IN THE MEDIA

The UN’s disgraceful response to Hamas massacre can’t go unchallenged

Dec 27, 2023 | Justin Amler

The UN Human Rights Council in session (Image: UN Photo)
The UN Human Rights Council in session (Image: UN Photo)

Algemeiner – 25 December 2023

 

It should have been the easiest thing in the world to do — for the United Nations to unequivocally condemn the brutal and unprovoked Hamas terror attack that killed 1,200 Israelis, and led to the capture of more than 200.

But the United Nations couldn’t even meet that most basic test of morality and decency.

The UN’s long history of bias against Israel has betrayed its founding principles of 1945, which was to provide a sense of peace, justice, and security on the world stage.

Yet year after year, the UN continues to single out Israel for scrutiny, with an avalanche of bizarre resolutions and accusations condemning the Jewish state for seemingly everything. The UN has blamed the Israeli “occupation” for Palestinian men abusing their wives, and claimed that discrimination against Palestinian women in Gaza is “due to the blockade that limits their mobility and privacy.”

More UN resolutions are passed against Israel, a democratic state with a strong human rights record, than against all the mass-murdering, totalitarian, terrorist-supporting entities like Iran, Syria, or North Korea combined. This farce is only made possible because of the numerical domination of states of human rights abusers including those aligned with the Arab and Islamic blocs, as well as others whose moral centre has long been abandoned in the hallowed hallways of the world body.

The Oct. 7 attack on Israel, the worst in its history, was so cruel and so depraved that it shook every Jew and every decent person in the world to their very core. Women were raped. Children butchered. Families burnt alive. The worst of human savagery was on full display, recorded on GoPro cameras in high definition by the terrorist monsters themselves, who rejoiced in their blood lust.

And yet, the UN — whose ideals are supposed to shine like a beacon of light in a murky world — was nowhere to be seen and nowhere to be heard in solidarity with Israel.

In fact, it was the opposite.

Just two days after the October 7 massacre, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) demonstrated exactly why it is one of the UN’s most notorious and hypocritical organisations. The Pakistani representative, Zaman Mehdi, called for and received a minute’s silence to remember the victims in the “occupied Palestinian territories” and elsewhere, saying it was a result of more than “seven decades of foreign occupation, aggression and disrespect for international law.” He didn’t mention Israel, and he also failed to mention Hamas — the perpetrators of the massacre. By referring to “seven decades,” he made it very clear that he attributed all blame to Israel’s very existence since 1948.

Also disturbingly, despite the overwhelming forensic evidence of sexual assault against Jewish women, including videos, these rapes were completely ignored by the United Nations, including by groups whose entire purpose is to protect women. Only after two months and an international campaign to call attention to the UN’s complete failure to even acknowledge the sick sexual violence, did the UN Women organisation finally issue a weak condemnation.

Then there is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, known as UNRWA, whose staff, officials and teachers have long been exposed for involvement in terrorist violence in the past. Despite its supposed pretext of helping Palestinian refugees, it is one of the major impediments to any kind of peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.

The majority of UNRWA’s $1.6 billion budget, of which Australia contributes $20 million, promotes policies that support the “right of return” for Palestinians into Israel — meaning ending the existence of the State of Israel.

During the current conflict, it was revealed that UNRWA staff celebrated the massacre, and weapons caches have been discovered in UNRWA facilities. It was also revealed that a UNRWA teacher held a hostage captive in their attic. UNRWA denies all this, saying they are being defamed.

Finally, there is the most powerful person in the UN hierarchy, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who had the nerve, even as Hamas terrorists were still running wild and massacring civilians throughout towns and villages of southern Israel, to call for “maximum restraint” from Israel. He cemented his continued descent into the moral abyss by encouraging “understanding” of the attacks by Hamas, saying they “did not happen in a vacuum,” and were a result of the “occupation”.

What happened on October 7 in southern Israel was pure unadulterated evil. The UN had a chance to choose to stand on the side of good against that evil, but as it’s so often done in the past, it made the wrong choice, adding to its ever-growing shame.

Justin Amler is a policy analyst at the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC).

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