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Monday, September 27, 2010

Israeli reaction to biased UNHRC report

I posted two articles about the UNHRC report on the flotilla incident and Zvi wrote a more general article about the hypocrisy of the UNHRC.

Here are some Israeli reactions to the report.

From YNet:
How can a country with virtually not connection to human rights be a member of a formal body dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights around the world? Is that not similar to putting a wife-beater in charge of a women's shelter? Welcome to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the most hypocritical and shameful body of an institution that knows a thing or two about hypocrisy and shame; a body that makes the UN more meaningless than ever.

Incredibly, about 80% (!) of the Council's censures were devoted to Israel. This is an unbelievable figure: Meanwhile, tyrannies such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya, China and others were never condemned by the UNHRC. North Korea, one of the darkest regimes of the 21st century, was condemned once. Sudan, where genocide has been committed for years, was addressed in two UNHRC resolutions, none of which held the Sudanese government accountable (one actually praised it for its "progress" on human rights.)

On the other hand, Israel, a democracy that grants freedom, civil rights and human rights to all of its citizens, including minorities that belong to a people with whom Israel is involved in bitter conflict – is supposedly the worst human rights violator on earth, and in fact one of the only human rights violators altogether. This according to the UN sponsored wife-beater's best judgment.

From Danny Ayalon at JPost:

[O]nly 20 of the 47 nations on the UNHRC are considered “free” by Freedom House, an independent NGO which monitors human rights and political freedoms. This means the majority of nations currently represented on the UNHRC do not allow basic freedoms for their own people, let alone concern themselves with global human rights.

ONE OF the root problems is the influence of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) within the UNHRC.

The UNHRC heavily weights membership on its council to nations from Africa and Asia – two continents where the OIC has considerable influence. The OIC controls the lion’s share of the world’s energy resources, including oil, gas and uranium.

The OIC and its allies have an automatic majority on the UNHRC, and this is represented in the council’s workload.

Human Rights Watch claims that the OIC has “fought doggedly” and successfully within the UN Human Rights Council to shield states from criticism, except when it comes to criticism of Israel. The OIC’s mantra has been that the council should work cooperatively with abusive governments rather than condemn them.

This has led to the absurd situation in which Israel is condemned 33 times by the UNHRC out of a total of 40 countryspecific condemnations, while the UNHRC expresses only “deep concern” over Sudan and praises its cooperation.

When the UNHRC discussed issues relating to the Second Lebanon War in 2006, four of the council’s independent experts reported the findings of their visit to Lebanon and Israel. State after state from the OIC took the floor to denounce the experts for daring to look beyond Israeli violations to discuss Hizbullah’s as well.

This sent a very clear message that experts filing reports for the UNHRC involving Israel should never look at the conduct of any other party. Justice Richard Goldstone understood this very well, as was reflected in the report he gave the UNHRC. In an interview given to Al Jazeera in 2009, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the OIC, explained how his organization not only initiated, but drove the Goldstone process from start to finish.
The MFA said simply:

Israel is a democratic and law abiding country that carefully observes international law and, when need be, knows how to investigate itself. That is how Israel has always acted, and that is the way in which investigations were conducted following Operation Cast Lead, launched to protect the inhabitants of southern Israel from rockets and terror attacks carried out by Hamas from Gaza.

The Israeli investigation system, which conforms to all international standards, is being examined by the Turkel Committee, an independent panel with international observers. This committee is still carrying out its work.

In view of all this, as well as of the biased, politicized and extremist approach of the same Human Rights Council that had initiated the skewed Goldstone Report, Israel sees no reason to cooperate with this commission.

Israel will nonetheless read and study the report.

(h/t Joseph.E)