Let’s face it. The United Nations is a cesspool of antisemitism where the drumbeat of Jew-hatred never ends.
Its latest manifestation is its 2021 Commission of Inquiry (COI), an investigative body with a sweeping, open-ended, well-funded mandate to examine in perpetuity claims of “human rights violations” and “war crimes” allegedly perpetrated by Israel, its singular focus.
The COI’s stated mission encompasses an investigation of alleged systemic discrimination and repression by Jews against Arabs “based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity,” not just in Gaza and the "West Bank," but also within Israel itself.
Its goal is to denigrate Israel’s sovereignty, criminalize its efforts at self-defense, and destroy its economy via boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS). It is the latest tool for the U.N. to rebrand the democratic Jewish nation-state as a pariah unworthy of statehood or support.
Twenty-two percent-funded by American taxpayers, the U.N. in December approved a $5 million budget for the first year of operation of this commission, one of only two such UN efforts, the other focused on Myanmar. It will be funded yearly in perpetuity and escalates the UN’s malicious campaign against Israel.
The COI will not be investigating Hamas, Palestine Islamic Jihad or the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, all recognized terrorist entities operating in Gaza and the “West Bank.” Hamas’s customary use of Gazan civilians as human shields, locating weapons, rocket launchers and command-and-control centers in or next to civilian apartments, schools, hospitals and mosques, continues to be ignored.
The U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC), a body dominated by notorious human rights violators like China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia and Venezuela, established this inquiry in May as a direct result of Israel’s defensive actions to protect its civilians against thousands of rockets fired by Hamas on its towns and cities, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
As with all investigations of Israel at the U.N., the selection of the inquisitors is intended to preordain conclusions. This “inquiry” will be led by a triumvirate of antisemites, the best-known being Navi Pillay, a former U.N. high commissioner for human rights with an appalling record of hatred of the Jewish state.
Pillay was a participant in the 2001 Durban Conference on Racism and subsequent Durban conferences, all of which falsely accused Israel of being an “apartheid” state identical with South Africa prior to the 1990s — notwithstanding that Israel’s Arab citizens vote, are members of the parliament and cabinet, serve as Supreme Court judges, are treated alongside Jews in the same hospitals and attend the same universities.
Israel's Arab Muslim minority enjoys rights and freedom unavailable to Arab Muslims in countries where they constitute a majority. For Pillay, the truth is unimportant. She continued to tout the discredited 2009 Goldstone Report accusing Israel of deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians in its response to attacks from Hamas on its citizens, even after Goldstone himself retracted its central lie.
In 2014, when Israel again responded to Hamas aggression, Pillay accused Israel of intentionally murdering Palestinian children in Gaza, willfully ignoring the fact that Israel’s military, described as the most moral in the world by British Col. Richard Kemp, takes extraordinary measures to minimize civilian casualties. Over the years, she has created her own narrative which will continue under this Inquiry.
The Commission has invited individuals and organizations to submit information about anything Israeli officials have ever done or may do in the future. The many anti-Israel NGOs will eagerly inundate the COI with fabricated accusations masquerading as “facts” — fictional accounts of Israel poisoning Palestinians, murdering children, committing acts of barbarism, massacres, ethnic cleansing and apartheid discrimination — the kinds of demonization and modern-day blood libels they’ve been propagating for decades.
The COI’s staff of 24 investigating tiny Israel dwarfs the mere 20 UNHRC staff covering all of Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East. Given past history, it will use these false submissions to produce official U.N. reports casting Israel, a sovereign democratic member state, as racist and illegitimate. Year in and year out, these reports will be quoted by Israel’s enemies here in the U.S. and abroad.
This is the U.N.’s Israel-libeling machine, more powerful and expansive than ever.
In 1975, the U.N. passed the infamous Arab-Soviet-sponsored resolution declaring Zionism a “form of racism and racial discrimination. The intent was to deny Israel its political legitimacy by attacking its moral basis for existence.
In his speech responding to the U.N.’s action, then-U.S. Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan accused the U.N. of giving “international sanction” to the “abomination of antisemitism … of granting “symbolic amnesty — and more — to the murderers of the 6 million European Jews.”
Although this resolution was rescinded in 1991, nothing fundamentally has changed. In 2021, the U.N. General Assembly condemned Israel in 14 biased resolutions, while adopting a total of five for the rest of the world combined.
The list of egregious behavior toward Israel is long and unending, actions that repeatedly violate the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism adopted by our State Department, which defines as antisemitic the demonizing and delegitimizing of the Jewish state and holding Israel to standards of behavior different from those by which other nation-states are judged.
In 2017, U.N. Secretary General Guterres asserted, “The state of Israel needs to be treated like any other member state” and calls for its destruction are a modern-day form of antisemitism. He promised to “be on the front lines in the fight against antisemitism.”
Well, those are empty words.
The U.N. has morphed into an international tool for promoting the very Jew-hatred it was created to prevent. The viciousness with which Israel is attacked and the unwillingness of many democratic states to vigorously defend the Jewish state accords hatred the patina of international legitimacy.
The danger is that this heightened level of vilification and vicious delegitimization, magnified by NGOs, echoed by the Left and the mainstream media, will ultimately cause people of good will to become indifferent to the attempts by Israel’s enemies to wage war against it.
The Biden administration says it will oppose the new Inquiry. However, unlike the Trump administration which refused to participate in the Council because significant reforms are unachievable, it has rejoined the UNHRC, claiming that diplomatic engagement can make a difference. As if it ever has.
Those working to destroy the Jewish state understand that the war of words can be as lethal as the war of bullets … and more successful. Why are American taxpayers funding this immoral behavior? Surely, it’s time to insist, “Not on our dime!”
Ziva Dahl is a senior fellow with the news and public policy group Haym Salomon Center. Ziva writes and lectures about U.S.-Israel relations, U.S. foreign policy, Israel, Zionism, Antisemitism and BDS on college campuses. Her articles have appeared in such publications as The Hill, New York Daily News, New York Observer, The Washington Times, American Spectator, American Thinker and Jerusalem Post. Read Ziva Dahl's Reports — More Here.
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