The UN Should Learn from Israel, Not Condemn Her

I once had a professor who told the class, “If you enjoy talking about how bad Israel is, then working at the UN would be perfect for you.”

Many in the class laughed, I presume because they understand the absurdity of Israel’s situation at the United Nations.  No state has been vilified more, targeted more, or had its very legitimacy questioned on the international level than the world’s only Jewish State.  In session after session, a parade of ruthless dictators, third world despots, and sometimes mainstream Western leaders verbally assault a state with perhaps no peer in respect to morality in the face of security threats.  All of the Israel-bashing at the UN prevents many countries from doing what they should be doing, which is learning from it.

A recent report by UN Watch noted that in November, the UN General Assembly adopted six resolutions condemning Israel for how they handled Arab terrorists stabbing innocent civilians in Jerusalem.  Those resolutions were drafted by Syria.  Let that sink in for a minute. The 193 voting states of the UN General Assembly passed six resolutions drafted by Syria condemning another country’s human rights record. It is almost laughable that Syrian representatives had the audacity to call any state out on human rights, when their government has killed over 250,000 people.  A government who has used chemical weapons on its own people sponsored six resolutions that passed “muster” at the UN.  Not one resolution during that period targeted the human rights records of Cuba, China, Iran, or Saudi Arabia.

The most recent anti-Israel barrage to come out of the General Assembly is nothing new.  Since 1955, there have been 77 UN GA resolutions condemning Israel in its defense against Palestinian terrorism alone.  In that same time span, one single resolution has condemned the Palestinian Authority.  The same Palestinian Authority who keeps terrorists on the payroll, names streets after martyrs who die killing Israelis.  This is a small sample of a large historical trend.  Between 1947 and 1989, there were 690 resolutions relating to the larger Arab-Israeli conflict, meaning involving neighboring states like Egypt and Syria.  Of those 690 resolutions, 429 were anti-Israel and 56 were aimed at Arabs (the rest being neutral).  Of the ones aimed against Israel, words like “demand,” “blames,” and “orders to comply” were used.  In the ones aimed at Arabs, of which none have come after 1949, gentler words like “request” and “refrain” were used.  To top it all of, the General Assembly “expressed grave concern” over Israeli self-defense policies 129 times in that span, versus a resounding zero times for Arab states who funded, harbored, and encouraged terror against Israeli citizens.

This constant Israel bashing at the UN takes away from legitimate lessons many states could learn from the Jewish State.  Israel is a world leader in agriculture despite being around 60% desert.  Israel has one of the most open judiciary systems, where anyone can get in front of a judge, whether they are Arab-Muslim, Jewish, Druze, or Christian.  Israel is one of the world technology leaders, creating crucial technology for computers, cell phones, and apps we all use.  Israel exports some of the most advanced medical equipment in the world, and provides treatments to citizens of countries that hate Israel.  This is not just a regional thing, as Israeli search and medical teams were some of the first to go to Nepal and Haiti after earthquakes rocked those nations.  Those 192 other countries would do well to open more lines of communication with a state that has given the world so much.

Israel used to be the darling of the UN.  It is one of the only states voted into existence by a UN plan.  That same plan aimed to give the Palestinians a state in 1947, which they rejected.  That all changed when the demographics of the UN changed and third world countries began to numerically dominate the General Assembly.  Ever since then, at each UN session, states like Syria which have committed some of the most heinous crimes of the 20th century, and own some of the worst human rights records in history have been able to criticize Israel at will.  As one of the only states who has its very legitimacy and self-defense actions condemned, Israel has been strong in the face of unparalleled criticism.  The absurd resolutions coming out of the General Assembly do not seem to be slowing down anytime soon, which is a shame for those countries that could benefit most from Israeli innovations.

About the Author
Saul Mangel, a writer based in Netanya, specializes in international relations, the defense industry, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Originally from Philadelphia, Mr. Mangel holds a bachelor's degree in political science. While working at a leading intelligence firm in Israel, Mr. Mangel will continue to contribute to the Times of Israel.
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