February 8, 2008



The UNHRC mocks our greatest achievement, and, if it hears about it at all, the world shrugs.

Woody Allen and Mia Farrow’s son, Ronan Farrow, is apparently a precocious super genius (I think he got into Yale Law School at 15). A human rights activist/editorialist for various national newspapers, he no doubt thinks Israel deserves a good talking too (as it does), but it doesn’t – amazingly – seem to be very high on his list of priorities (which it shouldn’t be).

Last week the U.N. Human Rights Council held an emergency session, organized by Arab and Muslim nations, to condemn Israel for its military actions in the Gaza strip. That the council is capable of swift and decisive action is a welcome surprise; that Israel remains the only nation to provoke such action is not. In the 17 months since its inception, the body has passed 13 condemnations, 12 of them against Israel.

That right, 13 resolutions, 12 against Israel, none against Zimbabwe, Syria, China, NORTH KOREA, Hamas, America even… take your pick.

The council replaced what was widely viewed as a cancer on the United Nations — an ineffectual “Commission on Human Rights” that also had a single-minded focus on Israel. According to former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, “the selectivity and politicizing of its activities [were] in danger of bringing the entire U.N. system into disrepute.”The removal of the diseased commission two years ago was heralded by U.N. officials as “the dawn of a new era.” Its replacement was designed to have stricter standards for membership, and rules to prevent politicized voting. But such safeguards were neutered by the time the new Human Rights Council was approved, and the results are that the council is no better than its predecessor.

I’ll quote myself, because there’s not much to add and nothing has changed:

“Forget what you think about Israel, for a moment. In during the 61st session of the General Assembly of the UN (2006/2007), while 22 anti-Israel resolutions were passed, none, not a single resolution, was passed on Sudan’s genocide in Darfur, to take just one example. This fanatical obsession with Israel allows hundreds of thousands to be slaughtered with impunity.

“In other words, while perhaps – maybe – hundreds of Palestinians were killed by Israel, and while tens of thousands were killed in Darfur, Israel received 22 times the condemnations while being responsible for 1,000 times less deaths, that is, if you could multiply by zero, the amount of condemnations against Sudan (nevermind the intentions of the Israelis compared with the intentions of the murderers in Darfur, or the guilt of the dead). The computations defy the brain.”

I challenge anyone who is concerned about geopolitics, or who is upset about human rights, to tell me why there is anything more pressing than this. Not because of Israel, but because we, the world, should be doing something about human rights.

A nearly-achieved universal consensus on human rights seems to me to be the greatest achievement of our species. Squandered, defiled, made a mockery of by the UNHRC, ignored and rationalized by the media and the liberals in the bar. (Yes, conservatives don’t care either, but despite it’s mixed past and mediocre present, I still expect more from the left.)

Not only are we not doing anything about human rights, nobody even knows this farce is taking place at the UN.Cheer for Hillel, be astounded by the response, and then start giving serious thought to Ron Paulian, Boltonesque solutions for the future of the UN:

THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING. Tell me if I’m screwed up, or inaccurate, because I can’t believe it myself and never read about it in the paper or in blogs or anywhere. Let me know if I’m misunderstanding this travesty, because I’d be much more comfortable living in a world where the UN wasn’t this fucked.

Here are a couple of long essays. Read them when you’re not spending hours discussing the miniscule differences between Hillary and Obama, reading up on Neocohen shenanigans, or commenting that while you didn’t really agree with Loose Change, it sure made you think. This is something worth demonstrating about.


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