There was nothing lost in translation when a United Nations interpreter, unaware that her microphone was on, marveled that nine of the 10 resolutions adopted at the Nov. 14 meeting of the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Assembly targeted Israel.
“I think when you have…like a total of 10 resolutions on Israel and Palestine, there’s gotta be something, c’est un peu trop, non? [It’s a bit much, no?],” the interpreter said into a “hot” mic. “I mean I know…. There’s other really bad s–t happening, but no one says anything about the other stuff.”
Jewish and other pro-Israel observers have noted this outrageous imbalance for decades. While the population of Israel represents 0.11 percent of the world’s population, the General Assembly is on track to adopt 22 resolutions condemning Israel — and only four focused on other countries. Obsessed with condemning Israel for violating the rights of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and Syrians in the Golan Heights (that’s right — Syrians), the General Assembly ignores Syria’s genocidal war on its own people, China’s erasure of Tibetan culture, and Russia’s persecution of gays, to name just a few.
At the same time, the world body overlooks human rights violations by Hizbullah and Hamas, and the drumbeat of incitement by Palestinian Authority figures in the West Bank.
The so-far-anonymous interpreter spoke the truth, paradoxically, at a time when Israel’s participation in international organizations — like the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research — is on the upswing. Since 2000, Israel has regained membership in some key UN working groups and has “become more intensively involved in the work of UN agencies,” according to Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.
In other words, the General Assembly may be doing a better job in sullying its own reputation than further isolating Israel — producing, according to Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, “politicized and polarizing texts that do nothing to advance Arab-Israeli peace, or to further the genuine protection of human rights. On the contrary, the selective and one-sided resolutions undermine the core principle that human rights standards are universal, and they push the parties further away.”