When the Self-Appointed Guardians of Human Rights Came Together to Condemn the Jewish State

Sept. 13 2021

In 1975, the UN General Assembly passed its notorious resolution declaring that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” Thanks to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the beginning of Israel-Palestinian negotiations, the resolution was repealed in 1991. But the slogan “Zionism is racism” came roaring back to life—accompanied by the now-commonplace claim that Israel is an “apartheid state”— twenty years later, as Gerald Steinberg relates:

In early September 2001, the great and the good of the world’s human-rights community gathered in Durban, South Africa for a conference called to eliminate racism and discrimination. They met just a few days after an inhuman atrocity in Jerusalem that killed and maimed Israelis in a pizzeria filled with teenagers and young families. But the Durban participants made no mention of Palestinian bombings or of the victims; for the self-proclaimed leaders of international morality, Israelis do not have human rights. Instead, participants from the UN and powerful non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focused on demonizing Israel and Zionism.

Durban was the blueprint for 21st-century anti-Semitism. Caricatures of Jews with fangs dripping blood were distributed by the Arab Lawyers Union, and delegates picked up copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Hate literature and speeches denouncing Israeli “apartheid” were accompanied by well-organized mass marches through the streets, with placards declaring “Zionism is racism.”

[Today], the Durban framework remains on the UN’s permanent agenda. On September 22, the General Assembly will host Durban 4—a one day low-profile event in which officials and affiliated NGOs will “celebrate” the successes. To their credit, President Biden, the leaders of Canada and Britain, and a number of European officials announced that their governments will not participate. But the echoes of the original anti-racist hate fest continue, with the ongoing anti-Semitism and obsessive Israel-bashing under the façade of human rights.

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Read more at Jewish Journal

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Human Rights, United Nations

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia