The UN’s Sonderbehandlung of the Jewish state

How Jews see the formation of a new UN body to probe Israel, and how Bible-believing Christians should understand it.

In the lion's den: Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a hostile UN General Assembly in 2015.
In the lion's den: Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a hostile UN General Assembly in 2015. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO

Note to the reader: While the Holocaust stands alone, it was neither the first nor the last attempted genocide of this nation. From Haman through Hadrian to Hitler and beyond, men manifesting the spirit of Amalek have sought to render the Jews extinct. Because of the unique pain-depository of the Shoah, we baulk at drawing parallels to the crime or its perpetrators. But while the memories of the Six Million victims must be integrally preserved, their legacy must surely be guarded too: the legacy they unhappily left behind for all mankind, bound up in those words: “Never Again!”

Two days before Christmas 2021, the international community green-lighted the launch of an unrestricted commission of inquiry (COI) into Israeli behaviour.

This followed the UN Human Rights Commission’s (UNHRC’s) establishment of the COI earlier in the year, using a military confrontation between Hamas and Israel as pretext. In that mini-war, Hamas fired 4000 rockets from within its population centres, deliberately and calculatingly into Israeli residential areas. The IDF’s defensive response was to attack Palestinian firing crews with pre-strike warnings and surgical precision bombing – a response to military aggression unparalleled in the history of warfare – so as to extremely minimise Arab civilian casualties.

Disregarding Hamas’ aggression and war crimes, as it unfailingly does, the systemically antisemitic UNHRC aligned its sights on Israel by announcing the formation of “The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel”. On December 23 this CoIOPT-Israel was economically enabled by the yes vote of 125 nations in the General Assembly.

The investigative body, now granted an expenses budget of $5.5 million a year, is unique. It has no precedent in that it is an unrestricted probe (that can literally operate for as long as there is a UN) designed to delve into the affairs of a single sovereign nation.

Specifically, this “independent” commission has been given the broad mandate to investigate any allegations of Israeli human rights violations against Palestinian Arabs – whether in the Gaza Strip, the “West Bank” or inside Israel “proper”.

With this COI, the world has delivered an ultimatum to the Jewish state: We can examine any charge brought against anything you do to any Palestinian Arab or the Palestinian Arabs as a people, and we can act to prosecute you for these crimes and economically coerce you into compliance with our will.


Jewish responses evidence no illusions

The Jerusalem Post described the COI as “an unprecedented open-ended war crimes probe against Israel.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, scored it as “despicable and biased”.

Emirita professor of psychology and a fellow at the Middle East Forum Phyllis Chesler labelled it as the “latest UN attempt to demonise and delegitimise the Jewish state.”

The noted UN monitor, analyst and barrister, Professor Anne Bayefsky, said it was the “most hostile and dangerous anti-Israel body the UN has ever created.”

And Israeli journalist, governmental policy advisor and author Caroline Glick pronounced it nothing less than “a permanent inquisition against the Jewish state”.

How should Israel respond to it? According to freelance Israeli journalist Arlene Kushner, formerly an investigative journalist for the Center for Near East Policy Research, three ways have been proposed:

  • Flood the commission with evidence of Israel’s propriety of actions – the extreme care taken to avoid civilian deaths, etc.
  • Submit proof of the commission’s antisemitism and make Israel’s case before a broader international audience.
  • Make no submissions to this international inquiry. None

On the third point, Kushner quotes Bar Ilan University law professor Dr Avi Bell and writes: “’One does not respond to bigotry by trying to convince the bigot to think otherwise.’ To respond to the bigots is to legitimize them – to treat the situation as if is a normal legal procedure. Acting as if this is about the wheels of justice turning is to strengthen a process that is illegitimate.”


And the Christian standpoint?

Mine is informed by the Biblical foretelling and realisation of Israel’s 1948 national rebirth and its purpose, and by the millennia-long history of Christian and other forms of antisemitism.

It is most immediately impacted by the record of the UN’s special treatment of Israel.

In common use, the term “special treatment” describes something preferential that gives one person or group a positive advantage over another. But not to those who are twisted.

Not to the Nazis, who employed the term (sonderbehandlung in German) as a euphemism to mask their singling out of Europe’s Jewish communities for destruction. And not to the United Nations which, in the most infamous of ironies – since its formation mere months after the liberation of the death camps, sickening images of which incentivised the creation of the hope-inspiring global organisation – has singled out Israel for condemnation and delegitimization – effectively programming the world to accept the destruction of the Jewish state.

The UN’s special treatment of Israel includes its obsessive focus on the tiny, freedom-loving democracy against which the General Assembly has passed more condemnations than it has against all the world’s other nations combined. Over the years, it has resolved, and led the international community to see, that:

  • Zionism is racism
  • Israel is an apartheid state
  • Israel commits war crimes
  • Israel is waging a genocidal war against the Palestinian Arabs
  • Israel dispossessed the Palestinian Arabs of their country
  • Israel is a systemic abuser of human rights
  • Israel is a robber of Arab lands
  • Israel deprives the Arabs of water
  • Israel is illegally occupying “Palestinian lands”
  • Israel is in flagrant, ongoing breach of the Geneva Convention.
  • Israel poses the biggest threat to world peace.

It is no unfounded, hysterical charge to say that, concerning the Jews in their land, the United Nations has become the (Inter)National Socialists of our time. What it is de facto working towards is the branding of the Jewish state as the pariah, or untermensch, of the Global Village; the marking with a yellow star of Israel’s position on the world map; the wielding of boycotts, divestment and sanctions to economically throttle Israel until it agrees to renounce its Jewishness and become a one-man-one-vote state – likely called Palestine.

This 193-nation organisation has worked tirelessly to delegitimise Israel. All the while, its most powerful member states prostitute themselves by conducting lucrative business with Iran and facilitating that monstrous regime’s production of the machinery of mass death. Like the architects of the Holocaust – Tehran has spelled out its “Final Solution of the Israel question” well before the means is in place to carry it out. Those means are nearly prepared.

No wonder then that, concerning the nations and their dealings with His People and His Land, God so frequently expresses His anger. The indignation of the LORD is against all nations and His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them; He has given them over to the slaughter. … For it is the day of the LORD’s vengeance, the year of recompense for the controversy of Zion. (Isaiah 34:2, 8)

The Bible is unequivocal on this: The Jewish people will never be exterminated; they have been restored to their land, never to be destroyed. “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’” (Jeremiah 31:10)


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