The Council has been reborn because the previous body, the Human Rights Commission, was so egregiously anti-Israel that it was embarrassing to the UN as an institution. It seems the new council is no less embarrassing. Of the following countries, only one, Canada, voted against a resolution two days ago to permanently
place[s] Israel automatically on the council’s agenda for debate while all other countries in the world are dealt with under an overall global subject heading. The second move calls for Israel’s activities in the Palestinian territories to be permanently reviewed until it withdraws from the West Bank.
On the same day, the Council, in its wisdom, determined to “terminate the mandates of the UN rapporteurs on the Governments of Cuba and Belarus.” Cuba and Belarus, according to the UN? A-okay. Israel? Permanent scrutiny. Which is the open and free democracy with a vibrant justice system and an ongoing military threat to its existence?
By the way, of these mandates which have rapporteurs, there is one whose mission is to investigate on an ongoing basis only Israeli violations of human rights laws in the “Palestinian territories.” His name is John Dugard (see Jewlicious link above) and Israel, rightly, ignores him. His next report will, by the nature of his mission, not include any pertinent information about the war crimes committed by Hamas in Gaza just now, because he has no mandate to investigate them. However, he will blame Israel for a variety of actions there, regardless of the cause or other ongoing issues.
The incredible part of this vote to place Israel under permanent scrutiny is that among the nations who voted in favor, we find some European states as well as others who one would think would act with less cynicism. Here is a list of the countries that are currently members of the Council and of these only Canada voted against:
Angola (2010) Bangladesh (2009) Azerbaijan (2009) Argentina (2007) Canada (2009) Cameroon (2009) China (2009) Bosnia and Herzegovina (2007) Brazil (2008) Finland (2007) Djibouti (2009) India (2007) Romania (2008) Cuba (2009) France (2008) Egypt (2010) Indonesia (2007) Russian Federation (2009) Ecuador (2007) Germany (2009) Gabon (2008) Japan (2008) Slovenia (2010) Guatemala (2008) Netherlands (2007) Ghana (2008) Jordan (2009) Ukraine (2008) Mexico (2009)Switzerland (2009) Madagascar (2010) Malaysia (2009) Peru (2008) United Kingdom (2008) Mali (2008) Pakistan (2008) Uruguay (2009) Mauritius (2009) Philippines (2007) Nigeria (2009) Qatar (2010) Senegal (2009) South Korea (2008) South Africa (2010) Saudi Arabia (2009) Zambia (2008) Sri Lanka (2008).
It really is shameful to watch this happen. Just as one example, China has displaced hundreds of thousands of Tibetans, is overtaking their country through the use of its resources and placement of native Chinese in positions of power and influence, and has entirely abused the Tibetans’ rights to religious freedom which is why the Dalai Lama lives in exile. There is no special rapporteur for China or Tibet. China is not under permanent scrutiny. Nobody at the UN is calling Tibet a territory and the only checks against China will be the reviews that all the states of the world including the many gross violators of rights on the Council itself will have to undergo regularly. Of course, they’ve gotten away with their misbehavior until now and fully expect to keep doing so.
Shame on Germany, Switzerland, the UK, France, Japan, Argentina, Romania, Netherlands, Uruguay, Mexico, Ukraine and South Korea for voting in favor of this biased regulation against Israel, a fellow democracy. I guess I expect no better from the other nations.
A UN statement [released today] said: “The Secretary-General [Ban Ki-moon] is disappointed at the council’s decision to single out only one specific regional item given the range and scope of allegations of human rights violations throughout the world.”
Admittedly, it’s not the same as saying, “Stop using Israel as your personal scapegoat, you hypocrites” but then again, he’s a diplomat.