative of the Hamas terrorist organization ó the argument
that the United States can moderate the vicious anti-Zionism that
runs throughout the world bodyís institutions is not credible.
Israel has rightly said that it will not cooperate with the Council
inquisition. Some that will say that such a policy only exacerbates
the UNís bias. But the reason the Council, which is stacked with
member states where human rights barely exist, gets away with its
prejudicial policies is because the West tolerates such behavior.
When the Council, which replaced a previous UN entity that the United
States helped pulls the plug on, was brought into being in 2006,
advocates for participation said that the new group would not be a
platform for anti-Israel incitement as was its predecessor. But those
hopes were quickly dashed.
There are those who welcome this double standard by which Israel is
scrutinized more harshly than tyrannical regimes because it somehow
demonstrates respect for the stateís values. This is nonsensical on
First, the refusal of the UN to play the same judgmental role in
countries like Syria, which is awash in the blood of protesters slain
by the Assad regime; or China, where the New York Times drew
attention today to the ongoing human rights tragedy in Tibet, where
the occupying Chinese have not only repressed dissent but are now
engaging in a form of cultural genocide in which the countryís
language is being expunged from schools; is itself evidence of racist
Second, it should be understood clearly that any system of thought by
which one people or one nation is treated differently than others is
a form of prejudice. In the case of Israel, the singling out for
condemnation of the one Jewish state in the world on trumped up
charges is evidence of anti-Semitism, not high regard.
The longer the United States continues to play along with this
charade of concern for human rights, the less chance there will be of
ever cleansing the UN of its anti-Semitic character.
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