A Biased Court
The UN purports to be an objective forum based on the principle of equality of rights for all nations.
The United States Institute of Peace (USIP), a nonpartisan conflict management center created by Congress to prevent and reduce international conflict without resort to violence, disputes that. In a 2005 report titled American Interests and UN Reform, the USIP found that Israel is routinely denied the rights enjoyed by other UN members, and subjected to systematic hostility. The UN’s notorious Resolution 3379 equating Zionism with racism was, of course, in effect from 1975-1991.
Anne Bayesfsky, a human rights scholar and activist, in 2003 spoke eloquently to this disparity of treatment at a UN conference on anti-Semitism:
“There has never been a single resolution about the decades-long repression of the civil and political rights of 1.3 billion people in China, or the more than a million female migrant workers in Saudi Arabia being kept as virtual slaves, or the virulent racism which has brought 600,000 people to the brink of starvation in Zimbabwe. Every year, UN bodies are required to produce at least 25 reports on alleged human rights violations by Israel, but not one on an Iranian criminal justice system which mandates punishments like crucifixion, stoning, and cross-amputation. This is not legitimate critique of states with equal or worse human rights records. It is demonization of the Jewish state.”
It has, of late, become fashionable to call Israel a “rogue” state. Any attorney worth his/her salt knows that controlling the language of a controversy goes a long way toward achieving success in the controversy, itself.
Any government may adopt unwise – even cruel – policies, and face just criticism for that choice. Israel is no exception to this. Rarely though are world events simple and clear cut. After an unbiased assessment of civil and political liberties, the NGO Freedom House again in 2011 classified Israel as “free”. The 2011 Democracy Index by The Economist gave Israel the highest rating in the region (equivalent to “flawed” democracy). By contrast, Egypt, Iraq, and the Palestinian territories were classified as “hybrid” regimes. Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran – even more restrictive – were classified as “authoritarian” regimes.
Both The Independent and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in 2009 commented on the special status accorded Palestinian refugees by the UN. Despite the establishment in 1993 of a Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, UNRWA continues to be the medical, educational, and service provider for the “refugee” camps. This is counter to the normal approach taken toward refugees.
The ultimate irony is that Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon have, themselves, come under criticism for discrimination toward Palestinian refugees[i]. Moreover, UNRWA justifies Arab policies granting Palestinian refugees legal status limited to the right of residence. This is presumably apart from the 9000 or more of its own citizens the Syrian government has killed in the past 15 months, in an attempt to crack down on protesters.
Lies Old and New
The lies are gaining credence.
A sixty four year old insurance salesman is in the process of running for Congress in Illinois. There is nothing remarkable about this, except the fact he publicly denies the Holocaust. A Google search will readily identify thousands of sites doing the same.
Before there ever was a Holocaust, Adolph Hitler in Mein Kampf declared:
“In this they [the Jews] proceeded on the sound principle that the magnitude of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility, since the great masses of the people…in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds…more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things…they will not be able to believe in the possibility of such monstrous effrontery and infamous misrepresentation in others.…”
Hitler was, in other words, accusing the Jews of lying; of using the “big lie” strategy for which his propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, later became infamous.
The Illinois candidate (whose name is not worth mentioning) and countless others are taking up that cause. The serpent we thought destroyed has grown another head.
Hitler attempted to co opt the Christian faith, in devising a cult of personality and religion of his own. His newest converts are, in many instances, adopting Christian symbols and Christian terminology to disguise their evil intent. This has the dual effect of legitimizing their beliefs while simultaneously undermining ours.
For me, these allegations have a familiar, if ominous, ring. I am the daughter of parents and grandparents who witnessed Nazi inhumanity firsthand, family members who themselves were forcibly deported under penalty of death. There is no doubt on my part as to the reality of the Holocaust. And no doubt that the danger of a recurrence is real…not histrionic.
The world’s memory is growing faint. Horrors are being turned into fairy tales. But the dragon is alive and well.
The deck is being stacked against Israel and the Jews. The scene is being set. As we watch the gathering storm, let us not forget what the Lord had to say about the Jewish nation: “ ‘Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them…[N]or shall the sons of wickedness afflict them anymore…’ ” (2 Samuel 7: 10). May we choose our friends wisely.
Any views expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Pro Deo or its other contributors.
[i] Amnesty International in 2003 expressed its concerns on this issue to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).