Since 1948 the UN and its associated institutions have never lost an opportunity to condemn Israel for one form of “unlawful” behaviour or another.
What constitutes unlawful action, of course, is usually in the eyes of the accuser. Therefore with a majority of UN members being non-democracies and quite a number of them serial human rights abusers the definition when it comes to Israel is extremely elastic. In fact, it is so flexible that virtually anything Israel undertakes is classified as unlawful.
That is why Abbas and the PLO are once again planning to run to the UN General Assembly with its inbuilt anti-Israel majority in order to pillory and condemn us for having the “chutzpah” to even contemplate claiming sovereignty. This farce naturally will have its usual drama, debate and denunciations and hopefully will be consigned to the same dustbin as the “Zionism is racism” resolution passed some years ago.
In order to gain some perspective on how the UN operates and how irrelevant it has become for most Israelis one must look back a little and remember previous occasions when accusations of unlawful actions were also debated and the Jewish State was roundly condemned. It is only by learning how past blind prejudices emanating from this corrupt organisation were so patently false and demented that we can know how to react as the latest barrage of resolutions are being concocted.
It is useful to recall that from 1948 until 1967 neither the UN nor other international organisations cared a fig about the illegal occupation of half of Jerusalem plus Judea and Samaria by the Jordanians. No war crimes charges were threatened or voted on when the Hashemite Kingdom destroyed the Mount of Olives Cemetery, ethnically cleansed Jews and destroyed their properties and forbade Jewish worshippers from visiting the Kotel, Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb. This glaring silence is either forgotten or more likely conveniently swept under the carpet as part of the hypocritical charade which characterises the UN relationship with Israel.
Bear this in mind as I detail six occasions when the wrath of the international community descended on Israel for asserting its legal and historical rights, delivering long-delayed justice or defending its citizens against actual and potential terror threats. In each case, Israel’s actions and activities were deemed to be in “violation of international law” and by extension a “threat to world peace.”
- In 1960 Israel apprehended Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann, in Argentina and flew him back to face trial and eventual execution. The UN Security Council met in emergency session and with expressions of righteous indignation condemned Israel for violating the sovereignty of a Member State and flouting international law. The Vatican which incidentally only recognised the legitimacy of Israel in 1993 also expressed its dismay. This display of pious hypocrisy from those whose predecessors facilitated the rat line enabling Nazi murderers of Jews to escape to South America should be a sobering lesson of why we need to consign similar outbursts to the garbage bin.
- In 1976 hijackers diverted an Air France plane to Uganda. On arrival, these terrorists separated the Israeli and Jewish passengers and held them hostage with the threat that they would be murdered if certain demands were not met. Diplomacy, of course, proved useless so once again Israel undertook a rescue which most experts maintained could not be successful. The rescue of the hostages being held in Entebbe airport by Israeli Special Forces flying from Israel has become the stuff of legends as well as movies and TV dramas. The UN Secretary-General at the time, ex-Nazi soldier Kurt Waldheim, condemned Israel’s flagrant violation of international law. Once again a sobering lesson of the idiocy pervading the UN when it comes to Israel. This lunacy amazingly still persists. A few weeks ago the BBC World Service broadcast a programme on the anniversary of this epic rescue. The interviewer asked a former IDF member who had taken part, the following: “did you have reservations about the operation knowing that you would be violating Ugandan territory by going into the country without permission?” The inanity of the media knows no bounds when it comes to Israel.
- On 30 July 1980, the Knesset ratified Israel’s sovereignty of the whole city of Jerusalem as its reunited Capital. Once again the UN Security Council met to censure Israel’s alleged violation of international law. This still rumbles on as every year the same condemnatory resolutions roll forth. Obviously it’s only the sight of Jews reclaiming their ancient Capital which upsets the international community.
- In June 1981 Israel destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor being completed there in order to prevent Saddam Hussein from eventually using it to produce nuclear material for use against us. Israel’s action followed ineffective, irresolute and half-hearted efforts by the UN and IAEA. Needless to say, the UN once again censured us for breaking international law. Not for the first time and certainly not the last Israel was compelled to take the security of its citizens into its own hands. Just as prior to the Holocaust Jews were sacrificed on the altar of appeasement and indifference the same sick attitudes still prevail.
- In December 1981 the Knesset passed the law applying full sovereignty to the Golan Heights. Anyone aware of the strategic importance of this territory and knowing how the Syrians used it to threaten and terrorise Israel will appreciate its significance. True to form the UN denounced Israel yet again and annually repeats this farce with the demand that we hand back the Golan to the butcher of Damascus so that he and his murderous henchmen can carry out their genocidal ambitions. With Iran now funding, arming and training Syrian forces just imagine if we would have surrendered this land. Today we would be facing these terrorists on the shores of the Kinneret.
- In 2016 the infamous UN Resolution 2334 co-sponsored by New Zealand and supported by such exemplary Israel hating countries as Venezuela and Malaysia, was passed. In one fell swoop, the UN delegitimised the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria. It also repeated the lie that Jewish habitation in those places was against international law and that basically Jews have no historic connection or rights there. Trotted out at every opportunity this claim combined with a blind acceptance of each and every PLO lie ensures continued conflict.
This is just a select sampling of the double standards and deliberate bias which permeates anything to do with Israel.
The question is how long this farce can continue before it blows up. Based on past history I strongly suspect that the Jewish People and Israel will be around long after the UN self destructs.
Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.