Israel’s right of self-defense

When I was in elementary school, I was disciplined for hitting another pupil after he hit me. That I remember the details of the incident clearly 60-odd years later is an indication of how strongly I perceived the injustice of it. I believed my action was justified as necessary self-defense to stop an unprovoked attack. The school principal disagreed.

One of the most strongly felt principles in Western morality and jurisprudence is the right of self-defense. It is permissible in most places to kill an attacker when a person feels that his own life or that of a family member is threatened. A person is not required to allow himself to be harmed or killed, even if the action he is forced to take to protect himself would be otherwise immoral or illegal.

There are strong arguments that even convicts have a constitutional right to employ violence in self-defense in the pervasively violent environment of American prisons. Prisons are inherently violent and dangerous, and the authorities are not able to protect the prisoners’ rights given budgetary and other constraints. But incarceration does not include a requirement to commit suicide, which in many cases is what failing to defend oneself in prison means.

There is the well-known Talmudic dictum, “If a man comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first” (Sanhedrin 72:1). And even Islamic  shari’a recognizes a right of self-defense (although a non-Muslim may not be able to exercise it against a Muslim for other reasons).

The right of self-defense is also recognized internationally between states. The UN Charter (Ch. I, Art. 2.4) says that members “shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” But the last article (51) of Chapter VII, which defines how the UN itself may use force to stop aggression, includes this exception:

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. [my emphasis]

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), in its 1996 Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Use or Threat of Nuclear Weapons, took note of “the fundamental right of every State to survival, and thus its right to resort to self-defence, in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter, when its survival is at stake.” The Court argued that in such a case, as long as they are used in concurrence with international humanitarian law (in particular, the principles of necessity and proportionality), even nuclear weapons could not be ruled illegal!

The right of individual self-defense derives from the most basic of human rights, the right to life. And as the UN Charter and ICJ opinion quoted above indicate, international law recognizes also a national right to life.

I believe that the Middle East, like an American prison, is an inherently violent and dangerous place, and that all states – even one unwelcome to its neighbors – have the right to defend themselves when attacked, using whatever means are necessary to do so. Even, when there is no other option, nuclear weapons.

A lot is packed into the words “when attacked.” For example, in 1973, Israel’s enemies crossed cease-fire lines and attacked Israeli positions, acts that unambiguously constituted an “attack.” In 1967, Egypt expelled UN peacekeepers from the Sinai, massed armored divisions on the Suez Canal, announced that they would “annihilate” the Jewish state and “slaughter” us (here is a recording of Radio Cairo threatening genocide in Hebrew), and closed the Strait of Tiran, which in itself was an act of war. Technically Israel fired the first shot on June 5, but from a practical and legal standpoint, Egypt and Syria were the aggressors.

The situation today is not as clear. Iran, operating through proxies, has built an offensive capability in southern Lebanon over the past decade, and now is doing the same in Syria. It has threatened us with genocide and financed terrorists of all stripes. But its buildup has been gradual and it has not yet taken actions equivalent to the expulsion of the UN peacekeepers from the Sinai or the blockade of the Strait of Tiran. At some point the line will be crossed, and Israel will need to take military action.

Unfortunately, the attitude of the international community – as expressed in UN resolutions, NGO reports, media content, and institutions like the ICJ – does not grant to Israel the same right of self-defense that every other nation is given.

Even when Israel has been  attacked, as by the massive flood of Hezbollah rockets in 2006, or the rocket barrages from Gaza in 2008, 2012 or 2014, the Islamic-European-NGO-media axis has defined Israel as the aggressor and even accused her of war crimes for her responses. These accusations, based on cooked numbers and reports coming directly from Hamas, Hezbollah, or other severely biased anti-Israel sources, were even echoed by US President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and other administration officials.

Israel’s efforts to reduce collateral damage in these campaigns were unprecedented, and the resultant protection of civilian life and property was far better than the US and its NATO partners have been able to achieve in various recent conflicts. But the war crimes accusations against us stuck nevertheless.

The ICJ, whose very careful and comprehensive opinion on the use of nuclear weapons was quoted above, also produced one in 2004 on the subject of Israel’s security barrier. In this highly politicized opinion, The Court reiterated all of the usual Arab and European talking points, calling the barrier illegal and declaring that Israel must dismantle it, pay compensation to all those “injured” by it, and so forth (fortunately, the Court does not have the power to force Israel to follow its advice).

