Last week, the United Nations Committee on non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) met in New York to consider what was for them an
important issue: redeeming the tarnished honor of their organization
from the "insults" of its critics.
The object of their concern was the World Union of Progressive Judaism,
the Reform movement's international arm, which has had observer NGO
status at the world body since 1972. It now stands liable to lose its
U.N. status for "insulting" the world body.
This committee is comprised of such exemplary democracies as China,
Cuba, Pakistan and Egypt as well as other countries. The current chair
of the group is Sudan. Despite the fact that its government is
responsible for genocide in Darfur, Sudan still parades around
international forums as if it were not a pariah regime.
What did the Reform movement do to put itself in such hot water? At a
recent meeting of the U.N.'s Human Rights Council in Geneva, David
Littman, a representative of Reform attempted to read from the Hamas
charter calling for Israel's destruction.
The meeting was being used as a forum by countries hostile to Israel to
indict it for "military incursions" whose purpose is to defend the
Jewish State against Palestinian terrorists. By reading the Hamas
document, the hope was that the world might see what it was that Israel
was up against. But instead of allowing this information to be heard,
Littman was silenced. In response, Littman replied that "something is
rotten in the state of this council."
Never have truer words been spoken.
This incident and the attempted retribution against the Reform movement
sums up in a nutshell the insanity that is the U.N.
The real insult is not Littman's truth-telling but the record of
calumnies that have been heaped upon Israel and the Jewish State at
U.N. forums such as the Human Rights Council. To this council, murder
of Jewish civilians by terrorists whose goal is to eradicate a
U.N.-member state is treated as inconsequential. Instead, it uses its
resources to delegitimize Israel's right of self-defense.
At the same time that this was going on, the U.N. continues to fund an
entire organization whose purpose is to perpetuate the Arab war against
Israel: the United Nations Relief Works Agency or UNRWA.
The U.N. has two organizations, one which aids all refugees around the
world, and a second which is devoted solely to the cause of those
Palestinians who fled the State of Israel during its War of
Independence, as a result of the Arab war launched to eradicate the
state at birth. But rather than seeking to resettle these
refugees,UNRWA is an impediment to any hope for peace.
As a recent report issued by the Herzliya-based Global Research in
International Affairs details, UNRWA's scandalous policies include
doing everything to prevent resettlement of the refugees out of the
"refugee camps." UNRWA's schools are places where anti-American and
anti-Semitic indoctrination is business as usual and virtual recruiting
offices for terror groups. Its facilities are virtual military bases
for those groups.
That all this goes on not only under the authority of the U.N. but at
the expense of U.S. taxpayers (who fund much of the U.N.'s activities)
It is the U.N. as a whole and UNRWA in particular that is the insult to
the honor of the organization. Reform can only begin with UNRWA's
dissolution, which is a course of action that should be at the top of
Washington's Middle East priority list.
But pending that outcome, we will have to content ourselves with
saluting Littman for speaking the truth. His "insult" may earn this
group a U.N. reprimand but, if so, it is one that should be worn as a
badge of honor.