No serious student of the UN's three decades of postÂÂ-Zionism-is-Racism Israel-hatred could have been surprised last week to see the General Assembly endorse the Goldstone Report via Resolution A/64/L.11 and refer it to the Security Council by a vote of 114 to 18, with 44 abstentions (including France and Great Britain-instructions direct from towers courageous Bernard Kouchner and David Miliband). Nor could it have been much of a shock to learn that in contrast to the reams of paper (575 pages) that erupted emetically last month from Judge Goldstone's chambers-and which in fact do suggest Hamas may have been fractionally culpable in the Gaza war proceedings-so spare, so economical of language is the UN's resolution that there is no room in it for naming that organization. Nor, for that matter, could any UN-watcher be amazed to find that for these nations gathered in the furious pursuit of peace-peace with versions, one might say, given the bloody-handedness of some of them-men committing acts of terror against Jews and hiding behind women and children from possible reprisal apparently are of no particular interest, as that body's confrontation with one petite woman, Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, and a credentialed UN observer, will attest.
The account from Eye on the UN:
Following the vote there was a media stakeout outside the General Assembly Hall. After listening to the likes of Libya and the Palestinian observer congratulate the UN and lecture reporters about "human rights" and "the rule of law," Anne Bayefsky stepped to the open microphone. After a short two minutes, four UN security guards surrounded her, confiscated her UN pass, and accompanied her to the UN security office.
What did Ms. Bayefsky say at the open mic to terrify the United Nations? In brief: "This is a resolution that purports to be even-handed. It is anything but. It's a travesty. It calls for accountability and in fact what we see instead is impunity for the Palestinian side. . . . And barely more than half of the members voted for the resolution. So the General Assembly was made a laughing stock in terms of its credibility. . . . The idea that Hamas is going to investigate itself-a terrorist organization is going to decide for itself whether or not it violates the rule of law-is something that no serious democratic society will take seriously."
Here is how she described the scene to me: "The Palestinian observer had just finished saying how wonderful this was, and I felt I had to say something. The mic bank was empty, and nobody had been up there to argue the other side. I was immediately surrounded by four security guards: â€˜Who are you?' I told them. They took my badge, and walked me down to the security office. They asked me lots of questions. The chief of security said, â€˜The Palestinian ambassador was very upset by what happened. You shouldn't have been allowed to speak.' He took my pass, and two security guards escorted me out of the building to the road. As we were passing, a reporter told me he'd overheard the Palestinian saying to the guard â€˜Did you catch her yet?' They told me there would be an investigation. That I wouldn't get my pass back until it was complete. They removed the video of me speaking from the UN file."
The "investigation" of Anne Bayefsky continues: As of last night, her pass was still in the possession of UN security. No word on when it will be returned to her. No word, either, from Women Watch, the website of the United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality.
In the end, nothing about the shameless pandering of the great United Nations to the enemies of tiny Israel is ever really all that unexpected. It even trumps the exigencies of women's rights. Or some women's rights, anyway.