The UN’s Lost Legitimacy

Make no mistake: the UN lost its legitimacy long before it adopted Friday’s anti-Israel resolution in the Security Council.

An organization that annually passes 20 General Assembly resolutions against Israel – and just four against the rest of the world combined – has no legitimacy. An organization that has made Israel the only country in the world with a permanent place on its Human Rights Council agenda, has no legitimacy. An organization that elects some of the world’s worst human rights offenders, including Saudi Arabia, China, and Cuba, to its highest human rights body, and makes Israel the target of half of all its condemnatory resolutions, has no legitimacy.

To be clear, an organization without legitimacy cannot legitimately condemn one of its member states.

With every passing year, the UN’s anti-Israel bias becomes more overt.  It’s an injustice to Israel to be sure, but it’s also an injustice to the millions of victims of tyranny and terror worldwide. Every session spent censuring Israel, every debate spent denigrating the Jewish state, and every fact-finding mission or special commission that is created to investigate the Middle East’s only democracy, is time and resources not spent addressing the world’s real victims.

Most notably, the UN has failed the people of Syria.  In six years, it has mustered just eight toothless resolutions, while half a million Syrian people have been starved, gassed, bombed, and otherwise slaughtered.

The UN doesn’t just ignore the world’s worst human rights offenders, it is notorious for promoting them to positions of influence.

In 2007, Sudan presided over human rights sessions of the Economic and Social Council, even as its president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, was being investigated for crimes of genocide in Darfur.

In 2014, Iran served as a vice chair of the General Assembly’s legal committee. Then, as now, Iranian citizens are denied due process and can be sentenced to death for homosexuality, apostasy, and the troublingly vague crime of being “an enemy of God.”

Today, as Saudi Arabia sits on the UN Human Rights Council, its citizens can be publicly beheaded if they are found guilty of blasphemy or “sorcery.” Earlier this month, the Saudis admitted to using cluster bombs containing munitions that have been outlawed for causing unnecessary civilian casualties in its bombing campaign in Yemen.  One such attack in early December, struck near two schools, killing two civilians and wounding others, including a child.

Saudi Arabia won’t be censured by the UN and it certainly won’t be removed from the Human Rights Council.

The UN’s hypocrisy has reached appalling new heights. Instead of addressing the Chinese government, which restricts freedom of expression and religion, or the Russian government, which censures the media and arrests citizens for criticizing state policy, the UN is unrelentingly focused on Israel.

Friday’s resolution, which passed 14 to 0 in the Security Council, condemned Israeli settlement construction, citing threats to the viability of the two-state solution.

That the international community is more outraged over Jews building homes, than it is when Jews are the target of a Palestinian Authority-endorsed stabbing campaign, speaks volumes.

That both Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, terrorist organizations that are violently opposed to Israel’s existence, rushed to praise the passage of the resolution, also speaks volumes.

Instead of advancing the cause of peace, the UN has made the realization of a two-state solution far more difficult by teaching the Palestinian Authority all the wrong lessons.

The Palestinian leadership has learned that there is no need to compromise or sacrifice in the name of peace. It has come to realize that that is no reason to engage in direct negotiations with Israelis. Worst of all, the Palestinian Authority has learned that there are no repercussions for inciting violence and rewarding terrorism; rather there are rewards.

The UN may have succeeded in passing yet another resolution against Israel, but it long ago lost the referendum on its legitimacy.

About the Author
Aviva Klompas is a speechwriter, strategist, and public speaker. She currently serves as the Associate Vice President of Strategic Israel Engagement at Combined Jewish Philanthropies. Previously, she served as the Director of Speechwriting at the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations.
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