“Hate Israel Day” at Human Rights Council on Eve of Ahmadinejad’s U.N. Speech
As Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in New York to deliver his annual denials of the Holocaust, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the existence of gays in his country—his U.N. General Assembly address is tomorrow, ironically on Yom Kippur, the Jewish people’s most solemn day of the year— the organization’s highest human rights body sadly stoked the flames by devoting an entire day to attacking the Jewish state, a permanent feature of all its sessions. UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer took the floor to respond. See selections from the debate below.
UN Human Rights Council, Sept. 24, 2012
Agenda Item 7: “Human Rights Situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories; human rights violations and implications of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and other occupied Arab territories; right to self determination of the Palestinian people”
The debate opened with an Update on the Implementation of the Goldstone Report (download here), presented by U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang, who also added her own statement accusing Israel of human rights violations.
Council President Laura Dupuy Lasserre (knowing that Israel was absent): I will now give the floor to Israel. . . but, as far as I’m told, they’re not in the room. . . In light of this fact, I give the floor to the distinguished representative of Palestine.
“The issue of anti-Semitism in Malmö has now led the organization UN Watch to call the UN’s attention to the problem. The matter is considered extremely serious, given Sweden’s candidacy to the UN Human Rights Council.” — Svenska Dagbladet, Sept.6, 2012
Time for Atonement
Palestine: The occupying force continues to perpetrate serious violations… The Judaization of Jerusalem is continuing… Israel is not cooperating with this Council, which is a unilateral decision…
Syria (which killed 26,000 of its own people this year): The occupation constitutes the worst violation of human rights. Israel, the country of impunity, continued to flout resolutions by the international community. . . with regard to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners, and other basic rights. We stress the need for a fact finding mission to assess the situation of Israeli settlements…
Senegal for the African Group:Israel is continuing to build new settlements in an illegal matter. It is similar to the struggle fought by Africans against colonial powers. We call on Israel to resume its cooperation with this Council…
Pakistan for the Islamic Group:The Council should take concrete measures to address Israel’s decision to suspend its relationship with the Council…
Indonesia: We share the concern about the persistent lack of cooperation by Israel to uphold its obligations under international law. Israel’s recent refusal to cooperate with the Council is a valid example of that…
Libya: The Israeli decision to cut relations with the Council is an alarming precedent, meaning that countries could simply opt out of the system without consequences…
UN Watch Director Hillel Neuer: Thank you, Madam President. Several speakers today have criticized Israel for being absent from this debate. We welcome conditions that would allow Israel to return.
At the same time, it is important for this Council to reflect on why Israel felt the need to leave. Perhaps the answer lies in today’s debate.
The agenda item under which we meet — built into every council session — examines Israel only. Last week we had one day examining violations by the entire world; today we have one day examining alleged violations by Israel. We recall that in June 2007, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the Council’s decision to create this biased agenda item.
Second, in today’s debate, the Council focused on implementation of the Goldstone Report. Yet a year and a half ago, the chief author of that report, Judge Goldstone, disowned the Goldstone Report. He disavowed its main accusation.
How is it that this Council meets to implement the Goldstone Report, when Goldstone himself has stated expressly that had he been in possession of the same information he has today, he would not have adopted the same report? The Council’s action is illogical.
Third, half of the council’s country resolutions have dealt with Israel. Yet there has never been a resolution on most of the countries that took the floor today to condemn Israel, including countries such as China and Pakistan.
Fourth, Israel is the only member state that is not a member of a regional group here at the Council.
Finally, Israel is the only country subject to a permanent investigator whose mandate examines the actions of only one side, and presumes guilt in advance. And the person who who holds this mandate, Mr. Richard Falk, was condemned by the Secretary General for promoting the 9/11 conspiracy theory.
Mr. Falk also endorses the Hamas terrorist group so much that the Palestinian Authority itself — as reported by the Ma’an newspaper, revealed in a Wikileaks cable, and admitted by Mr. Falk — called on him to quit.
Madam President, this Council should reflect and consider: Is it possible that Israel has left this council out of a well-founded fear of persecution?
Thank you, Madam President.