Thursday, January 31, 2013

From Impotence to Defiance

The United Nations, despite all its faults and its failures, its over-bureaucratization, and its hypocrisy, is still held in some level of esteem by its member countries who consider it a hallowed hall of human rights empowerment and equality. And it should be, and this was what was meant to be when it was established out of the initial attempt, with the League of Nations.

Human nature being what it is, the concepts of equality and of rights and empowerment are what each bloc deems them to be.

For there are blocs within the United Nations, and they are powerful, and they have a tendency and ability to circumvent and subvert the best-laid plans and intentions of honourable men and women. Absolutes may be qualified to suit the times and temperaments, values and priorities of those who are able to surround themselves with the mutual support required to bully their way to the top of the pack.

The democratic countries of the world, the wealthy, the technologically advanced, those who not only espouse equality and justice but practise it, find themselves swamped in the tide of those countries still and inevitably harbouring gross resentment against them on the justifiable, yet hoary memories of colonialism and exploitation.

But in the corridors of this place of universal brotherhood and affirmations of peace foremost and always and justice to prevail, mass murderers, bloody tyrants, and nation-wasting dictators stride the halls with respect and impunity. While those whose recognition of and reliance upon justice and human rights sometimes stand accused of tyranny and injustice by those who practise it with relish.

For one country among the 193 member states, patience and forbearance has worn to a threadbare state. It no longer wishes to oblige the majority by standing forlorn and abandoned while being cynically chastised over its human rights abuses raised as issues by those who have become skilled at slander, blame and laying charges that reason cannot seem to challenge with the success of exoneration.

There are too many complicit and engaged with the need to hold Israel captive to allegations and contestations of abuse and injustice. And usually by the very claque that pride themselves on their clever violations of rights and their penchant for injustice in oppressing those over whom they govern to their own benefit.

Israel's mission to the United Nations in Geneva notified the Human Rights Council informally that it wished to delay its participation in the annual Universal Periodic Review process. A process whose purpose is to confront a nation's UN delegation with charges of instances where injustice has prevailed.

There are ample instances where this exercise has value, and one single country where this exercise has been overworked to exhaustion.

Over half the resolutions passed by the UN's Human Rights Council target Israel. The focus is unvaryingly on Israel's treatment of Palestinians. The State of Israel has the dubious distinction of representing the sole country of the UN's 193 member states to be regularly subjected to censure, the only country whose name remains a standing item on the council's agenda.

Council members now express their concern that Israel's decision to remain absent from the usual hearing in defiance of the unwritten 'law' that all countries must submit to this annual assessment of their human rights record, may set an unwanted, unwarranted example for other countries expected to routinely appear, and whose true record actually is one of grave concern. A risible ruse.

Non-cooperation with the UN's Human Rights Council represents a UN heresy, unheard of, unpalatable and unacceptable. But of course no other country on the roster of the UN has ever been on the receiving end of those ubiquitous and viciously acerbic accusations emanating from the council.

One might almost feel that Israel is being unaccountably censored, bullied, harassed, ill-judged. Surely not?

With malice clearly aforethought.

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