Israel argued that the existence of the barrier and its location were intended to protect her population from armed attacks. But the Court simply rejected this without any investigation of the facts or attempt to rebut Israel’s claims of military necessity. It misinterpreted Article 51 of the UN Charter, saying that since Israel “controlled” the territories, she did not have a right to protect herself from armed attacks from them. And there were other significant deficiencies. Here is a small part of the criticism leveled against the decision by the one dissenting justice, Thomas Buergenthal (the only American on the Court):

All we have from the Court is a description of the harm the wall is causing and a discussion of various provisions of international humanitarian law and human rights instruments followed by the conclusion that this law has been violated.

Lacking is an examination of the facts that might show why the alleged defences of military exigencies, national security or public order are not applicable to the wall as a whole or to the individual segments of its route. The Court says that it “is not convinced” but it fails to demonstrate why it is not convinced, and that is why these conclusions are not convincing.

The shoddy, negligent reasoning and extreme political bias of this document – compare it to the nuclear weapons opinion discussed above –  is a striking testament to the obsessive treatment of Israel as a pariah state, denied the most basic right of any nation or person, a right that arguably must even be provided to prison inmates: the right of self-defense, and thereby of survival.

I’m indebted to Allen Hertz for many of the thoughts in this post.

Originally Published on Abu Yehuda.

The UN vote on Jerusalem: A disturbing diplomatic debacle

When India supports an anti-Israel resolution, while Croatia, Romania, and Ukraine do not—invoking ingrained anti-Semitism rings somewhat hollow, and alternative explanations are called for

The General Assembly …[a]ffirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded … and in this regard, calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem—Excerpt from UN General Assembly resolution ES-10/L.22, December 21, 2017 proposed by Yemen and Turkey, demanding that the US retract its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The U.N. General Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a measure rejecting the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a stunning rebuke of a U.S. decision that allies and adversaries alike warned would undermine prospects for peace – Washington Post, December 21, 2017

A consensus means that everyone agrees to say collectively what no one believes individuallyIf Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions Abba Eban, Israel’s Foreign Minister, 1966-74.

On Thursday, December 21, 2017, the world—almost unanimously—voted against the Jews and their nation-state, Israel.

Reprehensible resolution

On that day, the United Nations General Assembly, in an Emergency Session, voted by an overwhelming majority in favor of a resolution so absurd that it would be inconceivable in almost any other context in which Jews were not those singled out by it for rebuke.

It was a reprehensible resolution!

Indeed, it flew in the face of historical truth, current reality and any ethical standard of common decency.

Under any other circumstances, it would be unthinkable that a sovereign country would be denied the right to determine which city should serve as its capital—especially when that city is inseparably associated with its history, predating the existence of virtually all its UN critics. Similarly, under any other circumstances it would be inconceivable that another sovereign nation would be singled out for reprimand for recognizing such historical association and acknowledging the city as the designated capital of that country.

To make the phenomenon even more absurd, the alleged rationale for the resolution was that it was designed to prevent prejudging the outcome of the decades-long dispute between Arab and Jew for control over the Holy Land, in general, and over Jerusalem, in particular—and keep open the possibility of somehow resolving the conflict by the establishment of a Judeophobic, homophobic, misogynistic Muslim-majority tyranny in the areas (including the eastern section of Jerusalem) lost by Jordan in 1967 in its failed attempt to annihilate the Jewish state.

Go figure!

Double disgrace

The decision—affirmed by 128 member states and opposed by 9, with 35 abstaining and 21 absenting themselves from the vote—to deem US recognition of Jerusalem (albeit within undefined borders) “null and void” was a double disgrace.

Firstly, it was a mark of shame for all the countries that did not oppose it—including those who abstained and/or absented themselves from the vote. For there is scarcely more honor in refraining from such an ignominious motion than there is in supporting it—especially when such feigned neutrality ensures its overwhelming endorsement.

But there was another element of disgrace attached to the results of UN vote on Jerusalem, and it is one that Israel, itself, must bear—or at least one that those charged with formulating and executing Israel’s strategic diplomacy (assuming any existence thereof) must bear.

