The UN is a battlefield (ISRAEL HAYOM OP-ED) Yaakov Ahimeir 03/28/12)
Israel Hayom Articles-Index-Top
Our anger is understandable. The U.N. Human Rights Council has voted
by 36 to 1, with only the U.S. opposed, to dispatch a fact-finding
mission to our region to probe the effects of settlements on
Palestinians. Ten other countries abstained from voting. In other
words, they had reservations about the decision.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded by cutting off Israelís
ties to the Human Rights Council. Indeed, while dozens of our Syrian
neighbors are killed each day and the number of dead in the uprising
against Assadís regime has reached more than 8,000, perhaps even
10,000, the councilís decision seems ridiculous. It further erodes
the credibility of a body that was never particularly credible to
In my opinion, however, the decision to cut off Israelís ties to the
Human Rights Council was the wrong one. After all, opposition to
settlements is not limited to this council. Ever since the Six-Day
War, the U.S. has opposed the Israeli governmentís settlement policy,
even if it never cracks the whip on Israel over the issue.
But the Human Rights Council is not the U.S. It reflects the views of
the countries it comprises. Generations ago, David Ben-Gurion
disdainfully referred to the U.N. as ďU.N. Shmoo-en.Ē Even this
remark Ė which instilled a deep aversion toward the U.N. in Israeli
public consciousness Ė did not help Israel escape the automatic
majority in the U.N. General Assembly that voted in a hostile way.
No Israeli ambassador to the U.N. ever panicked or buckled to
pressure despite the endless condemnations of Israel by a majority of
U.N. members. None of them -- Abba Eban, Yosef Tekoa, Chaim Herzog,
Gabriela Shalev and Dan Gillerman -- ever gave up. Each had his or
her own style, but none of them, similarly to Israelís other
ambassadors around the world, ever said to the Israeli government, ďI
canít take it any more,Ē and packed his or her bags, feeling the
hateful atmosphere toward Israel.
This is precisely the role of an Israeli diplomat: to fight and
struggle against a hostile majority, despite the minimal likelihood
that any Israeli argument will make an impression or change most
countriesí policies. It is important to remember that our former
ambassador to the U.N., Chaim Herzog, did not even leave the U.N.
building after the insulting, demeaning and racist decision to equate
Zionism with racism. Instead, he stood at the podium and tore a piece
of paper bearing the decision to bits.
Cutting ourselves off from the Human Rights Council is the easy way
out. It doesnít require action, but passivity. A country like Israel,
surrounded by hostile majorities within international organizations,
needs to rethink whether this was the right decision. Does anyone
really think that cutting off ties will prompt the Human Rights
Council to beg and plead for Israel to change its mind?
It is Israelís responsibility to go back, struggle and speak out. A
battlefield is a battlefield.
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY