Guilty of Nazi-like crimes. That’s the verdict of a United Nations “commission of inquiry” on Israel that was created by the U.N. Human Rights Council to commit the Nazi-like crime of demonizing and destroying the Jewish state. Archetypal moral inversion.
The “inquiry” was created in May 2021 and released its first report to the General Assembly on October 20, 2022. Not one Western democracy voted to create the “inquiry,” but the U.N.’s top human rights body has rather unusual characteristics. Only 30 percent of Human Rights Council members are free democracies; Islamic states hold the balance of power through a system of regional groups, and its members include such human rights luminaries as China, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Venezuela.
The “inquiry” is in keeping with its architects. All three members of the “inquiry” were selected because they had already declared Israel guilty of the crimes they were charged with investigating. The mandate of the “inquiry” oozes double standards in its massive breadth, scope and resources.
The “inquiry” issued a first report to the Human Rights Council in June and it didn’t take long for its members to distinguish themselves by pushing anti-Semitic tropes. Member Chris Sidoti from Australia dismissed the voices of Jewish victims of discrimination with the retort that “accusations of anti-Semitism are thrown around like rice at a wedding.” In July, member Miloon Kothari from India claimed that “the Jewish lobby” and its money controlled social media and the inquiry’s bad press. He also suggested kicking Israel out of the U.N.
The chair of the “inquiry,” former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, is herself a pusher of “the extremist Israel lobby” canard, the “apartheid Israel” slander, and BDS (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions). So in August, Pillay unleashed an unapologetic, self-serving defense of her colleagues’ appalling behavior. U.N. authorities did nothing to remove them from office. Obviously, they all had violated the basic U.N. rules requiring impartiality, objectivity and personal integrity—but that’s why they were chosen in the first place.
While the new report to the General Assembly is, therefore, not a surprise, it is a disturbing testimony to the moral turpitude of the U.N. human rights apparatus and its functionaries.
The report is sprinkled with a series of highlighted quotations from Palestinians in Hebron. They are all undated, unsigned, anonymous accusations accompanied by no evidence, not so much as a footnote. One contains a blood libel about Jews arriving at Palestinian homes in the middle of the night and threatening to burn the human beings inside. Another claims that Jews are child molesters intent on feeling the breasts of Palestinian girls.
So how did the inquisitors conduct their “fact-finding”? They issued a “call for submissions” in the fall of 2021 and officially claimed they wanted specifics about victims of “systematic discrimination and repression” as well as “underlying root causes” of the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict. There was no start or end date on facts, perpetrators or crimes.
In response, through the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, and Human Rights Voices, I facilitated over five million unique submissions relating to Jewish victims of said “systematic discrimination and repression” and the roles played by Palestinians and other Arab perpetrators. Over the winter and spring of 2022, carefully documented photos, videos, statements, names and statistical evidence from such research centers as Palestinian Media Watch, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), the Jewish Virtual Library and CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) were all transmitted to the “inquiry”—and those transmissions were meticulously recorded at our end.
These submissions were an unprecedented response in the history of the U.N. human rights system. Also unprecedented: Every one of our submissions was thrown in the U.N. trash, apparently without being read. Specifically addressing our submissions at a U.N. news conference in June, Pillay declared, “I’ve not seen them” and “all of them would be pro-Israel.”
We didn’t stop. Over the summer, we facilitated the submission of 180,316 additional files. They detailed 190,161 individual Jewish victims of persecution and oppression, as well as the Palestinian Arab connections to those events. They specified 5,875 attacks by Palestinians and their collaborators in the 21st century. And they chronicled six Arab wars against the Jewish state, in addition to eight defensive Israeli military operations in response to Arab aggression in the 20th century.
In light of the latest “inquiry” report, we now know that those submissions were also all trashed, proving the U.N. “investigation” is phony, a con, period. The inquisitors do boast that they conducted interviews “with primary and secondary sources” and “in-person and online discussions with stakeholders.” And their report has 65 sourced “citations” from 18 organizations. But every one of them trash-talks Israel and nothing from a single participating so-called “pro-Israel” NGO or “stakeholder” sees the light of day.
The shameless prejudice exhibited in the report is shocking, even by U.N. standards. The “Summary” of the report to the General Assembly—a summary of an inquiry billed as discerning “all underlying root causes” of the conflict—brazenly announces that it is only about “the human rights implications for Palestinians.” Not any “human rights” of Jewish Israelis.
In this setting, historical revisionism runs rampant. One anonymous, undated “inquiry” factoid quotes a Palestinian declaring that Hebron is “our land and our father’s and grandfather’s land.” There’s no footnote there either. Perhaps because in fact, Hebron is the world’s oldest Jewish community, the site of the first parcel of land purchased by Abraham and owned by the Jewish people in their promised land, the burial site of almost all of Judaism’s patriarchs and matriarchs, mentioned dozens of times in the Bible, and only periodically rendered Judenrein in parts of the 20th century by Arab massacres of its Jewish inhabitants, British expulsion and Jordanian use of force.
The report’s declarations of Israeli human rights violations run wild. Among them, Israelis are at fault for Palestinian women and girls’ hygienic issues when menstruating.
The report launches a new celebrity “victim”: the Palestinian female mistreated by the Israeli male. The silence on honor killings, discriminatory laws and rampant domestic violence perpetrated by the sexist, chauvinist, abusive Palestinian men who sully their own inequitable society is deafening.
Also missing in action? The word “terrorism” is nowhere to be found. Palestinian perpetrators have vanished. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad never appear.
There is one passing remark that Palestinian demonstrators “threw…on some occasions Molotov cocktails toward Israeli forces.” However, it turns out that was just “in reaction to” Israeli evil-doers, and nobody was hurt in the “throwing towards.”
Not mentioned: Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks, suicide bombings, incendiary kites, pipe bombs, small arms fire, arson, vehicular attacks, assaults, grenades, IEDs, sniper fire, anti-tank fire, anti-aircraft fire, kidnappings, stabbings, rape, torture, stoning and beheading.
In the only other throw-away line on Jewish victims, the report refers to the years 2000 to 2007 this way: “the Commission acknowledges the significant detrimental impact of armed attacks and security incidents.” “Detrimental impact” was how they described the Jews blown apart in the Palestinian suicide-bombing reign of terror. Not as a human rights violation.
The report ends with conclusions and recommendations that take the assault on human decency to the next level.
The inquisitors advocate that Israelis be hunted down, prosecuted and jailed for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC)—for the Nazi-like crimes of “persecution” and the “transfer of populations” (knowing full well that the latter meant transfer to the death camps).
On the other hand, they couldn’t name a single Palestinian crime worth prosecuting.
The list of recommendations is directed only at “the Government of Israel,” the ICC prosecutor, and various U.N. bodies and member states. And not one recommendation is made to Palestinian authorities.
And last but not least, Americans should be under no illusions that they are safe from this toxic international pogrom.
The report demands that the International Court of Justice, the U.N.’s “World Court,” be instrumentalized to manufacture duties “of third states” to chase after alleged criminal Israelis.
The final paragraph of this masterpiece of modern anti-Semitism announces just how far the spider is now casting the web. In kitchen-sink legalese, the inquiry demands that U.N. member states start “investigating and prosecuting persons suspected of committing or otherwise aiding and abetting or assisting in the commission or attempted commission of crimes.”
What crimes? Crimes in the eyes of the very men and women committing, aiding, abetting and assisting the criminal enterprise of destroying the Jewish state and decimating its inhabitants.
Anne Bayefsky is the director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, and president of Human Rights Voices.