This previous week, as world leaders gathered on the United Nations in New York for the annual Basic Meeting, on the UN complicated in Geneva, the Human Rights Council concluded its 39th session, the place but once more, not Iran, Syria or North Korea, however the democratic State of Israel, has been the prime focus of consideration.
In June this 12 months, the USA introduced it was withdrawing from the UNHRC, citing its “unconscionable” and “continual” bias in opposition to Israel, with Ambassador Nikki Haley saying the Council had grow to be “a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.”
The UNHRC was fashioned in 2006 particularly with a view to create a brand new physique to sort out human rights abuses in gentle of the failures of its discredited predecessor, the UN Human Rights Fee.
The Fee was largely criticized for its one-sided obsession with Israel and the make-up of its members, which included among the most abusive regimes like, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Cuba. Libya even chaired the Fee throughout 2003, when it was nonetheless dominated by Muammar Gaddafi.
Former Secretary Basic Kofi Annan, who tragically handed away only in the near past, said in 2005 that this contributed to the Fee’s “declining credibility”, which had “forged a shadow on the popularity of the United Nations system as a complete.”
Recognizing this grave hazard to the very basis of the United Nations and people most oppressed, Annan was instrumental in establishing the brand new UNHRC in 2006.
Hopes have been excessive that this may usher within the daybreak of a brand new period, when the persecuted would lastly have a voice and the persecutors shunned, denied their impunity and at last held to account for his or her crimes.
Moreover, it was envisaged that this new reformed Council would lastly forged apart its pathological obsession with the State of Israel and focus its consideration on the true perpetrators of human rights crimes around the globe.
Twelve years later and the consequence?
Regrettably, the brand new UNHRC has accomplished little to enhance the popularity of the United Nations and continues to make an entire mockery of human rights, persevering with to defend the world’s worst human rights abusers, whereas denying justice to their victims.
On the outset, one want solely take a look at the make-up of the present UNHRC.
International locations like Cuba, Venezuela, Iraq, Pakistan, Qatar and Congo should not precisely nice bastions of democracy, that encourage confidence of their capacity to objectively rise up for human rights.
As an alternative, on this theatre of the absurd, this gang of terrorists, tyrants and dictators sit in judgment of Western democracies, their locations on the Council assured in back-door offers and their impunity sealed by the membership to this supposedly august physique.
As Hillel Neuer of UN Watch, the main impartial group dedicated to monitoring the United Nations has noticed, this course of is Orwellian, “the place the worst criminals are sometimes the prosecutors and judges.”
Then there may be the continuing therapy of Israel, the place the UN’s high human rights physique has been shamed, irreparably so, by its ongoing pathological obsession and relentless hostility in opposition to Israel, a beacon of democracy, human rights and the rule of regulation.
Israel in fact isn’t above the regulation, nevertheless the difficulty is that it has systematically been denied equality earlier than the regulation, none extra so than earlier than the UNHRC.
With the Center East in flames, Syria and Iran rampantly committing grave atrocities by the day and human rights crises around the globe, from Asia to Africa and Latin America, this Council insists on singling out the only real Jewish state and turning its again on the world’s most egregious human rights abusers. Within the meantime, it continues to persistently overlook, excuse, and worse but, condone Palestinian terror in opposition to Israel.
It merely a gross injustice and an absurdity of unfathomable proportion that for the reason that UNHRC was based in 2006, the Council has condemned Israel 78 times, greater than the entire different international locations on the planet mixed.
Likewise, how can anybody who actually cares about human rights imagine it’s acceptable, simply or truthful that the Council devotes a everlasting merchandise on its Agenda to violations allegedly dedicated by Israel, the one nation it singles out in such method, whereas the rest of the world is mixed and shoved right into a solitary different merchandise.
In June this 12 months, talking earlier than the Council, then UK Overseas Minister Boris Johnson said this dedication of a single agenda merchandise on Israel was “disproportionate and damaging to the reason for peace”, warning that except this case modifications, UK will vote in opposition to all resolutions launched beneath Merchandise 7.
Earlier this 12 months, UN Human Proper Council even created a blacklist of Israeli and abroad firms working within the West Financial institution, by no means thoughts the very fact those that profit most from these enterprise are Palestinians who obtain gainful employment.
As Ambassador Nikki Haley noted, “this disproportionate focus and endless hostility in direction of Israel is obvious proof that the council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights.”
There isn’t any doubt that the imaginative and prescient of this Council was actually noble. However equally clear, it has grow to be self-evident that it has completely did not reside as much as its personal constitution and objectives, abandoning all pretext of its obligation to behave as an goal guardian of human rights and champion of the oppressed.
As an alternative, the Council has grow to be rotten to the core, outlined by its unrelenting obsession in opposition to Israel, whereas cementing its function as a defend for the world’s tyrants and dictators.
The US was proper to hunt reform the Council, however evidently, regardless of their greatest efforts, it was merely unattainable within the present political local weather.
With thousands and thousands of individuals around the globe craving for assist, crying out to be heard, what is required urgently is the creation of a brand new physique, that will probably be made up of democracies and free societies, its mission centered on probably the most urgent human rights issues around the globe and that shall be capable to discharge their duties with ardour, professionalism and objectivity. Something much less will probably be to show our again on those that want our assist probably the most.
Vladimir Sloutsker is the Co-Founder and President of The Israeli-Jewish Congress (IJC).