UN Human Wrongs Council Adds To Its Luster

It's a weird day in July when a group wins praise because it throttled back a wee bit on its usual Israel bashing. That's what happened at the conclusion of the 20th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva last week.

The U.S. State Department listed as one of the "key" achievements of the session that it did not adopt any anti-Israel resolutions.  But that doesn't mean there was any letup in what Washington branded a "disproportionate focus on Israel." 

Over strong U.S. objections the 47-nation council named a  "Fact Finding Mission" on Israeli settlements, and its notorious "special rapporteur" on human rights of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, Richard Falk, accused Israel of failing to fully cooperate with him and called for another resolution condemning Israel and for the World Court to look into Israel's treatment of Palestinian prisoners.

UN Watch, a Geneva-based NGO that monitors the world body, pointed out that Falk, an unabashed Hamas apologist, focuses only on Israel and is blind to the violation of human rights of Palestinians by Palestinians.  Even the Palestinian Authority, not usually known as a Zionist tool, accused him of being a "partisan of Hamas" and called for his resignation, according to the West Bank newspaper Ma'an.

The Netanyahu government said it will not cooperate with the settlements investigation, which it called "flawed and biased," and accused the council of singling out the Jewish state while “systematically ignoring massive human rights violations” elsewhere.

How can anyone say that about a group that once elected Muammar Gaddafi its chair and said kaddish for Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the Hamas founder who Israel helped unite with his quota of virgins?

Syria, which thanked Falk for his “bravery” in criticizing Israel, meanwhile declared its candidacy for a seat on the Human Wrongs Council in 2014, according to UN Watch.  The United States and the European Union are strongly opposed to the move and sought to condemn it. Bashar Assad's bid for a seat has the backing of his good friends and fellow defenders of human rights, Russia, China and Cuba, all apparently untroubled by his slaughter of 14,000 fellow Syrians and still counting. 

That's the same crowd that sponsored a Cuban-led "right to peace" resolution that UN Watch said:

endorses resistance against "foreign occupation," for the first time granting U.N. Human Rights Council legitimization of the terminology used by Middle East extremists to justify terrorist attacks against Americans and Israelis.

Other champions of peace joining as sponsors include North Korea, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Belarus, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua. 

UN Watch's executive director Hillel Neuer called the resolution "a sick joke that mocks the victims of these murderous regimes."  Only the United States voted No.  A number of spineless European states abstained and 34 other nations voted in favor. A sure sign it will continue to be the Human Wrongs Council and be able to resist any temptation to clean up its sorry act.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.