U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been challenged to “repudiate anti-Israel hate and rejectionism” in his organization when he speaks in Geneva to mark the 70th anniversary of the partitioning of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.
The call comes from Prof. Gerald Steinberg – president of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor – in a letter to Guterres. It precedes Wednesday’s pause in U.N. offices around the world for something called the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”
The global organization set aside November 29 as a day of Palestinian solidarity in 1977, with a General Assembly resolution authorizing the practice as an “annual observance.”
In Prof. Steinberg’s letter, he argues that the “Day of Solidarity”, along with countless U.N. bodies that promote an anti-Israel agenda as part of their day-to-day work, destroys the U.N.’s historic commitment to a “two-state” solution and replaces it with open denigration of Jewish self-determination. He wrote:
Too often, UN officials are willing and active players in this dynamic, applying double standards and singling out Israel for attack. Next week, as occurs every year, the UN will hold a special meeting in Geneva on the occasion of “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,” featuring anti-Israel demagogues and highlighting agendas that undermine the spirit of UNGA 181.
The bias and political attacks on Israel by the Division for Palestinian Rights, the Human Rights Council, and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People are well documented. Other campaigns are led under the auspices of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNICEF, UNOCHA, UN Women, UNECSWA, UNESCO, and other UN agencies. In addition, such UN activity is often reinforced by a network of influential NGOs that claim to promote human rights agendas.
As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, last month the U.S. withdrew from the U.N.’s educational, scientific, and cultural body (UNESCO), citing long-standing concerns of significant anti-Israel bias at the organization — part of a broader crackdown by the Trump administration against the bias that it sees as present throughout the U.N.
The decision came after a series of anti-Israel decisions by the body, including accepting Palestine as a permanent member in 2011 and most recently in July declaring the Tomb of the Patriarchs – considered the second holiest site in Judaism after the Temple Mount – to be a Palestinian world heritage site in danger.
Another UNESCO decision recently disavowed Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.
These are just a few examples of what Prof. Steinberg sees as the U.N.’s inherent bias against the Jewish State of Israel, underwritten by the millions of dollars U.N. agencies splash yearly on pro-Palestinian activities.
“In October 2017, 24 separate UN agencies contracted with the Palestinian Authority to spend more than $18 million on campaigns aimed at isolating Israel through coordinated political, economic, and legal attacks,” Prof. Steinberg noted, challenging the U.N. as a whole to “accept the obligation to end the rampant and systematic discrimination against Israel” that defines it.
For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tore into the U.N. in August at a press conference with Secretary-General Guterres, blasting the international agency’s “absurd obsession” with Israel — saying it is “time to restore moral clarity” at the global body.
“There is no question we’ve had a troubled relationship with the UN. I think it has an absurd obsession with Israel, flagrantly discriminatory tactics, you don’t have to be the Israeli prime minister to understand that, and I think people of good faith and common sense understand that,” the Israeli leader said.
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