The upcoming publication of the UN’s Goldstone “fact-finding” mission on Gaza calls to mind events that occurred at the headquarters of the Human Rights Council during the January war.

Certain members of the UN staff union in Geneva were so worked up by Israel’s military operation that they flouted UN rules by organizing their own demonstration, and issued a statement supporting the biased Human Rights Council resolution that was opposed by the European Union, Canada and other democracies. Click for flyer

No such efforts were ever made by the union during the previous 8 years when Hamas fired thousands of rocket against Israeli civilians. Nor have they ever done such a demonstration for anyone else in the world. 

It’s just a reminder that whenever things heat up in the Middle East, the UN explodes in efforts to condemn Israel. Even after dozens of UN institutions, agencies and officials with some ostensibly relevant mandate issue their condemnations, dozens more emerge that have no relevant mandate, or which are expressly barred from making political statements.

It’s what happened in 2006 during the Lebanon war, when the now-defunct sub-commission on human rights censured Israel — even while admitting that they were prevented by their rules from criticizing any countries — for its “massive denial and violation of human rights in Lebanon.”  Not only did the statement pointedly ignore Hizbollah’s role in attacking Israel and violating the human rights of Israeli civilians, but it blatantly violated the sub-commission’s legal mandate. 

The sub-commission has today been replaced by the Advisory Committee, whose chair is Halima Warzazi, and vice-chair Jean Ziegler. The former was an apologist for Saddam’s gassing of Kurds, the latter for Qaddafi’s attack on Lockerbie.


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