Monday, 15 October 2007

I'll Special Rapporteur You!

If there ever needed to be proof that there is an insitutional bias against Israel in the United Nations, it's the recent comments by the Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Occupied Territories to the effect that Palestinian "terrorist" groups are like the French Resistance or Namibia's SWAPO guerillas - just a natural and logical military response to occupation.

Well, let's leave aside the fact that his comments were far beyond the remit of what a Special Rapporteur on human rights should be saying, and let's also leave aside the fact that nobody who is supposed, by definition, to be impartial should feel it acceptable or sensible to so obviously take sides. Let's also leave aside the question of Palestinian statehood and the occupation (an occupation which I oppose, in principle). Let's leave aside those things.

Let's just say, here and now, that only somebody who is either totally ignorant of history or who is only interested in political pointscoring could equate Hamas and the French Resistance; and something tells me that John Dugard is not the former. I would find the remarks unbelievable if I didn't know something about the UN and its long and ignoble history of anti-Israeli politicking. As it stands, it's still an outrageously stupid thing to say.

Here's the difference between the French Resistance and Palestinian terrorist groups, John Dugard (as if you didn't know): unlike, say, Hamas, the French Resistance didn't indiscriminately and deliberately murder German civilians, didn't execute homosexuals, didn't torture dissidents, didn't brainwash gullible young men into committing suicide, and didn't call for the destruction of the German State and the removal of the German people entirely from the shores of Europe. They fought a legitemate guerilla war against the German military machine - a logical and natural reaction to being occupied illegally by a foreign power. Then, perhaps more to the point, when the war was over they didn't decide that they should become the new government into the bargain.

John Dugard does know this, of course. You don't get to be a Special Rapporteur on human rights without having a decent brain in your head. But he went ahead and made the comments anyway. And there you have it, folks: what other conclusions can we come to except that a high-ranking official in the UN is either being disingenuous in order to make a point (at best), or creating propaganda with which to do down Israel (at worst)?

It would be enough to make the blood boil, but then again this is an organization who created a "world anti-racism" conference whose apparent sole aim is to compare Israel to apartheid-era South Africa and accuse it of ethnic cleansing and genocide, so I suppose we should be used to it by now.

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