"Very little media attention has been given to the fact that President Biden brought the U.S. back to the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC), arguably the most antisemitic institution on the planet. Its latest outrage is a ‘Commission of Inquiry’ (COI) that is so blatantly antisemitic it can best be described as a form of Inquisition in its lies and shameless mockery of human rights.
For most of the UN’s existence, one could be excused for forgetting that it emerged in 1945, out of the ashes of the Holocaust. Indeed, over the decades various Russian-Arab collusions have systematically and sadistically targeted the world’s only Jewish state, from the ‘Zionism is racism’ calumny to the disproportionate condemnations. But now we’ve reached a new low.
Last Thursday, the COI announced it will investigate the allegation that Israel is an ‘apartheid state.’ The ongoing investigation was set up by the HRC following last year’s 11-day battle between Israel and Gaza terrorists. To no one’s surprise, it has focused nearly exclusively on Israel. The COI’s announcement follows the release of its second report, which called on the UN Security Council to end Israel’s ‘permanent occupation’ and urged UN member states to prosecute Israeli officials.
Navi Pillay, a former UN human rights chief who chairs the COI, called apartheid ‘a manifestation of the occupation.’ ‘We’re focusing on the root cause which is the occupation and part of it lies in apartheid,’ Pillay said. ‘That’s the beauty of this open-ended mandate, it gives us the scope.’
Beauty is not a word that typically comes to mind when thinking about the UN. Nor is truth or justice.
Let’s start with the so-called ‘Human Rights’ Council, whose members include China, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan. Where, one wonders, is Iran and North Korea?
And then we have the three members of the COI. The commissioners ‘were chosen precisely because they abhor the Jewish State,’ said Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan at a press conference held by StandWithUs Thursday morning. ‘Each of them had declared Israel guilty of the very crimes they were charged with investigating—before they began,’ echoed Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust.
UN Watch has documented multiple instances of Pillay accusing Israel of apartheid; some as recently as 2020.She’s also used the phrase ‘the extremist Israel lobby’ and supports the BDS movement. In July, Commission member Miloon Kothari made comments about the undue influence of a so-called ‘Jewish lobby’ on the media. He has also questioned why Israel was in the UN. In June, Member Chris Sidoti from Australia dismissed all Jewish victims with the retort: ‘Accusations of anti-Semitism are thrown around like rice at a wedding.’
Then there’s the ‘inquiry’ itself. The COI called for submissions on ‘systematic discrimination and repression’ and ‘underlying root causes,’ but then sent ‘the submissions that challenged the prearranged endgame directly to the trash,’ said Bayefksy.
In an ‘unprecedented response in the history of the UN human rights system,’ Bayefsky said, the Touro Institute and a group of eminent research centers submitted more than 5 million unique submissions of dissent. ‘And yet Pillay openly told the press in June she hadn’t seen them and dismissively labeled them as ‘all pro-Israel.’ In today’s report, there are dozens of references to non-UN organizations – every one of them trash-talks Israel. Not one participating so-called ‘pro-Israel’ NGO sees the light of day.’
The 28-page report is ‘sprinkled with a series of highlighted quotations from Palestinians in Hebron,’ writes Bayefsky. ‘One contains a blood libel about Jews arriving in Palestinian homes in the middle of the night and threatening to burn the human beings inside. Another claims that Jews are child molesters intent on feeling the breasts of Palestinian girls.’
As Carly Gammill, director of the SWU Center for Combating Antisemitism, put it: ‘Israel is even somehow responsible for the violence that Palestinian men choose to perpetrate against Palestinian women. Do Navi Pillay and her fellow commissioners also blame the honor killings and second-class citizenship of Palestinian women on Israelis? And why stop there? By the Commission’s logic, it would also need to blame Israel for these same tragic conditions in other Middle East countries, like Saudi Arabia and Iran.’
The COI has called for Israel to immediately withdraw from the West Bank, while making no demands of the Palestinians. Indeed, notably absent from the report are any mention of Hamas, terror rockets, or terrorism. ‘The inquisitors advocate that Israelis be hunted down, prosecuted, and jailed for crimes against humanity,’ writes Bayefsky. ‘They couldn’t name a single Palestinian crime worth prosecuting.’
‘The shameless prejudice exhibited in the report is shocking,’ she adds, ‘even by U.N. standards. The Summary brazenly announces that it is only about ‘the human rights implications for Palestinians.’ Apparently, Jews, according to the HRC, aren’t worthy of human rights.
President Trump withdrew from the HRC in 2018, largely due to its systemic discrimination against Israel. Biden brought the U.S. back last year, continuing to provide significant funding for the UN and the HRC. In June, Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced the Commission of Inquiry Elimination Act to withhold U.S. funding for the HRC because of its ‘blatant bias against Israel.’
Funding would be withheld until the Secretary of State certifies that the HRC has abolished its COI.
President Biden’s words of support for Israel are appreciated but are not enough. It’s time for the president to put his money where his mouth is and support a bipartisan initiative that establishes consequences for the most antisemitic institution on the planet. Anyone who believes in justice must urge him to do so.
‘Today, it’s no longer politically correct to blame Jews for all the world’s problems, so antisemites adapt,’ said Ambassador Erdan. ‘Rather than burning Jews at the stake, antisemites burn the Jewish state at the stake. This is exactly what [the UN] constantly does.’
Mister President, it’s your time to act and show the world that this Inquisition against Jews will not stand."