The Moral and Intellectual Bankruptcy of the UN’s Position on Israeli Settlements

Last month, the UN Human Rights Office issued a list of 112 “business enterprises involved in certain activities relating to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” a measure intended to support boycotts of Israel. No such measures have been taken against territories elsewhere in the world occupied by foreign powers, note Brenda Shaffer, Svante Cornell, and Jonathan Schanzer—including areas where the legal problems are far more clear-cut:

[T]he list does not include companies operating in Russia’s occupations in five regions in neighboring countries. Nor does it include businesses in Northern Cyprus, Western Sahara, Kashmir, [or] Nagorno-Karabakh, to name just a few. . . . The UN’s selective outrage and discrimination is best exemplified in its blacklist of leading international tourism-services companies, such as Airbnb, booking.com, and TripAdvisor. These same companies offer services in other disputed territories and areas under occupation, but are subject to no UN condemnation for doing so.

Most of Israel’s settlements are on public lands, and the tourism services are offered there for new homes built after Israel’s conquest of the territory. By contrast, in other conflict zones Airbnb, booking.com, and TripAdvisor openly advertise homes and services in houses [vacated by] actual refugees. In fact, these sites advertise specific dwellings that belonged to Azerbaijani refugees driven from their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory under Armenian occupation since the early 1990s.

Armenia has an extensive settlement project in the territories of Azerbaijan that it occupies. However, in contrast to Israel’s control of the West Bank, where the Palestinian population has been able to stay in their homes, Armenia expelled over 700,000 Azerbaijanis when it invaded the territories. This happened in 1992-1994, not generations ago. Armenia’s expulsion of the Azerbaijanis is the largest population expulsion in Europe since the end of World War II, yet it is hardly known in the international system.

In short, the UN Office of Human Rights is not calling attention to actual violations of international law, but is instead using any tool at hand to target the Jewish state.

Read more at RealClear World

More about: Azerbaijan, Settlements, UNHRC, United Nations

Using the Power of the Law to Fight Anti-Semitism

Examining carefully the problem of anti-Semitism, and sympathy with jihadists, at American universities, Danielle Pletka addresses the very difficult problem of what can be done about it. Pletka avoids such simplistic answers as calling for more education and turns instead to a more promising tool: law. The complex networks of organizations funding and helping to organize campus protests are often connected to malicious states like Qatar, and to U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Thus, without broaching complex questions of freedom of speech, state and federal governments already have ample justifications to crack down. Pletka also suggests various ways existing legal frameworks can be strengthened.

And that’s not all:

What is Congress’s ultimate leverage? Federal funding. Institutions of higher education in the United States will receive north of $200 billion from the federal government in 2024.

[In addition], it is critical to understand that foreign funders have been allowed, more or less, to turn U.S. institutions of higher education into political fiefdoms, with their leaders and faculty serving as spokesmen for foreign interests. Under U.S. law currently, those who enter into contracts or receive funding to advocate for the interest of a foreign government are required to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This requirement is embedded in a criminal statute, and a violation risks jail time. There is no reason compliance by American educational institutions with disclosure laws should not be subject to similar criminal penalties.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American law, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus