JNS.org – At the start of a new year, people traditionally make resolutions to improve themselves. So what is the United Nations about to do better in 2022?
Answer: To launch an attack on Israel even more malicious and on a larger scale than previous UN attempts to delegitimize and destroy the Jewish state.
Last week, the United Nations General Assembly approved an annual budget of $ 5 million for a commission of inquiry, headed by former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who has unprecedented scope to demonize Israel.
The apparent background to this investigation, which was launched in a resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in May, was the conflict that month when, under attack by thousands of rockets fired by Hamas from Gaza to kill Israeli civilians, Israel launched Operation Guardian of the Walls to defend itself.
Of the 236 Gazans killed in the conflict, at least 114 were members of terrorist organizations and 21 were killed by other Gazans as a result of rocket misses.
The investigation, however, was set up as a kangaroo court. It’s not just that the UNHRC resolution failed to mention the rocket attack on Israeli civilians by Hamas, or its use of Gaza civilians as human shields.
The investigation was clearly set up to find Israel guilty of human rights crimes of which it is both innocent and victim – and furthermore, to find it guilty of such crimes not only in Gaza and the “West Bank”, but in Israel itself. .
In addition, the mandate of the investigation includes “all the underlying root causes of recurring tensions, instability and prolongation of conflicts, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic identity, racial or religious ”.
Thus, he is about to accuse Israel of the alleged crime of its very existence dating back to its inception in 1948, as well as defame it with the false accusation of “apartheid” which has become the defining slander in circles denigrating Israel.
Worse yet, its reach and reach is amazing and unprecedented. As Anne Bayefsky points out in a devastating article for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the commission will have 24 permanent members. This compares to the 20 permanent staff in the consulting branch covering all of Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East, or more than 60 percent of the world’s population.
And its goal is to isolate the Israelis on criminal charges.
To this end, it will have four full-time lawyers, plus a “forensic expert” to “report on forensic issues”, and a “military advisor” to rule on “de jure command responsibility ”and liaise with law enforcement officials.
This is designed to cripple Israel’s ability to defend itself against murderous and existential attacks. “Indeed, the budget of this UN inquisition funds the creation of a law firm inside the UN dedicated to fabricating accusations and organizing a global prosecution to arrest and incarcerate Israeli Jews, ”writes Bayefsky.
The UNHRC vote came weeks after a report by the NGO Human Rights Watch accusing Israel of “apartheid.”
This accusation is, of course, ridiculous. Israeli Arabs clearly enjoy equal civil and religious rights, while Arabs living in the disputed territories are not Israeli citizens at all. Those who accuse Israel of apartheid not only defame Israel, but downplay the real evil of apartheid in South Africa.
Yet, with the three members of the commission each having a record of extreme hostility towards Israel, there are plausible fears that the investigation is a montage designed to produce some sort of Human Rights Watch report on steroids – and with the UN Imprimatur.
In addition, the commission does not have an expiration date but must issue reports in perpetuity. In other words, it is an institutionalized engine of demonization and delegitimization of Israel.
There are particular fears that the criminal indictment of the investigation could lead to Israelis being brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has previously displayed bias against Israel. However, the new ICC prosecutor, British lawyer Karim Khan QC, may not be the child’s play one might assume from the court’s previous record.
At his first press conference in The Hague earlier this month, he said he would reconsider his overly heavy caseload – which currently includes a highly controversial investigation into the charges against Israel brought by the “State of Palestine” .
More importantly, he added that he would only proceed in cases that had a “realistic prospect of conviction.” In other words, unlike his predecessors for whom it was not a key consideration, he would only open an investigation on the basis of evidence that stood up to scrutiny.
So even if the toxic Pillay commission ball lands at Khan’s feet, it doesn’t follow that he will necessarily pick it up and run with it.
Nonetheless, the real threat of this investigation lies in its potential to demonize Israel in the eyes of the world regardless of any legal process. Such delegitimization not only renders people indifferent to attempts by Israel’s enemies to wage war on it, but also prompts major nations to seek to thwart its attempts at self-defense.
As a result, the Pillay investigation constitutes an existential attack on Israel – the latest product of an obscene and exterminating obsession of the UNHRC.
The council and its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights, whose members have included such human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba, Pakistan and Russia – have passed Following resolutions condemning Israel as all other countries in the world together, while adopting no resolution on human rights violations committed in China, Cuba and Russia.
Moreover, Israel is the only country to which the Council devotes a standing item on the agenda, as if Israel – the alone Middle Eastern country that guarantees equal human rights protection to all its citizens – were the world’s leading human rights violator.
This surreal situation is the result of a deeply rooted Western fallacy. Human rights law and supranational bodies such as the UN and the ICC were created after the Holocaust from a noble but mistaken belief.
It was that the nation-state could no longer be relied upon to safeguard peace and justice, that it was by definition incapable of combating crimes against humanity, and that consequently organs and laws supranationals had to be created to meet these needs.
These visionaries failed to understand that since the world was dominated by states and regimes that were both repressive and deeply imbued with hatred of Jews and hostility towards Israel, any world body or system of supranational law would itself become accomplice of tyranny and anti-Semitism.
This is why “lawfare,” or the militarization of international law to wage war with better public relations, has become a primary weapon against Israel, targeting the Jewish people alone for such a wanton attack.
And that’s why the UN, the global body set up to ensure that crimes against humanity never happen again – a global goal it has clearly failed to achieve – has transformed itself. into a weapon with which to commit them against the Jewish people once again.
In other words, the UNHRC has become an engine of evil. In January, the United States returns to the Council as a member. The Biden administration says it will be able to put an end to its abuse. It’s unlikely.
The UN is supposed to be the world’s police force. But if a police force is in the pocket of a murderous and tyrannical sect, it turns into a protection racket where the innocent are shot and the guilty are free to inflict more bloodshed.
It’s not just Israel’s problem. As long as the West ignores the deep corruption of the UNHRC, it is corrupting itself.
How to make the world a better place in 2022? Close the UNHRC.
Melanie Phillips, British journalist, host and author, writes a weekly column for JNS. Currently columnist at The Times of London. Hst personal and political memoir, Guardian Angel, was published by Bombardier, who also published his first novel, The Legacy. Go to melaniephillips.substack.com to access his work.