UN Shuns Neutrality as U.S. Observes

Nikhil Chandravel, Staff Writer

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The UN Human Rights Council meets in a special session.

The UN Human Rights Council meets in a special session.

It was inevitable, really. With the UN’s dismal record on neutrality, no one could really be surprised. On March 20, the Commission on the Status of Women decided that Israel was the worst violator of women’s rights. There were obviously other, more justifiable countries to label as such. What were some countries? Saudi Arabia for one: The Saudis are notorious for punishing women for not wearing appropriate clothing, driving, or traveling alone. In fact, the late king Abdullah put four of his daughters under house arrest for over a decade for championing women’s rights. Imagine the international fury if Benjamin Netanyahu did that! Syria and Sudan are two more countries that the UN overlooked for such a distinction as being the world’s worst violator of women’s rights. Syria’s concept of using rape and sexual assault as a tactic for interrogation pales with waterboarding at Guantanamo Bay, and the fact that 88% of women under the age of 50 have been genitally mutilated in Sudan is repulsive. But Israel beats them all because only 17% of Palestinian women are in the workforce versus 70% of Palestinian men.

The Commissions of Human Rights consistently overlooked tragedies around the globe in order to rail against Israel for supported human rights violations.”

Again, it should have been expected. Many committees in the UN brazenly display an anti-Israeli bias. The resolutions against Israel are intended for humanitarian causes including women’s rights, like what happened recently with the Commision on the Status of Women, but many are based on shady premises and double standards. The Commission of Human Rights consistently overlooked tragedies around the globe in order to rail against Israel for supposed human rights violations. The General Assembly created the Human Rights Council (HRC) to be a bit more fair and neutral, but the council includes oppressive regimes such as Cuba and China, so they weren’t much more neutral. Thankfully, they do address other humanitarian issues, but the number of resolutions they issue against other nations is paltry when compared to Israel. The nation of Israel is the only nation to be criticized year after year after year by the Human Rights Council. Item 7 on the Human Rights Council agenda is solely dedicated to the “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.” This kind of bias has been repeated, again and again. Once, the Council criticized Israel for “violations of human rights” and “breaches of humanitarian international law” while while ignoring the fact that Hezbollah randomly fires missiles into civilian population centers, uses Lebanese human shields, and kidnaps Israeli soldiers. In 2003, an Israeli resolution to protect children in Israel from terrorism didn’t even garner enough support to have a vote in the General Assembly. There are many more examples of uncalled for anti-Israeli bias in the UN which call to question the UN’s credibility and neutrality on such issues.

Not only does the United Nations use words in degrading the reputation of Israel, but they also fund inflammatory Palestinian organizations that worsen the situation in the region. The Palestinian Media Watch has documented dozens of incidents where a Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) funded by the UN has emitted anti-Israeli literature that are Anti-Semitic or encourage Palestinian youth to intifada. For example, many young people in the Sharek Youth Forum, a program that was founded with help from the United Nations Development Program and the United Nations Population Fund, called for punishment on all of those that supported normalization of the Israeli “occupation” or basically, all those who support a two-state solution (and that’s what the UN is supposed to work towards). Another UN-funded Palestinian NGO caters to children. In a children’s program to discourage smoking, one particular puppet says, “What am I doing to myself [by smoking]? I, and many other youth like me, think that through cigarettes we will be adults and men. Jerusalem doesn’t need youth who hold cigarettes. It needs men who hold machine guns, not cigarettes.”

Uncalled for anti-Israel bias calls to question the UN’s credibility and neutrality on issues.”

The UN is not the only organization guilty of funding such organizations. British aid from 2011-2015 totaled $550 million. The EU transferred €200 million in 2013. The U.S. has given 3.5 billion dollars to the West Bank and Gaza from 1994 to 2012. Much of this aid is used to build roads, schools and stadiums named after infamous terrorists and suicide bombers – something that western donors should not be involved in.

The PA also uses the money of Western donors to pay terrorists. In April 2011, the government formalized the practice of giving those in Israeli prisons for security or terror-related offenses salaries and aid to their families. In order to eligible, one must have been involved in the struggle against occupation and be imprisoned for that. That means imprisoned Fatah and Hamas terrorists are eligible. The money comes from the general budget of the PA and income taxes, and the general budget is funded by many donor countries including the United States. The PA treats imprisonment for terror as something to be applauded and these salaries as compensation for all the suffering the terrorists and their families undergo.

Simply looking at the expenses of the PA shows that the Palestinian Authority has no legitimacy for its “authority.” It pays terrorists and uses children’s programs to goad its own children into hating Israel, using the money from the UN, EU, and other western organizations and countries. The youth have been taught to fight against a two-state solution or what they call the “normalization of the occupation.” All using money from the UN, EU, and western countries. I doubt that the UN will stop this because they have already displayed a pro-Palestinian bias. However, reform in the process of donating money to NGOs in Palestine can start with us. Even though the USA has also helped the PA, we are also Israel’s number one ally, so we should strive for reform. One thing the U.S. government should monitor how our money is being used. If a NGO starts spewing statements for the expulsion of Israel, or increased terrorist attacks, we should do the right thing as an ally of Israel, and stop funding that organization. The PA should be taken off the recipient list for our money – instead, charities based here should go and help Palestinians and Israelis alike, something hospitals in Israel have been doing for years. Finally, the U.S. should end its absence on debates in the Human Rights Council on Israel’s “human rights violations.” This withholding was meant to be in protest of the HRC’s blatant bias towards Israel, but leaving the debates in the hands of anti-Israel countries and ambassadors will only do Israel harm. American presence at the HRC would definitely improve the Council’s neutrality, enabling it to focus on more important matters. If both Israel and Palestine were treated fairly by an HRC with U.S. presence and the PA is forced to rethink its priorities because of budget deficits, the Palestinian people could look forward to a government that unequivocally detests terrorism, champions peace, builds a friendly relationship with Israel – governments dedicated to the betterment of their own people and not to the detriment of another.

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