UN Watch exposes the moral inversion at UNHRC special session on the Gaza Strip.
"Let us consider the proposed resolution. To understand its purpose we are guided best not by the science that studies the conduct of governments, but that which studies the mind. In psychology, attributing one’s own malicious impulses to others is known as projection."
Hillel Neuer proceed to explain "the resolution before us constitutes a classic case of such projection. It is, after all, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the other Palestinian terrorist organizations, who deliberately fire rockets—over 200 in the past week alone—at innocent civilians in Sderot and other Israeli towns. It is they who attack from populated areas, using their fellow Palestinians as human shields. It is they who reject the very notion of a distinction between combatants and civilians."
In addition to questionign the focus of the resolution, Mr Neuer also questioned the motivation behind the special meeting.
The supporters of those who fire rockets at nursery schools summoned us here to accuse Israel of violating international humanitarian law, when in reality it is they who deny—in word and deed—the very premise of that code.
Let us also consider who initiated this session: Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan—each of whom just received the lowest possible rating, Not Free, in the annual world survey by Freedom House. Another is Cuba, which just held an election where the ballots had only one candidate. Are these to be the world’s arbiters of human rights?
In response Cuba's representitive said "UN Watch is a lucrative organization amply funded by the CIA and Mossad, which is devoted to denigrating certain member states and this Council" and then proceed to threaten a campaign to have UN Watch's UN observer accreditation revoked.
A video of the exchange can be seen here:
Today is the 60th anniversary of the recognition by the UN of the right of the Jewish people to have a national home in their historic homeland (resolution 181). These were the good old days. Today like every year since 1977 (resolution 32/40 B), the UN will not celebrate the recognition of the Jewish State but instead will host ceremonies and workshops aimed at bashing and singling out Israel; today at the UN in Geneva and NYC it is the day of solidarity for Palestinians. The truth is that this event does not have any humanitarian purposes, the only goal being to launch a virulent anti-Israel campaign at the UN.
Here is the link to a very emotional video explaining the background of the voting of resolution 181 on this very important day...
Although long, Ambassador Dan Gillerman's speach deserves to be read in full. It is a power moving speach ot only on the bias of the United Nations Human Rights Council, but also a reminder of need for real human rights monitoring which UN politics have pushed out o the spot light.
Statement by Amb Gillerman on the Report of the UN Human Rights Council
6 Nov 2007
Statement by Ambassador Dan Gillerman
Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations
Agenda item 65
"Report of the Human Rights Council"
United Nations, New York
6 November 2007
Six decades ago - as the nascent United Nations was only beginning to sift through the ashes of the Second World War, the Nazi atrocities, and horrors of the Holocaust - the leaders of the world gathered together and drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration would ultimately set the stage for the world body, placing human rights and individual freedoms at the top of the world agenda for years to come. The world watched with great anticipation and hope, championing the elevation of human rights as the only way to prevent the evils of the past.
In the coming year - 2008 - the international community will celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of this milestone document, which was intended to be a bulwark against oppression and discrimination. And yet, today, nearly sixty years after the establishment of human rights as a principle pillar of the United Nations, the question must be asked: what has happened to that clarion call for human rights and what has happened to this United Nations?
In its early years, the Commission on Human Rights was the UN’s main organ to vitalize and advocate for the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the world. But over time, the Commission failed miserably in its mandate and expectations, and gradually degenerated into a dysfunctional body. It reached such a nadir that former Secretary-General Kofi Annan himself pointed to what he called the “declining credibility” and “legitimacy deficit” of the Commission, which, in his opinion, “cast[ed] doubt on the overall reputation of the United Nations.” So frustrating was the Commission that the General Assembly of the United Nations ultimately decided to shut it down, and to replace it entirely with a new body, the Human Rights Council.
And the world watched, yet again, with great anticipation and hope, championing human rights as the only way to prevent the evils of the past. Yet the moral bankruptcy and numerous shortcomings of the Commission have not become ancient history. For although different in name, the Commission and the Council, in essence, are one and the same.
