Tuesday, April 25, 2017

  • Tuesday, April 25, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

We are familiar with the anti-Israel bias of the United Nations.

In November 10, 1975, there was United Nations Resolution 3379 that Zionism is racism.

In September 2009, the UN came out with the Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead -- a report that condemned Israel and minimized Hamas responsibility. The Goldstone Report was so filled with inaccuracies, that 2 years after it came out, Goldstone apologized for the report's conclusion that Israel had intentionally targeted civilians.
The top 250 words in the Goldstone report's conclusions and recommendations section, in graphical format using Wordle. The size of the words indicates how often they were used. The reference to the terrorist group Hamas can be found on the right, in a red square. Credit: Elder of Ziyon
In 2014, William Schabas was selected by the UN to head a similar investigation into Israel's Operation Protective Edge. After various issues of Schabas' bias were revealed, he finally recused himself.

These made big headlines at the time.

The UN anti-Israel bias continues to show up. Sometimes it makes some headlines, sometimes not.

But though the UN bias is persistent, we sometimes forget the extent to which the UN supports anti-Israel terrorism.

This goes beyond the regular rape accusations against the UN, and accusations that they have been lax in prosecuting those charges.

The institutional bias and refusal of the UN to deal with it permeates its relationship with Israel, and goes way beyond the bias Israel regularly faces in the UN, the UN Assembly, UN Security Council and UN Human Rights Council.

UNRWA is known for its partisanship. This of course is to be expected. Since the UNRWA's existence is completely dependent on a Palestinian refugee crisis, it is not surprising that it has accomplished so little to actually resolve the problem. What is not mentioned is that UNRWA's bias against Israel is an inescapable result of that dependence on the Palestinian Arabs.

The problem of UN-sponsored schools using anti-Israel textbooks from Palestinian Authority has often been noted. Yet, UNRWA's failure to deal with the problem continues.

Beyond the texts being used, the teachers themselves reinforce the anti-Israel bias. In February 2017, UN Watch came out with its report: Poisoning Palestinian Children: A Report on UNRWA Teachers' Incitement to Jihadist Terrorism and Antisemitism.

This video gives a small taste of the anti-Israel prejudice UNRWA allows:

While UNRWA has finally responded to pressure and taken steps to deal with the problem, withholding salaries from such employees for up to one month, the response has been that UNRWA employees complain that they can't post hate on Facebook.

UNRWA, for its part, has played down the fact that there is a UNRWA-Hamas connection. Peter Hansen, UNRWA's commissioner-general in 2004 played down the fact that Hamas had infiltrated UNRWA:

Oh, I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don't see that as a crime. Hamas as a political organization does not mean that every member is a militant and we do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another.

Ten years later, The Lawfare Project charged that Ban Ki-moon Overlooks UN Agency’s Complicity in Hamas War Crimes Targeting Palestinian Children, specifically:

  • UNRWA has been caught three times during Operation Protective Edge storing Hamas rockets. Roughly ten percent of all Hamas rockets fired indiscriminately at Israeli civilians have fallen short, causing damage in Palestinian civilian areas in Gaza.
  • UNRWA confirmed that Hamas fired into the Beit Hanoun area in northern Gaza where, on July 24, 2014, an UNRWA school was hit. An estimated 17 children and UN personnel were killed, and 200 others wounded.
  • UNRWA has publicly admitted to handing rockets stored in its facilities over to the “local authorities” in Gaza, i.e., Hamas.
  • UNRWA has publicly admitted to hiring Hamas (and Islamic Jihad) terrorists as teachers at its schools, thereby providing direct access for Hamas to recruit Palestinian children.
  • UNRWA schools have reportedly been used as launching pads for mortar attacks against Israeli civilians.
  • A senior UN official, John Ging, confirmed that Hamas terrorists “are firing their rockets into Israel from the vicinity of UN facilities and residential areas,” thereby putting UNRWA staff and students in harm’s way and using civilians in Gaza as human shields.
  • UNRWA has permitted Hamas to use its schools as grounds for the recruitment and training of child soldiers and suicide bombers, and for the operation of militant summer camps for children.
  • UNRWA has openly taught Palestinian children from a curriculum that incites violence, encourages suicide-homicide bombings, espouses the concepts of martyrdom and jihad, and calls for the destruction of Israel.
  • An UNRWA health clinic that housed a Hamas terror tunnel entry shaft was built with explosives in its walls. The booby-trapped UNRWA clinic was then detonated on July 30, 2014, killing three IDF soldiers. The soldiers were working inside the UNRWA clinic to examine its structural integrity before sealing the Hamas tunnel under the building. Additionally, Hamas officials have reportedly admitted that, as of December 2011, at least 160 children had been killed in the tunnels. (Update: The booby-trapped building was reported to be an UNRWA clinic, but other reports have stated that the building was a former International Committee of the Red Cross clinic.)