For the results of vote reflect a devastating failure of Israeli diplomacy–despite the unwavering backing of the most powerful UN member state, the US.

Indeed, had Israel, over the past near-decade, since the so-called Israeli “Right” regained the reins of power, conducted an effective and adequately funded strategic diplomatic offensive, this kind of international rejection of elementary Jewish rights would have been unthinkable.

I realize that many will find this a highly contentious contention—but I am convinced of its validity and the urgent need to address the peril it portends.

Raining on the parade: What if Hillary had won?

Of course, I do not wish to “rain on the parade” and diminish the significance of the diplomatic victory entailed in the Trump administration’s decision to acknowledge the indisputable facts on the ground and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital—and to set in motion preparations to transfer the US embassy to the city.

However, this fortunate outcome is hardly the result of Israel’s diplomatic strategy, but rather the unexpected outcome of the 2016 presidential election in the US.

Indeed, one shudders to think of what would have happened, if ,as widely predicted, Hillary Clinton had won—especially given the precedent set by the Obama-administration in withholding the US veto against a virulently anti-Israeli resolution, allowing it to pass unopposed in the Security Council in December 2016. After all, it is far from implausible that, if the elections has gone as expected, Israel would have been facing a very different, and far more hostile, global environment—with the prospect of international sanctions, not merely international censure, becoming increasingly tangible.

Accordingly, with so much at stake, it hardly seems a reasonable or responsible policy to leave such fateful issues dependent on the fortuitous workings of chance. So, perhaps the most important lesson to be derived from the dismal UN vote last week, is something that should have been painfully obvious for years—but sadly has not been: Israel needs to adopt a far more robust and proactive posture in determining is international stature among the nations of the world.

Cold comfort

For the results of vote were in fact far worse than the mere numerical tally—in itself dismaying enough—would suggest.

For the fact that nine nations voted against the resolution is cold comfort indeed. After all, out of those nine, two were Israel and the US themselves, against whom resolution was directed. Of the remaining seven, a majority—four—were tiny and remote islands in the Pacific (Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia), whose combined population is less than 200,000, and whose total area comprises under1500 sq km. The remaining three—Togo, Guatemala and Honduras—are, with all due respect, not countries that marshal huge international influence.

Accordingly, it would, in large measure, be accurate to admit that Israel and the Trump administration were left in splendid isolation against the entire world. This should be a matter of serious concern—for there is little guarantee as to the durability of the Trump incumbency or of the political proclivity of any potential successor.

This, then, is a totally unacceptable situation and one on which Israel can ill-afford to be either complacent or fatalistic—complacent in the sense that the resolution has no practical effect and thus there no need for serious concern; fatalistic in the sense that because of inherent anti-Semitism, the dice is inevitably “loaded” against Israel and hence, there is no point in serious concern.

Both these claims should be resolutely rejected.

Inexcusably and inexplicably remiss

For years Israel has been inexcusably and inexplicably remiss in presenting its case to the world and equally remiss in undermining and discrediting that of its Arab adversaries.

This dangerous disregard is best reflected by two grave lacunae: (a) the hopelessly inadequate resources devoted to Israeli diplomacy in general and to public diplomacy in particular; and (b) Israel’s official embrace of “Palestinian nationhood” and its consequent reluctance to delegitimize the fallacious narrative on which it is based, and the mendacious myths that underpin it.

This dereliction of diplomatic duty is having dire consequences on several levels. Arguably, among the two most severe are the growing threat to bi-partisan backing Israel has traditionally enjoyed in the US, and the disturbing erosion of support among the younger generation (i.e. tomorrow’s leaders)—even within the generally overwhelming pro-Israel Evangelical community

For over more than half-a-decade I have warned, constantly and consistently, of the potential perils entailed in this ongoing mindless neglect of the indispensable role  public diplomacy has in the nation’s strategic arsenal, and how defeat in the field of public opinion is liable to lead to setbacks on other, more tangible, battlefields. I have urged that Israel dramatically upgrade the resources devoted to public diplomacy—on which it is currently spending,globally,less than a medium-large sized Israeli corporation would spend on promoting fast food and snacks! Indeed, I have called to allot 1% of state budget – one billion dollars—for a strategic public diplomacy offensive, designed to create a diplomatic “iron dome” to protect Israel from incoming barrages of delegitimization and demonization that precipitate the kind of debacle that occurred last week at the UN.

