More Israel bashing from the UN...
Anne Bayefsky is my favorite correspondent on the UN....
When President Bush told the United Nations General Assembly this week “the American people are disappointed by the failures of the Human Rights Council,” his words could not have been more timely or deserved. He pointed out “This body has been silent on repression by regimes from Havana to Caracas to Pyongyang and Tehran — while focusing its criticism excessively on Israel.” On Friday, the Council piled the dung heap higher. It wrapped up another session in Geneva by adopting two more resolutions against Israel and no resolutions critical of the human-rights record of any of the other 191 U.N. member states.
This brings the total of anti-Israel resolutions and decisions adopted by the “Human Rights” Council — in only the first 15 months of its operation — to 14. Another four very weak decisions and resolutions have been applied to Sudan. And the Council finally decided to hold a special session of the Council on Myanmar. So adding up the highly selective concerns of the U.N.’s lead human-rights agency: 74 percent of the Council’s moves against individual states have been directed at Israel, 21 percent at Sudan, 5 percent at Myanmar, and the rest of the world has been given a free pass.
European diplomats openly predict that within a year all U.N. special investigators dedicated to uncovering and reporting on human-rights violations in specific states will be abolished by the Council. These key mechanisms for human-rights protection were created with enormous difficulty over the past two decades. The axe wielded by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was first used in June to terminate the human-rights investigations on Cuba and Belarus. Then came the dithering over Sudan. While genocide continues in Darfur, the Council couldn’t decide this week whether a Sudan investigator was worth keeping. The matter was deferred for another three months. All other such investigators are on the chopping block — all that is, but one.
The only exception to the “rule” is the investigator assigned to Israel. The Council has extended the life of the Israel rapporteur until Council members deem the occupation to be over — notwithstanding that the controlling faction believe all of Israel to be occupied land. At the same time, there is no shortage of outbursts from the OIC railing against any other human rights investigator. With great indignation Egypt sputtered: “…decisions to create, review or discontinue a country mandate, should take into account the principles of cooperation and dialogue with the country…”
Israel-bashing, the sport of choice for U.N. diplomats the world over, presents a special conundrum for European diplomats. In its first month of operation the Council took a decision to hold a special session on Israel and then adopted a resolution containing a vitriolic attack on Israel, alone. The date was July 6, 2006 — a time when Hezbollah was making plans for a war it started shortly thereafter. The EU voted against both the decision to hold the special session and the resolution.