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Special Report

Is the U.N. Biased Against Israel?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

U.N. Fair?

Less than a week before the United Nations General Assembly in New York, a new U.N. Human Rights Council report has cast further doubt on the organization's ability to do its job fairly.

Critics say the probe of the Israel-Hamas war last December and January has an anti-Israeli bias. The document alleges both Palestinian militants and Israel committed war crimes by terrorizing and killing innocent civilians.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the report was: "A kangaroo court — it was fixed from the start."

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice says: "We have very serious concerns about many of the recommendations in the report," adding that the Human Rights Council's approach to the investigation was, "unbalanced, one-sided and basically unacceptable."

A New York Daily News editorial says the report has, "one fundamentally flawed premise: That a nation defending itself from terrorists who targeted innocents with a nonstop fusillade of rockets — is no different from the terrorists who started the fight."

But the author of the U.N. report says he was completely independent and unbiased.

No Vacany

A New York hotel has canceled an upcoming banquet after finding out that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was scheduled to attend. The New York Post reports the Helmsley Hotel pulled the plug on next week's event after the group, United Against Nuclear Iran, told hotel officials that Ahmadinejad was listed to speak at the function.

Ahmadinejad will be in town for the U.N. General Assembly meeting. An Iranian student group booked the space months ago, but apparently did not mention its special guest.

Helmsley Hotel spokesman Howard Rubenstein said: "Neither the Iranian mission nor President Ahmadinejad is welcome at any Helmsley facility."

Tough Talk?

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is also scheduled to attend the U.N. General Assembly, says he would like to meet with U.S. dissidents during his visit.

Russian news agencies say Medvedev told a group of foreign experts earlier this week: "I believe there are dissidents in the United States. Let them tell me what problems the United States has. That won't be bad — considering the Soviet experience."

Some news outlets suggested the comment was a subtle dig at the U.S., which has frequently criticized Russia for backsliding on democracy.

— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.