The stirring annals of Zionist endeavor

What makes a resolution voiding and nullifying Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its capital particularly galling, is the total obfuscation—indeed, concealment—of the conditions that reigned in the city prior to it falling to Israel in the Six-Day War: When Arab Legion snipers, atop the walls of the old city, shot at random passers-by in the western sector of the city, when Jews were barred from entering the Jordanian controlled portions, when Jewish holy sites were desecrated, and when Jewish gravestones were used as building material. Yet no emergency session of the UN was convened to discuss and denounce these outrageous violations of religious and historic rights. Only today, when religious freedoms are scrupulously observed, does the international community find it fit to express its concern over the situation in the city.

But Israel has been partially complicit—at least passively—in permitting this perverse state of affairs to emerge—at least by default—and allowing pejorative connotations to be attached to the word “Zionism”.

After all, the rebirth of Jewish nationhood and the annals of Zionist endeavor are, undoubtedly, one of most stirring chapters of modern history. It is an enterprise that has achieved remarkable feats against impossible odds. Indeed, Zionism, as the national freedom movement of the Jewish people, has been the most successful of all national freedom movements in the last century. It has attained a combination of political independence, economic prosperity and individual liberties for its people, unmatched in virtually any other country born of the dissolution of the European empires. Beyond its borders, Israel has made amazing contributions to humanity – in medicine, agriculture, computing, communications. It has conducted remarkable humanitarian operations in disaster areas across the globe—from Nepal to Haiti.

Diplomatic incompetence not inherent anti-Semitism?

Yet instead of being held up as a model to be emulated, Zionism is being portrayed as a scourge to be denigrated.

The knee-jerk reaction to all this bitter enmity has been to attribute it to inherent and pervasive anti-Semitism. Now, while I do not want to dismiss—or even downplay—the pernicious impact of innate Judeophobia in many countries today, to attribute all, even most, anti-Israel animosity to it, is a little like searching under the light of a lamppost for the proverbial coin which was lost elsewhere in the dark,.

Indeed, as an explanation, it is a very partial one at best. For when a country like India, whose history is virtually devoid of any anti-Semitism, disappointingly supports the resolution, while countries like Croatia, Romania, and Ukraine, whose histories are replete with such infamy, do not, then invoking ingrained anti-Semitism rings somewhat hollow—and alternative, or at least supplementary, explanations are called for—like diplomatic incompetence for example.

The two, however, might not be totally unrelated. Indeed, as I have pointed out elsewhere “[c]ontinued impotence and incompetence in the (mis)conduct of Israel’s public diplomacy is becoming not only a strategic threat to the country but is beginning to imperil Jewish communities abroad.” For when the Jewish state allows itself to be so vilified, so too are those seen to be associated with it—i.e. the Jewish communities abroad.

“Israel…has vacated the battlefield of ideas”

In an incisive and insightful interview on Israel television several years ago, prominent British journalist, Melanie Phillips, excoriated Israel’s public diplomacy (hasbarah) as a “joke” and contended that in that, in the fight for world opinion, Israel had “vacated the battle field of ideas

Today’s leadership should heed her words, and launch a massive assault on international public opinion to ensure that the recent diplomatic debacle at the UN will in the future be impossible—or at least, highly, unlikely.

After all, no-one knows who the next White House incumbent will be—or when his/hers incumbency will begin…

JERUSALEM FALLOUT: Nikki Haley Cuts $285 Million from the UN’s Budget

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley announced Sunday that the United States negotiated a $285 million cut in the United Nations’ “bloated” budget for next year.

“The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known,” Haley said in a statement from the US Mission. “We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked.”

Haley added that the “historic reduction” in spending is a step in the right direction and that the US would make many other moves toward a more efficient and accountable UN.

“In addition to these significant cost savings, we reduced the UN’s bloated management and support functions, bolstered support for key US priorities throughout the world and instilled more discipline and accountability throughout the UN system,” the statement said.

The new UN budget deal for the 2018-2019 fiscal year totals $285 million less than the United Nations outrageous $5.4 billion budget for the current year .

Haley continued on to say that she hopes to continue making more reductions in the UN’s budget in the years ahead.

