The Palestinians’ unilateral bid for statehood through the UN has been an effort to bypass negotiations with Israel and to avoid making the tough compromises necessary for peace, which include recognizing Jewish national rights. Their unilateral move also violates all past Palestinian liberation organization (PLO) agreements with Israel and UN resolutions 242 and 338, which call for negotiations to establish borders. National groups have the right to statehood only to the extent that they reciprocate and extend those rights to others. So far, the Palestinians have failed this test. Their appeal to the UN has been another effort to sidestep reciprocity.
The UN has been hijacked by nondemocratic, anti-Israel nations since the mid-1970s. As a result, UN condemnations reflect the prejudices and values of countries like Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, which are not accurate judges of violations of international standards, especially in the middle east conflict. The U.S. regularly opposes anti-Israel resolutions to uphold international law and humanitarian standards against dictatorial countries that use the UN as a weapon in their war against Israel.
(from Stand With Us)
1949: Israel admitted into the UN
The Truth About the UN with Danny Ayalon
Demonization of Israel: “Zionism is Racism”
Speaking truth at the UN
Ambassador Ron Prosor
September 8, 2014
Anne Bayefsky speaks at the UN about UN antisemitism
Sept. 19, 2014
UN Human Rights Council adopts report on Qatar despite UN Watch’s clear objections to its many false statements.
“I see no objection” – UNHRC adopts Qatar report after hearing numerous objections
“Peace” and Prejudice at the United Nations
January 20, 2014
Claiming concerns about harming the Middle East “peace process,” the United Nations cultural agency has abruptly postponed an exhibition on Jewish ties to the Holy Land. This display was scheduled to open Jan. 20 at the Paris headquarters of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). But after 22 Arab states sent a letter protesting this plan, UNESCO put out a press release last Friday saying the exhibition would be delayed, “to avoid confrontation and politicization.”
Meanwhile, during the same week in which UNESCO was declaring it a peace-promoting act to jilt the Jewish exhibition, the U.N. General Assembly in New York was celebrating the launch of an “International Year of Solidarity With the Palestinian People.” According to the U.N. press office, top UN officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, welcomed this launch with calls for “the observance to be used to redouble efforts to achieve a durable peace between Israel and Palestine.”
Evidently the U.N. recipe for peace is to promote prejudice — shunning Israel at the behest of Arab states, while deploying ever more U.N. resources to boost the Palestinians. For decades, such bigotry has been the hallmark of the U.N. approach. Not only has it failed to produce peace; if anything, it has made peace more elusive.
The U.N. has become a mill of favors and special treatment for the Palestinians, to an extent arguably unmatched by its attentions to any other group on the planet. As a result, the Palestinians have ever more incentive to exploit the U.N. to diplomatically marginalize Israel, and ever less incentive to honor their own promises of peace. In the 1993 Oslo accords, the Palestine Liberation Organization promised to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and resolve all outstanding issues of permanent status “through negotiations.” Instead, the Palestinian Authority has been reneging on this agreement, seeking a path to statehood by applying for, and getting, full membership in UNESCO in 2011, and enhanced status in the U.N. General Assembly in 2012, as a non-member Observer State. The web site of the Palestinian Observer Mission to the U.N. includes a link to the site of the PLO, where the logo still features a map on which the state of Israel has been erased.
For the special benefit of the Palestinians, the U.N. General Assembly since 1975 has maintained the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. This committee has its own secretariat within the U.N., called the Division for Palestinian Rights. Together, courtesy of U.N. resources bankrolled in large part by U.S. taxpayers, they organize international meetings and conferences, liaise with civil society groups and produce studies and publications dedicated to the Question of Palestine. They also organize activities and exhibitions at U.N. offices around the world to mark an annual Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People — an event now transmogrified by the U.N. into the current Year of Solidarity.