The real burning - literally burning - human rights situations in our tormented world have certainly not been reflected in the Council’s deliberations, and one wonders, sadly, if they ever will.
Since inception, the Council has focused primarily on Israel, subjecting it to 12 discriminatory, one-sided resolutions and three special sessions. This reflects nothing less than the immoral, automatic majority enjoyed by some. The only other specific country situations addressed by the Council were Myanmar and Darfur, the latter where the resolutions on it not only failed to find the Sudanese government culpable for atrocities, but even had the audacity to congratulate Sudan for its cooperation.
Perhaps then it was not surprising to see the Council’s blindness when it came to the human rights of Israelis. Where was the Council’s condemnation of Palestinian terrorism against Israel in the face of daily and indiscriminate shelling of homes, schools, and kindergartens by Qassam rockets? What did the Council have to say last July during the unprovoked, massive bombardment of our northern border towns and in the heart of our civilian villages? What has the Council done - if anything - in response to the repeated incitement and calls for Israel’s destruction and denial of the Holocaust by the president of Iran? Nothing. Indeed, the Council’s silence is deafening - eerie and frightening - and, alas, though deeply disappointing, not the least surprising.
After all, the Council’s membership includes some countries whose own records on human rights fall markedly below the standards of the international community, and who cannot genuinely serve as a beacon for human rights when their respective performances are so dismal and poor. According to Freedom House, more than half of the Council’s 47 members are considered “not-free” or only “partially free” countries.
More importantly and most flagrantly, many of these same countries share a political agenda that precludes the State of Israel, and utterly dismiss our inherent right to live in peace and security in our homeland.
While the ritualistic and virulent campaign against Israel in the Council is abhorrent and intolerable, equally troubling is the Council’s resulting disregard for serious human rights violations in many other parts of the world, including among its own members. Under the new institution building package, the special rapporteurs on human rights violations by Cuba and by Belarus were eliminated without any serious discussion or consideration, in blatant disregard for the constituent mandate which established the Human Rights Council, General Assembly resolution A/60/251.
Like its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights, the actual Human Rights Council has also adopted a separate standing agenda item on Israel, while the other human rights situations combined from all over the world, have been crammed into one, single agenda item.
Countless others suffering around the globe, living under tyrannical rule and oppression and violated by human rights abusers, do not gain this Council’s attention. Look around the world at the pain and anguish of these people. Where is the world body’s commitment to human rights, to its sacred Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to the very bodies it created - recreated - in order to protect and ensure the dignity and rights of each and every individual? The world still watches with astonishment. Yet the Human Rights Council decides to focus on one particular conflict - and for the wrong reason entirely.
The bell tolls for all those concerned with safeguarding and protecting human rights in our world today. This is our wakeup call, and it is high time to listen. Listen before its loud and lurid sound deafens us all.
My delegation does not ask for special treatment. Israel, like any other country in this hall, should be subject to review and constructive criticism on a fair and impartial basis. All we ask is that the international community stands by its own values and lofty principles, if it is to be truly effective in achieving its goal of promoting and protecting human rights around the world.
Sadly, the ghosts of the past Commission haunt the present Council. The Human Rights Council is surely not an improvement on the Commission, and in some ways it is even worse. Hence, Israel - as a member state of this organization - cannot accept the institution building package as is. Israel will call for a vote on the package, and calls on the Member States to consider what message they send with their votes. Compromise - or worse, concessions and lowest common denominators, which some Member States seek as alternatives - are detrimental to the protection of human rights.
As the noted English statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” If the good men and women of the international community stay silent, and allow for the Human Rights Council to fail in its mission, it will have been complicit in the downfall of human rights as a core value of this organization.
The international community cannot stand idly by. It must voice its conscience and flex its moral might. It cannot let the vision of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights fall prey to hypocrisy, politics, and prejudice. For that would disastrous for the human rights cause - not only for the United Nations, but for all mankind.
