The U.N. and the Goldstone Report

The Goldstone Report on the 2008/09 Gaza war brings to light genuine horrors — not pertaining to Israel’s conduct in the war, but horrors indicative of the U.N.’s basic character.

What events led up to the Gaza war? Perhaps it had something to do with the 10,000+ rockets and mortars fired into Israeli towns from Gaza during an eight-year period. But that salient fact is given no weight in the report. The report actually seems to be calculated to absolve Hamas of guilt for its aggression, while smearing Israel for “war crimes” for defending itself. E.g. the report cites an admission by a Hamas official that the Islamist group “created a human shield of women, children, the elderly and the mujahideen, against the Zionist bombing machines” — but dismisses that admission in concluding that Hamas did not exploit human beings as shields. Facts in the report appear to have been bent into submission to advance a pro-Hamas agenda.

The problem is not simply that the report is blatantly biased; the entire venture is morally warped. It fully reflects the ugly spirit of the body that launched the “fact-finding” investigation, the U.N. Human Rights Council. That (ironically named) Council includes some of the world’s most viciously anti-rights regimes (Cuba, which has enslaved its own citizens to carry out state-directed labor; Russia, where the fascist-in-all-but-name regime brutally crushes dissenters; Saudi Arabia, where the “morality” police roams the streets enforcing religious orthodoxy). Under the powerful sway of such regimes, the Council frequently acts to deflect attention from the trampling of rights by its corrupt members and to vilify regimes, like Israel, that do respect rights. That country has routinely been the focus of more criticism by the so-called Human Rights Council than any other — more even than actual violators of rights like Sudan, or Iran. The Council does all this with the air of moral legitimacy (bestowed on it by the membership of the United States and other decent regimes, whose presence at the table abets the Council’s odious behavior). It’s like allowing criminals to run the police force.

A common view holds that the HRC (and other U.N. bodies) are aberrations, that the U.N. is basically noble but in need of “reform.” Isn’t it time, though, to consider seriously that what we’re witnessing are not aberrations, but the manifestations of the U.N.’s fundamental corruption: its legitimization and complicity in the crimes of dictatorial, militant regimes and organizations . . .  under the guise of advancing peace and rights?