The U.N.’s Department of Information hosts a special information service devoted entirely to the Palestinians (UNISPAL). And while refugees from every other part of the globe come under the umbrella of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the U.N. for the past 64 years has run a special refugee agency dedicated to serving the Palestinians: the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Opened for business in 1950 as a “temporary” agency to serve some 860,000 Palestinian refugees, UNRWA has taken root as a permanent entitlement system, conferring refugee status down the generations to include some five million clients today. In 2011, UNRWA reported receiving $948 million toward its $1.2 billion budget, including $239 million from the U.S. — its largest donor.
Then there is the U.N.’s chronic practice of condemning Israel and boosting the Palestinians, with round after round, year after year, of resolutions in the General Assembly, as well as in U.N. bodies such as the Human Rights Council and UNESCO. According to the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch, UNESCO since 2009 has passed at least 46 resolutions against Israel, one against Syria, and none against Iran, North Korea or Sudan.
All this is just a sampling of the ways in which, far from promoting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the U.N., with its brazen bigotry, does plenty to poison the well. Yet the U.N. would now have us believe that the cause of Middle East peace will be served by UNESCO’s shelving an exhibition on the history of the Jewish people, while in New York top U.N. officials rhapsodize about launching a year of of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Where’s the U.N. Year of Solidarity with Israel?
Ms. Rosett is journalist-in-residence with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and heads its Investigative Reporting Project
Israel Gains Greater Acceptance at U.N.
December 05, 2013
Israel is gaining greater acceptance at the United Nations with its invitation to join one of the 5 regional groups of member states that subdivide the international body. Membership in a regional group is required to run for elections in some U.N. organizations. Until now, Israel has not been included in any such group.
Effective January 1, Israel will join the Western European and Others Group (WEOG)—comprised of 29 countries including most of Europe, Canada, and Australia. While the United States is not a member of any U.N. regional group, it participates in WEOG discussions and is considered part of the group for electoral purposes.
In 2004, Israel became a permanent member of WEOG in New York at the U.N. headquarters, but was excluded from WEOG in Geneva. Because many U.N. bodies—including the Human Rights Council—are based in Geneva, Israel was still denied the ability to run in Geneva-based elections.
“It goes without saying that at a time when the scourge of global anti-Semitism is on the rise, it is more important than ever for Israel to have a strong voice that can be heard everywhere,” Secretary of State John Kerry said after Israel’s acceptance was announced. “This is a particularly welcome development as we work to end anti-Israel bias in the U.N. system. We will continue to speak out for our close ally, Israel, and we will continue to support efforts to normalize Israel’s treatment across the U.N. system as a full and equal member of the community of nations.”
Now that the Jewish state has achieved WEOG membership in Geneva, it agreed to reengage with the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Israel stopped working with the UNHCR in 2010 due to the inordinate amount of attacks and criticism it received from the body. The UNHRC has censured Israel for human rights violations more than any other country.
Even after reengaging with the Human Rights Council, Israel will undoubtedly still be singled out by the group. “Agenda Item Seven,” for instance, remains a permanent item on the Council’s agenda which requires Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to be debated at every UNHRC session. The Jewish state is the only nation which is always scheduled into every meeting.
Beyond WEOG, Israel has higher ambitions at the United Nations and has announced that it will seek election to the U.N. Security Council in 2018. Winning the election will be a very difficult task as WEOG only has two of the rotating spots on the council with Germany and Belgium also declaring their candidacies. Israel has never served on the council while Germany and Belgium have each been elected to five two-year terms.
If Israel manages to secure one of the WEOG slots, it still faces the challenge of being elected by two-thirds of the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA). The UNGA is known for its animosity towards the Jewish state and is not likely to support an Israeli candidacy. Canada, which has served 6 times, could not get elected when it ran in 2010 in part because of its close friendship with Israel.
Despite the attacks and bias Israel will continue to face at the U.N., joining WEOG in Geneva is a step in the right direction. Israel may not be able to put an end to shameful treatment in the international body, but the Jewish state will certainly be in a better position to defend itself.
