Israel: Promotion of Syria demonstrates UN's irrelevance

Friday, November 18, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

Israeli officials on Wednesday said a decision by the UN Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) to name Syria as the Arab representative to a committee on implementing human rights at a time when the Syrian regime is massacring its own citizens further demonstrates the total irrelevance of the world body.

Israeli media reported on Syria's promotion on Thursday, just one day after the UN had issued a report condemning the massacre of at least 3,500 Syrian pro-democracy activists and other civilians at the hands of Syrian government forces.

"We are talking about an outrageous absurdity," one Israeli official told Israel Radio. "UNESCO is legitimizing Syria [as a human rights champion] even as it is slaughtering its own people."

Other officials noted that this is the same UNESCO that just a week ago summoned the Israeli ambassador to officially complain over a political cartoon in the liberal Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.

The cartoon showed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordering an aerial assault on Iran's nuclear facilities, and telling the pilots involved to also bomb the UNESCO office in Ramallah on their way back.

It was a left-wing editorial jab at Netanyahu and Barak for so vocally condemning UNESCO recognition of "Palestine" as a sovereign nation, but UNESCO officials insisted the cartoon "endangers the lives of unarmed diplomats."

UNESCO has been petitioned countless times over cartoons appearing in Arab newspapers that present Israel and the Jews as bloodthirsty and demonic, but the organization has yet to issue any formal complaints in those cases.

The cartoon incident and the promotion of Syria, of all nations, to sit on a human rights advisory committee are, for most Israelis, the final nails in the coffin of the UN's legitimacy and relevance.

Meanwhile, the mainstream international media completely ignored the story of Syria's hypocritical promotion at UNESCO.

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