Writing over at Foreign Policy, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon, points out that the UN Human Rights Council is absurd because so many of the member nations are human rights abusers. Point taken. One of the major problems that has dogged the legitimacy of almost every council and agency within the UN is the inconvenient fact that a pathetic percentage of the world’s leaders are autocratic, self-interested despots. However, the U.S. and other countries haven’t abandoned it altogether and we are willing to laud the work of the UN Human Rights Committee when it suits our purposes.
The problem with Ayalon’s articled is that simply pointing out the human rights abuses of other nations, many of which don’t boast of being beacons of freedom and democracy, as an excuse to not address Israel’s human rights abuses, doesn’t work. While it’s true that many of the Arab states would rather discuss Israel’s alleged crimes rather than their own, the same could be said of almost every country. Given the Palestinians don’t have a voice at the UN, thanks to the U.S. and Israel, they are left to rely on other Arab states to raise their legal issues and concerns, many of which are legitimate and worthy of debate. Israel has never acknowledged or accepted ANY United Nations inquiry into its actions so the fact that Danny Ayalon is going to take his ball and go home with respect to the Human Rights Council, is largely irrelevant. Even if the Human Rights Council were made up of saints and angels, Israel would still not accept any investigation or inquiry into alleged crimes against the Palestinians. Basically, because the US protects Israel from the consequences of all of its actions, the make-up of the Human Rights Council, the Security Council, etc. is meaningless. We denied the Palestinians a voice in the UN and we refuse to acknowledge any formal human rights complaints brought on their behalf. Lets just cut to the chase- Palestinians have no rights and international law is optional for US allies, both Arab (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, etc.) and Israeli. Lets stop the charade.