Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"The United Nations is the accepted forum for the expression of international hatred."
"Yes, Prime Minister" British TV show

The bias of the United Nations against Israel is well known.

All you have to do is compare its condemnations of democratic Israel as opposed to the worst human rights violators around the world.

Here is a chart from UN Watch that illustrates the point:

The bias of the UN Human Rights Council against Israel is even worse. It has Agenda Item 7, which makes Israel the only member state that is a permanent agenda item to be regularly discussed.

But the UN is not alone in its one-sided criticisms of Israel.

In 2009, Robert Bernstein wrote about Human Rights Watch, an organization that he founded. He criticized the organization for its bias:
Nowhere is this more evident than in its work in the Middle East. The region is populated by authoritarian regimes with appalling human rights records. Yet in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region. [emphasis added]
How much more?

According to NGO Monitor President Gerald Steinberg at the time, "the obsessive condemnations in reports, press conferences, and op-eds reinforces founder Robert Bernstein’s conclusion that HRW has lost its claim to be a moral force"

Here is the chart NGO Monitor put together for that year:

Apparently, the criticism got HRW's attention.

By 2011, there was a lot more balance in terms of the distribution of the reports they were putting out:

But that did not stop HRW op-eds on the Arab-Israeli from focusing on the allegations made against Israel.

Currently, 2015 is the latest year for which NGO Monitor has information.

The number of reports on Israel, in comparison with other countries in the Middle East, appears to be on the rise again.

During all those years, Human Rights Watch has continued to focus criticism of Israel -- in much the same way as the UN Human Rights Council.

So when US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley tried to spearhead reform of the UNHRC, it was not unexpected that HRW (along with other NGOs, including Amnesty International) would try to block the attempt.

Keep in mind that the proposal for reform was not limited to addressing the disproportionate focus on Israel, but also on a proper vetting of states that would join the council.

Here is the letter Haley sent to each of the NGO's that blocked the US attempt to reform the UNHRC:

Note that Haley's letter indicates that the US did not blindly charge in with an appeal to reform the UN Human Rights Council. She writes that there were meetings with over 125 member states of the UN and that there was "near universal agreement on the need for dramatic and systemic Council reforms."

Yet when the time came for the US to circulate a draft of a resolution for achieving those reforms, not one of those states responded, not even with their own counter-proposal.

Haley refers to a letter that was circulated by Human Rights Watch and other NGO's to undermine attempts to improve the UNHRC and to "block negotiations and thwart reform." According to Haley that letter contributed to the US decision to withdraw from the council.

While they have denied Haley's charge, Human Rights Watch has not published a copy of that letter.

Sarah Margon, the Washington director for Human Rights Watch accuses the Trump administration of "going after independent human rights groups that try to generate more effective policies."

Like the letter these groups sent out to block reform, what these "more effective policies" are remains a mystery.

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.

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