September 12, 2009

Watching the UN

Here's a group, an NGO no less, that I've never really paid any attention to before. In fact I can't really recall if I'd ever heard of it. It's called UN Watch and it looks to be a zionist organisation founded by "Ambassador Morris B. Abram, the former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva". Here's how it describes itself:
UN Watch is a non-governmental organization based in Geneva whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter.
It claims that it:
believes in the United Nations' mission on behalf of the international community to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war" and provide for a more just world.
and yet it:
notes that the disproportionate attention and unfair treatment applied by the UN toward Israel over the years offers an object lesson (though not the only one) in how due process, equal treatment, and other fundamental principles of the UN Charter are often ignored or selectively upheld.
And that's just the website. What brought it to my attention is that apparently the UN is going to publish a report on Israel's assault on Gaza late last and early this year. This UN accredited NGO is worried that the report might cause antisemitism by exposing Israel's sheer wanton criminality. So what should an NGO do when it believes that the UN is being unduly partial to the victims of atrocities by a colonial settler racist state? Run to the UK's Zionist Federation of course.

I kid you not. Here's the Jewish Chronicle:
A United Nations investigation into the Gaza conflict will be used as a political weapon to undermine Israel and could lead to an upsurge of international antisemitism, the head of a Geneva NGO has warned.

Hillel Neuer, director of the highly respected UN Watch, has said the group is preparing to challenge the report, which is due to be formally presented to the UN Human Rights Commission at the end of the month.

It is widely believed that the report will result in calls for Israel to be prosecuted for alleged war crimes.

Although the document, which was being completed this week, is also expected to criticise Hamas rocket attacks on Negev towns and villages, this is unlikely to be “the big story”, Mr Neuer argued, considering the allegations likely to be levelled against Israel.

Mr Neuer, in London to address the Zionist Federation’s annual meeting, has repeatedly questioned the impartiality of the fact-finding mission, headed by South African judge and war crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone.

Mr Neuer’s claim that some of the mission’s members, including London School of Economics law professor Christine Chinkin, had pre-judged Israeli guilt was recently dismissed by the UN’s Human Rights Commission.

Mr Neuer said that the fact Judge Goldstone was Jewish was “a major factor in him being chosen to lead the inquiry. There is a danger that this will be used to show that the report is balanced.”

Well it's a good thing that UN Watch:
believes in the United Nations' mission on behalf of the international community to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war" and provide for a more just world.
because if it didn't it might have their spokesperson, Hillel Neuer :
Describing the UN as “an upside down, absurd and false world”
And then this believer in the UN's war on war and fight for a just world gets seriously weird about Judge Goldstone saying that:
Goldstone is not a stupid man but I think he believes the ends justify the means, that what he is doing is bringing peace to the Middle East. He is wrong.
What ends? What means? What's he on about? He continues:
Israeli culpability has already been assumed by some UN officials. Human rights chief Navi Pillay has already announced that if the inquiry found evidence of war crimes, they should be investigated by the International Court in the Hague.

UN Watch, whose causes also include Darfur and political prisoners in Cuba, was preparing for the report to be turned into a “snowball to take Israel to the International Court”, warned Mr Neuer. “It will be a political weapon to target Israel and stop it protecting its rights. It will bring forward a campaign to demonise it and isolate it.”
And then Hillel Neuer asks what he calls, "the main question":
The main question.......was why Israel was not treated equally at the UN. Why, he asked, were some 80 per cent of the Human Rights Commission’s statements on humanitarian abuse about Israel and the Palestinians when there were “far worse examples” worldwide?
It might be a quality thing but is that really the main question? Shouldn't the main question be, how does an organisation that seems to be dedicated to providing diplomatic cover for Israel's criminality get to be an accredited NGO at the United Nations?

Actually there is another question. This Hillel guy says that a report exposing Israel's war crimes will cause antisemitism. I don't think it will. If Israel's crimes are exposed and denounced by an enquiry team headed by a Jewish guy, why should that cause antisemitism? Surely it would more likely cause anti-Jewish feeling if the crimes were not exposed in a judicial/diplomatic framework. But what do I know?

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