Spoiled Rotten

Israel often reminds me of a spoiled child that’s a little too used to getting what it wants. The Jewish state’s recent refusal to co-operate with the UN’s Human Rights Council is one such example.

According to the BBC:

“The foreign ministry has reportedly told its envoy in Geneva not to co-operate with the council or with UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay.

It will also prevent a UN team entering Israel to assess the effects of settlements on Palestinian rights.

Last week, Israel said the decision to establish the probe was ‘surrealistic’.”

What is surrealistic is that Israel is so afraid of scrutiny by an organization that they refuse to cooperate with it despite that organization’s lack of power. It’s not as if any new information will be learned about the occupation, nor will change occur. Israel did the same thing when the UN wanted to investigate atrocities in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, even though an investigation found out the truth. So what is Israel afraid of exactly?

Israeli commentator Zvi Bar’el put forth a possible reason in his Ha’aretz column:

The committee is feared in Israel because it will prove once again that Israel is not alone. Sri Lanka, Iran, China, Syria, Russia and Libya also abhor the UN Human Rights Council. On Saturday Russia announced it was rejecting the council’s decision concerning Syria because it is “one-sided” and because it does not also place blame on the Syrian opposition for the killing and the violations of human rights. This is a formulation quite similar to the Israeli one explaining why it will not cooperate with the committee. “Don’t even answer a phone call from the committee,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has ordered its representatives. Diplomatic heroism? Standing steadfast in face of the enemy? Doubtful. Apparently the Israeli aversion testifies more than anything else to the fact that stateless Palestinians have succeeded in establishing an interlocking system of weapons against Israel: the more the different agencies of the UN adopt Palestine as a state, the more Israel will remove itself from the organization. It’s a zero sum game.”

Naturally, Israel has nothing to fear as long as its patron – the United States – continues its dedicated bipartisan support. Washington is firmly opposed to a Palestinian state, even going  so far as pulling funding from UNESCO because it granted Palestine membership. It’s continued military funding will help ensure the Jewish state to continue as the Middle East’s premier military power and both countries share the same goal of opposing Iran’s “nuclear threat.”

In addition, the European Union has also sided with Israel, canceling oil contracts with the Islamic Republic and voting with the U.S. in the UN for sanctions, while Japan has pledged to significantly cut Iranian oil imports – all because of a nuclear weapons program that both the American and Israeli intelligence communities agree Tehran does not currently possess.

It’s an act of international solidarity for a country that regularly defies international law in the name of holding another country accountable to that law – even though that country, Iran, is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty while Israel is not, despite having the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.

It’s no wonder then that Israel both fears the UN and blows it off as irrelevant. After being coddled for so long and used to getting what it wants, temper tantrums like this are inevitable.


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