Monday, March 30, 2020 -
Print Edition

The twisted world of the UN

The chamber of the UN Human Rights Council (Wikimedia)

The chamber of the UN Human Rights Council (Wikimedia)

King Solomon observed that there’s nothing new under the sun. One place that dictum certainly holds true is the UN. The double standard keeps chugging along in the self-appointed halls of human rights.

Witness the events of the past five days. On March 22, protests broke out in Gaza against the local Hamas government. Those demonstrations came after three journalists were arrested for reporting on the March 14 protests across the Gaza Strip against the high cost of living. Not only were journalists arrested, but protesters were too. Not only that, violence was used against the protesters.

Haven’t heard a word about this? Well, that’s not surprising. Apparently when it comes to Palestinians, if Israel cannot be portrayed as the aggressor, and moreover is not even involved, no one really cares. And people like Ilhan Omar wonder why many interpret rabid anti-Israel bias as anti-Semitic. Go figure.)

Of course, some NGOs did protest, among them the Committee to Protect Journalists. And, in what seems like a first, the UN envoy to the region protested Hamas’ brutal treatment of people trying to exercise free speech. An official condemnation from a UN body, however? We couldn’t find one.

Here’s the kicker. On that same date of March 22, as Gazan protesters faced Hamas firepower, the UN Human Rights Council chose to, once again, condemn Israel for defending itself against the violent, deadly and environmentally damaging attacks that have been waged against Southern Israel for about a year now.

Despite all this, for once, there is a tinge of hope on the horizon. Also on March 22: for the first time since the UN HRC’s inception, all its European Union members voted against a permanent agenda item that singles out Israel for criticism. This watershed followed the efforts of Hillel Neuer and UN Watch, who earlier in the week protested this singling out of Israel outside the UN in Geneva.

Now, we’re not naive enough to believe there is some kind of sea change on the horizon. But perhaps some are waking up to the absurdity of the UN’s outsized focus on Israel. Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is another person who contributed greatly to changing minds.

But it’s beyond a double standard now. What’s amazing is that the UN, social media keyboard warriors et. al. are so anti-Israel they’re willing to collude in stripping Gazans of their agency. For the anti-Israel folk, Gazans are perpetual victims who care only about one thing: Israel. Apparently, in the minds of those pro-Palestinian activists who go silent when Palestinians oppress Palestinians, Gazans’ concerns about the right to demonstrate, a free press, cost of living, their government’s obsession with Israel rather than providing for its citizens, are unimportant, because they don’t serve the anti-Israel agenda.

If that’s not patriarchal, what is?

Of course on Tuesday when Israel responded to rocket fire from Gaza the condemnations of Israel came loud and strong from all the usual suspects. Surprise, surprise.

Leave a Reply