The United Nations’ Human Rights Council, a 47-nation body that boasts the membership of virtually every major human rights abuser on the planet as well as, inexplicably, the United States and Canada, opened a 3-week session earlier this week. That sound you hear is cheering from every thugocracy, dictatorship, banana republic, and junta, knowing that, for three glorious weeks, they’ll be able to tie the Western world in knots by focusing on the “crimes” of democracies while deflecting attention from their own (far more serious) abuses. According to the official schedule, next week on June 27th the council will hold a 90-minute debate on Syria, possibly featuring Kofi Annan.
The following week, on July 2nd, the Council will feature an entire day on alleged violations in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT),” featuring Richard Falk, a notorious Israel-hater and 9/11 conspiracy theorist who has been hired as the Council’s “expert” on “Palestine.” Follow me here…90 minutes on the butchery taking place in Syria and an entire day spent bashing Israel. That seems about right.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay used her speech before the Council to express “serious concern” over and call for an investigation into U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan. She also singled out Canada by citing a Quebec law on public rallies as a prime example of “alarming” moves to restrict freedom of assembly in many parts of the world. Her speech didn’t mention China, Cuba, Iran, or Saudi Arabia. Because the real human rights crisis in the world today, she would have us believe, is found in liberal, Western democracies.
Without psychoanalyzing the guilt-ridden, self-flagellating Western mopes who participate in this charade, you have to marvel at the brilliance of the human rights abusers who clamor to sit on the Council precisely so they can ensure that their murderous regimes are never criticized. But the cause of human rights – a vital and increasingly endangered cause – is done a tremendous disservice by the willingness of Western democracies to sit in consort with the Chinas, Syrias, and Sudans of the world and pretend that we’re all equally interested in human rights. The Council’s disproportionate focus on Israel is only partially due to Arab hatred of the Jewish State – other countries go along with it to keep their own abuses off the agenda.
If we are truly interested in advancing the cause of human rights – and we should be – we should look for other avenues to support it and extricate ourselves from the embarrassing farce of the “Human Rights” Council.