Double Standard: UN Postpones Israel Debate in Deference to Palestinian Agenda

Does it matter if the U.N. Human Rights Council postpones a debate on Israel’s alleged violations?

Terribly so, we were told last week by the council and its defenders, who went into a state of apoplexy when Israel, requesting a postponement, dared to miss a scheduled review session on January 29th.

Even the New York Times entered the fray — in a rare editorial dedicated to the goings-on of the Geneva body — accusing Israel of undermining human rights. Headlines worldwide echoed the sense of outrage.

UN Watch has already exposed the rank hypocrisy of these empty charges.

Yet it now turns out that, at the exact same time as the above media storm was blowing, the council was taking  an altogether different approach toward a similar request, made by one of its own top UN officials, to postpone a debate on Israel’s alleged violations.

UN Watch has discovered that the council quietly posted a notice that their own Palestine monitor, the infamous Richard Falk, who was kicked out of Human Rights Watch in response to our campaign, will be skipping a scheduled council appearance, postponing his report by several months.

Falk, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, was scheduled to present his report on Monday, March 18 — on the special day against Israel that is a permanent feature of every session — at the same time as the council’s fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements presents its new report. Instead, we now learn that Falk’s report has been postponed until June. No reasons were given.

Even though the report’s postponement means that a scheduled council debate on Israel’s alleged violations — supposedly a vital instrument of justice on an urgent situation — will now be deferred by several months, suddenly there is no outrage, no objections of principle, and no questions asked by the council and its defenders.

Apparently, the council’s anti-Israel lobby was concerned that Falk’s scheduled diatribe would be drowned out by the competing report on settlements, and so arbitrarily decided to alter the council’s schedule in order to space out their propaganda vehicles in separate sessions.

As it happens, this is not the first time that the council has postponed a Falk report, and council debate, for political reasons.

In 2010, it was the Palestinians themselves who demanded, and easily won, a deferral of Falk’s report from the March to June session of that year.

Falk had angered Ramallah by his report’s grant of UN standing to their bitter enemy, Hamas, and by stinging remarks he had made about the PA and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas.

Here’s what US diplomats reported, as revealed by Wikileaks:

[Palestinian deputy ambassador] Zuhairi was visibly upset by [Falk’s] reference to Hamas in his draft report. In para 8, Falk states that UNGA resolution 64/10 calls on Hamas – vice the PA – to undertake investigations. Zuhairi argued that he had too often corrected Falk’s many errors and that this latest misguided effort by Falk had gone too far. Zuhairi said he might use the February 18 HRC organizational meeting to seek to block Falk’s report from being presented to the HRC on the grounds that Falk overstepped his mandate, had addressed issues outside his brief, and had failed to appropriately recognize a UNGA resolution (not to mention the legitimate authority of the PA).

That was Feb. 16, 2010. Two days later, the Palestinian Authority delegate went ahead and told the UN to delay Falk’s report, giving this interesting reason:

Taking into account the number of reports related to the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories under agenda item 7, in order to treat them with the most appropriate manner, I request to postpone the report of Professor Richard Falk to be considered during the 14th session of the HRC.

That’s right: the Palestinians were complaining that there were just too many reports on Israel!

Sure enough, the absurdity, irony and hypocrisy of the request notwithstanding, the U.N. obeisantly rescheduled Falk’s report — and the surrounding debate — in deference not to any human rights concern, but to the dictates of the PLO’s political agenda.

In response, Hamas — whom Falk in Jan. 2013 compared to anti-Nazi freedom fighters — quickly went to bat for their beloved Richard Falk, reported Ma’an News:

The delay of Falk’s report also caught the attention of Hamas leaders in Gaza. On Monday, The justice minister in the Hamas-controlled government in Gaza, Muhammad Faraj Al-Ghoul, held a news conference denouncing the delay as an effort to “kill the report and give Israel a cover for its crimes.”

No surprise there.

In the end, does it matter if the U.N. Human Rights Council postpones a debate on Israel’s alleged violations?

In truth, from the standpoint of genuine human rights, it matters not a whit.

In truth, it matters not a whit that the council postponed last week’s review session on Israel, nor the Falk report that had been scheduled for March 18, 2o13.

In truth, the council’s so-called debates on Israel have all the due process of a Stalinist show trial, where the verdict is delivered in advance, and rapists and murderers parade as prosecutors of justice.

The council’s double standard when it comes to deferring reports and sessions is just one more example of the U.N. Human Rights Council’s pathological prejudice against Israel, which undermines its credibility and casts a shadow upon the reputation of the world body as a whole.

5 Responses to “Double Standard: UN Postpones Israel Debate in Deference to Palestinian Agenda”


  • Amazing that after your successful campaign against this terrorists lover falk,he is still a top rank official at the UN.
    Israel could save itself an instant and constant aggrevation and plenty of money totally withdrawing from the HRC.

  • What would we do without UN Watch. As the UN continues to sicken me, I am reassured that we have at least one entity exposing the utter hypocrisy of the entire body, not just the ironically named Human Rights Council.

  • The duplicity of the U.N. Human Rights Council is always appalling. But I must say, I was astounded by the the NY Times editorial in which the paper condemned Israel for missing its scheduled flogging. As anti-Israel as the NY Times is, I was still shocked at how much lower it was willing to go to attack the Jewish state. That the Times could treat this UN committee of human rights abusers as if there is anything serious, or remotely legitimate, about its work, said to me that the Times had finally shrugged off the last bit of integrity it might have had remaining. Thanks to U.N. Watch for keeping us abreast of news from the world’s sickest circus, the UNHRC and it’s supporters, like the NY Times.

  • Sharansky’s definition of anti-semitism is: demonization of the jews, delegitimization of the jews, and applying of double standards towards the jews. Just by bhat definition alone, the U.N. HRC is an anti-semitic agency.

  • The UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) primary focus is on running an anti-Israel campaign. They run this campaign in an efficient around the world. It is, therefore, advisable that the UNHRC should rename itself as the UN Anti-Israel Campaign Council (UNAICC).They should stop fooling the world that they are working for promotion of human rights in the world.

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