Does Obama have Israel´s back or just the UN´s? (FOX NEWS OP-ED) By Anne Bayefsky 03/27/12)
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The UN’s top human rights body ended its latest session in Geneva on
Friday by dealing a body blow to one of President Obama’s signature
foreign policy moves. The extreme anti-Israel extravaganza has
prompted Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to cut ties with
the body intimating Americans should also withdraw support, while
administration officials have hit the airwaves to make the case that
the demonization of Israel is troubling but tolerable. The message
communicated: the President has the UN’s back, not Israel’s.
The Bush administration refused to lend the UN “Human Rights” Council
the credibility offered by U.S. membership and withheld taxpayer
In 2009 President Obama, signed on, paid the dues, and is currently
seeking a second three-year term for the United States on the
The only trouble is, in just six short years the body created in 2006
as a reform of the discredited UN Human Rights Commission, has gone
from very bad to even worse.
As of this past Friday, 42% of all the resolutions and decisions
critical of the human rights records of specific states ever adopted
by the Council have been directed at Israel. The scorecard was 44
resolutions against Israel and 61 resolutions directed at all of the
other 192 UN members combined. And Council resolutions never even
The Council has a permanent agenda governing every regular session
composed of ten items, one reserved for criticizing Israel and one
for “human rights situations that require the Council’s attention”
192 of 193 UN members meet in five regional groups before the
Council’s public sessions to strategize and share information –
Israel is the only UN state excluded.
The Council has commissioned thirty reports condemning Israel alone.
That’s compared to five specific reports on Syria’s executioners,
three on Iran’s genocidal regime, and none on Council members like
Saudi Arabia – which tyrannizes its entire female population, or
China – which denies more than a billion people elementary freedoms.
The reports damning Israel all follow the same pattern. Israel’s
actions to defend itself – combating rocket attacks from Gaza,
preventing a Gaza port for Iranian arms, establishing checkpoints to
deny terrorists a way in to Israel, targeting the rocket launchers
and terrorist masterminds – all become violations of Palestinian
rights. Like the infamous Goldstone report, Israel is the villain and
Palestinians are the victims from the outset.
The reports aren’t made for dusty library shelves. They are terrorist
manifestos and manuals in what can best be described as Anti-Semitism
UN “expert” John Dugard’s 2008 Council report read: “a distinction
must be drawn between acts of mindless terror...and acts committed in
the course of a war of national liberation.” Palestinian violence, he
claimed, was the second kind and analogous to “the German occupation
resisted by European countries in the Second World War.”
It is in this context that on March 22, the Council commissioned yet
another report on Israel, this time on settlements. The “fact-
finding” mission begins with the conclusion, namely, “the illegality
of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.” Forget
the “roadmap” approved even by the UN Security Council. It called for
Palestinians “immediately to undertake an unconditional cessation of
violence…” in Phase I, and placed a “final permanent status
resolution” of the issue of settlements squarely in “Phase III.”
Today’s UN just skips over demands made of Palestinians, jettisons
promised negotiations on the very subject, and goes directly to an
imposed solution of a "Judenrein" apartheid Palestine.
UN demonization is not idle bureaucratese. Last March Palestinian
terrorists stabbed and killed members of the Fogel family, three
children and their parents, including a 3-month old baby “settler.”
But a year later, the only reference to “violence” in this perverse
UN “human rights” resolution was trumped-up “violence by Israeli
So where was the Obama administration? Its UN Geneva Ambassador
Eileen Donahoe ducked out, and a political counselor and a first
secretary were sent in to cast and explain America’s vote against the
slew of new anti-Israel resolutions.
Team Obama decided to use this moment to criticize Israel – “we do
not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity” –
and to reinforce the Council’s bona fides by depicting Americans as a
member of a like-minded club. “As members of the Human Rights
Council, we all share a responsibility to promote and protect human
Everyone listening understood the code language. President Obama
cares more about propping up the credibility of the Council than he
does about protecting Israel from UN-driven harm.
In case anyone missed it, State Department spokesperson Victoria
Nuland was asked at a Friday briefing: “the council keeps doing these
things that you say are unwise and biased and one-sided. Why are you
a member?” Her response: “the Human Rights Council…generally provides
a good moral bellwether.”
Billions of real human rights victims the world over would beg to
disagree, as would the Jewish minority now learning the back of the
bus is an acceptable value to an American president.
To be clear, Nuland was not speaking out of turn. US Ambassador to
the United Nations Susan Rice told a Congressional sub-committee on
March 20: “Let me start by underscoring the importance of the United
Nations to…upholding the universal values we hold dear.” She then
argued for a reversal of Congressional restrictions on funding UNESCO
despite the organization circumventing a negotiated solution and
embracing Palestine the state.
UN documents indicate the new settlements´ “Independent International
Fact-finding Mission” will cost $290,000 among other things
for “travel and accommodation of three commissioners and four support
staff and other staff members to Geneva, Cairo and Lebanon.”
The Obama administration will insist Americans pay for that too. As
Rice explained to Congress: “withholding U.S. funding only harms U.S.
What about when U.S. interests have degenerated beyond recognition?
Anne Bayefsky is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and
the Holocaust. ( © 2012 FOX News Network, LLC. 03/27/12)
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