B’nai B’rith Sees UNHRC as Impervious to Peace Process, Israeli Right to Self-Defense in Light of Two Prejudicial Reports
B’nai B’rith International welcomes United States Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe’s assessment of a biased and disproportionate U. N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) focus on Israel, in light of two new reports. The UNHRC received new prejudicial reports on Israel during its current session—including one on the Turkish flotilla incident of May 31 and a follow-up to the demands of last year’s Goldstone report on hostilities in Gaza.Specifically, Donahoe cited the flotilla fact-finding mission’s “flawed mandate” and “unbalanced language, tone and conclusions,” while reiterating the U.S. administration’s original opposition to the creation of a UNHRC committee monitoring compliance with the demands of the “deeply flawed” Goldstone report.
The report on the flotilla of activists seeking to violate a blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip ignores evidence of a violent, premeditated ambush of Israeli service members seeking to peacefully redirect the vessel and inspect its cargo. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in New York, Susan E. Rice, said in August that Israel’s agreement to participate in a panel of inquiry on the flotilla initiated by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and complementing domestic Israeli investigations underway, “obviat[es] the need for any overlapping international inquiry.”
Yet Arab and Muslim members of the UNHRC recommend extension of the Goldstone “committee of experts” and that the U.N. General Assembly consider the latest council report on the May flotilla, and solicit new commentaries by High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. B’nai B’rith strongly appeals to member states to reject these transparent political maneuvers.
In a formal intervention before the UNHRC, B’nai B’rith agreed with President Obama’s assertion at this month’s General Assembly opening that “nations within this body do the Palestinians no favors when they choose vitriolic attacks against Israel over constructive willingness to recognize Israel’s legitimacy and its right to exist in peace and security.”
“The Human Rights Council continues to ignore genuine atrocities and systematic abuse around the world,” said B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick. “In choosing to dwell compulsively on maligning one side of one conflict, it violates the principle of non-partiality and betrays its use as a political tool.”
“The council has proven itself impervious to new, painstaking efforts toward peace,” said B’nai B’rith Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin. “Indeed, by exacerbating tensions and seeking to prevent any Israeli attempt to protect its citizens, the council only makes peace even more elusive.”