Important developments underway at the United Nations involving the Middle East and I want to share this report from Anne Herzberg, Special Counsel American Center for Law and Justice in Geneva:
The systematic bias and double standards against Israel is present in many frameworks at the United Nations. According to UN Watch, for instance, the Human Rights Council (HRC) in 2006 passed 10 resolutions condemning Israel and none on any other country. Alleged Israeli human rights violations are the only permanent item on the HRC’s agenda. Human rights abuses such as denying religious freedom in Saudi Arabia are ignored. Another area where this anti-Israel campaigning manifests itself are in the various UN Palestinian divisions. Palestinians have several committees devoted to their cause and are the only group that enjoys such privileges. One of these divisions is the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (Question of Palestine Committee). Although this program ostensibly claims to promote work towards a two-state solution, almost every month, this committee hosts a conference where the speakers engage in the delegitimization and vilification of Israel within the auspices of an officially sanctioned UN event.
On July 22 and 23, the Question of Palestine Committee is hosting its latest meeting examining “questions related to Israeli violations of international humanitarian law during the recent hostilities in the Gaza Strip” [emphasis added]. The group will explore strategies of ‘lawfare’ against Israel and “individual and collective action by Governments” (i.e. boycotts and sanctions). Violations by Hamas, including the deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians with continuous rocket attacks, and the extensive use of human shields in Gaza, are not on the agenda. This event is timed to coincide with hearings recently held by the UN’s “Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza War” led by Richard Goldstone and the tendentious reports issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) during the past few weeks.
In addition to UN, Arab League and Palestinian Authority officials, powerful NGOs will be in attendance (many of which are substantially funded by the European Union and European governments as documented by NGO Monitor). Bill Van Esveld, Israel and PA researcher for Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division will be presenting on a panel entitled, “The Results of Israeli conduct during the war in Gaza”. Mr. Esveld’s and HRW’s appearance at this blatantly one-sided event comes amidst the intense controversy over HRW’s use of anti-Israel activities and the emphasis on the need to defeat “pro-Israel pressure groups” during a May fundraising dinner held in Saudi Arabia.
Other speakers include Charles Shamas, partner in the Mattin Group, co-Founder of Al Haq, and HRW board member; Raji Sourani of the EU-funded Palestinian Center for Human Rights; the former notorious UN rapporteur, John Dugard, leader of the Arab League’s “fact finding” delegation to Gaza that accused Israel of “genocide” and “war crimes”; Pierre Galand (former head of Oxfam Belgium); Ron Yaron, an official of the EU- and European government-funded Physician’s for Human Rights-Israel; Daphna Golan, co-founder of B’Tselem, researcher at the Minerva Center for Human Rights of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a consultant to a pseudo-academic study organized by Dugard and Al Haq, claiming Israel is an “apartheid” state; and representatives of the Irish and Scandinavian government funded Badil (which campaigns for the so-called “right of return), the EU- and NIF- funded Adalah, and the EU-funded Keshev.