If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.
– Abba Eban
“Off with her head!” the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.
“Who cares for you” said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!”
— Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
The so-called “United Nations” has reached a new low in its descent from an idealistic organization dedicated to humanizing the behavior of nations, into a massive scam operation whose only consistent objective, aside from the enrichment of its employees, is the destruction of the Jewish state.
In an email sent on 24 December, longtime UN watchdog Anne Bayefsky wrote,
Two and a half hours ago the UN General Assembly’s budget committee (a committee of the whole, i.e. composed of all 193 member states) decided to fund a new “Commission of Inquiry” established by the UN Human Rights Council that is intended to emasculate the state of Israel. Without exaggeration, it is the most hostile and dangerous anti-Israel body the UN has ever created. It will decide Israel is guilty of apartheid, validate and unleash criminal prosecutions of Israelis, significantly magnify pressure on “third states” and “business enterprises” to engage in BDS, and insist on an arms embargo against Israel. It is permanent in duration. It will have 18 permanent UN staff funded by the regular budget – which means 22% of it will come from American taxpayers, create an in-house legal bureau to seek criminal charges against members of the IDF and the highest echelons of the Israeli government (“command responsibility”). The three members of the “Inquiry” have been appointed – and all have public records of extreme anti-Israel animus. Notorious supporter of Durban and the Goldstone report – former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay – is the Chair. The first report of the “Inquiry” is due in June 2022.
The commission will “investigate” Israel’s actions during the May 2021 war with Hamas. This 11-day warlet was initiated by Hamas, which fired some 4,260 rockets at Israeli towns and cities, as well as provoking anti-Jewish riots in cities with mixed Arab and Jewish populations. Israel’s response, as always, was primarily defensive, and also as always, undertook to keep damage to civilians and their property to a minimum. But like the tendentious and ultimately discredited Goldstone Report on the 2008-2009 Gaza war, this commission will certainly rely on “findings” generated by anti-Israel NGOs based on “data” provided by organs of Hamas, and will determine that Israel acted from motives of racism with genocidal intent.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that one of the primary motivations of Hamas for provoking conflict with Israel is to be able to generate material that can be used to attack Israel in international political and legal forums. The intent is to cause the nations of the world to treat Israel as it did apartheid South Africa, with boycotts, divestment, and sanctions, as well as to initiate criminal proceedings against Israeli leaders and military officers. In addition to the direct economic damage that could be done by this program, the propaganda effect would be to deter even friendly nations from supporting Israel in the event she is attacked by her enemies.
The ultimate goal – of both Hamas and the UN – is not to change Israel’s behavior. It is to end its existence as a Jewish state.
Bayefsky described the Commission and its objectives here and here. She notes that it is “unprecedented in its funding, staffing, and permanence.” It will cost almost $12 million in its first three years, and almost $5.5 million in each succeeding year. It will have three times as many staff members than were charged with investigating North Korea in 2013 (and those were temporary – this commission has no end date). She adds,
The Israel inquisition is the largest boondoggle in the history of the UN human rights system: it will fund 790 days of travel for experts and staff every year from 2022 on – forever. Those are two UN employees provided food and accommodation and airfare to roam around demonizing the Jewish state every day of every year. That is also more travel days than any of the Council’s current human rights investigations about anything, anywhere.
This is far more dangerous than the Goldstone report (and not only because they are not taking any chances by appointing someone with a conscience to head it, as happened with Richard Goldstone). In effect, the UN is creating a permanent diplomatic, political, and legal army to do battle with Israel, forever.
Bayefsky’s suggestion for a response is that Israel and her supporters should submit evidence to the commission that describes the myriad instances of incitement, terrorism, racism, antisemitism, and violations of international law by Hamas and the PLO. But I am not so sure. There comes a point at which cooperation with a clearly biased enterprise legitimizes it. One of the Trump Administration’s greatest gifts to Israel was its departure from the UN Human Rights Council, probably the single most anti-Israel part of the UN, which produced 14 anti-Israel resolutions this year (compared to five for the entire rest of the world), and which proposed the new Commission of Inquiry. Naturally, the Biden Administration has rejoined it.
It’s often said that Israel has no choice except to be part of this corrupt institution, because being outside of it would be worse. Maybe not. The UN, which was originally created to stop wars and genocides, has never succeeded in doing that. Today, at least in the case of Israel, it actually makes such things more likely, rather than less. It may be time for Israel to stop pretending that the UN has any legitimacy or any moral standing, and leave the organization; time for Israel to “grow to her full size” like Alice, and expose the UN as the corrupt, racist, antisemitic institution that it is.