StandWithUs announced on January 11 that they are launching a campaign against the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Commission of Inquiry against Israel.
The inquiry, which was launched on May 27 in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict that month, was created to investigate the “root causes” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. StandWithUs noted that the panelists heading the inquiry all have records of anti-Israel bias; as evidence, the pro-Israel educational organization pointed to a Jerusalem Post article from July that delved into the three panelists. One of the panelists, international jurist Navi Pillay, headed the UNHRC from 2008-2014, where “she appointed four fact-finding missions targeting Israel, more than any other country” and “convened the Durban II conference against racism, which gave antisemitic former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a platform,” according to the Post. The other panelists consist of Miloon Kothari, who accused Israel of “ethnically cleansing” the Palestinians during the Second Intifada and called Palestinian terrorism “resistance,” and Chris Sidoti, who has collaborated “with Palestinian NGOs for more than 15 years,” the Post reported.
StandWithUs also noted that “the proposed budget and staff” of the inquiry is “ twice the size of a similar commission focusing on the Syrian Civil War. While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a tragedy that must end, the UN’s own estimates show that at least 120 times fewer people have been killed on both sides since 2011 (4,133), compared to the Syrian Civil War in that same time period (over 500,000).”
“The UNHRC’s systemic discrimination against Israel has been condemned by multiple UN Secretaries-General, but this ‘inquiry’ shows it is only getting worse,” StandWithUs Co-Founder and CEO Roz Rothstein said in a statement. “The goal is to put the world’s only Jewish state on trial, as part of the global campaign to eliminate Israel and strip away Jewish rights to self-determination and self-defense. This abuse of power will do nothing to advance the cause of human rights, justice, or peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Others have also voiced concern over the UNHRC Commission Inquiry. UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer told Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) that the inquiry is open-ended and will also investigate “systemic discrimination” in Israel. “It’s quite clear that it’s going to accuse Israel of apartheid,” he said, adding that “today, in 2022, anti-racism is the highest virtue, and so it’s not accidental that Israel is accused … of being intrinsically racist.”
Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) Senior Research Associate Pnina Shavrit Baruch also told JNS that the inquiry is part of a broader effort within the U.N. to legitimize the allegation that Israel is an apartheid state. “I think that’s very bad for Israel,” she said.