More recently, actual ties between UNRWA employees and Hamas have come to light. Along with news that the Gaza head of World Vision had been accused of funneling $43 million to Hamas and Israel sentenced a Palestinian engineer with UNDP for aiding Hamas, just a few days ago it was reported that UNRWA’s Gaza union head, accused of Hamas ties, no longer employed by agency -- UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness refused to say whether the worker quit or was fired due to his being elected to a Hamas leadership role earlier this year. No new information is available on UNRWA’s infrastructure chief, who allegedly was also elected to the Hamas political bureau.

Now that the UNRWA Commissioner General has declared that UNRWA is a global advocate for the protection and care of Palestine refugees, practically in competition with Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, the problem is likely to only get worse.

The incompetence, neglicence and the outright complicity of UNIFIL with the Hezbollah terrorist group is of even greater concern.

In 2000, during a Hezbollah cross-border raid the terrorists captured three IDF soldiers; Benny Avraham, Adi Avitan and Omar Sawaid, who were patrolling the security fence along the border with Lebanon. A timeline of the events make clear that the UN in general -- and UNIFIL in particular -- not only bungled the opportunity to rescue the IDF soldiers, but the UN and UNIFIL deliberately lied to Israel and attempted to stonewall their investigation:

October 7, 2000: Hizbollah kidnapping

Seven hours after the kidnapping, UNIFIL officers find Hizbullah's getaway cars. They find and catalogue 53 items in the cars, including fake UN flags, stickers and UNIFIL license plates. The amount of blood in the vehicles indicates that the occupants "may have been badly injured and may succumb to their injuries."-- but Athmanathan's assessment is not communicated to senior UN or Israeli officials.

October 8, 2001: An Indian UNIFIL officer films the vehicles' recovery, during which armed Hizbullah terrorists detain the convoy and demand the vehicles at gun-point. The UNIFIL Force Commander turns the vehicle over to Hizbullah "to avoid confrontation and because they were not United Nations property."

July 6, 2001: UN finally admits to having the tape, but won't turn it over because they must remain neutral.

Kofi Anan calls for an internal investigation following indications that UNIFIL had hidden the existence of the tape from Israel and senior UN officials for months and the UN "did not deliberately mislead the Israeli government."

July 15, 2001: A third video clip that "purports to show still photographs of Hizbullah fighters during the abduction itself" is shown on Lebanese TV.

July 16, 2001: According to the UN internal investigation:
General Athmanathan informed Mr. Guéhenno that, on 11 July, UNIFIL had learned of the existence of another videotape (hereafter referred to the Shebaa tape). This videotape, which did not indicate any time or date, nor the identity of the person filming, showed the shelling of IDF posts on 7 October, three to four kilometres from the abduction site, as well as activity in a UNIFIL shelter. The footage on this videotape is of the bombardment of Israeli positions along the Blue Line, and shows smoke that could be of the burning Israeli jeep. It appeared to be filmed from several locations, including from in or near a United Nations observation post and shelter.
The video was not of the kidnapping itself.

July 30, 2001:
US Congress adopts resolution 411-4 for UN to release video

August 2, 2001: The UN releases the results of its investigation. Read report here.

UN admits "serious errors of judgment were made, in particular, by those who failed to convey information to the Israelis, which would have been helpful in an assessment of the condition of the three abducted soldiers." But:
Rather than giving the tape directly to Israel, though, the UN decided place sharp restrictions on when and how Israel could view the tape, allowing Israeli officials to view the tape only three times, at neutral sites in Geneva and Austria. The UN also refused to turn over the aforementioned items, which were bloodstained personal belongings of the IDF soldiers and UN officials fervently denied the existence of a third tape, a tape that many Israeli officials claim may have offered the most direct and useful information.
According to the Jerusalem Post:
Israel Ambassador to the UN Yehuda Lancry announced that Israel had accepted the UN's offer to view an edited version of the video [of the recovery], in which the faces of Hizbullah terrorists who may have been involved in the kidnapping are obscured.
According to Palestine Facts:
Only heavily edited versions were eventually turned over to Israel, indicating a cover-up was still operating in the matter, probably to protect UNIFIL personnel who were involved or who were negligent in their duties. An Indian member of UNIFIL gave an interview to an Israeli newspaper in which he said that four Indian members of UNIFIL helped Hezbollah carry out the abduction.
November 1, 2001: Israeli army rabbi Israel Weiss pronounces the soldiers dead.
Their remains have yet to be recovered.

