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UN urges Gaza ceasefire while funding anti-Israel propaganda, ignoring human rights abusers

The UN passed a resolution which called for an immediate ceasefire without explicitly condemning the Hamas attacks. Israeli Ambassador Gilad Menashe Erdan said that the U.N. “no longer holds even one ounce of legitimacy or relevance.”

Published: November 6, 2023 6:01am

The global body that was created to encourage peace in a turbulent world is facing harsh criticism after it could not muster the votes to condemn one of the most heinous acts of terrorism in modern history.

The United Nations General Assembly voted against a resolution amendment last week that would have unequivocally rejected and condemned the Oct. 7 terrorist attack by Hamas against Israeli civilians.

Canada introduced the amendment to a wider resolution introduced by a slew of countries that called for “an immediate…humanitarian truce” and included an equivocating condemnation of violence against civilians from both sides.

The General Assembly, which has no binding power under international law, voted 88 in favor and 55 against the amendment, but it did not reach the required two-thirds majority to pass the chamber, according to U.N. press.

After the amendment failed and the chamber passed the wider resolution which called for an immediate ceasefire without explicitly condemning the Hamas attacks, the Israeli Ambassador, Gilad Menashe Erdan, said that the U.N. “no longer holds even one ounce of legitimacy or relevance.”

“We saw exactly what they dream of doing to every Israeli and Jew, and we will not sit idly by to let them rearm and commit such atrocities,” Erdan told the assembly.

“We all know that if given the chance Hamas and Hezbollah would commit the October 7 massacre again and again and again until there is not a single Israeli left to murder or a single citizen to terrorize and drive away from Israel,” Erdan said. “Why are you not holding Hamas accountable?” he asked the global community.

The failure of the U.N. General Assembly to condemn Hamas should not be a surprise to those who have followed the United Nations’ treatment of Israel compared to other members, some of which are authoritarian regimes that routinely violate human rights according to the U.N.’s own definitions.

Monica Crowley, former assistant to President Richard Nixon and a former Trump Administration official, told the "Just the News, No Noise" television show Friday that anti-Israel bias has crept into the U.N., despite the organization’s creation as result of World War II and the Holocaust against the Jewish people.

“The United Nations was created as a result of that conflagration based on the concept of never again, we say never again, with regard to the Holocaust, and have over the last many decades, never again was a moral imperative. It was not a suggestion. And so for the body of the United Nations to not even be able to get their act together, just to pass the resolution to condemn what Hamas has done to Israel and the taking of over 1400 innocent lives when hostages are still being held by Hamas in Israel is absolutely disgusting,” Monica Crowley told hosts John Solomon and Amanda Head.

“But it is not surprising. The United Nations has long been a breeding ground of hate. It's long been a cesspool of antisemitism, anti-Israel activity, anti-American activity and frankly, anti-Western activity,” she continued.

“They have all long embraced terrorist organizations, terrorist countries like Iran, coddle them, but also dictators and authoritarians of all stripes have been perfectly happy. And at home at the U.N., while freedom loving countries like Israel and the United States have been put on the back heel by the U.N.”

According to a database maintained by U.N. Watch, in 2022 the U.N. General Assembly passed 16 resolutions on Israel—a majority concerning the country’s human rights record. In the same year the General Assembly only passed 2 total resolutions on notorious human rights abusers Iran and North Korea, and only 7 on Russia—which is engaged in a war of conquest against its neighbor in violation of the U.N. charter. No resolutions were passed on China that year, a country which the U.S. State Department determined is committing genocide against Uyghur muslims in the western region of Xinjiang.

In addition, the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) also has a demonstrated what may be described as an anti-Israel bias. The HRC was created by the General Assembly in 2006 to strengthen and protect human rights around the globe, according to the council’s website. Human rights were at the center of the founding of the United Nations after World War II, principally those perpetrated by the Nazi regime in throughout Europe. The U.N. together signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the war, the first document denoting worldwide agreement on human rights.

Currently, there are 47 member states on the council. Several of those members are themselves authoritarian regimes that have a track record of their own human rights abuses. For example, China holds a seat on the council. In addition to its genocide against the Uyghurs, the country also imprisons journalists, suppresses the people of Hong Kong and Tibet, exerts state control over religious institutions, and curtails freedom of expression, according to Human Rights Watch. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that China is the world’s second-worst jailer of journalists, with 43 behind bars as of CPJ’s December 1, 2022, prison census.

Venezuela also previously held a seat. Venezuela, under dictator Nicolás Maduro, persecutes political opponents, curtails judicial independence, permits and partners with armed paramilitary groups that suppress the population, and limits freedom of expression, according to Human Rights Watch. Venezuela was voted off the council in October of 2022.

Other current members include Qatar, Algeria, Cameroon, Cuba, and Somalia, countries that have records of human rights violations. Qatarfor example, operates under an interpretation of Sharia law that criminalises sexual activity between men, and convicts may face the death penalty.

One recent resolution passed out of the Human Rights Council was for the implementation of a General Assembly resolution that called for a database to be created of companies doing business with Israeli settlements in the West Bank. A Just the News review of other occupied and disputed territories around the globe, found that the U.N. does not keep a similar database on any other area, not even for Russia’s occupation of Crimea since 2014 and now vast swathes of eastern Ukrainian territories since 2020.

Another component of the U.N. that targets Israel is the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA). This agency was established in 1949 after Israel’s war for independence against the nascent Palestine and its Arab neighbors to care for the refugees from the fighting. After the war, the U.N. estimated that over 700,000 people were displaced from Israel.

UNRWA spends more than half of its funds on providing education to Palestinian refugees. The other half of its funds are split between providing healthcare and other social services, according to the UNRWA website.

However, UNRWA’s education work has come under scrutiny for antisemitic and anti-Israel material. In 2021, the German newspaper BILD reported on findings from U.N. Watch that included a number of these cases. In one example, an UNRWA teacher from Syria posted a picture of Hitler to Facebook and said “people still have to be burned.”

In another, an educational exercise for students included a Jewish bus attacked by Palestinian arsonists and labeled it a “barbecue.” BILD highlighted how German government funds go towards perpetuated these instances of antisemitic rhetoric through UNRWA.

The Trump Administration ended funding for UNRWA in 2018, partially because of concerns like these. However, after assuming office, President Biden resumed funding to UNRWA. Biden’s administration has sent nearly $730 million to UNRWA since he took office.

The posture and activities of the U.N. have spurred some Republican presidential candidates to call for defunding or leaving the organization altogether.

This week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who maintains his second place position in the primary polls, promised to strip funding from the organization if he is elected president.

Vivek Ramaswamy, the upstart former pharmaceutical executive, has called for the United States to leave the U.N. if defunding aspects of the organization yielded no change.