Talking of good men and women, allow me, Mr. Chairman, to voice a personal note. I have been here for nearly five years. I know many of you personality. I know you are indeed good men and women. I know that deep down you feel what I feel, and that if you could, you would voice the same sentiments.
Today, more than ever, and on this issue more than any other, I urge you to do so. Even in this glass building there comes a moment to lay political considerations and expediency aside and do the right thing. If ever there was such a moment, it is now. Let us for once rise above the cynicism and the “what does it matter” and “who cares” of UN jargon.
It does matter, and we should care. The human rights victims matter and the world cares. There are names and faces behind this issue. Those faces and that world are watching us today. Those names and those faces are waiting for us to do the right thing.
Please, let us do it.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Other notable exchanges in the session included Iran's representitive being told of for refusing to call Israel by name and Iran and Syria expressing satisfact with the Human Rights council report, and particularly it's focus on Israel.]]>
In reading an article written in 1968 on the results of the Six Day War that took place six months earlier and number of striking points jumped out at me.
The article was: Lewis, Bernard.
The Arab-Israeli War: The Consequences of Defeat. Foreign Affairs 46:321-335 January 1968.
The first point that stood out was the seldom reported influence of the Soviet Union in engineering the crisis. The defeat of the Arab states was a result of over estimation of the Arabs, under estimation of Israel and Bernard Lewis argues, of an irrational element that arose from Soviet antisemitism and classical stereotypes of the Jews and as a result of the Jewish state.
The author also noted that Israel took two lessons form the war, the first, was that it can't rely on others for its protection. A lesson already learnt in the 1948 war of independence. The other lesson he lists is that "they could not trust the United Nations, where their enemies has an inbuilt position of advantage", he adds that:
"the Soviet Veto in the security council is always available to the Arabs, even on the most trivial matters; the combination of Communist bloc, and the quaintly names "nonaligned" states in the General Assembly is sufficient to prevent any solution acceptable to Israel, if not to enforce one acceptable to the Arabs."
This theme, was pickd by my many other sources in 1968 and 1969. Lets examine a few...
This was also reflected by Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban when he said,
"If the Arabs table a motion tomorrow that the earth is flat... they can count on at least 40 votes"
The Times editorial on July 5, 1969 also held this view of the united nations and supported Abba Eban's comments noting that:
"Israel['s]... objection that the United Nations attitude is one-sided is valid. The sheer numerical strength in the United Nations of the Arabs and other third-world countries favourable to them, not to mention the communist block, means that there will always be an anti-Israel majority there. It is perfectly clear, for instance, that the continuing fighting across the Suez Canal is entirely the fault of the Egyptians, but a United Nations vote is unlikely ever to condemn... [the U.A.R.]. ...If...[Israel's policy on Jerusalem] is a provocation, and illegal, then so are the daily bombardments across the Canal, and the United Nations should either condemn both equally or neither."
A few months later, after Israel flew six miles into Lebanese territory to bomb a terrorist base that was launching attachs again her, an editor in the New York Times (Aug. 28, 1969) noted that:
The "United Nations Security Council has once again demonstrated its one-sidedness and dramatized its ineffectiveness on the most explosive immediate problem confronting the world. The Council's resolution, specifically condemning Israeli reprisals against Lebanon but delivering only an indirect slap at the escalating Arab guerrilla attacks on Israel, will not help to check the alarming drift toward a new Middle East war. . . . [I'ts failure specifically to condemn the guerrillas will only confirm Israel in the conviction that it can never expect fair treatment from the Council and will spread further the fear that United Nations machinery has become all but useless in this conflict."
The refusal of the UN to condemn attacks on Israel and fairly lay the blame on the Arab agressors is what gave rise to the 2006 Lebanon war between Israel and Hizbollah. A refusal to take note of the missiles raining down on Israel today from Palestinian controlled territories and to treat these as acts of agresson and terrorism, does nothing to prevent a further escalation in the Middle East.
