So this is the note President Obama wants to go out on — abstaining, instead of vetoing, for the first time one of the myriad anti-Israel resolutions that the UN seems to pass with relish.
After all the posturing, all the claims of being one of the most pro-Israel presidents ever, this is the taste Obama chooses to leave in our mouths: abstaining from a UN Security Council vote condemning Israel for its settlement policy. Did it turn out that Obama was a wolf in sheep’s clothing all along? This abstention has a tinge of the personal, of vindictiveness — whether against American Jews or the incoming president, we can’t tell.
As an aside: Israel’s settlement policy is disputable, but the US’ policy has always been to vote against such measures as they serve only to isolate and condemn Israel, and don’t contribute one iota toward peace.
In an odd twist, the outgoing UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-moon, recently admitted there is a “disproportionate focus” on Israel at the UN. Guess Obama didn’t get the memo.
Just days before today’s vote a “Top Ten” list arrived in our inbox, courtesy of UN Watch, a Geneva-based NGO that monitors, among other things, the UN’s anti-Israel bias.
Here’s their list of “Top Ten most anti-Israel UN actions of 2016.”
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon singled out Israel for unprecedented criticism in a New York Times op-ed, doubling down on a lopsided Security Council speech in which he justified Palestinian terror against Israeli civilians by saying, “it is human nature to react to occupation.”
- The UN women’s rights commission condemned Israel as the world’s only violator of women’s rights, ignoring real abusers of women’s rights such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and many others.
- In a new Palestinian-led bid to use the UN to wage a global BDS campaign, the UN Human Rights Council voted to create a special blacklist of companies doing business with Israeli residential communities over the 1949 Green Line, including in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem.
- Canadian law professor Michael Lynk was appointed as the UN’s “impartial” investigator of alleged Israeli human rights violations — even though his application deceptively failed to disclose his long record of anti-Israel lobbying, or his board membership on three pro-Palestinian organizations including Friends of Sabeel and the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations.
- The UN’s World Health Organization singled out Israel as the only violator in the world of “mental, physical and environmental health.”
- The UN’s International Labor Organization effectively singled out Israel as the world’s only violator of labor rights, through its production and debate of a report — to which no other country is subject — “on the situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories, including the occupied Syrian Golan.” Meanwhile, the plight of Syrians suffering in Syria was ignored.
- When Palestinian men beat their wives, it’s Israel’s fault, argued UN expert Dubravka Simonovic, in a statement summing up her September visit to Palestinian territories.
- In its ritual scapegoating of the Jewish state each year, the UN General Assembly just adopted 20 one-sided resolutions against Israel, and only four resolutions on the rest of the world combined.
- UNESCO negated its mandate to protect world heritage by adopting a resolution which used Islamic-only terms for Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, denying thousands of years of Jewish and Christian heritage, religion and culture.
- Not even trying to appear impartial, UN General Assembly president Peter Thomson wore a scarf of the Palestinian flag around his neck as he addressed a gathering to mark the UN’s “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”