[First published on March 22, 2005] Israel is a liberal democracy. It has as high a Freedom House overall rating of free, and scores on political rights as does the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom; on civil liberties, it is only slightly below them, but still much better than many democracies, and certainly a whole lot better that the dictatorships and monarchies that surround it. Yet, and maybe partly because of this, it is the pariah in the United Nations. It is the only UN member systematically excluded from participation in, as far as I could determine, all the committees and UN bodies. For example, it has recently been rejected for membership on the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, and UN Racial Discrimination Committee. And, Israel is denied membership in every one of the important UN’s five regional groups.
Contrast this with the dictatorships of Algeria, China, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, just to mention a few of them, that at one time have been, or are, members of the UN Commission on Human Rights; with the dictatorship of Egypt, which is a member of the many UN bodies, including all six concerned with human rights treaties; with the dictatorships of Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan that participate on the Governing Council of the International Labor Organization; with that the bloody dictatorship Iran that is on the five-member UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; and with those dictatorships who treat women as second class citizens or slaves like Egypt, Iran, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates that are members of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
But, the worst of this UN treatment of democratic Israel is its having ignored the genocide against Israeli Jews by Palestinian terrorist organizations, aided and abetted by thug Arab states. The repeated genocide bombings of civilian Jews going about their lives in restaurants, markets, and on buses was ignored by the UN, while it condemned whatever Israel did to defend itself or retaliate against those responsible for this terrorism and genocide.
The October 4, 2003, bombing of the Maxim restaurant in Haifa is a case in point. About 21 men, women, children, and babies were murdered, and 60 suffered diverse wounds, including the loss of limbs, that has all but destroyed their lives. The bombing was planned by Islamic Jihad, which is supported by Syria. In retaliation, Israel attacked the Islamic Jihad training camp in Syria. No one was killed.
Rather then condemn the genocide of Israeli Jews, or at least investigate the killings or the Israeli attack, the only response in or by the UN was the Syrian dictator’s demand through his representative for an emergency meeting of the Security Council. He got it. Syria then proposed a resolution condemning Israel. And had it not been for an American veto, the resolution would have passed.
Such treatment of a democratic member of the UN is reprehensible, and alone calls into question how much support democratic countries should give the organization.
Link of Note
”Undiplomatic Imbalance: The antisemitism at the U.N. is a problem for more than just Israel.” (12/13/04)
By Anne Bayefsky
Anne Bayefsky is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a visiting professor at Touro and Metropolitan Colleges in New York.
. . . . For the past four decades, the United Nations has become the personal propaganda machine of the nom de guerre of Arab and Islamic states — Palestinians. Their aim is to demonize, debilitate, and destroy the state of Israel — the thriving democratic beachhead in their midst — for a start. The original U.N. mission, to protect the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, has been hijacked and corrupted by nations that neither share the universal values of the U.N.’s Declaration of Human Rights nor have democratic intentions.
. . . . There is only one entire U.N. Division devoted to a single group of people — the U.N. Division for Palestinian Rights (created in 1977). There is only one U.N. website dedicated to the claims of a single people — the enormous UNISPAL, the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine. There is only one refugee agency dedicated to a single refugee situation — UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (in operation since 1950.) . . . . The list of hijacked U.N. organs goes on. The General Assembly operates through six committees of the whole. One of them, the Fourth Committee, routinely devotes 30 percent of its time to the condemnation of Israel.
How about the takeover of the General Assembly emergency-session procedure? These sessions began in 1956, and since then six of the ten emergency sessions ever held have been about Israel. The 10th such session began in 1997 and has been “reconvened” 13 times, most recently this past summer.
Then there is the U.N.’s primary human-rights body, the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Thirty percent of the resolutions condemning specific states ever adopted over 40 years are directed at Israel. . . . To appreciate fully the extent to which the U.N. has been taken over, observe November 29th, the annual U.N. Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which is the only U.N. day dedicated to a specific people. The occasion was held in the U.N.’s elaborate Trusteeship Council before hundreds of delegates.
In an apparent nod to the ransacking of the U.N.’s peace and security foundation by Islamic states — that have blocked the adoption of a comprehensive convention against terrorism for years — the secretary general’s panel recommended that the U.N. adopt a definition of terrorism. On the bright side, they finally admitted the U.N. doesn’t have such a definition. Until it does, it can hardly be expected to play a serious role in the war against terrorism. But the panel was very careful to recommend that it be a “consensus definition” — U.N. code language for blessing continuing stonewalling by the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
So let’s cut through all of the talk and meetings and discussion groups on U.N. reform to the root cause of U.N. disease. Arab and Islamic states have the U.N. in a chokehold and, so far, no one is prepared to do anything about it.