If it were not for hostility it causes Israel, the fact that so few are aware of the mechnics that have led to so many anti-Israel resolutions in the United Nations would be funny. I have heard it claimed that Israel MUST be at fault, just look at the number of UN resolutions against it. Israel was not the cause of the 1967 Six Day War, and it is not the cause of instability in the region today. The sooner the world puts a stop to terrorism and applies proper presure to those countries like Iran and Syria who promote and fund it, the sooner we may see peace in the Middle East.
I'd like to leave with one more quote. After a terrorist hijacked an EL AL flight on 23 July 1968 (the only successful hijacking on an Israeli plane), Abba Eban was asked why Israel did not take the matter to the United Nations. He replied:
I am sometimes asked... why did we not go to the Security Council after the Athens attack. Well, I would like to tell you what our decision-making process is. We did the exercise, we present our complaint. It is considered. It would have been rejected because they have Algeria and Pakistan and the Soviet Union and Hungary and even if you did not, you have the [Soviet] veto. What would be the effect of Israel complaining about her attack on her airlines, complaining to the highest international organ and being rebuffed? Would this not be interpreted as the legitimisation of the attack on the Israeli aircraft in the name of what is called the Palestine struggle? This is why we didn't go to the Security Council after the Algerian affair [of the hijacking of an El A1 airliner in July 1968. Because of the power structure we would have failed and then it would have been said that the international community approves the kidnapping of aircraft provided that the reason is the Palestinian reason.
Two thoughts arise from this quote, is the United Nations really equiped to handle Iran and her nuclear ambitions and desire to destroy Israel? And should Israel really have had to protect passenger planes with six armed guards on each flight, multiple layers of security before bording, and cabin staff trained in martial arts? Perhaps the answer to the second question is, yes, after all it was Israel the US turned to for help after the September 11 hijackings. And it was Israel the UK turned for help in better securing Heathrow airport, an airport where another terrorist attack against Israel was foiled. In the failed attempt, a pregnant Irishwoman unknowingly carry three pounds of plastic explosives with her as she tried to board an El Al flight. The explosives has been planted on her by her fiancé who was taking a seperate flight. Israeli security checks uncovered the explosives. Now you know why they ask if you packed your backs yourself. In this case too there was evidence of "Syrian involvement" - one can hardly be surpised.
Returning to the Six Day War... a new website full of historical facts, personal accounts, and resources ranging from videos to source documents was recently launched to mark the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War. The site, which can be visited at: www.sixdaywar.co.uk is well worth a look and packed with so much material you are sure to learn something new. Not only has the site organised material already on the web, it has contributed an amazing amount of new material not found else where, including material that is yet to appear in print. A massive effort, and a brilliant result.
Zionism On The Web
Israel, United Nations
Britain and Russia plan to jointly introduce a Security Council resolution today urging countries to ban the incitement of terrorist acts, and they hope world leaders will adopt the high-profile measure during a U.N. summit in September.
Supporters say the measure could help stem hate speech and rein in inflammatory media, and would address international terrorism while a more comprehensive global treaty on the matter languishes at the U.N.
Inevitably, 'human rights groups' (who can sometimes seem more concerned about the rights of terrorists than their victims) are concerned that this could restrict free speech and the right to political asylum.
The resolution also calls on all countries to deny safe haven to those who engage in incitement. Although previous counterterrorism resolutions have created committees to monitor terrorist networks, freeze their financing and remove their protection, the new measure attempts to stop the seeds of hate from germinating, its sponsors say.
"When someone gives the floor to terrorists, he must also be responsible for the possible fallout, because it is not just someone's view, but a chance for a terrorist to use the podium to propagate violence," said Russian Ambassador Andrey Denisov. "Terrorism must not be seen as just a political act, but as a social and political phenomenon which must be addressed. It is a broader way to look at terrorism and combat it."
UN Watch addressed the UN Human Rights Council on Friday. You can see a video of the speech and the Council President's response. The speech attacked to council for being ineffective and in fact doing more harm than good by picking on one country (Israel) while ignoring serrious problems is the counties of those people making the accusations.
