The United Nations (UN) as an institution is not known to be a paragon of virtue, nor is it friendly toward Israel or sensitive to Jewish concerns. In fact, antisemitism resides deep within its agencies. As a whole it is an organization whose majority members are not democracies, and many are oppressive regimes. The members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) are a case in point of oppressive regimes whose voice at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) dominates. Israel has served for decades as the “whipping boy” or scapegoat of the UNGA and various UN agencies. In fact, the General Assembly passed Resolution 3379 on November 10, 1975 with the combined Soviet, Islamic and Third World blocs equating “Zionism (the Jewish national liberation movement) with racism.” The resolution was repealed on December 16, 1991.
The Arab/Muslim bloc used its power to establish and authorize funding for several UN committees and divisions of the Secretariat which primarily carry out the anti-Israel agenda. Among these are: The Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat, “The Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices in the Territories,” and “The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.” Today, these committees continue to be engaged in promoting programs and initiatives that are harshly critical of Israel.
On December 23, 2016, the Security Council passed Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlement building, and labeled settlements as a “major obstacle” to peace. The resolution passed 14-0, with the U.S. abstaining. It was the first Security Council resolution to deal specifically with settlements in over 35 years. Israel rejected the resolution, and Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon said it was a reward for the Palestinians that encouraged them “to continue down a dangerous path they have chosen” of avoiding direct negotiations with Israel.” In December, 2017, the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling on President Trump to reverse the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In June, 2018, the U.S. vetoed a resolution condemning Israel for using excessive force toward Palestinian protesters along the Gaza border. There was no mention of Hamas in the resolution. A second resolution that did reference Hamas’s role failed to pass.
Since its entry into the UN in 1949, Israel was barred by the Arab/Muslim bloc of states and their Third World allies from joining its natural region as all other UN member states do. In Israel’s case, it is the Asian Regional Group. Arab member states of the UN have used the UNGA as a forum to isolate and condemn Israel, with support from Non-Aligned Movement members. In May, 2000, Israel was finally granted admission into a group – the Western and Others Group (WEOG). In 2013, Israel was invited to join WEOG in Geneva, the seat of several UN bodies and subsidiary organizations.
The UN Human Rights Council was re-created in 2006. Since then, more resolutions condemning Israel passed than the entire rest of the world combined, with 45 resolutions, which amounted to 45.9% of all country-specific resolutions. With most of the 47 member UNHRC being non-democratic repressive regimes, those passing resolutions against Israel include Iran, Cuba, China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, to name but a few.
The permanent agenda of the HRC specifically targets Israel. Its Agenda Item #7, titled, “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, includes: Human rights violations and implications of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and other occupied Arab territories and the Right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.” Israel is the only country to appear on the HRC’s permanent agenda, while other countries such as Iran and Sudan, notorious for their human rights abuses, are included as part of the general debate. U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley, declaring the U.S. withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), told the Heritage Foundation (July 18, 2018) that the UNHRC controversial Agenda #7 is “designed to undermine Israel’s existence.” She added, “No other country, not Iran, not Syria, not North Korea, has an agenda item devoted to it.”
The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is another biased UN agency with its bias toward Israel. In July 2017, UNESCO World Heritage Committee voted to designate the old city of Hebron, including the Tomb of the Patriarchs, as a “World Heritage in Danger,” and listed the site as part of the State of Palestine. The U.S., along with Israel, withdrew from UNESCO membership.
Still, thanks to the likes of Nikki Haley, things have begun to improve a bit for Israel at the UN. Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, was elected in June 2017, to serve as the Deputy President of the United Nations General Assembly. He will begin his role with the 72nd General Assembly. Former Israeli ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, also served in the role in 2012.
In 2016, Danon was elected as chairman of the Legal Committee of the UN. The UN’s Legal Committee deals with all of the organization’s activities regarding international law, including the status of the additional protocols of the Geneva Convention and coordinating its fight against terrorism. One of Danon’s first tasks in his new position will be to further the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. It was the first time that Israel secured a victory at the UN. Responding to his election, Danon said, “I am proud to be the first Israeli elected to this position.” He added, “Israel is a world leader in international law and in fighting terrorism. We are pleased to have the opportunity to share our knowledge with the countries of the world.”
Together with the U.S., Israel brought up a resolution to condemn the Palestinian Islamist terrorist group Hamas, as a “global problem.” 87 states endorsed the resolution. Jewish heritage and culture are now part of the UN institutions, according to Danon. Yom Kippur has been recognized for the first time ever as a formal observable holiday, and Kosher food has been added to the UN cafeteria. Other major Jewish holidays are likewise marked by official celebrations.
Israel Hayom reported (September 24, 2019) that “Israeli, Jewish and pro-Israel groups all applauded the publication of an “unprecedented” UN report on anti-Semitism, which, among other issues, links anti-Semitism to criticism of Israel and the BDS movement.” According to Anne Herzberg, Legal advisor and UN Liaison at NGO Monitor, “This report marks one of the first times the UN has addressed the issue of anti-Semitism in any detail.” She added, “The Special Rapporteur condemned the use of anti-Semitic tropes and denial of Israel’s right to exist by BDS activists.”
Danny Danon commented that “we welcome the release of this unprecedented report on the subject of anti-Semitism. The report reflects the organizational change toward Israel. The assertion that the BDS movement encourages anti-Semitism is an important UN statement. As I have said many times, anti-Semitism has no place in our society, and must be denounced everywhere and from every platform.”
Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, is proud of Israel’s achievements. He observed that the UN is no longer the organization of the Goldstone Report with charges of Israeli “war crimes.” In 2019, the UN is no longer the home field of Israel-bashers. These days, Danon believes, many states support Israel’s initiatives in international forums.
Perhaps Danon is right, albeit, it is hard to believe that a leopard can change is spots. Unfortunately, it is not only the leopards who reside in the UN, there are snakes too.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.