US, Israel lose voting rights at UNESCO over Palestinian row
November 8, 2013
Countries stopped paying dues after Palestinians made members.
photo by Charles Platiau
PARIS – UNESCO has suspended the voting rights of the United States and Israel, two years after both countries stopped paying dues to the UN’s cultural arm in protest over its granting full membership to the Palestinians.
The US decision to cancel its funding in October 2011 was blamed on US laws that prohibit funding to any UN agency that implies recognition of the Palestinians’ demands for their own state.
Israel also pulled its funding, objecting to what it called unilateral attempts by the Palestinians to gain recognition of statehood.
Both countries missed a 1100 GMT Friday deadline to provide an official justification for non-payment and a plan to pay back missed dues, a UNESCO source told Reuters. That automatically triggered suspension of their voting rights.
Asked for his reaction, the US Ambassador to UNESCO, David Killion, said Washington considers UNESCO a “critical partner in creating a better future.”
“We intend to continue our engagement with UNESCO in every possible way,” Killion said.
UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, is responsible for designating World Heritage sites, promoting global education and supporting press freedom, among other tasks.
The withdrawal of US funding – which totaled about $240 million, or some 22 percent of UNESCO’s budget – has plunged it into a funding crisis and forced it to cut programs.
UNESCO made no comment on the matter. The list of countries whose voting rights are suspended will be announced at a UNESCO meeting on Saturday, after which Director-General Irina Bokova is expected to issue a statement.
The body’s 15-day general conference, which unites member state representatives every two years, began on Tuesday in Paris.
The US loss of voting rights comes as Washington tries to keep peace negotiations between Israel and Palestinians afloat.
Both parties have signaled poor progress in the talks, which were revived in July after a three-year hiatus but recently became stymied over Israeli plans to continue building Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned Israel that it could face a third Palestinian uprising if the talks fail.
The Palestinians have so far failed in their bid to become a full member of the UN, but their UNESCO membership is seen as a potential first step towards UN recognition of statehood.
The United States has characterized UNESCO’s move as a misguided attempt to bypass the two-decade old peace process. Washington says only a resumption of peace talks ending in a treaty with Israel can result in Palestinian statehood.
United Nations: Convergence of Hypocrisy, Deceit, and Evil
February 3, 2013
Israel was the first country to boycott the annual human rights review presented at the bogus United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Despite being tacitly rebuked by the US, Israel was justified in doing so. For years, whilst ignoring the rampant denial of human rights and the butchering of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians throughout the world, the proceedings of this despicably biased body were concentrated on relentlessly condemning, demonizing and delegitimizing the Jewish state.
Recent examples include the defamatory 2009 Goldstone Report – subsequently recanted by Goldstone himself – accusing Israel of willfully engaging in war crimes, despite having a track record of minimizing civilian casualties in war unmatched by any other country. A year later it again condemned Israel for “attacking” Turkish terrorist “humanitarians” on board the Mavi Marmari of the Gaza ”peace” flotilla.
Israel’s decision to boycott the hearings was vindicated on January 31 when, based on largely fabricated Arab and hostile NGO sources, the UNHRC proclaimed that Israel’s settlements over the green line were in breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and accused it of indulging in gross “violations of human rights law”. The review made no reference to the deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists.
It warned that if Israel failed – with no preconditions – to dismantle construction and withdraw from these areas, charges of war crimes at the International Criminal Court could ensue. This amounted to a UN body purporting to promote human rights, demanding the ethnic cleansing of disputed territories.
The Council also called on governments and multinational corporations to withdraw investments and sever all dealings with settlements – effectively providing notice of intent to impose sanctions.
Had Israel submitted its case in advance to such a kangaroo court, it would merely have legitimized the procedure.
