U.N. rights chief ignores Arab-Israel peace, condemns Israel again



Following are remarks delivered by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer before the UN Human Rights Council,
on September 15, 2020, in response to the opening plenary speech by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet: In the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the escalating tragedy in Gaza is of particular concern. The blockade by sea and land, which Israel has imposed for 13 years, has brought Gaza’s main economic and commercial activities to a complete halt. The blockade, which contravenes international law, has conclusively failed to deliver security or peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer:

Madam President,

We meet on a historic day. For the past century, the Middle East has been the scene of war, bloodshed, enmity and suffering.

In the Arab-Israeli conflict, hostilities included deadly wars in 1948, ‘56, ‘73, and ‘82, as well as other deadly wars of attrition and terror. In Israel and Arab countries, an estimated 230,000 men, women and children were injured or lost their lives.

Worldwide, the conflict sparked fears of a clash between the nuclear-armed superpowers, while the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973 shocked the global economy, quadrupled the price of oil, and triggered a worldwide energy crisis. Those applying this embargo included Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Madam President,

Today is a historic day. In the 20th century, a total of two peace accords were achieved between Israel and Arab states — Egypt in 1979, and Jordan in 1994.

Yet today, in one day, that number will double. Only moments from now, on the White House Lawn, both the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain will sign peace agreements with Israel.

The three countries have already begun speaking of a new era — of peace, normalization, mutual cooperation, trade, tourism, prosperity and hope.

The peace agreements have been welcomed by countries around the globe, including Egypt, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, which itself just announced that it will allow overflight rights to planes flying to and from Israel.

Today is indeed a day of hope.

But I am confused.

If the United Nations and this Human Rights Council truly care about human rights and peace, why did the United Nations Human Rights Chief just speak here, making numerous references to the Middle East, yet without mentioning once this historic moment of peace and hope?

Why, instead, did she only point the finger of blame at one side — at Israel?

Why did she not mention the peace agreements being signed today in Washington?

Does this Human Rights Council truly want peace and human rights for everyone?

Why does the Agenda of the council single out only one state, Israel?

Why are half the condemnatory resolutions of this council targeting only one state, Israel?

Why does this council’s expert on the Palestinian territories examine only Israel’s actions, while turning a blind eye to the abuses of Hamas and Islamic Jihad?

Does this Council truly want peace and human rights?

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