After being called an anti-Semite for her U.N. commission’s savage, one-sided attacks on Israel, Navi Pillay protested that “I am 81 years old, and this is the first time I’ve ever been accused of anti-Semitism.”
Pillay, now chairperson of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s “Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Including East Jerusalem and Israel,” has no reason to be shocked at the accusation. She’s lived a long history of anti-Semitic, anti-Israel activism, as chairperson of both thw UNHRC itself and of her latest star chamber, dedicated solely to prosecuting Israel.
The recent Commission of Inquiry (COI) report blames the Palestinian-Israel conflict entirely on the Jewish state. The report does not mention Hamas’s unprovoked terror attacks on Israel, tens of thousands of missiles rained down on Israeli civilians, or the Palestinians’ refusal to accept numerous Israeli peace offers over decades.
Accusing Israel of human rights abuses using outright lies and half-truths is brutally unfair. But U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer states flatly that the COI report is guilty of “shameless bias … it’s anti-Semitic.”
Indeed, the very name of Pillay’s commission confirms its verdict will be biased: To call the disputed region of Judea and Samaria (aka the “West Bank”) Occupied Palestinian Territory prejudges peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
There is, of course, no such legal entity as “the Palestinian Territories.” There are only disputed territories in the region that the Palestinians and Israel have agreed in the Oslo Accords to jointly and severally govern. Israel has every legal right to administrative and security control in large parts of Judea and Samaria. The COI fully disregards these legal agreements.
According to the COI report, Jews also have no historical rights to a presence in Judea and Samaria. The report ignores Jewish presence in its ancient biblical homeland for thousands of years until 1948, when Jordan ethnically cleansed it of all Jews.
When Israel defeated Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War, it recovered this territory. Though the Palestinians have never owned or controlled any land in the region, the COI now magically grants it to them.
By any definition, Pillay and her two fellow henchmen on the COI qualify as anti-Semites.
Pillay herself has accused Israel of apartheid, which she knows is a patent lie. Israel has never had any laws separating or discriminating against its citizens because of race—the key characteristic of South African apartheid. This attempt to demonize Israel alone is enough to make the anti-Semitism label stick to Pillay.
Pillay was in charge of the United Nations’ 2009 Goldstone Report, which accused the Israel Defense Forces of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The report’s evidence was later exposed as fraudulent, causing its main author, Justice Richard Goldstone, to disavow it. Navi Pillay, however, has refused to repudiate the lies—another example of her demonization of Israel.
Pillay also supports the hateful BDS movement, which, since it opposes the existence of the Jewish state, is blatant delegitimization—another bright marker of anti-Semitism.
One of Pillay’s colleagues on the COI tribunal, Miloon Kothari, just last June inferred that social media are controlled by the “Jewish lobby”—a notorious anti-Semitic trope—and he questioned the right of Israel to be a member of the United Nations. In response, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield affirmed there’s “no place for such anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment at the U.N.”
Clearly, the COI triumvirate is immune to the stench of anti-Jewish bias. Its third member, Chris Sidoti, mockingly said that “accusations of anti-Semitism are thrown around like rice at a wedding.” Except it’s not a joke when the hate is real.
No wonder the COI’s latest report, just presented to the U.N. General Assembly, was slammed by Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan, who noted that 30% of the UNHRC’s resolutions attack Israel—more condemnations than against North Korea, Iran and Syria combined.
Gratifyingly, Erdan’s statement was supported by Hungary, the United States, Canada, Australia, Guatemala, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany, among others.
Shamefully, the UNHRC does not fret about China’s imprisonment of a million ethnic Uyghurs; Russia’s violent colonialism in seizing huge parts of Ukraine; the world’s largest population of slaves in Africa; or billions of people living in more than 100 nations who are denied basic democratic rights.
Instead, the United Nations focuses inordinate attention excoriating the world’s only Jewish state—one of the world’s most vibrant and successful democracies; one of the most inspiring stories of self-determination by an indigenous people; one of the world’s most ethnically diverse nations, of which 20% are Arabs; one of the freest countries for women and sexual minorities; birthplace of some of the world’s most innovative technologies; and one of the “happiest” nations on earth.
Yet tiny Israel has only 9.5 million people—only 7.5 million Jews. All Jews worldwide number just 14.8 million.
Jews make up only about 0.2% of the world’s population of 7.95 billion people. Only one in 1,000 of the world’s people are Jews.
With all the injustice wrought by North Korean, Syrian, Iranian, Russian and Chinese dictatorships on hundreds of millions of people, why does Israel deserve so much attention from the United Nations?
If you try to explain the disproportion of criticism, violent attacks and outright hate expended on the Jewish people and their one and only state—in the United Nations and on the streets of the United States and Europe—there simply cannot be any other explanation than racism.
Racism means hateful prejudice with no rational basis. Racism against Jews is anti-Semitism.
Like all anti-Semites, Navi Pillay will deny her prejudice until her dying day. We can’t expect her—or other anti-Semites to stop just because we call them out.
However, last January, a bipartisan group of 42 House members called for U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to defund the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry.
Indeed, the United States should immediately withdraw funding for the Commission of Inquiry…preferably also include its parent, the decidedly anti-Semitic UNHRC. Neither deserves our moral or financial support.
James Sinkinson is president of Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME), which publishes educational messages to correct lies and misperceptions about Israel and its relationship to the United States.