Saturday, 27 July 2019

UN Council Condemns Israel as Sole World Violator of Women’s Rights

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Meeting in Geneva on July 24, the United Nations Economic and Social Council voted to condemn the nation of Israel as the sole violator of women’s rights throughout the world.

In a resolution that reads more like parody than indignation, 40 nations of the 54-nation panel voted to condemn the Jewish State, claiming that Israel did not “respect fully international law applicable to the rights and protections of women and girls.”

Forty nations voted to condemn Israel with only the United States and Canada voting against the resolution. Nine nations, Brazil, Cameroon, Germany, Jamaica, Mexico, Romania, Togo, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom abstained.

Among those who voted for the resolution were such bastions of female empowerment as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey, Pakistan, Yemen, Iran, and China.

Saudi Arabia, which still maintains a “male guardianship system” where women are required to get permission from a male guardian (father, brother, husband or uncle) to get married or divorced, receive education, get a job, open a bank account or get elective surgery, voted to condemn Israel as a violator of women’s rights.

Yemen, a nation in which women are routinely beaten for disobedience and some females are forced to marry while still children, and where a woman must receive her husband’s permission to leave their domicile, voted to condemn Israel as a violator of women’s rights.

Iran, which reinstated compulsory wearing of the hijab in 1979 and imprisons and tortures those women who refuse to wear it, and which still holds prisoner Dr. Farhad Meysami for protesting that law, voted to condemn Israel as a violator of women’s rights.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a joke. The UN panel linked Israel’s “occupation” of portions of Palestine “including East Jerusalem and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan,” to the “systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying power, and its impact on women and girls.”

But the resolution utterly ignores how the rights of Palestinian women are obstructed by their own governing authorities: the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and Hamas in Gaza. Nor does it bring to light how women are treated in Palestinian society, which mirrors the treatment of females in much of the Islamic world.

The executive director of UN Watch, an organization that monitors UN performance, Hillel Neuer, trashed the resolution as just another excuse to condemn Israel. “The UN reached new heights of absurdity by singling out Israel alone on women’s rights, yet saying nothing on Iran holding women’s rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh behind bars, Saudi Arabia jailing and torturing women’s rights activists, and subjugating women under harsh male guardianship laws, or on Yemen denying women hospital treatment without the permission of a male relative,” Neuer said. “When you have Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen among the U.N. council members accusing Israel of violating women’s rights, you are in the theater of the absurd.”

In a separate vote, the same council also condemned Israel more broadly for supposedly violating the economic and social rights of all Palestinians.

But that’s nothing new. In 2018, the UN issued a total of 27 condemnations of nations for various indiscretions. Of those 27 condemnations, Israel received 21 of them. The remaining six condemnations were split equally between Iran, Syria, North Korea, Russia, Myanmar and the United States. The U.S. was condemned over the child separation situation on the southern border in 2018.

Of the 20 agenda items discussed by the UN economic and justice panel this week, only one agenda item — number 16 — discussed condemning a single nation for its actions, rather than discussing more general topics.

Whether you like Israel or not, the dogged singling-out of the nation over the years reeks of an institutional bias in the United Nations against the Jewish state. If the UN ever had any usefulness, it has clearly outlived it. Completely farcical resolutions such as this one are only one such example of why supporting this organization financially and continuing membership in it is ridiculous.

Really, why is the United States still involved with this absurd organization?


Photo: Juanmonino/E+/Getty Images

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