What are the UN committees and divisions that serve the interests of the Palestinians?
Several UN committees and divisions of the Secretariat, which primarily serve the interests of the Arab nations that encouraged their creation in the 1970s, are also extremely critical of Israel. Among these are the Division for Palestinian Rights in the Secretariat, the The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices in the Occupied Territories, and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
Some mainstream UN agencies have also exhibited anti-Israel sentiments. For example, between 1974 and 1987 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) instituted financial sanctions against the Jewish State, passed hundreds of resolutions criticizing Israel?s activities on the West Bank, and denounced Israel?s archeological and restoration efforts in Jerusalem.
Israeli officials have termed these committees “propaganda instruments” of the PLO. In contrast, no UN organization investigates terrorist crimes against Israel or protests desecration of Jewish heritage sites by Arabs. The UN General Assembly never debates resolutions critical of Palestinian or Arab behaviour in the Arab-Israel conflict, even when terrorist atrocities are committed, when the Palestinians violate accords signed with Israel, or in the face of human rights violations by the Palestinian Authority against its own people. In the last 55+ years, since the establishment of the UN, there have been at least 80 conflicts between states in which major refugee situations have developed. Nevertheless, only the Palestinians have gotten the kind of attention they have received, while many other peoples have suffered and are still suffering.
These committees spend more than five million dollars a year, essentially to spread viciously anti-Israel propaganda. These bodies are the focus of the worst anti-Israel activity under the aegis of the UN. They organize, inter alia, the annual “Palestine Day” events at the UN, as well as symposia and other events.
The United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People annually hosts “The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” on November 29, the anniversary of the UN vote to partition Palestine in 1947 (UN Resolution 181). The event is symptomatic of the extremely hostile, anti-Israel attitude of the committee, which has about 20 members from third-world countries. High-ranking UN officials, including the Secretary-General and the presidents of the Security Council and General Assembly regularly take part, although the US and Israel reject the event and do not attend. The Palestinians’ focus on this event shows that they still do not accept the legitimacy of Israel.
Until the advent of the Oslo Peace Accords in 1991, the UN made an annual show of passing many anti-Israel resolutions in the General Assembly with lopsided votes. The only result was to lead many to question the legitimacy of the United Nations itself. This still happens, but to a lesser extent, since the demise of the Soviet Union and the rise of hope for a rational peace process with the Palestinians.