JERUSALEM FALLOUT: Haley Scolds United Nations over Attempted Repeal of Trump’s Jerusalem Recognition

Nikki Haley said the following at the United Nations in relation to both the one year anniversary of the passage of UN Resolution 2334 and the UN attempt at repealing the United States’ decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

“The United States refuses to accept the double standard that says we are not impartial when we stand by the will of the American people by moving our US embassy, but somehow the United Nations is a neutral party when it consistently singles out Israel for condemnation.

For decades, Israel has withstood wave after wave of bias in the UN and its agencies. The United States has often stood beside Israel. We did not on December 23, 2016. We will not make that mistake again.”


In what appears to be a major move by the UN, the international organization sent 150 Israelis companies a warning letter that they risked losing international business due to their dealings with companies that worked out of Judea and Samaria. UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein personally sent the letters two weeks ago and has already received two responses that affirmed their break in doing business with companies from Israel’s Biblical Heartland.

The Arab countries and their supporters have had a solid hold on the UN  Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for some time, but the move by the organization is literally unprecedented and seemingly part of a wider diplomatic war against Israel .  With UNESCO already erasing the Jewish connection to its holiest sites and cities, the UNHRC move seems natural.

All of this appears to be crossing into dangerous ground as the UN is laying a deeper trap for the Jewish State.  Ultimately, by disregarding the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel as well as a firm campaign backing the BDS movement, the UN seeks to ultimately weaken Israel as its enemies gather against it.

An unnamed western diplomat told Haaretz that more than half of the companies that received the warning letter were Israeli, about 30 were from the US and the remainder from countries including Germany, Norway and South Korea. The diplomat added that Hussein also sent copies of the letter to foreign ministries of several countries who are home to companies which may be added to the blacklist.

According to the report Israeli companies on the list include pharmaceutical giant Teva, the national phone company Bezeq, bus company Egged, the national water company Mekorot and the country’s two largest banks, Hapoalim and Leumi.

The US has threatened to withdraw from the council if the entire list is published.

Before one assumes the worst, Israel was in far worse shape at the time of the Six Days War and we all know how that ended.  With that in mind, reality is how one perceives it.  The UNHRC has very little teeth, yet its bite still has power.  At the end of the day, Israel’s market is small and businesses can make the calculus that it is far better to stay away from the political intrigue than pull in some extra money from Israel.

Once again the aim here is to weaken and divide the State of Israel as it contends to deal with a plethora of unprecedented security challenges. The focus for Israelis should not be to despair, but rather know that with deep faith and a yearning to survive they will make it past this as well.

As Rebbe Nachman says: “There is no despair at all.”

After all, if we’ve made it this far then the rest should be within our grasp as well.  No outside force can move the will of the Creator.

Bereaved Families to UN Secretary General: Stop Funding NGOs that Defend Terrorists in Court

Over 40 bereaved families sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, demanding that the United Nations cease its funding of Israeli organizations that defend terrorists and their families in Israel’s Supreme Court.

The letter coincides with Guterres’ current visit to Israel, his first in the capacity of UN Secretary-General.

“In recent years, the United Nations has been a prominent sponsor and supporter of Israeli organizations that are leading the lawfare efforts against Israel,” the families stated in the letter. “As you are aware, the two organizations leading the lawfare efforts against Israel – ‘HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual’ and ‘Adalah’ – have received over 2 million NIS ($550,000) from the United Nations.”

According to the families, only terrorists who perpetrated attacks against Israelis have received this legal protection from the United Nations. “This funding leads us to wonder: is it the purpose of the United Nations’ treasury to lay the groundwork for the next murder of Israelis? The blood of our parents, children, brothers, sisters and other loved ones, cries out from the earth,” wrote the families.

The signatories of the letter include Rina Ariel, mother of Hallel Yaffe Ariel who was murdered in her Kiryat Arba bedroom in June 2016; Tzvika Mark, brother of Rabbi Miki Mark who was murdered near Hebron in a drive-by-shooting in July 2016; Merav and Herzl Hajaj, parents of Shir Hajaj who was murdered in a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem in January 2017; and Dvorah Gonen, mother of Danny Gonen who was murdered while hiking near the village of Dolev in June 2015.

