Israel has decided to sever its ties with the widely discredited and highly biased UN Human Rights Council. This decision follows a vote last week that approved an initiative championed by the Palestinian Authority calling for an investigation of how the Israeli presence in the West Bank affects the human rights of Palestinians.
By taking this bold action against a council that disguises bias for the Jewish state under the name of human rights Israel now stands alone as the World’s most prominent defender human rights. For reference, of the 51 condemnations issued by Council a full 35 of them were against Israel. The UNHRC’s inability or refusal to address the World’s most pressing human rights issues, together with its championing of the World’s most notorious human rights abusers such as Muammar Qaddafi, is an affront to people everywhere who face true injustices.
By ignoring the ongoing human rights abuses in Syria, China, Iran, Sudan and many more places across the globe the Council is itself abusing the human rights of the oppressed. The existence of the UNHRC should imply that human rights abuses are at least being discussed, yet by failing to do its duty of addressing such crimes the Council gives de facto legitimization to the abuses and the abusers.
Essentially, the Council is saying to the starving, unarmed people in the Nuba region of Sudan that it is “okay” for the al-Bashir government to be bombing them with Iranian supplied arms. It is telling the people of Syria who are dying by the thousands that they are just as guilty for the violence as the heavily armed and increasingly brutal Syrian army. By praising the Qaddafi regime earlier this month the Council told the people of Libya that their popular revolt against the brutal dictator was not justified and that his use of fighter jets on unarmed protesters was not wrong.
As I see it there are two ways for the Council to restore its credibility and to at least perhaps not negatively affect the cause of defending human rights. The first, most obvious way, would be to stop ignoring and legitimizing the mass murder and oppression of people all over the world while constantly condemning the one true democracy of the Middle East. The second option would be for the Council to simply change its name to truly reflect its mission of condemning Israel. If it were to call itself, say, the UN Condemn Israel Council (UNCIC) at least it would not offend the World’s neediest and most oppressed by pretending to defend them.
Holding two Master's degrees, from Tel Aviv University and the University of Chicago, Gal has focused his career in the public sector working in education reform before joining Act For Israel. Born in Israel but raised in the United States Gal knows firsthand how often Israel is misrepresented abroad. Understanding that Israel's interests must be heard beyond the established pro-Israel community Gal recently led an effort to raise billboards calling for the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The billboards were seen by over two million people, received news coverage in the US and overseas and garnered Congressional recognition.