From the Desk of Avi Benlolo: Cannabis!

October 19, 2018


Now that I have your attention, this article is not about cannabis – which was legalized in Canada this week. But it is about an 'overdose' of unfair distortion against Israel at the United Nations (surprise, surprise).  Yesterday, the usual intoxication went overboard at the Security Council – a committee responsible for the safety and security of the planet instead became a circus not dissimilar to the UN Human Rights Council.

Bolivia, a country that is presiding as President of the Security Council this month and is itself accused by Human Rights Watch of "impunity for violent crime and human rights violations," invited B'Tselem's head – himself an Israeli citizen – to testify against Israel. Sitting beside the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, B'Tselem's Executive Director dove right into a shameful and defamatory fifteen-minute monologue about his homeland – his people and his country. His shameful words will not be platformed here.

Ambassador Danny Danon's response was fierce – calling him a "lousy collaborator" and pointing out that B'Tselem actually achieved the opposite: the testimony proved "the strength of Israel's democracy…I challenge you all to find a Palestinian or a Bolivian who could dare defame his government at the Security Council…at best, he might be thrown in jail.  But he would more likely end up dead."

Danon of course was referring to Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist who spoke out against his home country Saudi Arabia for years.  After visiting the Saudi Consulate in Turkey, he never came out and is now presumed to have been murdered by the Saudis – for having been outspoken against the regime. Indeed, Khashoggi's last column pointed out that the Arab world suffers from "poverty, mismanagement and poor education…[and] influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda…."

Nowhere did the Security Council address these themes which plague Palestinian society: the corruption of the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas terrorist organization; the incitement and antisemitism in Palestinian UNRWA-run schools; and the continued refusal to pave the way toward peace with Israel.  In fact, the Palestinian Authority has shut out America (as it has Israel) from all negotiation toward a resolution for the Palestinian people – who are suffering because of the evil leaders which rule over them (Hamas and the Palestinian Authority).  

The UN through UNRWA has been undermining the legitimacy and security of Israel for decades, since Israel's statehood in fact.  Danon accused the UN of being complicit in the Palestinian "Pay for Slay" policy of which he said 45% of foreign aid will go to paying terrorists to reward attacks against Israelis. This is why, on the heels of its most recent announcement of an additional $50 million, we have encouraged Canada to review its funding protocols of UNRWA.

In reality, most Jews and Israelis alike are pro-Palestinian – in that they are continuously reaching out in search of peace.  They have extended their hand in peace time and again and feel truly helpless in an effort to help the Palestinians achieve a state which can exist harmoniously with Israel.  But actors like B'Tselem who unfairly stigmatize Israel are perpetuating the distrust and accentuating differences rather than commonalties, of which there are many.

Legalization of cannabis may have been all the rage in Canada this week, but the rage in the UN was yet another low for the peace process.

Shabbat Shalom,


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