Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Scorpions at the UN

The Scorpions at the UN


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.


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