For an idea of the sort of thing UN Watch war refering to, note the following which also occured thay week (all apparently without reprimand from the president):
12/3/07 RODOLFO REYES RODRIGUEZ, Cuban delegate to the Human Rights Council, responsed to the listing of Cuba as one of the world's pressing human rights situations by Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt saying:
Cuba, unlike Sweden, does not persecute migrants or carry out ethnic cleansing that only allows those whose skin and hair color fit with the racial patterns of former Viking conquerors to remain in the country.
15/3/07 MOHAMMAD ABU-KOASHI, Palestinian representative to the UN in Geneva said
The Council should question why the representative of the apartheid regime of Israel is even among us [in this room].
16/3/07 MOHAMED ALI ELMARDI, Minister of Justice of Sudan, responding to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams' remarks that "war crimes and crimes against humanity continue across [Darfur]"
We witness a conspiracy against Sudan for political objectives.
The text of the speech is as follows delivered by Hillel C. Neuer, executive director of the NGO United Nations Watch, to the 4th plenary session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva (23/3/2007) was as follows:
Six decades ago, in the aftermath of the Nazi horrors, the UN Commission on Human Rights was created. Today, we ask: What has become of that noble dream? In this session we see the answer. Faced with reports from around the world of torture and persecution, what has the council pronounced, and what has it decided? Nothing. Its response has been silence.
One might say, in Harry Truman's words, that this has become a Do-Nothing, Good-for-Nothing Council. But that would be inaccurate. This council has, after all, done something.
It has enacted one resolution after another condemning a single state: Israel. In eight pronouncements, Hamas and Hezbollah have been granted impunity. The entire rest of the world -- millions of victims, in 191 countries --is ignored.
The corrupt dictators who orchestrate this campaign will tell you that they seek to protect human rights --Palestinian rights. But do they truly care about Palestinian rights?
Let us consider the past few months. More than 130 Palestinians were killed by Palestinian forces. This is three times the combined total that were the pretext for calling special sessions in July and November. Yet the champions of Palestinian rights -- they say nothing. Little three-year-old Salam Balousha and his two brothers were murdered in their car by Hamas troops. Why has this council chosen silence? Because Israel could not be blamed. Because, in truth, the despots who run this Council couldn't care less about Palestinians, or about any human rights.
They seek to demonize Israeli democracy, to delegitimize the Jewish state, to scapegoat the Jewish people. They also seek to distort and pervert the very language and idea of human rights.
You ask: What has become of the founders' dream? With terrible lies and moral inversion, it is being turned into a nightmare.
In response to the Holocaust Denial Conference organized by the Government of Iran in December, today the United State's and 72 co-sponsors introduced a draft resolution in the United Nations General Assembly that "condemns without any reservation any denial of the Holocaust". The resolution recognizes that remembrance of the Holocaust is critical to preventing further acts of genocide, and that
ignoring the historical fact of these terrible events increases the risk they will be repeated.
The United State's is urging additional countries to co-sponsor the resolution, which is expected to come to a vote on Friday.
We wonder how the UN, founded largely as a result of the Holocaust will vote. How any UN member can vote against such a motion is a mystery... if more than a couple do it will show that the UN needs a serrious re-think.]]>
United Nations an Accomplice in Hezbollah Kidnapping
By David Kopel (http://www.davekopel.org)
(Reposted at ZionismOnTheWeb with permission)
After Hezbollah's kidnapping of a pair of Israeli soldiers spurred an Israeli counter-attack, many critics of Israel actions have suggested that the United Nations can serve as a buffer between Israel and Hezbollah. To the contrary, the United Nations has a well-established record of collaboration with Hezbollah in the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has been deployed since 1978, not long after Israel first entered Lebanon in pursuit of PLO terrorists. UNIFIL was created pursuant to Security Council Resolution 425, for the purpose of "confirming the withdrawal of Israeli forces, restoring international peace and security and assisting the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area." Quite obviously UNFIL has utterly failed to achieve the Security Council's objectives, either before or after Israel's 2000 complete withdrawal from Lebanon. One reason is that UNIFIL does not interdict Hezbollah attacks on Israel. Instead, UNIFIL allows Hezbollah to set up positions next to UNFIL units, in effect using UNIFIL as human shields against Israeli counterstrikes. (Aluf Benn, Israel accuses UN of collaborating with Hezbollah," Haaretz, Sept. 11, 2005.)
