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COOPER & BRACKMAN: A kangaroo court for human rights
Question of the Day
Here they go again. Last April’s so-called Durban II human rights conference, convened by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, welcomed Iran’s President Mahmoud “Wipe Israel from the Map” Ahmadinejad as its opening keynoter. On that day of infamy, more than 30 delegations, including Canada and the United States, walked out on the speech.
They should have kept walking.
Last month, UNHRC passed new, onerous resolutions against Israel - the only country designated as a “permanent agenda item” by the United Nations’ chief global human rights address. One resolution urged reparations only for Palestinian victims of hostilities with Israel. Another established a committee of “independent experts” to oversee implementation of the notorious Goldstone Report, which condemns Israelis as war criminals for the “crime” of defending their country’s citizens from 8,000 Hamas rockets. The anti-Israel assembly line ensures that serial abusers in Havana; Beijing; Khartoum, Sudan; Tripoli, Libya; or Tehran will never be put in the docket.
And what of the latest carnage in the Moscow subways? Don’t hold your breath about UNHRC action against the scourge of the 21st century in finally declaring suicide bombings - whoever the perpetrators or targeted victims - “crimes against humanity.”
Which brings us to the question: Why is the United States still a party to this cruel farce?
Last year, the Obama administration took months before it followed Ottawa’s lead in boycotting Durban II. Then it chose “to re-engage” the U.N.’s misnamed “human rights” central. Replacing Canada at the UNHRC, the United States joined Egypt - notorious for mistreatment of Coptic Christians - to introduce a seemingly innocuous resolution condemning “racial and religious stereotyping.” The 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference took this as a green light for its own resolution condemning “defamation of religion” - meaning any criticism of Islam or Shariah law. This resolution passed this March - over U.S. and European objections that it failed to protect the individual’s right to follow the religion of his choice or, God forbid, to criticize religion.
Then, 15 months after Israel’s defensive incursion into Gaza’s “Hamastan,” the UNHRC passed five “mini-Goldstone” resolutions institutionalizing the Goldstone Report’s one-sided investigation of Israel and virtually stripping the Jewish state of the right to self-defense against nonstate terrorism.
The family of a kidnapped Israel Defense Forces soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, flew to Geneva to beg the UNHRC for Cpl. Shalit’s release, but while U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay issued yet another report critical of Israel, she omitting any reference to Cpl. Shalit’s plight.
Small wonder that serial human rights abusers such as Libya and Iran are jockeying for renewed membership at the UNHRC.
If they succeed, they might be voting soon on a draft resolution proposed by a favored nongovernmental organization: the International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It characterizes Israel as “the largest open-air prison in the world” and charges it with letting loose “hordes of marauding gangs of illegal Israeli settlers so as to launch pogroms against Palestinians.” The resolution concludes with this charge:
“It is the turn of the dead, kidnapped and killed Palestinians. Their human organs, as reported in the press, can be a source of immense wealth through illegal trafficking in the world market. Israeli physicians, Medical Centres, rabbis and the Israeli army may to be involved, according to reports published in the Swedish press and criminal investigations in the United States. After Israeli physicians remove organs they think marketable, the soldiers bury the bodies in graves that carry only numbers and no names, or place them in sealed caskets and deliver them under curfew conditions to the families and supervise the digging of the graves and burial.”
Of course, the United States will denounce this Joseph Goebbels-style big lie and blood libel. But why should America even lend its prestige to Geneva’s U.N. kangaroo court, dominated by Jew haters run wild?
President Obama should strike a blow for human decency by announcing that the United States is withdrawing from the macabre circus that is the U.N. Human Rights Council. Leave its halls to be filled with the diplomatic howls of the bombers of Pan Am 103 and the crushers of the Twitter revolution.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, where historian Harold Brackman is a consultant.
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