The United Nations General Assembly received another report late last week from the so-called Permanent Commission of Inquiry of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
This commission (COI) was established last year with the unique and exclusive purpose of permanently investigating Israel’s alleged violations of human rights throughout the whole country.
The report was subsequently discussed in the presence of Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan, who didn’t hide his outrage.
The commission is the first UN body to permanently investigate a member state of the organization and consists of three board members and a large investigation team that relies mainly on anonymous testimonies.
The investigation is also open-ended, something that is only the case in the ongoing war in Syria.
The three board members have built themselves a reputation for anti-Israel bias and in one case even for antisemitism.
This summer COI member Miloon Kothari gave an interview to an anti-Israeli news site and claimed social media is controlled by the “Jewish lobby.”
Kothari later publicly apologized for this antisemitic remark, but then added insult to injury when he said he puts a question mark on Israel’s UN membership.
COI chairman Navi Pillay subsequently declined to condemn Kothari’s comments.
This incident was seen by many in Israel as more proof that the COI has no legitimacy and that the commission’s reports are worthless.
Nations distance themselves from anti-Israel bias
The commission has now called on the UN Security Council to investigate “Israel’s permanent occupation” (of Judea and Samaria) and urged UN member states to seek the opinion of the UN International Criminal Court in The Hague on “the legality of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
A large majority in the UN General Assembly subsequently endorsed the work of the COI.
Only a small minority of the 193 UN member states supported the Israeli position on the work of the commission.
Those countries included the Netherlands, Australia, the United States, Albania, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom, among others.
The European Union also surprisingly distanced itself from the COI report and issued a statement rejecting the report.
The EU has recently undergone a slight change in its approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and seems more open to the Israeli position.
The UN’s moral bankruptcy
This time, Ambassador Erdan did not publicly tear up the COI’s report as he had done with the first report.
The Israeli envoy, however, harshly condemned the COI and its report, while standing alongside the parents of a young terror victim.
Erdan also pointed to Kothari’s antisemitic comments and said the COI was completely biased against Israel and had completely ignored Palestinian terror.
“The Commission of Inquiry report presented here is a one-sided, terror-white-washing and morally bankrupt document that does nothing — nothing — remotely productive for the Palestinians or the region.
“In fact, it only makes matters worse. It shows that the terror of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the real oppressors of the Palestinian people, pays off.
“Their report deliberately omits any mention of Hamas or the organization’s thousands of indiscriminately fired rockets, while placing all the blame for every aspect of the conflict solely on Israel a law-abiding, liberal democracy of Israel.”
The ambassador went on to say that the only reason for Pillay’s appointment as head of the commission was that she had in the past called Israel an apartheid state.
“Shame, Shame, Shame!!” Erdan bellowed after confronting the COI chairwoman alongside the parents of five-year-old Ido Avigal, a child from the southern Israel town of Sderot who was killed by a Hamas missile during the war in 2021.
“Can you look into the eyes of Ido’s parents and explain to them why you deliberately ignored their son’s murder?” Erdan asked Pillay. He later called the COI a “mockery” and its work “inquisition.”
The COI chairwoman eventually responded by conveying her condolences to the Avigal family, but nevertheless continued her crusade against Israel.
An anti-Israel obsession
Pillay said she was examining the root cause of the conflict that has been going on for “three-quarters of a century,” a clear reference to the creation of the State of Israel.
She went on to say that one of the root causes was the Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria, which actually only started in 1967 after the Six Day War.
The UN official then accused Israel of “a de-facto annexation of the Palestinian territories.”
Pillay claimed that she and the commission were not antisemitic and that it was the first time in her 81 years that she had been accused of antisemitism.
She also responded to the complaint of UN member states opposing the commission by saying that the unique open-ended investigation she and her colleagues are conducting into Israel’s alleged human rights violations was justified because the “Israeli occupation was also permanent.”
Pillay had nothing to say about the tens of thousands of submissions sent by Israeli NGOs and families of terror victims to the COI, asking it to address the mass murder and organized violence by Palestinian leaders and organizations.
The COI also refuses to investigate the Second Intifada, when PA chairman Yasser Arafat deliberately started a war against Israel in which more than 1,100 Israelis lost their lives.
Nor did Pillay say a word about the ongoing incitement against Jews and Israel in the Palestinian education system.
That incitement is well documented in the yearly reports of the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), which also delivered the evidence that the UN’s own UNRWA agency is taking part in this institutionalized brainwashing of children.
The United States has now called out the UN over its obsession with Israel through the passing of countless resolutions against the one and only Jewish state.
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield said in her address to the General Assembly that the “disproportionate number of unilateral UN resolutions and the unfair focus on Israel are doing nothing to improve the situation on the ground.”
However, Greenfield made it clear during her speech that President Joe Biden’s administration is pursuing a policy of evenhandedness when it comes to the ongoing conflict between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel.
“The Palestinian people need and deserve a political horizon and need something to hope for,” Greenfield said.
More than 30% of all UNHRC reports are about Israel, which is more than all of the UN agency’s reports on North Korea, Iran and Syria combined, according to Erdan.
The UNHRC also holds a special session on Israel at each council meeting, something that it does for no other country.
Erdan said it is abundantly clear that the council has an obsession with Israel that smacks of antisemitism.
The council is doing nothing to promote peace, according to Israel’s UN ambassador.
Not surprisingly, the Palestinian delegation to the UN praised the COI’s report, calling it “factual and law-based.”
The PA delegation personally thanked Pillay, calling her “a champion of human rights.”
Among the countries who expressed their support for Pillay and her commission were Russia, Turkey, Iran and Malaysia.
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