by David A. Harris
Today's vote in the mistakenly-named UN Human Rights Council is the latter. Although denunciations of Israel have become commonplace in the Council, this vote provides a window into the souls of those 47 member states that currently belong to this Geneva-based body, and what we see will be long remembered.
In effect, the countries were asked a rather simple set of questions.
Could they distinguish between a democratic state,
Could they recall that one nation,
Could they recognize the legitimate right of a nation,
Could they differentiate between the arsonist in the conflict, Hamas, and the firefighter,
Could they grasp the inherent challenge for a military, in this case
Could they acknowledge what was obvious to a top British military officer, Colonel Richard Kemp, that one party to the conflict,
Could they admit that the UN Human Rights Council was so viscerally anti-Israel, as evidenced by the stunning fact that 80 percent of its resolutions adopted over the past three years have focused on
Could they recognize that the mandate of Judge Richard Goldstone and his three colleagues, including one who had publicly convicted Israel before joining the group, was inherently biased, charged with investigating what were already deemed to be Israeli "war crimes," while ignoring the thousands of Hamas missile and mortar attacks that preceded Israel's entry into Gaza?
And could they accept that the resolution before them spoke only of
The verdict is now in.
Twenty-five countries voted for the resolution.
In most cases, there were no surprises.
All the members of the Arab League and most of the Organization of the Islamic Conference voted in lockstep to condemn
And the worst offenders against human rights, quite naturally, supported the resolution, happy to have attention once again deflected from their own shameful records. Again, no news there.
But there were a few unhappy surprises, particularly
As democratic countries, they should have known better. Was there more to gain by opposing
Then there were the six countries -
We should remember these six countries, just as we recall those that stood up to the herd mentality in Geneva at the so-called Durban II conference in April which similarly singled out Israel for denunciation--Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland and the United States.
And then there are the other 16 countries that did not vote in favor of the resolution, some abstaining, others absenting themselves.
In a multilateral setting, those actions can at times be acts of bravery. Not always, however.
It was regrettable that
On the other hand, kudos to Mexico and Uruguay, the only Latin American countries on the Human Rights Council not to vote in favor.
And it was gratifying to see several African nations -
Courage and principle are always in short supply.
When they're on display, as several countries demonstrated in
David A. Harris
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