UNIFIL's most notorious collaboration with terrorists involved the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli soldiers, and the subsequent cover-up.
On October 7, 2000, Hezbollah terrorists entered Israel, attacked three Israeli soldiers on Mount Dov, and abducted them Lebanon. The kidnapping was witnessed by several dozen UNIFIL soldiers who stood idle. One of the soldier witnesses described the kidnapping: the terrorists set of an explosive which stunned the Israeli soldiers. Clad in UN uniforms, the terrorists called out, "Come, come, we’ll help you."
The Israeli soldiers approached the men in UN uniforms. Then, a Hezbollah bomb detonated—-apparently prematurely. It wounded the disguised Hezbollah commander, and three Israeli soldiers.
Two other terrorists in U.N. uniforms dragged their Hezbollah commander and the three wounded soldiers into a getaway car.
According an Indian solider in UNIFIL who witnessed the kidnapping, "By this stage, there was a big commotion and dozens of UN soldiers from the Indian brigade came around." The witness stated that the brigade knew that the kidnappers in UN uniform were Hezbollah. One soldiers said that the brigade should arrest the Hezbollah, but the brigade did nothing.
According to the Indian soldier, the UNFIL brigade in the area "could have prevented the kidnapping."
"I’m very sorry about what happened, because we saw what happened," he said. Hezbollah "were wearing our uniforms and it was too bad we didn’t stop them."
It appears that at least four of the UNIFIL "peacekeepers," all from India, has received bribes from Hezbollah in order to assist the kidnapping by helping them get to the kidnapping spot and find the Israeli soldiers. Some of the bribery involved alcohol and Lebanese women.
The Indian brigade later had a bitter internal argument, as some members complained that the brigade had betrayed its peacekeeping mandate. An Indian government investigation sternly criticized the brigade's conduct.
There is evidence of far greater payments by Hezbollah to the UNIFIL Indian brigade, including hundreds of thousands of dollars for assistance in the kidnapping and cover-up.
The UN cover-up began almost immediately.
Lebanon's The Daily Star reported the story told by a former officer of the Observer Group Lebanon (OGL), which is part of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO). ("UN 'destroyed' evidence after abduction of 3 Israeli troops," The Daily Star, July 20, 2001.)
A few hours after the kidnapping, UNTSO learned that two abandoned cars had been discovered. One was a white Nissan Pathfinder with fake UN insignia; it had hit an embankment because it was being driven so fast that the driver missed a turn. The other was a Range Rover; it was missing a tire rim, and was still running when it was discovered.
Rather than using the very-recently-abandoned vehicles as clues to rescue the kidnap victims, the UN initiated a cover-up. The next morning, eighteen hours after the kidnapping, a team of OGL and the Indian UNIFIL began removing the contents of the cars.
The Range Rover was soaked with blood. Among the contents of the vehicles may have been a cell phone belonging to the terrorists. The UNTSO officer confirmed that the cars contained "extremely sensitive" items which included "current and relevant information that could have been easily linked to the incident."
A UNIFIL peacekeeper videotaped the removal of the contents, and attempted to tow one of the cars. According to a much-later U.N. report, there were fifty items taken from the car, seven of them blood-stained. (Report of the fact-finding investigation relating to the abduction of three Israeli soldiers on 7 October 2000 and subsequent relevant events, Aug. 2, 2001.)
The end of the UNIFIL videotape featured armed Lebanese men confronting the UN forces, and taking the cars away from the UN. The UN personnel did not resist, because, they later claimed, the cars did not belong to the UN anyway.
The UNTSO officer told The Daily Star that the UN ordered its personnel to destroy all photographs and written reports about the incident.
