Bepi Pezzulli
International counsel & foreign policy adviser

The UNHRC should investigate Gaza not Israel

If the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva actually pursued the purposes for which it was established, its permanent Commission of Inquiry would be set up to investigate on China, Russia and Bahrain, that is, on the body’s permanent members who shape its agenda.

China has been perpetrating an unopposed genocide of the Uyghur people of Xinjiang. Since 2007, there is an ongoing process of systematic repression of eleven million people no one seems to care about. Of all the discriminations that the Chinese government has committed since its occupation of Tibet, the one against the Uyghurs is the most blatant and outrageous.

Russia, in turn, deserves to be investigated for its support to the Belarusian regime.

As for Bahrain, it is a Sunni regime on a Shia majority; in the tiny kingdom in the Arabian Gulf, arbitrary imprisonment of opposition leaders is the norm.

On the basis of their human rights record, each of these countries should be given the cold shoulders from the international comity. China has even caused the Covid-19 pandemics and attempted to cover it up to the world.

Realpolitik, however, requires a certain degree of compromise. U.S. President Joe Biden has bravely called Russian President Vladimir Putin a criminal, but he still needs to engage with him, much to everybody’s hope that the talks go well. Given the historical precedents, nobody can see a military expeditionary force to Russia as a feasible option. Nor it would be conceivable to invade China. In the twilight of the colonial era, all the Western nations, as well Russia and Japan tried to do so. The result was the destabilisation of the entire Asian continent. The same is true for Bahrain: An international intervention would cause a repeat of Iraq, that is, Iran expanding its radius of influence.

For these reasons, no strong action can be taken against these rogue countries. Hence, their resolutions at the UNHRC that target Israel can get passed, although Israel is an advanced democracy and commits no human right violations.

In a week or so, the IDF wiped out Hamas’ arsenal. The terrorist organisation now needs funds to restock it. A permanent enquiry would be needed on this, if only to control the fate of the next flood of money that will be poured into Gaza. Sadly, it won’t happen. Get used to it. We live in a dystopian world.

About the Author
Giuseppe Levi Pezzulli ("Bepi") is a Solicitor specialised in International financial law and a foreign policy scholar. His research interest is economic statecraft. In 2018, he published "An alternative view of Brexit" (Milano Finanza Books), which investigates the economic and geopolitical implications of Brexit. In 2023, "Brave bucks" (Armando Publishing House), which highlights the role of private capital in the industrial policy mix. Formerly an Editor-in-Chief of La Voce Repubblicana; is a columnist for the Italian daily financial newspaper Milano Finanza; a pundit for the financial TV channel CNBC; and a Middle East analyst for Longitude magazine. He received degrees at Luiss Guido Carli in Rome (LLB), New York University (LLM), and Columbia University (JD).
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