In the sort of move Israel has regrettably come to expect from the United Nations, UN committees adopted no fewer than 10 draft resolutions against the Jewish state in one day.
On the same day, Tuesday, November 8, 2016, one draft resolution each was passed against Syria, North Korea and Iran, major human rights offenders.
UN practice is such that member states vote on draft resolutions in the committee stage and then vote to adopt the resolutions in the General Assembly plenary in December. The NGO UN Watch reportedly observed that voting does not normally change between the committee and plenary stages.
One of Tuesday’s major resolutions against Israel referred to “persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities.” This draft passed with 156 votes in favor. Aside from Israel only five states voted against: the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and United States. There were six abstentions.
“The Assembly would stress the necessity for an accelerated return of displaced persons and call for compliance with the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993,” the UN website asserted on its website.
Moreover, the resolution continues: “In the meantime, [the Assembly] would endorse efforts by the Commissioner-General of UNRWA to provide humanitarian assistance, on an emergency basis and as a temporary measure, to currently displaced persons in the areas in serious need of continued assistance as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities.”
UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine, is a special branch of the UN that was set up to help Arabs who were displaced following the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. At the time some 700,000 Arabs were displaced. Now more than 5 million Palestinians live in Arab countries neighboring Israel and have been categorized as “refugees” in need of UNRWA. Of all the conflicts and displaced persons in the world, the Palestinians are the only group described as refugees to have their own UN branch – separate from the UNHCR, the UN’s Refugee Agency.
Israel is concerned that if these 5 million people were to “return,” the Jewish people would eventually become a minority in an Arab state.
Referring to the passing of the 10 resolutions as a “farce,” Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, stated: “The UN’s disproportionate assault against the Jewish state undermines the institutional credibility of what is supposed to be an impartial international body. Politicization and selectivity harm its founding mission, eroding the UN Charter promise of equal treatment to all nations large and small.”