Recently a friend sent me this video (the audio is in English with Hebrew subtitles). Many of you may have seen it; the YouTube copy got over 426,000 hits since it was posted in 2007.
It shows Hillel Neuer, director of the UN Watch organization, eloquently denouncing the one year old UN Human Rights Council — which had been created because the previous version, the UN Human Rights Commission had been deemed ineffective, primarily because it was packed with nations notable for their disregard for human rights. The new Council is hardly better — unlike the Commission, Sudan and Zimbabwe are not members, but it still includes Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nigeria, and other states that are not exactly exemplars of regard for human rights.
The Council, like its predecessor, specialized in accusations against Israel while ignoring serious violations by others.
Neuer is a good speaker who reminded me of Abba Eban. The tone of the response by the then-President of the Council, Luis Alfonso de Alba of Mexico, is contemptuous as he tells Neuer that any similar comments in the future will be removed from the record.
So why do I bring this up?
Because it is increasingly true that eloquence, logic, and appeal to facts are irrelevant today. Only the point of view matters. Look at the Goldstone Report and the trashy NGO reports from which much of it was copied: patchworks of unsubstantiated accusations, used to support outrageous conclusions — primarily that Israel deliberately targeted civilians. But there is no real evidence for most of the accusations, and no logical connection to the conclusions. The report earns an F even if considered as investigative journalism, not to mention as a legal brief that might have consequences for Israel or IDF officers.
Nevertheless, this hit-piece, mandated by the above-mentioned Human Rights Council to investigate Israel’s crimes alone is actually taken seriously!
The UN is worse than worthless — they just proved it again by throwing Anne Bayefsky out. Pro-Israel speech is either ignored — when it comes from Israel’s Ambassador — or stifled, when it comes from a representative of a non-governmental organization (NGO) like Neuer or Bayefsky. On the other hand, the UN has an entire apparatus devoted to advocacy for the Palestinians (read: defamation of Israel). Here’s what I wrote about it a while back:
Did you know that our UN contains a “Division for Palestinian rights“? Here are a few of the things it does:
- Organizing the annual commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People;
- Preparing studies and publications relating to the question of Palestine and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and promoting their widest possible dissemination, including in cooperation with the Department of Public Information;
- Maintaining liaison with NGOs which are active on the issue;
- Maintaining and developing the Web-based United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL).
UNISPAL is impressive, by the way, containing audio, multimedia, photographs, etc. There are no pictures of Qassam rockets, but here’s a nice one of a postage stamp.
You are now probably expecting me to say something like “Israel should quit the UN and the US should stop supporting it and kick it out of New York!” But despite the UN’s defects, there needs to be a framework of some kind for international cooperation. And if the US left the UN, there would be no restraints on its behavior at all. I have another idea.
Don’t attack it frontally; outflank it.
Establish a new international organization, called something like the “United Democratic Nations”. Invite only countries that have free and fair elections and more than one political party. No kingdoms, dictatorships or republics-in-name-only need apply. Do all the things that a UN does: pass resolutions, create organizations to fight hunger and disease, to promote literacy, etc.
Little by little, its members would shift their financial support from the old UN to the new UDN. Naturally, being made up of politically advanced nations, the UDN would actually solve problems instead of creating them.
One day the UN would simply be irrelevant. The NYPD would tow all of its diplomats’ illegally parked cars and what was left of it would vanish.