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Watchdog Condemns United Nations After Raft of ‘One-Sided’ Resolutions Adopted Against Israel

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, delivers a speech remotely at the UN General Assembly 76th session General Debate in UN General Assembly Hall at the United Nations Headquarters on Friday, September 24, 2021 in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI Pool via REUTERS

A leading United Nations watchdog group on Thursday condemned the passage of three General Assembly resolutions attacking Israel, describing the “assault” on the Jewish state as “surreal.”

The first measure, focused on Jerusalem, criticized Israel’s governance of its capital and expressed “concern about the Israeli excavations undertaken” in the Old City.

Brought forward by the Palestinian delegation to the UN and other Arab countries, as well as Venezuela, the resolution called for “refraining from provocative actions and rhetoric and upholding unchanged the historic status quo at the Haram al-Sharif,” the Arabic term for the Temple Mount.

Yet the text pointedly did not refer to the Temple Mount — which is the holiest site in Judaism, and has long been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — by its Jewish name.

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“The UN shows contempt for both Judaism and Christianity by adopting a resolution that makes no mention of the name Temple Mount,” said Hillel Neuer, the executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch. The site, where the first and second Jewish temples once stood, “is sacred to all who venerate the Bible,” he added.

The second resolution, introduced by Yemen and Senegal, asserted the “illegality of Israeli settlement activities,” while making clear that this terminology refers to Jerusalem as well as the West Bank. It also condemned “the firing of rockets against Israeli civilian areas.”

The third resolution — sponsored by a number of Arab and Muslim countries, as well as North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela — expressed deep concern “that Israel has not withdrawn from the Syrian Golan, which has been under occupation since 1967” and stressed “the illegality of the Israeli settlement construction and other activities in the occupied Syrian Golan since 1967.”

The United States formally recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights in 2019.

While the General Assembly maintained a years-long pattern by voting overwhelmingly in favor of the anti-Israel resolutions, there were signs of a shift. A number of European nations refused to vote in favor of the Jerusalem resolution, though they had endorsed previous resolutions with similar language.

The United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia all abstained from voting on the resolution, as did India.

“The UN’s assault on Israel with a torrent of one-sided resolutions is surreal,” said Neuer. This year, “out of some 20 UN General Assembly resolutions that criticize countries, 70% are focused on one single country — Israel,” he asserted.

“The General Assembly has adopted resolutions about the Palestinians that fail to say a word about terrorism and other gross human rights abuses committed by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad,” Neuer noted.

He also charged France, Germany, Sweden, and other European countries with hypocrisy, as they “are expected to support nearly all of the 14 resolutions to be adopted against Israel during this General Assembly,” while failing to introduce equivalent resolutions “on the human rights situation in China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Turkey, Pakistan, Vietnam, Algeria, or on 170 other countries.”

Since 2015, the General Assembly has adopted 112 condemnatory resolutions targeting Israel, more than any other country, according to a tally by UN Watch. The second most targeted country was Russia, with 13 resolutions.

The previous UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, acknowledged in 2016 that “decades of political maneuvering have created a disproportionate number of resolutions, reports and committees against Israel.”

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