Shir Hajaj murdered in January in a car ramming. [Photo is Courtesy of Family]
The families also noted the UN’s funding of other left-wing organizations, including B’Tselem and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, which according to the letter act to “delegitimize Israel and defame IDF soldiers.”

“Time has come to cease this callous interference with Israel’s internal affairs,” concluded the letter.

Merav and Herzl Hajaj, parents of Shir Hajaj who was murdered in a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem in January 2017, were among the initiators of the letter and said: “In the State of Israel, an industry has developed surrounding the murder of Jews. Various organizations like ‘HaMoked’ and ‘Adalah’ receive significant sums of money to defend terrorists from the UN and from European governments, and are laying the groundwork for the next murder. Is there anything more absurd than this?”

Matan Peleg, CEO of the Zionist NGO Im Tirtzu that has been accompanying the families, said that “the outcry of the bereaved families is not only a struggle for justice, but a struggle for Israeli democracy as a whole. We expect from the new UN Secretary-General to end this disgraceful funding perpetrated by the organization that he heads.” 

Report: Terror Attacks by Palestinian Children on the Rise, Despite U.N. Coverup

Palestinian child terrorists as young as eight years old are increasingly being radicalized and spurred to carry out terror attacks on Israeli citizens, according to a prominent human rights organization that is accusing the United Nations of covering up the recruitment of child terrorists by Palestinian militant groups.

At least 79 separate terror attacks have been carried out by Palestinian children ranging in ages from eight to 17 since 2015, when a wave of Palestinian terror attacks began, according to Human Rights Voices, or HRV, a U.N. watchdog group that has accused the international body of engaging in a “feeble cover-up” of this growing terror issue.

Palestinian leaders and other officials continue to praise the use of children in terror attacks and continue to encourage youths to take up arms against the Jewish state, according to HRV’s report, which was provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

“In violation of [its] legal obligations” to prevent such attacks, “there have been at least 79 separate terrorist attacks by Palestinian children since September13, 2015,” according to the report. “The preferred method of murder and attempted murder by Palestinian child terrorists are stabbings or knifings, the modus operandi in 66 of the 79 attacks.”

At least two of these attacks were committed by terrorists as young as eight, while another four attacks were done by children aged 12, according to the report. Thirteen-year-olds have carried out seven terror attacks, while Palestinian children 14 years of age are responsible for at least 10 of these terror incidents. The majority of these attacks were committed by children ages 16 and 17.

Palestinian leaders have celebrated the violence, even in the halls of the U.N., HRV found.

“After Palestinian child terrorists had murdered two and injured nine in sixteen attacks in the fall of 2015, Palestinian UN representative Riyad Mansour made this declaration in the public hall of UN Headquarters on November 23, 2015: ‘We are so proud that in this popular uprising that has started almost two months ago, that the backbone of this uprising are the youth of Palestine,'” according to the report.

“Since that time, Palestinian child terrorists have attacked Israelis at least another 60 times,” the report found.

Despite scores of public records outlining these attacks by child terrorists, the U.N. had moved to downplay and ignore this activity in official reports, prompting criticism from human rights organizations such as HRV.

The U.N. Secretary General’s 2017 annual report on children in armed conflict zones, which was published in April, claims there is little information about Palestinian children terrorists, despite publicly available data.

“Limited information is available about the recruitment or use of children,” the report states on its section about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Since the secretary-general’s claim is manifestly untrue, the United Nations is not merely engaged in a feeble cover-up,” the HRV report states. “The fact is that the U.N. is now an active enabler of the violation of the rights of Israelis and Palestinians: the basic rights to life and security of the person of the Israeli victims of Palestinian children engaged in terrorism, and the rights of Palestinian children not to be recruited or engaged in terrorism in the first place.”

Palestinian leaders continue to incite violence against Israel, despite recent promises to refrain from such activity. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denied officials engage in incitement during a recent meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump, a claim that prompted pushback from pro-Israel organizations.

“The Palestinian U.N. ambassador publicly supported child terrorism at the U.N. itself,” according to the HRV report. “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas embraced and shook hands with one of the child terrorists following his attack. ”

“Videos, photographs, television programs, and social media outlets—from Palestinian and Israeli sources—provide a multitude of other evidence both of Palestinian children engaged in armed conflict and Palestinian adults (from the political sphere to the education system—run by the U.N.’s own refugee agency UNRWA—to the family unit) promoting such behavior,” according to the report.

