It was a drama-filled week at the United Nations Human Rights Council which culminated in the United States withdrawing completely from the organisation.
But a few days earlier, the UK also showed some courage when Foreign Minister Boris Johnson also spoke out against anti-Israel bias.
I was quite shocked to hear the word “disproportionate” at the United Nations and for it not being used when talking about Israel’s response to terrorism (as is usually the case!). Instead, the word was used in reference to the number of resolutions AGAINST Israel put forward at the UNHRC.
Just to backtrack a little bit, at the UNHRC, every single meeting has a permanent agenda item – number 7 – which is dedicated solely to the “human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories”. Yes – Israel is the only country that is singled out by the United Nations in this way despite gross human rights violations taking pace in despotic nations all over the world.
Last year, the United States announced that it would vote against every resolution put forth under this agenda item and encouraged other countries to do the same.
And then, FM B Johnson stood up at the most recent session of the UNHRC and said, “we share the view that a dedicated agenda item focused solely on Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories is disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace and unless things change, we shall move next year to vote all against all resolutions introduced under Item 7.”
Click to watch the video
A day later, after it has been revealed that the United States was considering completely withdrawing from the Council due to its “chronic anti-Israel bias”, that is exactly what happened with US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcing the decision in a joint statement earlier this week.
Ambassador Haley assured the media that “this step is not a retreat from human rights commitments. On the contrary, we take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights.”
She continued, “When a so-called Human Rights Council cannot bring itself to address the massive abuses in Venezuela and Iran, and it welcomes the Democratic Republic of Congo as a new member, the council ceases to be worthy of its name.”
Last week, I wrote about the resolution that was passed by the United Nations General Assembly, which condemned Israel for excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians and proposed forming an international protection mechanism in Gaza. 120 countries voted in favour, 8 against (including Australia), and 45 abstained.
The US attempted to add an amendment to the resolution which would also include a strong denunciation of Hamas, but it fell short of receiving the two thirds majority it needed to pass. How shameful that the United Nations could not bring itself to issue any sort of condemnation of Hamas for their leading role in the riots of the last few months.
Well, a few days later, the Hamas English Twitter page welcomed the passing of the resolution, which makes me think that if the UN is receiving praise from a genocidal terrorist organisation, they are most likely on the wrong side of history.
This is what the alerts on my phone looked like on Wednesday:
These are “red alerts” in southern Israel, which went on all through the night (Israeli time). Will the world express any outrage at the number of rockets fired by terrorists in Gaza at Israeli civilians?
The following day, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a video which really made me stop and think about how peacefully I slept the night before, here in the relative quiet of Australia, and how it would feel to have my sleep interrupted by the sound of “red alert” sirens. This is the reality of residents of southern Israel, who had their own sleep interrupted at least 45 times on Tuesday night as Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organisations fired rockets at Israeli civilians.
Shuva Malka, the 18-year-old student from Afula who was stabbed and wounded in a terrorist attack last week is recovering well and has thanked everyone who has helped her in her recovery.
From her hospital be she said, “Every second in which I am alive and strong, thank God, is not to be taken for granted at all. And thank you to the security forces. We have no anger. We are sure that the security forces are capable and that the people are doing all that they can.
She continued, “I feel like this stabbing was not something that is personal to me. It is against the entire people of Israel. It is a reminder that we must move forward, grow from this, work harder and move up a gear. Pray…The nation of Israel is strong and we have huge strength and that is what will really strengthen me. Thank you to everybody who has supported us, to the medical staff, to my friends and to the entire people of Israel. What a wonderful people.
Her doctors, who said she had “extremely dramatic and critical wounds”, expect her to return to her regular life shortly.
Wishing Shuva a speedy recovery… and she is right – Am Yisrael Chai!
Look who just arrived in Israel – none other than one of our favourite Beatles, Ringo Starr!
A few weeks back, Starr spoke about the supposed BDS pressure not to perform in Israel and why music transcends politics saying, “I didn’t hear anything about it. I am coming to Israel as a musician. It’s very simple: we have a lineup of 20 concerts, they suggested “Israel” and I straight away said yes, thank you! We play music all over the world – wherever they want us – Finland, France, Russia – this is not politics. Music is not politics. You had a 70th birthday and this is an excellent opportunity for me, from this stage, to bless you.”
And now – he has officially arrived. He will be performing two shows in Tel Aviv on Saturday and Sunday night and I cannot wait to hear all about it!
Something a little light-hearted to start the weekend!
It’s World Cup soccer time and nobody, including members of the Israeli Knesset, wants to miss out on the action!
Check out this photo, which is of members of the Israeli political party Yesh Atid, including chairman Yair Lapid, sneaking a peek at a World Cup soccer match during a session of Parliament the other day!
With Israel not in the World Cup, I wonder who they may be supporting?