The United Nations has a long history of, what some have called, anti-Israel bias. Many factors contributed to that, including several lop-sided human rights conferences that disproportionately condemned Israel and a high profile report on Israel’s operations against Hamas in the winter of 2008-2009. That report was subsequently delegitimized after its chief author, Richard Goldstone, admitted that accusations against Israel for crimes against humanity were not based on any evidence.
The United Nations seems poised to make the same mistake once more. The group’s latest investigation will probe “how the Israeli settlements impact ‘the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people,” according to the Associated Press.
The mere framing of that investigation already suggests a bias even before any so-called evidence has even been collected.
The settlements clearly impact the lives of Palestinians; settlers often vandalize Palestinian property and the Israeli military stands aside as settlers attack Palestinians. These acts are despicable. The Israeli government and military clearly have not done enough to prevent the settlers from terrorizing their neighbors and to catch and prosecute individuals committing these crimes.
However, the Palestinians also impact the “civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights” of Israeli, including, but not only, those in the West Bank settlements. That impact has led to massacres, such as that of the Fogel family where Palestinians murdered a settler couple and three of their children–an 11 year old, a three year old, a one-month old infant. Alongside those types of heinous acts, Jews also face violence attending their holy sites, and even during a standard commute.
Settlers in the West Bank is clearly a problem. But it’s not just a problem for Palestinian rights; it’s also about the rights of all individuals to live peacefully in their community, including when they are a minority, as is the case with the Israeli settlers.
By only focusing on the settlers’ impacts on Palestinian rights, the United Nations’ report will depict a one-sided narrative, likely portraying Palestinians as nothing more than victims subject to the whims of Israelis and without any free will to take ownership of their future, including a crackdown on terrorist acts toward both settlers and other Israelis alike.
The United Nations clearly hasn’t learned from its mistakes, instead choosing a path of bias to vilify Israel at all costs.