Weekend long read

1) UN Watch has published a report examining claims made about Israel at the UNHRC.

“Every session of the UN Human Rights Council devotes a special agenda item to the “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories,” which is defined by UNHRC Resolution 5/1 as covering “Human rights violations and implications of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.” The other nine items on the Council’s permanent agenda are all generic, and do not refer to any particular country or situation. There is no special agenda item on Iran, Syria, North Korea, or any other country. Only Israel.

Under the debate that takes place three times a year pursuant to Agenda Item 7, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, North Korea and dozens of other council members and observers routinely accuse Israel of numerous crimes and human rights violations, while making no mention of Hamas, Islamic Jihad or the Palestinian Authority.

The debate is entirely one-sided. Israel, the United States most other democracies no longer participate in the proceedings of Agenda Item 7, in protest against its selectivity. As a result, many claims enter the record at the United Nations despite having no basis in fact.”

2) The Fathom Journal has complied a collection of essays about the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism.

“The essays collected here […] respond to four common myths about the IHRA definition. The aim is to help readers to see past these myths and to see the IHRA plain, without conspiracy theories about tricksy Zionists and without outright falsehoods about the definition ‘preventing criticism of Israel’ or ‘preventing support for Palestinian statehood’.”

3) At the FDD, Richard Goldberg and Jonathan Schanzer discuss ‘The U.N. Refugee Agency With Few Actual Refugees’.

“In 1948, five Arab armies invaded the fledgling state of Israel but lost. Unrwa was established to care for Arab residents displaced by that conflict. The organization was dedicated solely to Palestinian Arabs—independent of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, which took responsibility for all other world refugee populations.

Unrwa became part of a new Arab narrative: Millions of Palestinians were trapped as refugees, living in destitution and yearning for home. Until these people achieved their “right of return,” the Arab world insisted, the Middle East would never see peace. Meanwhile, Israel absorbed 800,000 Jewish refugees who were exiled from Arab states.”

4) At the JCPA Dr Jacques Neriah asks ‘Has Lebanon Reached the Abyss?’.

“The confessional order for Lebanon was established in 1943 when a national covenant distributed the top positions of the state among the three main communities that constituted modern and post-colonial Lebanon. It is now being dismantled. Although this covenant was amended in 1990 at the end of a civil war that lasted 25 years, it became obvious that the balancing arrangements reached then were no longer valid after the demographic changes that had occurred in Lebanon. The imbalance placed great strains on the state and attracted foreign actors who attempted to take control one after the other since the end of the fifties: Egypt, the PLO, Syria, Israel, and finally Iran.”

More from Hadar Sela

Mapping the BBC’s branding of declarations on Jerusalem as ‘controversial’

Which declaration on Jerusalem did the BBC brand as 'controversial' – and...
Read More