Is Israel treated fairly at the United Nations?


Few of the attacks on Israel are more effective than the claim that ‘even the United Nations condemns Israel’.

And it does – in any given year, the UN general assembly passes more than three times as many resolutions condemning Israel than those condemning all of the other 192 states combined – not to mention a myriad of other UN groups that regularly pass judgement on this tiny nation.

So, despite the atrocious actions of the many tyrants, despots, and failed nation states in the world – Israel is apparently so bad that its actions deserve the overwhelming attention, and chastisement, of the United Nations.

Clearly this isn’t the case and the anti-Israel resolutions, themselves, deserve closer examination. They’re actually the same resolutions every year – rolled out annually as part of of a much larger anti-Israel strategy which has been underway for decades and seeks to minimise the Jewish connection to Israel despite the overwhelming evidence of archaeology, genetic testing, and historical records.

So how do the promoters of these resolutions gain support year on year? Easily! There are 120 member nations of the Non-Aligned Movement, including the 57 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. These countries are almost all inherently anti-democratic and share an animosity to Western values in general, and Israel in particular. Given that there are only 193 member States in the UN, this means that anti-Israel resolutions are almost always guaranteed majority support. It’s simple math.

But this isn’t the only way in which the UN is biased toward Israel.

In 1948, following Israel’s defensive war of independence, approximately three quarters of a million Arabs, and even more Jews, were left homeless.

To address this problem the UN set up a special agency – known as the Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA. There was no need for a similar agency for Jewish refugees from Arab lands because Israel immediately accepted those people and made them citizens.

UNRWA was meant to be a temporary service but has continued and now also counts the descendants of the original Palestinian refugees as refugees – a group they now claim to number more than five million people.

UNRWA has an annual budget which works out to approximately $260 per person per year. In contrast, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – which caters for all other refugees in the world – provides similar services for approximately $85 per person per year – and there are regular claims of inefficiency and corruption leveled against UNRWA.

But what is more worrisome is that UNRWA operates in a way which actually perpetuates the Arab-Israeli conflict. Unlike the UN Commission for Refugees – which helps settle thousands of refugees each year – UNRWA actively opposes resettlement of Arab Palestinians. Instead it promotes a so-called “right of return”, meaning that every Arab Palestinian who left his or her home *in 1948 – and their descendants – should have the right to return and take over property. Such a claim has no legal precedent and has not been applied in other cases of wartime refugees throughout the twentieth century.

UNRWA school textbooks perpetuate this “right of return” as a political tool against Israel. Worse still, textbooks have been found to refer to Jews as “greedy” and “oppressive”. They also represent Jewish Holy sites as “Muslim holy places usurped by the Jews” and don’t recognise Israel as a sovereign state nor show it on maps.

The list goes on: the entries to terrorist tunnels have been discovered in UNRWA facilities; UNRWA schools have been used to store missiles: and, in 2015, UN Watch released a report documenting UNRWA staff posting antisemitic material and supporting terrorism on social media.

For these reasons, the US recently withheld funding to UNRWA and Switzerland’s foreign minister said UNRWA is “part of the problem” and keeps the Israeli-Palestinian conflict alive. But many other nations that claim to stand for peace are yet to even acknowledge the flaws and continue to fund this corrupt agency.

Sadly, the United Nations has fallen far from its lofty aspirations. Its anti-Israel resolutions, its selective revisions of history and the unacceptable activities of its agencies, all send a clear signal to Palestinian leaders that they don’t need to negotiate because the so-called “international community” will force Israel to submit.

Enough is enough. It’s time for democratic nations to review their principles and call out this bias rather than be complicit in it.


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