Originally Published in the Washington Free Beacon.

The World’s Largest Anti-Israel Organization

Have you ever wondered why the United Nations is so anti-Israel? Did you know the UN Human Rights Council has passed more resolutions against Israel than all other countries combined?

Take a look at the rest of the world. The Syrian civil war has been raging since 2011 with close to 500,000 deaths by various estimates. Hezbollah has built up an arsenal of approximately 150,000 rockets in Southern Lebanon. This is a flagrant violation of UN resolution 1701, to which the UN has turned a blind eye. ISIS is terrorizing and murdering people in the Middle East and is responsible for numerous attacks in Europe and elsewhere. North Korea continues its rogue behavior, with provocative missile launches. Iran is a threat to the entire Middle East, especially Israel. It launches missiles with “Israel must be wiped out” painted on them. It’s also the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. Again the UN is silent.

In perspective these are but a few of the highly significant issues plaguing much of the world. Yet the UN seems to have a permanent case of tunnel vision when it comes to Israel.

Keep in mind Israel is a mere 8,000 square miles in size, or roughly the size of New Jersey. Its total population, including more than 1 million Arabs is just over 8,000,000. The Jewish population of Israel is approximately 6.5 million. Contrast that against the world population of 7.5 billion, Jewish Israel represents less than one tenth of one percent of the entire world.

So why is a tiny country like Israel and its ongoing conflict with the Arab Muslim ‘Palestinians’ standing head and shoulders above much more important issues as far as the UN is concerned? This question may have people scratching their heads trying to come up with an answer. Yet a closer look inside the make-up of the UN provides the answer.

Obsessed with Resolutions

For example let’s examine the most anti-Israel body within the organization- the UN Human Rights Council. Since 2006 when the United Nations Commission on Human Rights changed its name to the United Nations Human Rights Council, it has passed no less than 60 resolutions against Israel. That’s a sustained average of almost one every other month during the past 10 years. In 2016 alone there were no less than 20. Incredibly 10 were passed on a single day! A total of 4 were passed against the rest of the world in 2016. This seems almost absurd, until you break down the UNHRC.

There are 47 member nations that comprise the UNHRC. Keep in mind the focus of it is “human rights.” Yet look at some of its members- China, Cuba, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Qatar, Burundi, Bangladesh, UAE, etc. Shouldn’t members be beacons of protecting human rights? Yet these countries are some of its worst offenders.

Unfair Playing Field

Now let’s look at the actual structure of the UNHRC which is quite telling. They divide the nations of the world into five regions:

  1. Africa (including Middle East)
  2. Asia
  3. Latin America/Caribbean
  4. Western Europe
  5. Eastern Europe

In case you are wondering the US is part of the Western Europe region.
The African and Asian regions each have 13 members. Latin America/Caribbean has 8 members, Western Europe 7 and Eastern Europe 6. Now here’s where the rubber meets the road…. Every nation where Muslims make up 50% or more of the general population is in one of two regions- the African or Asian region. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize when those two regions vote as a block, their 26 votes comprise an automatic majority of the UNHRC’s 47 members.

Another noteworthy  point is how the US is positioned. Keep in mind it’s the home of the United Nations, and puts up roughly 22% of the overall UN budget. Yet on the UNHRC the US doesn’t even have its own region. It’s buried as a member of the Western Europe region which has a mere 7 member nations. It can be easily outvoted by the Muslim dominated African and Asian regions.

Back to the question of why the UNHRC has been so ardently anti-Israel for many years; once you understand how the UNHRC is structured with the Muslim nations in control, it becomes clear why they ignore many other obvious problematic areas, and devote so much attention to Israel. It sits smack dab in the heart of the Middle East, and has been a thorn in the side of the Arab Muslim world since the moment it was reborn in 1948.  The existence of a sovereign Jewish state on land which most of the Muslim world considers holy, especially Jerusalem, represents a huge obstacle to their goal of ‘liberating’ all of Israel in favor of “Palestine.”

