Saturday, May 13, 2017

The UN's Obsession Against Israel


“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.’ (Zechariah 12)

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) met once again on March 20 to debate "Agenda Item 7," a mandatory subject of debate since June 2006, the only one whose goal is systematically to condemn the Israeli democracy for crimes the existence of which remain to be proven.

The agenda, officially designed to assess the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories, in the light of the reports submitted by Fatah, the PLO and various NGOs, is part of a wider campaign, carried out by countries such as Libya, Algeria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Sudan and Yemen. Israel is thus the only country on the planet to benefit from the doubtful privilege of being scrutinized on the least of its actions, through an agenda decided by its enemies.

If it were only a question of expressing this obsession, born out of an old habit for the Arab-Muslim dictatorships to turn the Hebrew state into their scapegoat, responsible for all the misfortunes plaguing their societies, Agenda Item 7 would be a mere oddity, especially since the session is regularly boycotted by a majority of Western countries, and systematically by the United States.

Unfortunately, this Israelphobia has been spreading throughout the United Nations. In 1948, when Israel, after being officially recognized as a sovereign state by virtually all Western democracies, had just repelled the genocidal aggression of five neighboring countries, and hundreds of thousands of Jews were fleeing the oppression of Arab dictatorships, the UN gave birth to UNRWA, an organization designed to help Palestinian refugees exclusively. This was despite there already being a program for refugees at the UN, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The mandate of UNRWA was for one year. Seventy years later, the organization, now a lavish UN jobs program, continues to function within the Palestinian territories and neighboring countries, with an annual budget close to one billion dollars.

 Part of that covers salaries and pension funds for 25,000 to 27,000 employees (including many members of Hamas); schools in which the descendants of descendants of "refugees", in suburbs or villages called "camps", are inaccurately told that Tel Aviv and Haifa had belonged to them and should be returned to them, and where the myth of an impossible "right of return" continues to hold new generations of Palestinians hostage and inciting hatred of Israel and Jews.

It is no secret that, in fewer than 70 years, the UN has condemned Israel more often than all the countries of the world combined, including those guilty of slavery, mass executions, genocide -- every human rights abuse imaginable -- to the extent that it has almost became a joke.

There is also no need to go back to 1975, to remember the infamous UN Resolution 3379, "Zionism is a form of Racism," under the Secretary-Generalship of a former Nazi, Kurt Waldheim, a week after Uganda's brutal Idi Amin received a triumphant reception at the UN headquarters.

It is enough, however, to refer to the General Assembly of December 21, 2016 to find that Israel, once again, was condemned 20 times while all the tragic events on the planet, massacres in Syria, the North Korean threats, the Crimean crisis and the ill-treatment of women and minorities in both Iran and Saudi Arabia were penalized almost reluctantly by a tiny half dozen resolutions.

The list of the injustices done to the Jewish state by an organization supposed to preserve peace in the world, which De Gaulle scornfully called "le machin", "the thingy," is so long that it would take several volumes of an encyclopedia to expose them.

None, however, has made as much noise or provoked as much rejection on the international scene as that enacted by UNESCO on October 26, 2016, followed by a similar text on April 29, 2017, the very day Israel was celebrating its 69th year of independence.

Submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan, this text, ratified by the automatic Arab majority, and benefiting from the abstention of almost all the European countries, including France, offered a new and surprising rewriting of history by denying any connection between Judaism and Jerusalem's Temple Mount, including the Western Wall, described in each paragraph by only their Arab names, the Haram Al Sharif and the Al Buraq wall. The counter-factualness of this resolution, led the new Secretary-General of UNESCO, Antonio Guterres, to contradict it, by a declaration that the Palestinian Authority withdraw it, together with issuing an apology.

The goal of the Palestinians, supported by the Muslim world, would be to give the name of the Al Aqsa mosque to the whole Haram Al Sharif (Temple Mount) so that access to it would definitely be forbidden for any non-Muslims, as are Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

Why, indeed, would the Palestinians make the slightest concession, if it were enough for the international community to hand them a state, cost-free, on a platter?

In the opinion of Bassem Eid, a Palestinian human rights activist and political analyst:

"The Palestinian Authority is like an opposition party. It is enough for it to criticize and accuse Israel, it has nothing else to do or to prove, to receive all the support and all the money it needs. And while France and Europe offer medals to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian people continue to suffer under its dictatorship. "

It is now time for France and the European Union to recognize that if they want to keep the glimmer of credibility they still have as participants to any peace process, they should cease demonizing Israel at the same time as they accept all demands, including the use of terrorismthreats of terrorism and payments for terrorism from Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority -- all delivered with the approval of an organization, the UN, which Palestinians have long ago swallowed up.

It is high time that such a toxic organization was defunded. Agencies deemed helpful, such as the World Health Organization, can be funded separately.

Pierre Rehov is a war reporter, documentary filmmaker and novelist. His latest film "Unveiling Jerusalem" directed for the Israel's Channel One television, will soon be available in English-speaking countries.

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