Among the conclusions of the internal investigation:
The videotape of 8 October was the catalyst for this investigation. There is nothing in the Indian Battalion videotape that justified its release to any party on elementary considerations of humanity. The investigation team uncovered the existence of another tape that, despite the fact that it was taped on 7 October, and the fact that it was filmed in a nearby location, also contains no information that bears on the well-being of the soldiers. The Force Commander's initial assessment and subsequent assessments by other senior officials has not varied: neither the tape nor the photographs contain any information that relates to the well-being of the soldiers. The investigation team concludes that at no time was videotape or other photographic material relevant to the condition of the soldiers withheld.

Later it was revealed by a former UN military observer that the UN ‘destroyed’ evidence after abduction of 3 Israeli troops because of the “potential sensitivity of the issue.”

In 2006, Hezbollah again kidnapped Israeli soldiers. It led to the second Israel-Lebanon war, brought to an end with UN Resolution 2701. When Israel agreed in 2008 to release terrorist Samir Kuntar in exchange for the remains of the 2 murdered soldiers, UNIFIL was there - saluting the coffins of Lebanese and Palestinian terrorists:

UN Resolution 2701 was supposed to ensure that Hezbollah would not be able to arm Southern Lebanon and establish missiles and rockets there.

UNIFIL was supposed to enforce this.

Not surprisingly, UNIFIL has failed to do its job.

In 2006, David Kopel wrote about United Nations an Accomplice in Hezbollah Kidnapping for The Volokh Conspiracy blog. In an update, he addressed the question of whether the United Nations, base on UNIFIL's failure to prevent the kidnapping and murder of the 3 IDF soldiers and the UN's deliberate attempt to stonewall Israel's investigation.

He wrote:

Anti-semitism. I don't think that anti-semitism is the root of the UN's problem with Israel. It's true, as some commentators have pointed out, that the UN is functionally anti-semitic; that is, the UN constantly condemns Israel far more often and more vehemently than it condemns other countries which (even if you believe the worst about Israel) violate human rights much more severely than Israel does. The Eye on the UN website provides copious documentation of the UN's functional anti-semitism.

Nevertheless, I think the UN's pervasive anti-Israelism, although anti-Semitic in practice, is not primarily motivated by hatred of Jews.
...Although UNRWA was captured [by anti-Israel interests] very shortly after it was born, the broader UN assault on Israel didn't get going until the 1960s; the assault peaked in the 1970s, and later receded slightly from its 1970s apex. The anti-Israel assault of the 1970s was merely one element in a successful Soviet strategy of aligning the new UN members, most of them former colonies of Europe, and most of them dictatorships, into an anti-Western bloc. Israel, having the misfortune of being located in the middle of a sea of dictatorships, was a natural target of this UN super-majority; but the same would have been true if Romastan were a pro-western democracy.

Today, the Islamic bloc at the UN continues to find local political advantage in anti-Israelism (as it would with anti-Romastanism), while the rest of the Third World finds it advantageous to go along. I don't think that the dictatorship of China, for example, cares one way or the other about Jews or Israel; but the Chinese dictatorship correctly discerns that voting with the Islamic bloc against Israel is a cost-free way to curry favor with Islamic states, and win their support on issues relevant to China.

Regarding Kofi Annan, and most of the rest of the UN's leading executives, I would say that, functionally, they are vicious anti-Semites, but that, in their hearts, they are not particularly prejudiced against Jews per se. Rather, their actions are explainable under the principles of organizational behavior. Annan is a career UN employee (the first one to become Secretary-General), and he has risen through the organization by shrewdly placating whoever needs to be placated. His anti-Israel actions are simply the result of his astute calculation of the balance of forces at the UN. If he could gain more power at the United Nations by denouncing Fiji or by defending Israel, he would do so.

So there is no anti-semitic conspiracy at the UN, in the sense of a conspiracy directed by people who are deeply motivated by hatred of Jews. Rather, the UN's criminal complicity in the kidnapping of Israelis, like the rest of the UN's anti-Israelism, is explainable as the logical result of a wide variety of UN actors behaving according to their self-interest.

Perhaps Kopel is right.

It may matter very little, since the functional difference appears to be minimal.

Whether we are talking about the UN, or UNRWA and UNIFIL -- the fact remains that UNRWA and UNIFIL constitute a real danger to Israel, and the failure of the UN to resolve the problems shows that the UN itself is a danger to Israel as well.

But there are just so many instances that we can tend to forget just how bad the UN is.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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