Op-Ed: At the UN, ISIS and Israel are equal
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly...
Professor of Law at Queen Mary University of London, Penny Green, is the first candidate for the role of the UN envoy to Israel and the Palestinian territories, a position that the Human Rights Council in Geneva will soon fill.
Ms. Green would be a truly "impartial" choice. She accuses Israel of being a “criminal state”, of being guilty of “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid” and she even compares Israel to the Islamic State. Green has also complained that the US and the UK have not yet begun to bomb Israel for its "massacres". The other "impartial" candidate, Canadian Professor Michael Lynk, is a bit more decent as he only signed anti-Israel petitions.
Considering that without the US veto Israel would have already been blacklisted by the UN Security Council; considering that Israel is treated worse than North Korea and Nigeria at the Human Rights Council; considering that at UN schools in Gaza Hamas stocks missiles to be launched against Israel; considering that the UN court in The Hague treats Israeli officials as Nazi war criminals, why is it so outrageous naming as UN bureaucrats those who compare Caliph Al Baghdad to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?
The UN envoy for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, suggested including the Israeli army in the black list of countries and organizations that regularly cause harm to children along with Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Taliban, and countries such as the Congo and the Central African Republic, infamous for their armies of children.
The culture of human rights, created by Jewish jurists after the Holocaust, is now being used by anti-Semites to foment a war against the State of Israel. Mr. Alfred de Zayas, the United Nations’ Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, blamed last year’s Paris attacks on the U.S., Western colonialism, capitalism, and “Israeli settlers”, implicitly justifying them as “a response to grave injustices and ongoing abuses perpetrated by the dominant, primarily developed countries, against populations of less developed countries”.
Instead of equating Hamas with ISIS and ISIS with Iran, the UN officials ponder whether to include the IDF on the same lepers’ list as Islamic State. Whether they succeed or not doesn’t matter: they very presence pollutes the political atmosphere and destroys the reputation of the Jewish State.
Israel’s biggest enemy today is not Jihadism, but the UNm which entrusted the defense of human rights to China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia, among other liberal bastions, and to paranoid “experts” whose anti-Semitism resembles that of Doktor Joseph Goebbels.
Alfred de Zayas's response to the op-ed is as follows:
This morning, an Italian journalist published a defamatory op-ed in the Israeli media outlet Israel National News questioning the credibility of the Human Rights Council and in particular assaulting my reputation as a UN Independent Expert (link: /Articles/Article.aspx/18566#.VuqqquIrLIU)
Sometimes denying an absurd statement is as anodyne or even counter-productive -- as merely ignoring it. What do you answer to someone who asks you “when did you stop beating your wife?” It really does not deserve an answer. Nevertheless, there are well-meaning readers who know little about the UN system and may actually believe at least a portion of the calumny. Anyone familiar with my work and with me as a person knows that any insinuation of anti-Semitism is ludicrous. I am demonstrably committed to strengthening respect for human dignity and human rights by all and for all and my reports to the Human Rights Committee and General Assembly prove it.
Already in December 2015 (link: https://dezayasalfred.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/statement-by-dr-alfred-de-zayas-united-nations-independent-expert-on-the-promotion-of-a-democratic-and-equitable-international-order/ ) I rejected the vile suggestion that an opinion article I wrote could in any way be interpreted as justifying terrorism. Nothing can justify terrorism. Period.
People can read exactly what I wrote in my reflection “terrorism in an age of asymmetries” in the site of the UN Independent Expert under the rubric “Articles and Opinion”. (link: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IntOrder/Pages/Articles.aspx) NOONE who has read the statement can suggest that I blamed last year’s Paris attacks on the “West, capitalism and Israeli settlers.”
In my essay on terrorism, available at the end of this statement, I addressed the root-causes of terrorism with its multiple actors and victims. The attacks in Paris were not even mentioned, as I devoted my utmost consideration to all victims of terrorism, irrespective of gender, sex, religion, country or nationality:
“All victims of terrorism anywhere in the world are entitled to our sympathy, compassion, solidarity and support.”
“All acts of indiscriminate killing of civilians are abhorrent. Nothing will ever justify terrorist acts against innocent human beings. Perpetrators must be identified, prosecuted and punished.”
Terrorism requires a preventive strategy, not just a knee-jerk condemnation without a "plan of action", how to deal with hate and hate mongering. Defaming people will not take us anywhere.
My vision is to see a world free of terrorism where Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs, Kurds, Afghans, French, Spaniards and others do not have to fear losing their lives or the lives of their loved ones.
I consider the intellectual dishonesty expressed in the defamatory op-ed a disservice to readers.
Alfred de Zayas, 17 March 2016