The mother of 16-year-old Naftali Frenkel — one of three Israeli teens abducted nearly two weeks ago by Hamas terrorists — addressed the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday.
Rachel Frenkel, who holds dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship, was invited to make an appeal on behalf of her son (as well as 16-year-old Gil-ad Shaer and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach) by U.N. Watch executive director Hillel Neuer. Neuer gave Frenkel his slot in Tuesday’s ”debate” on Israeli aggression against Palestinians.
”We think the world needs to hear her voice,” Neuer told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. ”It is a chance for [a] mother of [one of] the kidnapped boys to speak to the world and to ask them to do whatever they can. … This heinous act violates international humanitarian law, which prohibits targeting civilians and the taking of hostages.”
As much as Neuer is to be lauded for his amazing and thankless job in general and for his summoning of Frenkel in particular, we frogs should not get our hopes up about receiving any assistance from the scorpions at the U.N. They don’t even bother pretending that they will give the Jewish state a fair shake before dealing it a lethal sting.
Indeed, since the June 12 abduction of the Israeli teenagers, the U.N. has been focusing solely on the response of the Israeli government to the kidnapping.
Considering that time is of the essence when searching for captives — who might be wounded or undergoing torture — the behavior of the Israel Defense Forces and the public at large has been exemplary, if not mild. This is particularly the case since Operation Brother’s Keeper has uncovered an extensive network of tunnels and explosives labs throughout the West Bank.
Yet in a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed “concern” about the restrictions on movement and mass arrests of Palestinians.
It is safe to assume that Netanyahu did not slam down the receiver or tell Ban where to stick his “concern,” and instead explained that the only way to locate the boys is through house searches and interrogations. But to no avail.
U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry also put his two cents in about what he and others are now calling “collective punishment” against innocent Palestinians. Israel, he said, should “seek to minimize the impact of security operations on individuals who have committed no offense and investigate allegations of excessive use of force, including the killing of civilians.”
Of the continued killings of Israeli civilians he had nothing to say. You know, such as the cold-blooded murder on April 14 of Israel Police Commander Baruch Mizrahi, who was on his way to a Passover seder, by Hamas operative Ziad Awad and his son. Awad was one of the terrorists released from prison in October 2011 as part of the swap to secure the return of Israeli soldier and Hamas captive Gilad Schalit. Awad had been serving a life sentence for the slaughter of fellow Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel.
And while on the subject of Serry’s “two cents,” the U.N. envoy is being accused by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of trying to funnel a much larger sum, $20 million, to Hamas in Gaza via Qatar. Serry is outraged at the mere suggestion that he was using back channels to help Hamas pay the salaries of its government employees. He claims that he asked Israel’s permission to do this and was refused. Even if his version is true, it means that he was willing and anxious to aid a terrorist organization.
But it is U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman who really gave chutzpah a bad name this week. Yes, leave it to a Jew — one who was catapulted into this position in the middle of his job as U.S. assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs — to play the “balance” card where the abduction of three young boys and the reaction to it are concerned.
On Monday, Feltman briefed the U.N. Security Council on the “highly volatile situation on the ground” in Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Gaza. Pointing to the search operation underway in the PA, involving an estimated 928 arrests, he went on to list other issues, such as Israeli settlement construction, the hunger strike staged by Palestinian detainees since April 24 and Israel’s military response to missile fire from Gaza.
“All these issues … can only be addressed if the parties act responsibly and with restraint,” he told the council — which, by the way, had failed on Friday to agree on the wording of a statement deploring Palestinian casualties incurred after the Israeli boys went missing. “Only then can any renewed attempt by the parties to find their way back to meaningful negotiations and to address the much-lacking political horizon in order to avert further escalation.”
His convoluted conclusion was that “this is a time for renewed impetus and political will to end the conflict and the occupation that has already scarred the lives of far too many Israelis and Palestinians for far too long.”
Rachel Frenkel is not in Geneva to persuade the international community that it is Palestinian terrorism, not the “occupation,” that is responsible for the loss of so many lives. Her goal is to do anything she can to free Naftali, Gil-ad and Eyal from their captors.
The U.N. scorpions are too busy condemning Israel and legitimizing terrorists to be of any use, however. For salvation, she and the rest of us who care about the kidnapped boys can only rely on the IDF.
Ruthie Blum is the author of “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring.’” This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.