World Body Slams UN Watch: Criticism of Goldstone Report ‘Cannot Be Accepted’

5 resolutions against Israel, only 3 for rest of world combined  

GENEVA, March 26, 2010 Despite the U.S. having joined the UN Human Rights Council, the 47-nation body today showed that attempts at reform have so far failed. Continuing past practices, the council concluded its main session of the year by slamming Israel in five separate resolutions — more than the total dedicated to the rest of the world combined.

The anti-Israel resolutions, each vigorously opposed by the U.S., turned a blind eye to Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism, and created a series of new committees and other mechanisms to perpetuate the biased Goldstone Report — whose lead supporter in the region is not the Palestinian Authority, but its fundamentalist rival, Iranian terror-proxy Hamas.

UN Watch took the floor to denounce the one-sided resolutions. When the human rights NGO expressed the simple truth that the Goldstone Report has no basis in fact and only legitimizes and emboldens terrorists — as British Col. Kemp testified, and as this new 349-page document proves with photographic evidence —  the President of the council, Belgian Ambassador Alex Van Meeuwen, exceptionally decided to issue a response. He called UN Watch’s remarks “derogatory” and ruled that they “cannot be accepted.” See full exchange below.

At the same time, however, it is instructive to know what is acceptable at the UN. The Human Rights Council this week freely circulated a statement by a Libyan-linked group that falsely accuses Israeli doctors of a racist plot to steal Palestinian organs — without making any objections.

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UN Watch Speech
UN Human Rights Council, 13th Regular Session
Agenda Item 7: “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories”

Delivered by Bethany Singer-Baefsky, 22 March 2010

Thank you, Mr. President.

We recall that on 20 June 2007, after this agenda item was established, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon voiced disappointment at the Council decision to single out Israel as the only specific regional item on its agenda, “given the range and scope of allegations of human rights violations throughout the world.” We recall further that this agenda item was officially opposed by the United States, the European Union, Canada and other democracies.

In this session, once again, there are more resolutions targeting Israel than on the rest of the world combined.

Each of the resolutions on Israel is one-sided, politicized and unfair.

Each turns a blind eye to Hamas and Hezbollah.

Each ignores their terrorism; ignores their incitement to genocidal anti-Semitism; ignores their hatred of the West, of human rights and of peace. Each gives a free pass to their state sponsors, Iran and Syria.

Mr. President, these resolutions are profoundly objectionable to UN Watch. We oppose them because they will not contribute to peace in the Middle East. They will make peace harder to achieve.

We oppose the ends they seek, which is one-sided condemnation, not conciliation and compromise.

We oppose the means they recommend, which contradict the principles of cooperation and dialogue – principles so often invoked by the groups sponsoring these resolutions.

These resolutions attack the spirit of reason, moderation, and peace itself. They polarize nations, spread hostility and exacerbate conflict. They disregard facts, morality and truth. They inflame passions.

Mr. President, this Council was founded on noble principles. Yet these resolutions, if and when adopted, will pervert the institution by falsifying language, falsifying concepts like human rights, self-defense, and international humanitarian law.

By perpetuating the Goldstone Report, which adopts the narrative of a terrorist group, these resolutions lay the ground for even greater unfairness and injustice.

They will legitimize and embolden the terrorists who threaten international peace and security, and encourage them to commit further acts of armed aggression.

Mr. President, all who support human rights and oppose terrorism must vote No.

Thank you, Mr. President.

UNHRC PRESIDENT ALEX VAN MEEUWEN RESPONDS TO UN WATCH: Thank you for your statement. I am very saddened by the remarks which have just been made equating Justice Goldstone’s report with a terrorist group report. Despite my repeated calls for dignity and respect in this chamber, I cannot fail to notice that derogatory remarks and references are being made in connection with this item. This cannot be accepted. Everyone has the right to express his or her views about the fact-finding mission report or activity but this should remain within the accepted framework. Tolerance and respect should be the key words of the Council work. 

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