U.N.'s Anti-Israel Bias -- Can It Get Worse?

by LT. COLONEL JAMES G. ZUMWALT, USMC (RET) April 14, 2017

In 1894 France, the treason trial of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus began. A Jew, he stood accused of passing military secrets to the Germans. He was court-martialed and sentenced to life in prison based on flimsy evidence. After his trial, it was learned that evidence of his innocence and another's guilt had been suppressed. Only a public uproar forced the army's hand to put the real offender on trial. Ultimately, Dreyfus was exonerated.

Known as the Dreyfus Affair, the prosecution of Dreyfus was driven by an anti-Semitic sentiment permeating the French military.

While neither Israel nor the United Nations existed in 1894, more than a century later, both do. And, sadly, the anti-Semitism that plagued the French army then plagues the U.N. today.

On March 24, the United Nations' top human rights body, the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC), declared Israel the world's worst human-rights violator.

There are currently 47 members on the Council, including the U.S. The body was established in 2006, but, due to its anti-Israel and anti-Jewish makeup, President George W. Bush refused to give the UNHRC credibility by participating. President Barack Obama reversed course, giving the body the credibility it desired to continue its anti-Israel voting biases, by joining.

Any one uncertain such biases exist need only consider, since its inception, the UNHRC has adopted five times more resolutions condemning Israel than any other country.

As one UNHRC critic puts it, "Think of it this way: 500,000 dead in Syria, forced starvation and mass torture in North Korea, systematic and lethal oppression in Iran, gender apartheid in Saudi Arabia, and an elementary lack of basic freedoms affecting over a billion in Russia and China. But at the U.N. Human Rights Council, little democratic Israel is the problem."

Recently, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley left no doubt about this bias noting, "Nowhere has the U.N.'s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel."

UNHRC members would be hard-pressed to explain their most recent anti-Israel vote in view of several contrary indicators. One is evidenced by a video revealing Israeli operations into Syria over the past four years.

Technically, Israel and Syria are at war. Almost every evening since 2013, Israeli special forces cross over into Syria, targeting their sworn enemy. But the operations, as evidenced by the video, have sought not to take Syrian lives, but save them.

Under cover of darkness, Israeli commandos in armored vehicles, accompanied by ambulances, approach the Israel/Syrian border gate. The convoy stops, the commandos open the gate and a recovery team darts into Syrian territory. There, they rescue badly wounded Sunni rebels and jihadis fighting President Bashar Assad's forces - forces supported by Iran and Hezbollah - then rush them to hospitals inside Israel. The rebels admit, if not wounded fighting Assad, they might well be trying to kill these same Israelis. Some of the wounded openly acknowledge they will seek to do so later.

While collecting the wounded, the Israelis also return fighters back to the battlefield who have been healed.

Ironically, healthy fighters not wishing to interact with the Israelis drop their wounded off near the border gate, knowing the Israelis will retrieve and treat them. Since the operation began, nearly 2,000 Syrian lives have been saved.

What motivates Israel to do this? Perhaps it is the adage, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," although the lives saved still retain an immense hatred for Jews. It is a hatred instilled in them since birth too great to be offset by any gratitude for Israeli medical care. But it is an interesting irony and reality of life: While Islam teaches its followers that Jews are sub-human, humanity and compassion drive the Israelis to risk life and limb to save the lives of those born to hate them.

Ultimately, Israelis can only hope against hope their compassion will, over time, win some hearts and minds. It is unlikely, but, who knows, perhaps one day a jihadist who received such Israeli care, in a rare moment of reflection, might just spare a Jewish life.

There is something else the UNHRC ignored in its rush to condemn Israel with a resolution naming it the world's top human-rights violator. Unlike many Arab countries refusing to do so, Israel has accepted 100 Syrian orphans. And, it has further agreed that if their siblings or parents are later found, they, too, will be allowed to reside within Israel.

Also of note is an example of the Arab mindset toward Israel evidenced in January 2014. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman had proposed a land swap be considered as part of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement. His proposal called for some Israeli-Arab areas inside Israel to be part of the swap, which would, as a result, put them inside a future Palestinian state.

Interestingly, it was not Israelis who strongly objected to this swap but the Arabs who would have to surrender their Israeli citizenship for Palestinian citizenship. They objected as they recognized in Israel they enjoyed much greater rights than they would in a future Palestinian state.

In February, Israel made a unique offer to the Palestinians no other country has - one certainly out of character for the UNHRC's alleged No. 1 purveyor of human-rights violations.

Israel offered to turn the Gaza Strip into the "Singapore of the Middle East," improving abhorrent Palestinian living conditions. Israel was willing to build an airport, a seaport and industrial zones to create thousands of new jobs. In return, its only demand was Gaza's Hamas leadership, which violently seized control in 2007, demilitarize and dismantle tunnels and rocket systems it built along the border. Unsurprisingly, a Hamas leadership that thrives on violence proved unreceptive to the offer.

Hamas' irresponsibility in failing to care for its people is only exceeded by UNHRC's in failing to recognize that tagging Israel as the world's top human-rights violator is outrageous. While the UNHRC is in the right regional ballpark in identifying the top violator, it has tagged the wrong team.

A version of this piece also appeared on http://www.wnd.com/    

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Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of "Bare Feet, Iron Will--Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields," "Living the Juche Lie: North Korea's Kim Dynasty" and "Doomsday: Iran--The Clock is Ticking." He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.


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