Breaking Down the Most Recent Votes at the UN Human Rights Council

According to the regulations of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, Israel—alone among the nations—must be discussed at every session. True to form, the council managed to pass three resolutions condemning the Jewish state last week. None of this should be surprising. What is noteworthy, writes Elliott Abrams, is the number of nations that voted against these resolutions:

One resolution called for Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights. That resolution got 25 votes, almost entirely from Muslim countries plus a few dictatorships like Cuba, Venezuela, and China. No European country voted yes. (Why Brazil, Peru, and Chile voted for it is a mystery, and when the U.S. State Department gets staffed up it might start pressuring them to change their votes.) [Thus], of the members of the council, 25 voted yes but 22 did not—displaying a good lack of enthusiasm for the proposal.

The other resolutions passed by higher margins: 27 in favor or 34 or 41, with 43 voting for “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” while only Australia and the United States voted no. . . . That any democracy should vote for that mendacious resolution is unpardonable. Those who did include Belgium, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK. It includes phrases and conclusions that are simply false, such as reference to Israel’s “forcible transfer of Palestinians”—something that does not exist. . . .

Hats off to Australia, which has just joined the Human Rights Council for a three-year term and stood with the United States. The Australians have stated their “principled opposition” to singling out Israel, and said that they would vote against all [similar] resolutions. . . . Australia has similarly opposed one-sided resolutions in the General Assembly. It is shameful that the Aussies have not been joined by other democracies, but they deserve great credit for taking this stance the moment they joined the Human Rights Council.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Australia, Golan Heights, Israel & Zionism, UNHRC, United Nations

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7