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August 21, 2013

Where's the Coverage? Pervasive and Systemic Bias against Israel at the U.N.

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When speaking to a group of students in Israel last week, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reportedly admitted that, “Unfortunately because of the conflict, Israel has been weighed down by criticism and suffered from bias – sometimes even discrimination” at the U.N.

This week, Ban contradicted that statement saying, “I don’t think there is discrimination against Israel at the United Nations.”

Yes, you heard that right. He added:

The Israeli government maybe raised this issue that there’s some bias against Israel, but Israel is one of the 193 member states. Thus, Israel should have equal rights and opportunities without having any bias, any discrimination. That’s a fundamental principle of the United Nations charter. And thus, Israel should be fully given such rights.

Obviously Israel should be given equal rights but the fact remains that Israel suffers from pervasive and systemic bias within the world body. Beginning in the 1960’s, according to the watchdog UN Watch:

The campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel in every UN and international forum was initiated by the Arab states together with the Soviet Union, and supported by what has become known as an “automatic majority” of Third World member states.

In 1975, […] the majority of the General Assembly adopted the “Zionism is Racism” resolution. At the same time, it instituted a series of related measures that together installed an infrastructure of anti-Israel propaganda throughout the UN. Years later, after strenuous efforts by democratic forces, the infamous resolution was repealed.

However, the legacy of 1975 remains fully intact: UN committees, annual UN resolutions, an entire UN bureaucratic division, permanent UN exhibits in New York and Geneva headquarters – all dedicated to a relentless and virulent propaganda war against the Jewish state. Together, they have made the UN into Ground Zero for today's new anti-Semitism, which is the irrational scapegoating of Israel with the true intended target being Jews. Not only do these anti-Israel measures incite hatred against Israelis and Jews everywhere, but they have done not a thing to help the Palestinian situation. On the contrary: they give strength and succor to extremists.

The U.N. Commission on Human Rights was so biased and, frankly, ridiculous that it had to be disbanded. It was replaced in 2006 with the U.N. Human Rights Council. UN Watch observes:

Obsessed with condemning Israel, the Council in its first year failed to condemn human rights violations occurring in any of the world’s 191 other countries. In its second year, the Council finally 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.”

In 2007, the Council added a special, permanent agenda item targeting only one country, Israel. Around the globe, countries commit human rights abuses –Syria, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, China, Sudan and Saudi Arabia spring to mind immediately– yet only Israel, a democracy, is singled out for consistent examination and censure.

In 2001, the U.N. sponsored the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance which quickly became a conference to condemn Israel. Now known as the infamous Durban Conference, the Conference Draft declaration contained so much anti-Jewish and anti-Israel language that the United States and Israel walked out of the conference. Israeli ambassador Mordechai Yedid delivered a statement on behalf of Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Melchior saying “Can there be a greater irony than the fact that a conference convened to combat the scourge of racism should give rise to the most racist declaration in a major international organization since the Second World War?”

The statement continues:

Despite the vicious anti-Semitism we have heard here, I do not fear for the Jewish people, which has learned to be resilient and to hold fast to its faith.

Despite the virulent incitement against my country, I do not fear for Israel, which has the strength not just of courage, but also of conviction.

But I do fear, deeply, for the victims of racism. For the slaves, the disenfranchised, the oppressed, the inexplicably hated, the impoverished, the despised, the millions who turn their eyes to this hall, in the frail hope that it may address their suffering. Who see instead that a blind and venal hatred of the Jews has turned their hopes into a farce. For them I fear.

And indeed that is the cost of the pervasive anti-Israel bias: any potentially good work of the United Nations is left undone while its twisted and perverted anti-Israel mission is doggedly pursued.

In the years since the 2001 conference, there have been two more similar conferences. At a counter-conference sponsored by Eye on the UN in September of 2011, Simon Deng, a former South Sudanese slave, declared:

So, yes… I came here today to tell you that the people who suffer most from the UN anti-Israel policy are not the Israelis but all those people who the UN ignores in order to tell its big lie against Israel: we, the victims of Arab/Muslim abuse: women, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, homosexuals, in the Arab/Muslim world. These are the biggest victims of UN Israel hatred.

Look at the situation of the Copts in Egypt, the Christians in Iraq, and Nigeria, and Iran, the Hindus and Bahais who suffer from Islamic oppression. The Sikhs. We – a rainbow coalition of victims and targets of Jihadis — all suffer. We are ignored, we are abandoned. So that the big lie against the Jews can go forward.

Here is a brief video overview of this issue from Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust:

And here is Mr. Deng’s complete speech:


Posted by SC at August 21, 2013 11:08 PM

Comments

For Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to assert, "There is no UN discrimination against the Israel", he must
must also believe that the earth is flat, that humans have landed on the sun, and that history means 'his tree'.

Posted by: charles richman at August 22, 2013 10:13 AM

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