A United Nations interpreter translating the proceedings of the General Assembly on Thursday was caught - not realizing her microphone was still piping her voice into the chamber - expressing her dismay that the world body is so focused on condemning Israel while ignoring every other country in the world.
Following votes at the General Assembly’s Fourth Committee which includes all 193 UN member states, nine resolutions were adopted condemning Israel. Not one resolution was adopted targeting any other country, not even Syria where more than 100,000 have been killed in just two-and-a-half years.
The unnamed interpreter, unaware she was still being heard both by delegates and online via a live webcast, said, “I mean, I think when you have five statements, not five, like a total of ten resolutions on Israel and Palestine, there’s gotta be something, c’est un peu trop, non? [It’s a bit much, no?] I mean I know… There’s other really bad sh** happening, but no one says anything, about the other stuff.”
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After the translator spoke, the delegate chairing the meeting could be seen trying to suppress his laughter. This as other delegates laughed audibly after hearing the interpreter’s candid opinion about their work, including her use of an expletive.
Once she realized what was happening, the translator said, “apologies” after which the Secretary of the meeting commented, “I understand there was a problem with interpretation?”
The translator could then be heard saying "The interpeter apologizes."
UN Watch, a non-governmental organization which monitors events at the United Nations, first caught the gaffe and posted a recording of it on YouTube.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday played the clip of the interpreter's candid assessment at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Should her job be threatened, Netanyahu said she would have a place to work in Israel, Ynet reported.
“I would like to tell this translator that she has a job waiting for her in the State of Israel. There are moments that tear the hypocrisy off the unending attacks against us and this brave translator did so,” he said according to a translation of the text posted by the Prime Minister’s Office website.
According to UN Watch, the nine resolutions that were overwhelmingly adopted Thursday were those:
- “Expressing grave concern” at Palestinian refugees “especially difficult situation.”
- Reaffirming the “right” of Palestinians who left their homes during the 1967 war to return to their former residences.
- Expressing grave concern about the “extremely difficult” conditions of Palestinians including those in Jerusalem.
- Reaffirming that Palestinian refugees are “entitled to their property.”
- A resolution that “deplores” Israel for its alleged practices that “that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people.”
- Demanding Israel accept “Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967.”
- Reaffirming that “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development.”
- “Expressing grave concern about the continuing systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power.”
- “The Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan was null and void and without international legal effect and demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, rescind forthwith its decision,” read another resolution.
It’s noteworthy that the UN chose to condemn Israel over its decision to extend Israeli law to the Golan Heights in light of the activity of Al Qaeda-linked jihadi rebels over the border in Syria.
“That’s right: the UN adopted a resolution today that mentions the word 'Syria' no less than 10 times—yet said nothing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s massacre of more than 100,000 of his own people,” wrote Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch.
In an op-ed in the Times of Israel, Neuer pointed out that by next month which marks the end of its annual legislative session, 22 resolutions will have been adopted targeting Israel and only four discussing other countries.
“The hypocrisy, selectivity, and politicization are staggering,” Neuer wrote.
It also follows a pattern. Last year’s legislative session was closed “in a blaze of glory” as former Reagan administration official Elliot Abrams noted with the passing of nine resolutions against Israel in just one day, December 18.
Israel has been singled out by the UN General Assembly more times than any other country for alleged human rights violations.
According to Eye on the UN, another non-governmental group, in more than 50 years, 82% of all UN General Assembly emergency session meetings have been about condemning Israel. The group noted in 2011 that of the UN Human Right’s Council’s resolutions, 47% critical of specific countries condemned Israel.
“I sincerely hope she [the interpreter] won’t get fired. Because the one who should really apologize today is the UN. Founded on noble ideals, the world body is turning the dream of liberal internationalists into a nightmare,” Neuer wrote.
“It is the UN who should apologize for using Israel as a scapegoat, for demonizing and delegitimizing the Jewish state as a meta-criminal to be blamed for all of the world’s ills. And, above all, it is the UN who should apologize for ignoring the cries of the world’s millions of genuine human rights victims—and for mocking them,” Neuer added.
Watch the moment at which the exchange was caught on the hot mic: