This past Monday, Mr. Ban Ki-moon seemed to have withdrawn his comments with respect to Israel’s treatment at the UN. The Secretary General when asked by a reporter if he believes that Israel faces discrimination at the UN Ban responded by stating “No, I don’t think there is discrimination against Israel at the United Nations.” This statement backtracks the comments he made in Jerusalem, “Unfortunately, because of the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict, Israel’s been weighed down by criticism and suffered from bias — and sometimes even discrimination.” So does Israel actually face discrimination in the United Nations? Unfortunately, its a resounding yes.
As a center-left individual I must recognize the fact, a fact that many leftist or staunch pro Palestinian supporters do not recognize, that Israel DOES face discrimination in the United Nations. Israel has been sanctioned by more than 70 UN resolutions mostly dealing with the Palestinian question. The illegal and immoral brutal occupation of the Palestinian people has breached many international laws and has brought shamed to the Jewish state. This is an incontrovertible fact. However, as a supporter of human justice and dignity, I cannot be hypocritical and ignored other forms of grotesque human rights violations that are happening OUTSIDE the context of the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
Why has the United Nations remained silent on Cuba’s crackdown on the Ladies in White? A dictatorship where according to Amnesty International the “repression of independent journalists, opposition leaders and human rights activists [has] increased.” Furthermore, why hasn’t the United Nations done more with regards to the gross human rights violations in Iran? We all know that Russia and China would impede anything with regards to Iran going through the Security Council, but why hasn’t there been more awareness or further attention been place on Iran? Most importantly, why hasn’t Iran been charged with the cardinal crime any country can commit, genocide. Under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide article 3 clearly states that the following act shall be punishable “Direct and public incitement to commit genocide.” Since the Islamic Republic has always chanted Death to Israel, why hasn’t Iran been brought to the ICC or Ahmadinejad? These fanatical cries are public, direct, and without any legal action been taken, it makes a mockery of international law. Lastly, the United Nations instead of becoming an organization that advances world peace, tolerance, and conflict resolution, it has become the stage for hypocrisy and double standards. Last year the United Nations General Assembly session “adopted 22 country-specific resolutions on Israel – and only four on the rest of the world combined, one each for Syria, Iran, North Korea and Burma, noted UN Watch.” The rouge states do as they please neglecting potential consequences. When the United Nations focuses entirely on Israel than on the entire human rights record of rouge states, the UN sends a message to them, what you are doing is bad but your record is not as bad as Israel. Thus, ignoring any UN recommendations against them. These are just some of many examples that illustrate pure and unambiguous bias towards Israel.
It’s important to point out that the only reason why Israel continues to face so many one-sided resolutions is due to its treatment of the Palestinian people. As long as the brutalization, occupation, and humiliation continued, Israel will always remain the punching bag of the world. If Israel were to vote in favor of an annual General Assembly vote on the Question of Palestine, a vote that follows the frameworks of the two-state solution and which the majority of the world is in favor of, then the criticism and bashing would cease. Furthermore, since such resolution expresses a just solution to the conflict via the two-state solution, voting in favor is, in essence, a de facto recognition of Israel. In any case, as peace negotiations continued to take place in Jerusalem, I hope that an agreement may be reached so the violence on both sides may end, so that Israel, in the words of the former Human Rights Council president, Doru Costea, will not be placed “under the magnifying glass.”