The U.N. did not provide the Israelis with the automobile contents, or the videotape, both of which might have helped the Israelis rescue the kidnap victims. Instead, the seized contents of the cars were taken to a town in Lebanon, stored in a safe, and some were eventually returned to Hezbollah.
Israel found out about the videotape, and demanded that the UN let Israeli investigators see it. Kofi Annan and his Special Envoy denied that any videotape existed. It is not clear whether Annan was lying, or whether he was misled.
Nine months after the kidnapping, July 6, 2001, the UN admitted that is had the videotape. Annan ordered an internal UN Report, which was led by UN undersecretary-General Joseph Connor. (Connor was later implicated in the Oil-for-Food scam.) The report revealed that the UN had two additional videotapes—one of which contained still photographs from the kidnapping itself. The UN investigation declared that there was no evidence that the UNIFIL forces had been bribed, or that the UN had deliberately misled anyone.
Even after admitting the existence of the first videotape, Annan refused to allow Israel to view it. He claimed that letting Israel see evidence about the kidnapping would undermine the UN’s neutrality. Thus, Annan insisted on neutrality between innocent victims and terrorists who had used fake UN insignia and who had taken vehicles from UN staff a gunpoint.
The United States House of Representatives, on July 30, 2001, passed by a vote of 411-4 a resolution urging the UN to allow Israel to see the videotape. Annan relented, but only under the condition that the tape be edited so as to hide the faces of the Hezbollah perpetrators. He also agreed to give the Israelis some, but not all, of the items which the UN had seized from the getaway cars.
On January 29, 2004, the bodies of the murdered Israelis were returned to Israel by Hezbollah, as part of a prisoner exchange.
In response to one of the commenters, I've added the following analysis on two questions: 1. By what standard can the UN be considered an "accomplice" in the Hezbollah kidnapping? 2. Is anti-semitism the best explanation of UN behavior?
Regarding UN complicity in kidnapping
One can analogize from the rules that are used to decide whether a corporation is criminally culpable for the acts of its employees, or whether a government agency is liable under section 1983 for the acts of its employees. At the lowest level--the four bribed Indians--the trier of facts looks at the entity's efforts to prevent or punish the employee conduct in question, and whether the entity creates a culture in which the conduct is encouraged or tacitly tolerated.
For misconduct by higher-ranking employees, prosecutors and fact-finders tend to be more likely to conclude that misconduct is attributable to the entity. If you believe the UNTSO official who spoke to The Daily Star (not exactly a reflexively pro-Israel newspaper), or if you believe that reports of a vast bribery scheme are true, then you might well find culpability on the part of the UN.
But I think that my calling the UN an "accomplice" is supportable purely on the undisputed public facts about the UN's concealment and suppression of evidence — with some of the suppression being conducted at the direct order of the UN's chief executive. I believe the undisputed facts are sufficient to show, at the least, that the UN was an accessory-after-the-fact to the kidnappings.
Moreover, the activities of the UN's top staff in New York City, and of high-ranking UN officials in Lebanon, are also relevant evidence for whether there is UN corporate culture of tolerance for terrorism/kidnapping, which is relevant evidence for whether the misconduct of the Indian brigade can be attributed to the UN.
As some commenters have pointed out, there is a very long record of the UN being extremely lax towards crimes committed by its peacekeepers in many other places--for example, the rapes of women and girls in former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, West Africa, and the Congo. The global record suggests, again, a corporate culture of indifference (despite official statements to the contrary) towards employee on-the-job involvement in violent crime; the evidence of a global culture of indifference is more evidence which a fact-finder could use in concluding that crimes of the Indian brigade were attributable to the UN.
The UN and Anti-semitism
I don't think that anti-semitism is the root of the UN's problem with Israel. It's true, as some commentators have pointed out, that the UN is functionally anti-semitic; that is, the UN constantly condemns Israel far more often and more vehemently than it condemns other countries which (even if you believe the worst about Israel) violate human rights much more severely than Israel does. The Eye on the UN website provides copious documentation of the UN's functional anti-semitism.
