The Key Differences between UNGA and a Mental Asylum

The Question

What are the key differences between a mental asylum and the United Nations General Assembly (“UNGA”)?

This is by no means the first generic question of its kind. Similar ones have been raised before, in other contexts with respect to other entities.

In the present context, my answer is

First, unlike the UNGA, the folks staffing and running the mental asylum are sane, and

Second, unlike the mental asylum, you cannot keep the members of UNGA within safe bounds so as not to allow them to harm others.

The matter at hand

The matter at hand concerns the UN General Assembly (“UNGA”), the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (“CEIRPP” /the “Committee”) www.un.org › unispal › document › ga-mandated-com and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (“UNCTAD”)

CEIRPP’s operates under a mandate granted by UNGA “to extend its cooperation and support to Palestinian and other civil society organizations”.

It is composed of 25 UN member states. Based on its record to date, it has been properly described, along with four other UN organizations that focus on the Arab-Israeli conflict   as the “veteran pillars of the UN’s anti-Israel infrastructure, aimed at undermining, discrediting and demonizing Israel.”

Since its establishment in 1975, it has managed to create a powerful network of more than 1,000 anti-Israeli NGOs from around the world, granting them special status with the Committee.

UNCTAD was established by UNGA in 1964 as a permanent inter-governmental body that is part of the United Nations Secretariat and reports to UNGA.

 Manifestations of insanity

On August 13, 2020, pursuant to the General Assembly resolution 74/10 UNCTAD ,in the context of CEIRPP, submitted to the Assembly one of its reports concerning the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

This particular report is titled: Economic costs of the Israeli occupation for the Palestinian people: the Gaza Strip under closure and restrictions. For some reason, UNCTAD posted on the substance of the report on its website on November 25 2020, under the heading: Israeli occupation cost Gaza $16.7 billion in past decade [2007-2018]-UNCTAD estimates.

 The Secretary- General of the U.N., who did the formal submitting of the report to UNGA, felt compelled, by a strange mental process to say that he had “the honour’ to submit the report.

When the top man of the U.N. says that about a nutty report, we know we are dealing with a nutty outfit.

Diagnosing the problem: The “humanitarian crisis”

 In 2005, the government of Israel unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza strip (“the strip”) to demonstrate her good faith in its promotion of peace with the Palestinian Authority. It withdrew its armed forces from the strip; shut down some 21 settlements and evacuated the settlers causing them enormous amount of long term hardships for the settlers to relocate themselves.

In 2007, within two years of Israel’s disengagement, the strip was taken over by the Hamas terrorist organization who promptly proceeded to eject the P.A. personnel. It has  since been engaged in terrorising of Israeli civilians and causing them and their children a great deal of insecurity, personal, mental and economic hardship not to mention physical injury and death, with its increasingly deadly sophisticated weapons as well as by novel means such as incendiary balloons.

For what may be some kind of world record, Hamas provoked no less than 3 wars against Israel in less than 10 years during that decade. In the process, Hamas and its terrorists allies that joined them during   that decade  also caused substantial and expensive ecological damage.

Needless to say, throughout the 10 years in issue, Hamas and the other Gazan terrorist groups behaved in fundamental breach of the critical part of the UNSCR 1860 of 2009 that  places great emphasis on the respect and security of human life and prohibits military and civilian terrorism aimed at humans.

In the circumstances, Israel did what any country mindful of its national security and just as importantly  of fundamental duty to insure the safety and security of its citizens established a lawful naval blockade to prevent Hamas from importing new arms as well to block the importation into Gaza of the kinds of materials that can be and are often enough used to sustain the Gazan terrorism, not to mention the construction of multiple underground tunnels into Israel.

Needless to say, Egypt also threatened by the behavior of Hamas and its serious mischiefs in Egypt has likewise imposed upon the Gazans restrictions on the movement of people as well as strict control over the movement of dual use goods as well as the lethal kinds into the strip.

