Israel has increasingly isolated itself from the world with its hard-line policies on West Bank settlements, the Gaza embargo and other issues. This week, it unwisely set itself further apart with a decision to withhold cooperation from a United Nations Human Rights Council review of its human rights practices.
If this paper, or any rational person, still considers the UNHRC objective, untained, impartial, considerate, reasonable, unbiased or somehow otherwise actually concerned with human rights and not an Israel-bashing forum whose members have ten times more problems with human rights than Israel while ignoring the human rights fiascos in other places much worse, not to admit all the complaints against Israel are true, I stress, then the readership of the NYT as well as its editors is to be pitied. By the way, the UN Humand Rights Coordinator rep in Jerusalem has not yet replied or acknowledged my appeal.
The editorial even notes:
...The council...is clearly not without faults. More than half of the resolutions passed by the council since it started work in 2006 have focused on Israel and its treatment of Palestinians, and Israel is the only country that is a standing item on the agenda for the council’s biannual meetings. The council hasn’t always been an effective human rights champion. But...
Well, we don't accept "buts" anymore.
The paper contradicts itself,
...Israel shows not only an unwillingness to undergo the same scrutiny as all other countries,
but there is no "same scrutiny"!
That's the point.
The paper issue a threat or two and then adds
Any new governing coalition that emerges from Israel’s recent elections should realize that there’s a cost to standing apart.
"Standing apart" is normative Jewishness.
The anti-Semites stand us apart.
Media bias stands us apart.
Our uniqueness stands us apart.
Our history and our achievements stand us apart.
The Bible stands us apart, Numbers 23:9:
lo, it is a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not take the nations into consideration (my translation).It would be better if the nations treated us better, understood us better, aided us more.
But at the fundamental level, we have to take that into consideration.
The report on "settlements" is out.
And read this.
As noted to me:
Sudan was elected as VP of a UN human rights body (ECOSOC) a couple days ago. It is simply absurd the NYT would publish that editorial.
And read Gerald Steinberg.
Caught this from David Gertsman:
Today, the Times takes another angle to use international law as a cudgel with which to beat Israel, an editorial, titled Israel Ducks on Human Rights.
Yisrael Medad and Daled Amos both identify the contradiction at the heart of the editorial.
The third paragraph reads:
In May, Israel said it planned to stop participating because the council was a “political tool” for those who wanted to “bash and demonize” Israel. The council, whose 47 members are elected by the United Nations General Assembly, is clearly not without faults. More than half of the resolutions passed by the council since it started work in 2006 have focused on Israel and its treatment of Palestinians, and Israel is the only country that is a standing item on the agenda for the council’s biannual meetings.But two paragraphs later, the editors tells that "universal standards" in human rights are important!
Human rights reviews are an important tool for judging all countries by universal standards and nudging them to make positive changes. By opting out, Israel shows not only an unwillingness to undergo the same scrutiny as all other countries, but it deprives itself of an opportunity to defend against abuse charges. The decision could also undermine the entire review process by providing an excuse for states with terrible human rights records — like North Korea, Iran and Zimbabwe — to withdraw as well. It certainly will make it harder for Washington to argue for reviews when an ally rejects the process.It would be one thing for the New York Times to acknowledge that the Human Rights Council is flawed and that Israel should submit to its authority, if the flaws were not relevant to Israel's standing. But one of the flaws that the Times itself acknowledged is the council's obsession with Israel, meaning that Israel will not be judged by the "universal standards" it claims to champion.