What a difference a year makes — and doesn’t. This time last year, the US — Obama’s parting shot — had for the first time abstained instead of vetoed one of the UN’s requisite anti-Israel resolutions. This year, the US has just announced its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Volte-face, indeed.
But as much as things change, they stay the same, as Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr famously observed. At the UN, despite the disruption being caused by the US, it’s business as usual when it comes to Israel — as evidenced by UN Watch’s tally of anti-Israel behavior at the UN. Here’s their “Top Ten most anti-Israel UN actions of 2017.” What incredible is how many of these items are near repeats from last year’s list. As we said: As much as things change, they stay the same. At least now, there’s a
a new sheriff in town, as Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, termed herself earlier this year.
- The UN’s Beirut-based agency of 18 Arab states, ESCWA, published a report accusing Israel of “Apartheid.” In response, UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer took the floor to ask Algeria, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Yemen and the others, a simple question: “Where are your Jews?” For once, the room was silenced.
- The UN women’s rights commission condemned Israel as the world’s only violator of women’s rights. Real abusers of women’s rights, such as Iran, Yemen, and Afghanistan, were ignored.
- In June, 16 UN agencies signed an agreement with the “State of Palestine” to spend an unprecedented $18 million to fund lawfare attacks on Israel, couched in the language of human rights, international law and “accountability.” The UN campaign seeks to erode Israel’s ability to defend itself from terrorist attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah.
- In October, UN Palestine Rapporteur Michael Lynk issued a report advocating an economic boycott of Israeli companies. Thanks to UN Watch’s campaign, the US government issued a statement saying that “Mr. Lynk’s remarks, and the very existence of this report, underscore the Human Rights Council’s chronic anti-Israel bias.”
- The UN’s World Health Organization singled out Israel as the only violator in the world of “mental, physical and environmental health,” and, under pressure from Syria’s Assad regime, deleted parts of a report on Israeli actions in the Golan Heights — because they were positive to Israel.
- Dubravka Simonovic, the UN expert on vioence against women, visited Israel and the territories and concluded: When Palestinian men beat their wives, it’s Israel’s fault. UN Watch’s executive director took the floor to challenge the UN investigator’s report: “Why did you fail to mention that official Palestinian TV regularly broadcasts Islamic preachers who tell the people how to beat their wives?”
- In its ritual annual scapegoating of the Jewish state, the UN General Assembly adopted 20 one-sided resolutions against Israel—and only six resolutions on the rest of the world combined. A 21st resolution will be adopted criticizing the Jewish state at the emergency session, Dec. 21, called by Arab and Islamic states to condemn the US over its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
- UNESCO negated its mandate to protect world heritage by adopting a resolution recognizing Hebron — second holiest city in Judaism because of the Tomb of the Patriarchs — as a Palestinian world heritage site. UN Watch revealed that UNESCO had rejected its own experts’ advice, who opposed the Palestinian nomination on account of failing to properly recognize Hebron’s Jewish and Christian heritage.
- UNRWA launched a global campaign showing the picture of an 11-year-old girl, “Aya from Gaza,” in a bombed-out building — portraying Israel as a cruel oppressor of Palestinian children — but UN Watch exposed it as a fraud: the photo was actually from Syria. The story went viral online. UNRWA suffered massive embarrassment, and was forced to remove the photo worldwide.
- The office of UN human rights commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein spent the past year preparing to inflame the anti-Israel boycott campaign by drawing up a blacklist of companies that do business in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and other Jewish communities over the 1949 armistice line. The report is due to be submitted this month, and presented before the council in March. UN Watch will take the lead in countering the blacklist — what Nikki Haley this week called the “ugly creation” of the UNHRC.