The passionate idealists, who in 1945 created the United Nations to promote global peace and universal human rights, would turn in their graves were they aware of how this former noble institution has been hijacked by an alliance of radical Islamists, rogue states and tyrannies notorious for trampling on human rights, even denying their own citizens basic human rights such as freedom of expression and worship.
The farcical assignation of rogue states to prominent roles at the UN has transformed this purportedly human rights organization into a sick joke. A representative of Khadafi’s Libya was elected president of the UN General Assembly in 2009; in 2011 Qatar was elected president and Iran became vice president; both North Korea, the notorious proliferator of nuclear arms and Iraq chaired the UN Commission on Disarmament; Iran, notorious for stoning women, was appointed to the UN Commission on the Status of Women; in 2011, Assad’s Syria was elected to a UNESCO commission dealing with human rights and to this day Syria remains on the committee of UNESCO; Libya introduced a UN resolution to “end all forms of racial discrimination”; Iran called on the US to implement international humanitarian law; China demanded an end to “excessive force by law enforcement bodies”.
The genocidal Holocaust denier, Iranian President Ahmadinejad, is treated deferentially when he addresses the General Assembly and calls for the destruction of a UN member state, employing demonic Jew hatred unprecedented since the Nazi era.
Only last week, on January 28, the UN elected Sudan as vice president of its Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the body which regulates human rights groups. That president Al Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur, failed to preclude Sudan’s election.
The UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), boycotted by Israel, is a gross caricature of its title, blatantly undermining every aspect of human rights. Libya was elected chairman of this august body in 2003 and as recently as 2010 the UNHRC produced a report praising the human rights record of Libya.
The UN, the UNHRC and the Security Council have spent infinitely more time debating and condemning Israeli settlements and construction in Jerusalem than reviewing issues of human rights violations in Arab states, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, China, Congo or even Mauritania where slavery is still practiced. Even the civil war bloodbath in Syria which has now claimed over 60,000 victims and created 700,000 refugees, receives considerably less attention than Israel.
The Bush administration boycotted the UNHRC on the grounds that US involvement would provide legitimization for this sham body. However, the Obama administration, as part of its campaign to “engage” with all countries, renewed its membership.
Since the 1970s, the bulk of UN debates and condemnations of human rights infringements are directed against Israel, the nation state of the Jews. It climaxed in November 1975 when at the UN General Assembly, the Soviet Union and its satellites, supported by Islamic and Third World countries, carried Resolution 3379 equating Zionism with racism.
Yet sixteen years later in 1991 the US, headed by President Bush senior, harnessed its immense resources as a superpower and acted as a powerful force for decency by achieving the repeal by 111 nations of what Hillary Clinton described as a “criminal” resolution. This act underlines the potential power of President Obama who, if he so determined, could enforce reforms at the UN and orientate it towards moral objectives.
But the repeal of UN Resolution 3379 – whilst important – as of now fails to inhibit Islamists from utilizing their numerical superiority to continue exploiting the UN as a launching pad to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state.
It was thus not surprising that the UN endorsed the 3 Durban conferences against racism which were transformed into anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic fests and last year the UN General Assembly adopted 22 anti-Israeli resolutions, whilst only approving four other condemnations against all other countries.
The European countries, which at one stage demonstrated token moral resistance to some of these one-sided anti-Israeli resolutions, have reverted to the role they assumed in the 1930s and 40s when they stood aside as the forces of darkness assaulted the Jewish people.
Israel must reconcile to the reality that it will never achieve justice from this dysfunctional assembly of nations dominated by tyrannies and dictatorships.
On the positive side, Israel’s current UN ambassador, Ron Prosor brilliantly articulates the moral case for the Jewish state and effectively exposes the hypocrisy and double standards of the UN. His role is extremely important in enabling Americans to appreciate the bias and duplicity of the ongoing UN assaults.
Hillel Neuer, operating UN Watch – one of the most effective nonprofit bodies promoting the case for Israel abroad – also deserves kudos for systematically highlighting the humbug at the United Nations.
