For a moment try and imagine that Israel is the prettiest girl in her high school class. She is smart, kind, giving, and for the most part, admired by her peers.
Now imagine that the members of the United Nations General Assembly (hereafter known as the UNGA) are her classmates.
Expectedly, you’re going to have the students that absolutely adore her, those who are indifferent, and lastly, a sizeable group of antagonistic bullies. Now step out of your trance and understand that these high school politics are currently taking place on the world stage.
The UN is obsessed with Israel. Here's why:
At September's UNGA conference in New York, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood before 193 member states and called the UN a “moral farce.” Netanyahu proved the UNGA’s hypocrisy by highlighting that in 2015, the UN passed 20 resolutions against the State of Israel and three against all the other countries in the world. Rather than targeting countries like Syria where an estimated 500,000 thousand have been slaughtered in its civil war, Saudi Arabia where most freedoms are restricted, Iran where capital punishment is ubiquitous, or various West African countries where genital mutilation is common, the UN has decided to single out Israel.
The same nonsensical logic also applies to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), which recently labelled Israel the worst violator of women’s rights in the entire world! Take a moment to acknowledge that the countries sitting on this commission include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Guinea, Togo, Liberia, and Somalia. According to a research study released by The Daily Beast, those countries rank 147, 125, 158, 152, 137, 117, and 165+ on their treatment of women. According to that same study, Israel was ranked 51st in the world, with tremendous gender equality, especially considering that women in Israel are subject to equal law, equal pay, and have held the position of Prime Minister, Supreme Court judges, Speakers and Members of Knesset, soldiers in the battlefield, and CEOs of major corporations.
Even more astounding is the World Health Organization’s recent announcement that Israel is the world’s only violator of health rights, which passed a resolution with total disregard to Israel's first-rate medical system, the fact that it treats all faiths equally, and even saves the lives of terrorists right after they've committed an act of terror. This blatant hypocrisy has also been demonstrated when UNESCO, an NGO dedicated to educational, scientific, and cultural integrity, denied any connection between the State of Israel and the Temple Mount – the holiest site in the land. The site where Jews believe Abraham offered his son Isaac’s sacrifice and the known location of the two Jewish temples. As Netanyahu stated during his UNGA speech, denying the Jewish people’s connection to the Temple Mount is “just as absurd as denying the connection between the Great Wall of China and China.”
The double standard the UN places on Israel stretches far beyond the baseless resolutions that took place this past year alone. Instead, almost since its inception, the UN has demonstrated a trend of unparalleled polarization against the State of Israel. For example, within the UNGA, Israel has been called the “occupying power” 530 times. Interestingly, other countries engaging in military occupations, almost all of which are far worse (such as Indonesia, Cyprus, Russia, Vietnam, Turkey, and Armenia) have been called out an embarrassing zero times.
Not convinced? How about the fact that the UNGA has labelled the Israeli-held territories of Judea and Samaria as ‘occupied’ 2,342 times since 1967, whereas the aforementioned countries have been condemned a mere 16 times combined! The numbers are nothing short of astounding.
In short, the antagonistic bullies in the class consist of the Muslim Block who deliberately makes it its intention to single out, condemn, and target Israel for any and every possible criticism imaginable. Along with the veto power of Russia and China, many of the world’s worst human rights violators go unscathed while Israel is left out to dry as the scapegoat for so many of the world’s biggest problems.
Furthermore, the fact that Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon, the past two UN secretary Generals, have admitted to the UN’s bias against Israel only confirms that this trend can no longer continue. This vicious cycle of hate is a loose-loose situation for both Israel and the UN. On the one hand, Israel’s reputation is severely compromised as its intentions are misconstrued, leading to a plethora of fabricated allegations. On the other hand, if the UN continues to demonstrate its inability to treat each country fairly, it is only fair to predict that states will no longer trust or see the point of remaining members of this institution.
Israel may the prettiest girl in the class, but she sure isn’t the most popular.
Kevin Budning is majoring in Conflict Studies & Human Rights at the University of Ottawa