Friday, March 4, 2011

The UN's Distorted View of Human Rights

Although the United Nations suspended Libya from being on the Human Rights Council (HRC) this past Tuesday because of the violence going on in Libya, the HRC nevertheless managed to give the Libyan government a sterling review by offering Libya praise.  This is spite of the fact that the State Department points out that Libyans do not have the right to change their government, have freedom of religion, denial of a fair public trial, constantly seizing private property, amongst a myriad of other heinous practices.  Freedom House, a well-known, non-partisan think tank, points out Libya's poor record on human rights, and gives them a 7 (1 being very free and 7 being not free at all).

This cockeyed view of who is a valid protector and guarantor of human rights is not a surprise.  I don't simply say that because human rights violators as Cuba and China currently sit on the council.  It's also because they demonize Israel like no other.  The United Nations constantly goes after Israel with anti-Israel resolutions.  When looking through the list of UN Resolutions, you will be surpised at how many of them not only have to do with Israel, but also look at Israel in a condemning manner.

Israel is the only democratic nation in the Middle East.  It offers freedom of press, religion, assembly, and association.  It is the only nation in the Middle East to have any concept of gay rights (e.g., gays openly serve in the military and Israel recognizes any gay marriage done abroad).  Israel also protects women's rights, something you won't see in surrounding nations within that nation.  Although they could use some improvement on economic freedoms, it still offers a decently good amount of property rights.  Israeli Arabs can vote and even serve in the Knesset.  The amount of human rights in Israel is incomparable to the rest of the Middle East. 

Is Israel perfect?  No nation-state is.  However, to disproportionately demonize Israel with anti-Semitic undertones while ignoring real human rights issues (e.g., Libya) is a mockery of the principles for which they stand.  I would personally love to see nothing more than the United States pull funding from the United Nations, especially since the United States provides 22% of the UN's budget.  However, I would be satisfied if people realized that the United Nations has a topsy-turvy view of who protects human rights and who tramples them.  That at least would be a start in the right direction.   

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