For its part, not to be left out of the picture, the Palestinian Authority (“P.A.) periodically contributed its share to the Gazans’ hardship by withholding its humanitarian assistance both directly and indirectly by refusing to pay for the essential services delivered on its behalf by Israel.

Among the foregoing four actors, Israel carries on systematically with its humanitarian treatment of Gazans within the realm of that which is reasonably possible by a) delivering essential services even when the P.A. refused to be held liable for them; b) allowing  through the optimal amount of  goods, and  access to fisheries during periods when the terrorists were quietly preparing their next  attacks, c) providing  critical medical services, and d)permitting Qatar to make substantial monthly financial contributions in the order of $40 million to the Gazan economy despite the uncertainty as to whether the funds were benefitting the populace and/or the military projects, not to mention the pockets of the terrorist leaders.

The diagnosis and the cure proposed by Israel and Egypt since 2007

Israel and Egypt have repeatedly offered Hamas the opportunity to end the fighting and to settle matters peacefully, to no avail. Hamas has no intention to give up its fight to defeat Israel and to throw the surviving Israelis into the Mediterranean.

UNCTAD’s diagnosis and proposed treatment

In the light of the foregoing incontrovertible set of facts, the people running the asylum would have no trouble to diagnose Hamas  as  the sole cause  and the sole cure of the condition. Then again these are sane people.

UNCTAD instead proceeded  to diagnose Israel as the sole cause of the condition of Gaza and consequently being the sole cure  of Gazans’ condition.

In a nutshell, UNCTAD‘s prescription to treat and  ultimately cure Gaza’s condition  demands Israel

“a) To lift  what amounts to the blockade of Gaza  essential for it to trade freely  with the rest  of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the world, and

b) To restore the right to free movement for business, medical care, education, recreation and family bonds.”

UNCTAD  closed the matter by stating “We can hope conclude  to sustainably resolve the humanitarian crisis only by fully lifting the debilitating closure, in line with Security  Council resolution (UNSCR) 1860(2009).” unispal.un.org › UNISPAL.NSF .(with minor editorial reformatting)

Hence, the report demands Israel to abandon her own military security  and that which she affords  to her inhabitants instead of demanding Hamas to assume its responsibilities towards the people which it governs with an iron fist and exploits at whim.

I  trust the reader will not   think that I am rushing to judgment or judging  in  bad faith  the foregoing institutions and their staff, when I conclude that these ought to have been  into an asylum on the grounds of serious mental impairment  that will require long and sustained treatment.

I think it is safe to say that  looking  at the way in which the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been addressed  and managed to date, world affairs would be mentally healthier in the hands of the administrators of asylums rather than in those of the U.N. UNGA and  in the various emanations of both.

I very much suspect that both the number and the percentage of mean spirited mental patients in an average asylum is significantly lower than the number  of U.N member countries  run by a variety of mean-spirited destructive despots  or governments who do not care one whit for the ideals and values set out in the Charter of the U.N   and in its founding and subsequent declarations.

Worse, unlike a mental hospital where the inmates are safely kept in bounds, there is no one capable of keeping the foregoing UN members countries from poisoning world affairs.

The U.N. the hope of the nations to keep the world safe, civil and wholly beneficial to humanity if it ever was, is no more.

I wish I could leave the reader with a sense of hope. Unfortunately, I very much fear that things are going to get worse when the EUGHRSR gets going. Who? That is the European Union Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime that was just established on the 7th.inst.

About the Author
Doğan Akman immigrated to Canada with his family. In Canada, he taught university in sociology-criminology and social welfare policy and published articles in criminology journals After a stint as a Judge of the Provincial Court (criminal and family divisions) of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, he joined the Federal Department of Justice as a Crown prosecutor, and then moved over to the to civil litigation branch . Since his retirement he has published articles in Sephardic Horizons and e-Sefarad and in an anthology edited by Rifat Bali titled "This is My New Homeland" published in Istanbul.
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