Last week all 100 members of the US Senate signed onto a letter criticizing the UN, and particularly the UN Human Rights Council, for seeking to “advance an anti-Israel agenda.” In the above video, Bernie Sanders, probably beloved by more liberals than any other member of the Senate, attempts to justify his decision to add his signature to the letter.
“The thrust of that letter is not to say that Israel does not have have human rights issues. It does,” he says in his defense.
One of course would not know this from reading the letter (the full text of which can be found here ). If Sanders and the other senators truly feel that Israel indeed has “human rights issues,” they evidently don’t regard these as serious enough to merit mentioning. Israel in the letter is portrayed as nothing more than a victim of persecution.
The first paragraph accuses UN agencies and member states of seeking to exploit the UN as “a vehicle for targeting Israel,” and goes on to assert that such actions have “at times reinforced the broader scourge of anti-Semitism.”
So let’s see…if you criticize Israel at the UN you are helping to advance “the broader scourge of anti-Semitism,” this despite the fact that Israel maintains an illegal occupation “that has no end in sight,” as the interviewer in the above video puts it.
The letter is addressed to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who actually gets cudos from the senators for axing a recent report on Israeli apartheid that had been compiled by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. Guterres’ deletion of the report from the UN’s website was an act of censorship that prompted the resignation of Rima Khalaf, the ESCWA’s director, as I discussed in a previous post.
But adulation for Guterres notwithstanding, the senators, as mentioned above, particularly have it in for the UNHRC. They grouse that the body “even maintains a permanent item on its agenda–‘Agenda Item VII’–to assess Israel…” Heaven forbid!
Israel is an apartheid state (as the ESCWA report makes abundantly clear) whose policies toward the Palestinians probably even meet the legal definition of genocide, as I have pointed out a number of times previously. The UNHRC would be derelict if it did not have a separate agenda item to discuss such matters. Yet Sanders and the other 99 senators accuse the UNHRC of an “imbalanced focus on Israel.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a big fan of the UN, which more often than not has been used as a tool to advance US foreign policy goals, and Guterres seems well on his way to following in his predecessor Ban Ki-moon’s footsteps in that regard. Occasionally, however, one or another member of the UN will work up the nerve to criticize Israel or oppose a US war. This is one of the UN’s redeeming qualities.
As for Sanders, he is speaking out of both sides of his mouth to such an extent in the above video that I almost feel embarrassed for him. Welllll…I–I–didn’t write the letter, I only signed onto it! Yes, yes I’m a lifetime proponent of nonviolent protests…uh…but no, I don’t support the BDS movement. Well then what is left for the Palestinians to do, Senator Sanders?—change the subject.
If there were a country somewhere in the world where Jews were forced into an apartheid ghetto surrounded by walls and checkpoints would Sanders, who is Jewish, be opposed to a boycott of that nation? The answer probably is yes–because instead of a boycott, the senator from Vermont would be too busy advocating a military invasion.
This is Jewish hypocrisy from the liberal end of the Zionist spectrum. Hardly any wonder, then, that Sanders, in the video’s closing segment, expresses opposition to a one-state solution–in which Palestinians and Israelis would enjoy equal rights and equal citizenship–because, as he puts it, “that would be the end of the state of Israel.”
In saying this, is Sanders not in effect admitting that Israel is an ethno-theocratic state rather than a democracy? It would seem so, but apparently Sanders has a fondness for ethno-theocratic states provided they are Jewish.
“And I support Israel’s right to exist,” he reminds us.
Given that the left in America so often tends to elevate such “luminaries” as Sanders as its leaders and role models, it is no wonder that the American left has been such a colossal failure.