When it comes to human rights, critics often charge the United Nations with being selective at best. Especially with regards to Israel. And a recent bit of news coming out of the U.N. Human Rights Council will do nothing to assuage that sentiment, given its choice of human rights role models. In this instance, the late despot Moammar Gadhafi.
Fox News brings the story:
A United Nations panel has adopted a report praising Qaddafi-era Libya for its human rights record, a year after the report was sidelined amid international objection.
The report initially came before the U.N. Human Rights Council in the middle of the uprising against the Muammar Qaddafi regime. At the time, the U.N. had just voted to suspend Libya from the rights council — under pressure to maintain a consistent message toward Libya, the council later postponed consideration of the report.
But the Human Rights Council on Wednesday returned to the document — and approved it.
So, Gadhafi is a human rights star, according to the U.N. Cynics might think that means the U.N. has low standards. Consider the following from a report in The Guardian from 2009:
The United Nations’ most senior human rights official said last night that the Israeli military may have committed war crimes in Gaza. The warning came as Israeli troops pressed on with the deadly offensive in defiance of a UN security council resolution calling for a ceasefire.
Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, has called for “credible, independent and transparent” investigations into possible violations of humanitarian law, and singled out an incident this week in Zeitoun, south-east of Gaza City, where up to 30 Palestinians in one house were killed by Israeli shelling.
Pillay, a former international criminal court judge from South Africa, told the BBC the incident “appears to have all the elements of war crimes”.
So what’s behind giving star treatment to a country whose dictator was recently overthrown because of human rights abuses, but a democratic government backed by the U.S. is being condemned? The fact that Israel isn’t on the Human Rights Commission, whereas Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China are, may have something to do with it.