Hopefully, as US public opinion becomes increasingly disillusioned and angered with the hypocrisy and double standards employed by the immoral tyrannical forces dominating the current United Nations, President Obama may be persuaded to act. Alternatively, Congress could employ its own clout and if necessary deny funding in order to stem the UN’s obscene activities. If it fails to do so, it may even ultimately decide to encourage the creation of a new global association of democratic states.
The depraved United Nations
September 7, 2011
On September 20, the vast majority of the 192 member countries of the United Nations will probably “recognize” a Palestinian state.
The “recognition” will not be accompanied with caveats about dismantling PA terrorist organizations such as Al- Aksa Martyrs Brigades or ending the incitement to hatred and murder of Jews and Israelis that pervades all levels of Palestinian society. There will be no requirements for demilitarization. Nor will negotiations by the PA to unite with the genocidal Hamas be curtailed. The Palestinians will not be obliged to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and will continue demanding the Arab right of return to it.
Renewal of negotiations with Israel are unlikely because the Palestinians realize that their goals can be more effectively achieved by leveraging international pressure on us to make further unilateral concessions – and dismantle us in stages.
This event will be followed by Durban III, a UN endorsed hate fest designed to delegitimize and demonize the Jewish state. The principal participant will be Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who recently predicted that the UN recognition of Palestinian statehood would represent the first step toward the inevitable elimination of the Jewish state. Like the preceding meetings in 2001 and 2009, this purportedly “anti-racist conference” will overwhelmingly concentrate on spewing venom against Israel.
The founders of the United Nations, who after the defeat of Nazism endorsed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, could never have visualized that the organization they created would become controlled by dictatorships and tyrannies and transformed into a platform for promoting genocide.
This was exemplified by the Libyan representative serving as president of the UN General Assembly in 2009, succeeded in July this year by Qatar with Iran as a vice president; genocidal Iranian president Ahmadinejad repeatedly addressing the General Assembly as an honored guest; North Korea, renowned proliferator of nuclear arms, elected to chair the Conference on Disarmament; and Iran, notorious for stoning women for adultery, appointed to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
But nothing beats the bizarre UN Human Rights Council, 80 percent of whose members, according to the Freedom House index for 2010, are either “not free” or “partly free” countries. Not surprisingly, scoundrels are appointed to positions of authority. Thus we have Richard Falk, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Palestinian territories, who claimed that the US backed and executed the 9/11 attacks, and recently also posted an anti-Semitic cartoon on his website. The Advisory Committee is chaired by Morocco’s Halima Warzawi, who previously blocked an effort to condemn Saddam Hussein for gassing 30,000 Kurds. It also includes Jean Ziegler from Switzerland, who praises Fidel Castro and Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe and co-founded the “Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights” – the recipients of which included Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, Louis Farrakhan and Hugo Chavez.
The chatter about human rights initiated by tyrannical states that inflict monstrous injustices on their own people represents the ultimate hypocrisy. Examples abound: Libya moved a motion to “end all forms of racial discrimination”; Iran called on the US to ensure implementation of international humanitarian law; China demanded an end to “excessive force by law enforcement bodies”; and North Korea called for a ban on torture.
In this degenerate UN Human Rights Council, a pogrom environment dominates, with 70% of all resolutions directed against Israel.
This also applies to the General Assembly, where demonizing, delegitimizing and attributing all the woes of the world to the Jewish state is reminiscent of the Middle Ages, when Jews were blamed as the principal source of all the evils confronting mankind.
Daniel Pipes estimates the total number of deaths in world conflicts since 1950 to be in excess of 85 million.
The 50,000 deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict would thus account for less than 0.05% of this total. To this day, while hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world are slaughtered or denied elementary human rights, the hypocritical UN has not commissioned any Goldstone type reports to investigate such massacres, but shamelessly directs the bulk of its energies toward condemning Israeli settlements or construction in Jewish Jerusalem.
