Summary: The new leaderships at the UN and US have joined to take a forceful approach to anti-Israel rhetoric, in a sharp break from the prior regimes. Alas, the New York Times still does little to report on it and educate its remaining readership.
On March 14, 2017, a United Nations commission issued a report that called Israel’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs equivalent to “apartheid.” It’s findings came as a result of a study
“whether Israel has established an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”
The new Trump administration’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, pounced on the report and pressured the new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to have it withdrawn. Not only did he have the report removed from the UN website, one of the authors of the report resigned.
US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley
This is in sharp contrast to the reactions of the prior regimes of US President Barack Obama and UNSG Ban Ki Moon who applied no such pressure to even worse false accusations.
One of the authors of the March 2017 UN report, Richard Falk, is a notorious anti-Semite. In December 2013, he said that Israel’s “criminal intention [toward Palestinians] is genocidal.” Canada quickly called on the UN to fire Falk. The US and UN distanced themselves from Falk’s comments but would take no aggressive action for his removal.
The tolerance for anti-Semitism from the Obama and Ban regimes was neither new nor surprising. It was pervasive.
- Ban Ki Moon pushed to elevate the anti-Semitic terrorist group Hamas to become part of a united Palestinian Authority leadership
- Ban Ki Moon said that he stood with Gaza, but never stated that he stood with Israel facing terrorism
- While the UN condemned the use of the term “Muslim extremists,” it freely called out “Jewish extremists“
- Ban Ki Moon never commented on acting President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas statements that Israel carried out “ethnic cleansing” against Arabs, but condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s use of the term for the Palestinian Authority’s treatment of Jews
Obama was reluctant to use US pressure on the world body. He believed that everybody was entitled to a point of view and that he would rather sit at a table and listen to the anti-Semitism than take aggressive action to stop it.
Consequently, people like Mahmoud Abbas felt no compunction in taking the podium at the UN General Assembly to make absurd comments that Israel was carrying out a “genocide.”
The New York Times wrote about the latest brouhaha at the UN in an article “Tempest at U.N. Over Report Saying Israel Practices Apartheid.” In a story without any depth, the article noted that one of the authors of the UN report had been accused of being anti-Israel.
“One of the authors of the report was Richard Falk, an American law professor and former United Nations human rights investigator whom critics regard as an anti-Israel extremist. He has been refused entry to Israel for what Israeli leaders have described as his hostile point of view.”
This was the first mention of Falk in the NYT for almost a decade. As detailed in FirstOneThrough’s article “The New York Times and Richard Falk,” the paper never discussed this “human rights investigator” who touted conspiracy theories about the attacks on 9/11, and that the US deserved the Boston Marathon bombing because of its foreign policy. It also never mentioned Falk’s outrageous claim that Israel carries out a genocide against Arabs.
Further, the paper has never opted to give a basic education to its readers:
- that the number of Arabs in Israel and the territories has grown faster than anywhere else in the Middle East;
- that Israel is the most liberal country in the Middle East by every measure;
- that the Palestinian Authority has insisted on a new country without any Jews; and
- that the Palestinian Authority condemns to death any Arab that sells land to a Jew
The paper’s choice of giving color and context to certain items is conspicuously selective. It would rather constantly pepper its articles that “most of the world considers the West Bank to be occupied territory,” but will never add the clause “most Palestinian Arabs harbor anti-Semitic attitudes,” when it writes about the absurd accusations of “genocide” and “apartheid” coming from Palestinian Arabs.
In 1991, New York City Mayor David Dinkins let anti-Semitic riots run rampant in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. His successor, Rudy Giuliani, opted to take a tough stand on crime and was able to transform New York City into the safe city that people recognize today.
The civilized world can only hope to see a similar outcome in the transition from Obama/Power to Trump/Haley and from Ban to Guterres: that the mayhem and hatred that has been tolerated for way too long will be aggressively combatted.
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