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Perspective

Anti-Semitism is alive in U.N. resolutions

By ROBYN BLUMNER
Published March 18, 2007


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"Commie Jew traitor Blumner," the handwritten letter began. "You ugly Jew swine bitch," it shrieked, suggesting that Guantanamo be converted into an "Aushwitz style creamatorium" for people like me.

I get letters like this with varying degrees of venom. They always remind me that anti-Semitism is a virulent affliction that is very much alive.

I'd like to believe that the hatred of Jews was relegated to those who can't spell - like my letter writer. Ignorant, shrivel-hearted people who stew over their own failures in life by blaming historic scapegoats. But the epidemic afflicts many, many more.

You might even call it the U.N. disease.

Just to be clear, I am not one of those who thinks the state of Israel can do no wrong or should be above criticism for its human rights violations. But I do call it anti-Semitism when the only Jewish state in the world is singled out and condemned repeatedly for actions that pale in comparison to those committed by the very nations pointing the accusatory finger.

"It is legitimate for the U.N. bodies to criticize Israel, but not when they do so unfairly, selectively, massively, sometimes exclusively, and always obsessively," writes the Geneva-based U.N. Watch, an organization devoted to monitoring the United Nations and promoting human rights.

The record of bias is unassailable. The current 61st U.N. General Assembly has passed 22 anti-Israel resolutions and condemned only a handful of the 191 other U.N. member states. Every year the body passes about 19 anti-Israel resolutions, while not once censuring systematic human rights violators such as Cuba, Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan, Syria, China and countless others.

U.N. Watch reports that at the 2005 annual assembly of the World Health Organization only one country was singled out by special resolution. Israel was found to violate the health rights of Palestinians. Similarly, that same year, at the annual meeting of the International Labor Organization, only one country-specific report was made part of its agenda. Israel was charged with violating the rights of Palestinian workers.

All this ferocious attention on Israel not only gives ammunition and cover to those who would ignite and spread anti-Semitism, it delegitimizes the United Nations and its mission. Equality is guaranteed under the U.N. Charter. Yet the United Nations has launched itself on a near-hysterical campaign against only one country and one people.

Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov allegedly boils political prisoners in oil, China offers its billion people no political or religious freedom, Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe is starving his population and beating and jailing opposition members, children are forced to be soldiers in Uganda, there's a genocide taking place in Sudan, Saudi Arabia denies women the vote and outlaws any religion but Islam.

The world is a cesspool of human rights violations, but investigating and condemning Israel - the only true democracy in the Middle East, where Arab-Israeli citizens enjoy religious freedom, the vote and participation at high levels of government - is what preoccupies the United Nations.

And the U.N.'s Human Rights Council might be the most obsessed of all. The council has been in existence since June and has held four special sessions. Three of them focused on Israel's actions. The one on the Israeli military's "gross human rights violations in Lebanon," failed to mention the terror group Hezbollah's rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers that provoked the incursion.

The council's predecessor, the Human Rights Commission, was disbanded because of its persistent prejudice against Israel, and because some of its member countries were notorious rights violators. This new council appears to be little better.

Then there's John Dugard, the United Nations' "Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967." He seems to relish accusing Israel of a kind of racial cleansing, using phraseology reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

In a report issued in January that barely acknowledges the extreme security issues Israel faces, Dugard wrote scathingly about Israel's new barrier. "The Wall being built in East Jerusalem is an instrument of social engineering designed to achieve the Judaization of Jerusalem," Dugard said.

Judaization is a term that could have been spit out of Eichmann's mouth. Now it's spit out of the U.N.'s.

Had Dugard been an objective observer he would have at least noted these statistics: In 2002 and 2003, 140 Israeli citizens a month were murdered by terrorists with 20,000 such attacks in all. In 2006, the country reports suffering fewer successful suicide bombings all year than it had in one week in 2002. These results are attributed largely to the wall.

Not all criticism leveled at Israel is animated by anti-Semitism, just most of it. Maybe U.N. diplomats don't use the same colorful language as my uncouth letter writer, but their alignment of interests is very clear.

[Last modified March 18, 2007, 09:56:48]


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