Anne Bayefsky
Anne Bayefsky Yoni Kempinski

Nearly two million submissions have been made to the United Nations Human Rights Council's Commission of Inquiry against Israel by pro-Israel human rights organizations in the last few months.

The Commission was launched last year as a unique open ended investigation into the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Chair is Navi Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights with a history of anti-Israel activism, including championing the Durban II conference which was widely denounced as providing a platform for antisemites such as former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who denied the Holocaust at the conference. Other Commission members include people who have already declared Israel guilty of the alleged crimes the Commission is supposed to investigate.

In response, Human Rights Voices, a New York-based non-governmental organization, and the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust – both headed by Professor Anne Bayefsky – decided to make submissions that the Inquiry was not expecting.

With the help of other organizations with extensive unique databases, troves of meticulous research, and original documents about antisemitism and anti-Israel terrorism, Human Rights Voices and the Touro Institute have made an unprecedented response of their own. Almost two million unique submissions and individual names of victims on the Israel side of what the UN planned as an overwhelmingly anti-Israel affair have now been delivered to the Commission.

Human Rights Voices said in a statement: "The UN “Inquiry” was launched by the UN’s Human Rights Council in 2021. The “Inquiry” – more accurately described as an inquisition, witch hunt, or Star Chamber – began its assault by issuing an open-ended call for submissions about the “root causes” of the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict. The “Inquiry” members and associated UN apparatus claim they are looking for evidence of human rights violations, with a particular focus on racial and religious “discrimination” and “repression.” In a wild overreach, they have announced that there are “no temporal restrictions” on when alleged offences occurred – hoping to travel back in time to 1947 and to challenge the legitimacy of creating a Jewish state in the first place."

The submissions include the names of hundreds of thousands of victims of "Jew hatred," including Holocaust survivors and Mizrachi Jews who fled persecution or were expelled from Arab and Muslim countries in the 20th Century.

Other submissions included documentation of the collaboration with the Nazis by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during World War Two and his incitement against the Jewish people which led to pogroms and mass murder.

Other organizations also submitted tens of thousands of responses, including Palestinian Media Watch, Watch (PMW), the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA).

Professor Anne Bayefsky warned that the Commission, which is expected to release its initial findings in June, "will be an all-out offensive on a Jewish state from its Jewish essence to the necessities of its survival – economic well-being and the right of self-defense."

She warned that "the almost two million unique submissions and named Jewish victims will be twisted, misrepresented or ignored by the “Inquiry.” As the Chair has repeatedly done in the past, Pillay is expected to do everything possible not only to demonize Israel, but also to disparage the “Inquiry’s” critics as “extremists” and shady “Israel lobbyists” – instead of serious lawyers, experts, historians, political scientists, and religious authorities."

"Nevertheless, what the almost two million submissions and names of Jewish victims accomplish is to delegitimize Israel’s would-be delegitimizers. These NGOs removed from the “Inquiry’s” toolbox the tale they counted on telling, namely, that they didn’t know, and that Israel’s non-cooperation deprived them of any facts other than the accusations of Palestinians," she said.

"Ignoring the massive numbers of specific names of Jewish victims, and the detailed analyses submitted and publicly logged online, will serve to discredit the “Inquiry.” When the UN report negates the voices of Jewish and Israeli human rights victims, these submissions will help ensure the report is met with the derision it deserves.

"The exceptional drive by Human Rights Voices and the Touro Institute, together with their partners, was made because the “Inquiry” is not just one more anti-Israel UN operation. It is a massively funded global mechanism to fabricate and broadcast the fundamentally antisemitic assertion of racial and religious oppression at the hands of Jews. Discrediting this incendiary lie, guaranteed to incite more anti-Jewish violence and significantly impair the prospect of peaceful coexistence with the Jewish state, is a matter of urgency," Professor Bayefsky concluded.

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