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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Israeli diplomat criticizes UN special committee at the UN

A number of blogs last week mentioned Dan Gillerman's masterful criticism of the UN Human Rights Council.

Apparently, he is not the only Israeli diplomat who is proud to stand up for Israel and speak the truth at that worthless organization.

Gershon Kedar is an Israeli diplomat who had the opportunity to answer yet another set of absurd allegations from yet another UN "special committee" yesterday. Here's how his words were recorded by the UN:
GERSHON KEDAR ( Israel) said it was ironic that the Committee would spend three days debating the report of the “misnamed” Special Committee, for the work of that Committee was “superfluous” and “replete with duplication bordering on plagiarism and one-sided propaganda”. It was no wonder that barely one half of the entire membership supported the renewal of the Special Committee’s mandate. Its lack of relevance had been recognized as “charades” by at least some. ...

He said that, when the resolution relating to the question was passed later in the week, the Palestinian representative should not suffer the delusion that the Palestinian people were receiving real support or even empathy. The resolution was little more than “lip service”. Israel’s legitimate security policies could not be changed by those resolutions; indeed, all those who supported peace should be concerned by such one-sided resolutions that blindly and routinely supported one party to the conflict. They poisoned the atmosphere, created false hopes and encouraged unrealistic demands. Such was the context under which the Fourth Committee was conducting its discussion today, and its discussion on any resolutions that might emerge as a result.

Israel was willing to cooperate with all legitimate human rights organs, bodies and rapporteurs whose mandates did not pre-determine the results of their investigations, he said. Israel had received and cooperated with rapporteurs concerning housing, “arbitrary killings”, displaced persons and health. It had also cooperated with the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Special Committee, however, was “a relic from a bygone era”, whose existence could not be justified morally, intellectually or politically. Its real agenda was not to help the Palestinians, but to harm Israel.

He added that, in principle and in practice, the Committee allowed itself to ignore reality and flagrantly refrained from dealing with human rights violations of Palestinians, which was a taboo subject because it contradicted the Committee’s raison d’etre. Also, the Hamas military takeover of Gaza had been dealt with in the report in two sentences. In addition, the Committee did not refer to the numerous cruel and vindictive human rights violations during the intra-Palestinian fighting, which meant that Member States were not informed about wounded Palestinians being shot to death while being treated in hospitals, or Palestinians being thrown to their deaths from high-rise buildings in Gaza. Nor were they told of the numerous and deliberate maiming of political and military rivals and their families, often by being shot in the knees. Negative statements about Palestinians were “beyond the pale” for the Special Committee for one reason –- that Israel could honestly not be blamed.

Yet the Special Committee had still managed to concoct a fanciful connection, he said. Although Israel had completely left Gaza in 2005 and was not involved in the intra-Palestinian fighting, the report blamed Israel and referred to the situation as “a direct consequence of the Israeli occupation”. Such political and intellectual bankruptcy should not be tolerated in the United Nations system.

Although the Special Committee claimed its report reflected the substance of the information that had been gathered, it was replete with lies, false claims and uncorroborated accusations, and patently ignored any information that did not fit its one-sided ideological agenda, he said. Thus, while Israel’s anti-terror measures were widely covered, it never mentioned Palestinian terrorism against Israel despite that information being widely known. Worse still, an earlier report of the Special Committee (document A/61/500) issued after last year’s general debate in the Fourth Committee, included accusations that could only be described as tantamount to the worst type of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories common in the Middle Ages. It included an allegation that “drugs and prostitution were allowed, if not encouraged, in the Occupied Syrian Golan” to infect clients with HIV. Insinuating deliberate malpractice, it also reported that a sick child had died in the hospital after receiving such an injection.

The parallels between such baseless claims and insinuations about Jews poisoning the wells of non-Jews and killing non-Jewish children for religious purposes were clear to all, he said. Those modern-day blood libels were outrageous and disgraceful from any source, but much more so when they came from an organ of the United Nations. His country found consolation in the fact that, because the Special Committee was such a marginal and even trivial body, it was unlikely that many people outside this room had ever heard of it, much less had or would read its reports.

He said that notwithstanding the Special Committee’s malicious attempts to de-legitimize Israel, the United Nations potentially had much to offer both Israel and the Palestinians in their renewed efforts to resolve their differences. Its potentially heightened relevance, however, was mitigated by the continued existence of the Special Committee and other United Nations organs and mandates, whose sole purposes were anti-Israeli propaganda apparatuses. He called on Member States to reject the report of the Special Committee and end its ill-conceived and ill-managed mandate.

Nice job, Mr. Kedar!