Quick quiz. An inquiry set up by the UN Human Rights Council has just released a draft report condemning:
C) Sri Lanka
The answer, of course, is D — Israel. This is yet another UN document that deserves to be filed in the same dustbin as the ugly and discredited Goldstone report. Never mind Iran, China, Sri Lanka et al. As the Geneva-based monitoring group, UN Watch, points out, since the UN set up its “reformed” Human Rights Council in 2006, “there have been seven one-sided inquiry missions on Israel, and only five on the rest of the world combined. Mass atrocities committed by Iran, China, or Sri Lanka, for example, have never been subjected to a single HRC inquiry.”
This latest report, due to be formally presented to the Council in March, is captioned “Advanced Unedited Version.” I assume they meant to say “Advance,” since there is nothing advanced about this product. It’s the latest in a long series of exhibits that attest not to the realities of the Middle East, but to the unrelenting bigotry of what is supposed to be the UN’s leading human rights body. The full title — brace yourself, this is one of those UN doozies — is: “Report of the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people, throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.”
The three “high-level experts” appointed by the president of the Human Rights Council to produce this document arrogate to themselves, in its introduction, a description of their work as “Guided by the principles of ‘do no harm,’ independence, impartiality, objectivity, transparency, confidentiality, integrity and professionalism…” Yes, and pigs can fly.
UN Watch gives an incisive summary of the contents of this report, and makes the vital point that while the UN is supposed to foster peace, this kind of inquiry has the very opposite effect: “It has the perverse outcome of pushing the parties further apart, while also inappropriately pre-judging final status issues that can only be resolved through direct negotiations.” I’d add that in obsessively savaging Israel, while ignoring most of the genuine perpetrators of gross human rights violations, the UN Human Rights Council — and the UN generally — waste the considerable resources they are given, dishonor their charter mandate, and do a horrendous disservice to the truly downtrodden.
As UN Watch notes in two additional items currently high on its web site, the UN recently voted the Hugo Chavez regime of Venezuela a seat on the Human Rights Council, and the UN has just elected Sudan as one of four vice-presidents to its powerful Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). These are just two of the latest data points in the UN’s chronic practice of seating thug governments, from Iran to Cuba, on its governing bodies and councils. If the UN is actually capable of launching a genuinely independent inquiry (it’s not clear that it is), then it’s high time it launched one into its own devolution into a machine for exalting the likes of the Caracas and Khartoum regimes, and under their guidance, cranking out propaganda and endorsing bigotry.