Nevertheless, I think the UN's pervasive anti-Israelism, although anti-Semitic in practice, is not primarily motivated by hatred of Jews.
Hitler was genuinely committed to anti-Semitism. He harmed his own military interests by giving rail line priority to trains which were headed for the death camps, putting those trains ahead of military transport trains. Similarly, Hitler would have produced resources with which to fight the war if he had used Jews as slave labor (as many were used before extermination), rather than killing them en masse. Who else would harm their own self-interest in order to kill Jews. The answers include "the government of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the PLO." But only one of these has a UN delegation, and the UN had turned vehemently against Israel long before Iran's government was taken over by Islamonazis.
Way back in the 1950s, the Arab bloc at the UN had succeeded in perverting UNRWA so that UNRWA would perpetuate rather than solve the Palestinian refugee problem. The Arab dictators of the day may have personally despised Jews, but I think that the dictators were acting out of self-interest, not prejudice. They recognized that keeping the Arab-Israeli conflict festering was a good way to distract and divert the anger of their own nations' populations. In retrospect, we know that the strategy was only partially successful, since the fomentation of anti-Israel Jew hatred sometimes aroused local forces which the dictatorships were unable to control.
Arab government-incited anti-semitism had the advantage of building on historical prejudices against Jews. (It's true that, in the past, Arab Moslem regimes sometimes treated Jews better than did European Christians, but there was also a long record of atrocious abuse of Jews in the Arab world on which the post-WWII Arab dictatorships could build.)
But suppose that modern Israel had never been created, and that, after WWII, some other state for a stateless people had been born. Maybe sympathy for the Gypsies, who were also the victims of Nazi genocide, might have led to the creation of Gypsistan (or Romastan, according to the modern usage) in a part of Egypt. (The word "gypsy" comes from the "Egypt", based on the belief that the group originated there.) Or some other persecuted group might have established a homeland in the wastelands of Libya. In any case, I think that the establishment of a non-Arab state would likely have led to military confrontation, and if the attempt to exterminate that state by force had failed, then the Arab dictators would have found political advantage in fomenting hatred of that non-Arab state.
Although UNRWA was captured very shortly after it was born, the broader UN assault on Israel didn't get going until the 1960s; the assault peaked in the 1970s, and later receded slightly from its 1970s apex. The anti-Israel assault of the 1970s was merely one element in a successful Soviet strategy of aligning the new UN members, most of them former colonies of Europe, and most of them dictatorships, into an anti-Western bloc. Israel, having the misfortune of being located in the middle of a sea of dictatorships, was a natural target of this UN super-majority; but the same would have been true if Romastan were a pro-western democracy.
Today, the Islamic bloc at the UN continues to find local political advantage in anti-Israelism (as it would with anti-Romastanism), while the rest of the Third World finds it advantageous to go along. I don't think that the dictatorship of China, for example, cares one way or the other about Jews or Israel; but the Chinese dictatorship correctly discerns that voting with the Islamic bloc against Israel is a cost-free way to curry favor with Islamic states, and win their support on issues relevant to China.
Regarding Kofi Annan, and most of the rest of the UN's leading executives, I would say that, functionally, they are vicious anti-Semites, but that, in their hearts, they are not particularly prejudiced against Jews per se. Rather, their actions are explainable under the principles of organizational behavior. Annan is a career UN employee (the first one to become Secretary-General), and he has risen through the organization by shrewdly placating whoever needs to be placated. His anti-Israel actions are simply the result of his astute calculation of the balance of forces at the UN. If he could gain more power at the United Nations by denouncing Fiji or by defending Israel, he would do so.
So there is no anti-semitic conspiracy at the UN, in the sense of a conspiracy directed by people who are deeply motivated by hatred of Jews. Rather, the UN's criminal complicity in the kidnapping of Israelis, like the rest of the UN's anti-Israelism, is explainable as the logical result of a wide variety of UN actors behaving according to their self-interest.]]>