As the terrorist organization Hamas breaks yet another ceasefire, it operates with the firm belief that it will be protected on the international stage. That’s because the modern United Nations has become an instrument of war, just seven decades after it was founded “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”
It is time to face an ugly truth: The U.N. encourages terrorism. U.N. enablers on the ground in Gaza and U.N. broadcasters in the diplomatic comfort zones of Geneva and New York are partners in incitement to genocide against Israel, the Jewish state.
Think back to Rwanda, where a radio station broadcast that Tutsis were “cockroaches.” The message received was that killing was justified, that Tutsis deserved what they got. Such broadcasts were criminal.
The demonization of Israelis by the United Nations is similarly venomous, regardless of the diplomatic facade.
On July 30, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accused Israel of “attacking sleeping children.” On July 23, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the U.N. Human Rights Council that Israel exhibited “disregard for…the right to life.” She alleged that it "was shockingly evident for all to see in the apparent targeting of…children playing.” On July 14, U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl told the press that Israeli crimes included “attacks against...civilians.”
Alleging that Israelis are baby-killers is not some throwaway line. It’s incitement.
This incitement goes hand-in-hand with the repeated blood libel coming from U.N. sources. The ancient and vile accusation that Jews use the blood of the innocent for religious rituals has been only slightly modified in U.N. circles, where Jews are portrayed as simply out for blood, period.
Following his effusive praise for Hamas’ financial-backer, Qatar, Ban Ki-moon said on July 20, “Gaza is an open wound. We must stop the bleeding now.” On July 25, from Cairo, he said: “The people of Gaza have bled enough…” At an Aug. 6 special session of the General Assembly, speakers from more than two dozen countries railed about “the shedding of innocent Palestinian blood.”
Claiming that Israelis are bloodthirsty is not idle chatter. It’s anti-Semitism.
The Hamas Charter makes plain that its intent is to kill Jews and “obliterate” Israel. As recently as July 10, Hamas made the Rwanda comparison itself, playing a song about Zionists on Al-Aqsa TV that encouraged viewers to “exterminate the cockroaches’ nest.”
As with most attempted genocides, the process of demonizing the Jewish state and concomitantly tying its hands behind its back whenever it tries to defend itself did not happen overnight. U.N. High Commissioner Pillay has spent her entire six-year tenure promoting the racist “anti-racism” Durban Declaration and the idea that Israelis are racists.
These days, the criminal hatemongering from U.N. quarters is dressed up as law. The allegation now repeated nonstop is that Israeli actions in Gaza have been “disproportionate.”
Actually, international humanitarian law requires that on a case-by-case basis the “expected incidental loss of civilian life” must be proportionate to “the military advantage anticipated.” The U.N. has already concluded – without having any knowledge of the necessary specifics – that Israel’s actions have been disproportionate by comparing the numbers of civilian casualties among Israelis and Palestinians.
On July 31, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said: “By looking at the number of civilian casualties, it should be apparent that Israel’s return of force was disproportionate.” On July 21, Ban Ki-moon also tied “proportionality" directly to the fact that “most of the death toll has been among the Palestinian people.”
The logical consequence of this fallacious reasoning is that in order for Israel’s response to Hamas to be proportionate, it should let Hamas rockets fall on Israeli civilians. According to the U.N., the law requires more dead Israelis.
It also did not occur to these U.N. geniuses to compare the numbers of Palestinian civilian deaths to the millions of Israelis who have lived within 15 seconds of death from Hamas rocket fire day-in and day-out, year-after-year. The right of self-defense is not the exclusive prerogative of the dead. Actually, the point of a right of self-defense is to prevent death.
Moreover, fictitious U.N. “proportionality” tests are a mug’s game. In 2004, Israel killed Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantissi without a single civilian casualty. Rantissi was responsible for hundreds of Israeli deaths and injuries and labeled a “specially designated global terrorist” by the State Department. The U.N. reaction? Then U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called the targeted “assassination” a violation of international law.
U.N. actors may not hold the guns in their hands, but they are engaged in warfare just the same.
Where is the Obama administration in this sickening perversion of first principles? Working hand-in-glove with the U.N.
On July 28, the president agreed to a unanimous Security Council “presidential statement” on Gaza against the strong objections of Israel. The statement doesn’t mention Hamas, or rockets, or tunnels. It doesn’t identify the only party that has rejected or broken every cease-fire. And it lumps Israel together with a terrorist organization by demanding the same from “all parties.” On the plus side for team Obama, it “commends the Secretary-General and Secretary John Kerry.”
Why should Palestinian and other Arab terrorists end their six-decade-long campaign to destroy the state of Israel when this global monstrosity has their back?
Anne Bayefsky is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. Follow her on Twitter @AnneBayefsky.