Alas, primarily due to realpolitik, the “enlightened” European countries – whose soil has been drenched with Jewish blood for 2,000 years, culminating in the Holocaust – are, at best, inclined to abstain, but more recently have been endorsing primitive anti-Israeli resolutions.
SO HOW should we respond to the impending vote on Palestinian statehood? We must reconcile ourselves to the fact that we will never achieve justice at the United Nations. The combination of Islamic countries, rogue states and dictatorships guarantees that the most extreme resolutions against Israel will always be overwhelmingly carried.
Blaming Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for this state of affairs because he failed to provide a “plan” is simply primitive political demagoguery. What “plan” beyond making suicidal unilateral concessions could conceivably satisfy the Palestinians? But we should not panic. Despite President Barack Obama’s ongoing policy of engaging and appeasing extremists and Islamic states, the US will almost certainly prevent the UN Security Council from imposing sanctions and boycotts against Israel.
Contrary to Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s recent hysterical remarks, this is not a “diplomatic tsunami,” and we must take advantage of the UN platform to convey the case for Israel to our friends and allies.
We must bear in mind that the UN General Assembly can make proclamations, but it cannot “create” a state or change the status on the ground. Besides, in the absence of the IDF protecting the weak and corrupt PA, a genocidal Hamastan would displace it – a situation that even most European states would not wish to foist upon the region.
Today most Israelis would endorse a Palestinian state – provided Palestinians faced up to the issues mentioned in the opening paragraph of this column. Until Abbas is willing to recognize the Jewish state and forgo the “right of return,” even Obama will be obliged to exercise the US veto at the Security Council. And if the Palestinians resort to violence – Abbas has called for “Arab Spring-like popular resistance” – we must be prepared to overcome our adversaries as we did in the past.
On the positive side, there are rumblings in the United States Congress reflecting grassroots frustration with the annual $7.7 billion of American taxpayer funds being provided to the UN, despite the fact that the global body’s original noble objectives have been reversed and it has been transformed into a depraved organization.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the powerful Congressional House Foreign Affairs Committee, maintains that the UN no longer has any credibility as a force for peace in the Middle East. She objects to the US “paying one-fifth of the bills for the UN’s anti-Israeli activities including the UN Human Rights Council, a rogue’s gallery dominated by human rights violators who use it to ignore real abuses and instead attack democratic Israel relentlessly.”
She remarks that “at the UN, money talks and smart withholding works,” noting that in 1989 Yasser Arafat pushed for membership at the UN for a “Palestinian state,” but his initiative was stopped in its tracks when the George H. W. Bush administration threatened to cut off US funding from any UN entity that upgraded the Palestinian mission.
She has concluded that with the Obama administration refusing to leverage US funding to defend US interests, Congress must fill the void. Thus on August 30, with 57 co-sponsors, she introduced the United Nations Transparency, Accountability and Reform Act, which would terminate US contributions to any UN entity upgrading the Palestinian mission.
The bill would also require the US to disaffiliate and cease funding the Human Rights Council until it repealed its permanent anti-Israeli resolution. It would freeze contributions to UN activities related to the defamatory Goldstone Report and the Durban hate fest and suspend support for UNWRA until it ceased employing terrorists.
Ros-Lehtinen said she was promoting this resolution “for the sake of our ally Israel and all free democracies, for the sake of peace and security. And for the sake of achieving a UN that upholds its founding principles.”
The Senate will probably narrowly block this resolution, and the Obama administration has already bitterly condemned the bill, which it would undoubtedly veto.
But the fact that such a resolution could be submitted by the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee signals a growing frustration with the UN, which may sooner rather than later lead to a showdown with this obnoxious organization.
Congress is the bright light in the current difficult situation confronting us. In the long term, as the American public becomes increasingly disillusioned with the groveling behavior of the Obama administration toward the decadent and biased UN, there is hope that congressional intervention will ultimately succeed in employing US clout to bring an end to such outrageous behavior.