Multiple Fronts of World’s Largest Anti-Israel Organization

The UN Department of Political Affairs has an entire division devoted to Palestinian affairs. No other people or nation enjoy such a distinction. Plus, there are other anti-Israel UN agencies.  UNESCO for example is in the business of revising history by passing resolutions reclassifying obvious Jewish holy sites such as the Cave of the Patriarchs, and Temple Mount as Muslims holy sites. This is in outright contradiction to documented historical fact.

There’s also UNRWA, which is the only UN refugee agency created exclusively for a single group of people- the Arab Palestinians. It runs schools in the Gaza Strip and in Judea/Samaria. This virulently anti-Israel agency openly teaches students jihad against Israel and the Jews.

Then there’s the UN Security Council which recently passed a resolution naming Israeli “settlements” as the main obstacle to peace. The resolution completely ignored Arab Palestinian terrorism.

It’s not as if the UN Security Council hasn’t made other efforts to pass anti-Israel resolutions. It has. However, unlike the UNHRC where the US influence is minimal, it’s one of 5 permanent members of the Security Council, and as such has veto power. Since 1970 the US has used its veto power on 39 occasions to thwart anti-Israel resolutions.

The United Nations as an organization is charged with upholding dignity and security for all the nations of the world big and small. Yet, is it acting with equal vigilance enforcing these noble principles when it comes to Israel? The answer is a resounding no! One could make a strong case that the UN has a separate anti-Israel agenda from its overall calling, effectively making it the largest anti-Israel organization in the world…. unofficially of course.

However, now that Donald Trump has replaced Barack Obama as President and Nikki Haley is the US Ambassador who sits on the Security Council, we are about to see Israel getting the support it rightfully deserves. Moreover, Trump has indicated the US may consider taking punitive action against the UN and some of its internal agencies, in the form of reducing or eliminating financial support.

We are in the early stages of a long overdue new era. It’s about time someone is ‘Trumpeting’ support for Israel.

Nikki Haley: “The UN’s anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change.”

The first thing I want to do is talk about what we just saw in there. The Security Council just finished its regular monthly meeting on Middle East issues. It’s the first meeting like that that I’ve attended, and I have to say it was a bit strange. The Security Council is supposed to discuss how to maintain international peace and security. But at our meeting on the Middle East, the discussion was not about Hizballah’s illegal build-up of rockets in Lebanon. It was not about the money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists. It was not about how we defeat ISIS. It was not about how we hold Bashar al-Assad accountable for the slaughter of hundreds and thousands of civilians. No, instead, the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East. I am new around here, but I understand that’s how the Council has operated, month after month, for decades.

I’m here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I am here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. I’m here to emphasize the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias. We will never repeat the terrible mistake of Resolution 2334 and allow one-sided Security Council resolutions to condemn Israel. Instead, we will push for action on the real threats we face in the Middle East.

We stand for peace. We support a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is negotiated directly between the two parties, as President Trump reiterated in his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday. The outrageously biased resolutions from the Security Council and the General Assembly only make peace harder to attain by discouraging one of the parties from going to the negotiating table.

Incredibly, the UN Department of Political Affairs has an entire division devoted to Palestinian affairs. Imagine that. There is no division devoted to illegal missile launches from North Korea. There is no division devoted to the world’s number one state-sponsor of terror, Iran. The prejudiced approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues does the peace process no favors. And it bears no relationship to the reality of the world around us.

The double standards are breathtaking. Just a few days ago, the United States sought unsuccessfully to have the Security Council condemn a terrorist attack to Israel, where the terrorist opened fire on people waiting for a bus and then stabbed others. The Security Council would not hesitate to condemn an attack like that in any other country. But not for Israel. The statement was blocked. And that’s downright shameful.

Israel exists in a region where others call for its complete destruction and in a world where anti-Semitism is on the rise. These are threats that we should discuss at the United Nations as we continue working toward a comprehensive agreement that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But outside of the UN, there is some good news. Israel’s place in the world is changing. Israel is building up new diplomatic relationships. More and more countries recognize how much Israel contributes to the world. They are recognizing that Israel is a beacon of stability in a troubled region, and that Israel is at the forefront of innovation, entrepreneurship, and technological discovery.

It is the UN’s anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change. The United States will not hesitate to speak out against these biases in defense of our friend and ally, Israel.

I will say that I think we saw maybe a slightly different tone in the meeting, but we will have to see how it goes.

Thank you.

Transcription provided by UN Watch