From the Desk of Avi Benlolo: The Whatever UN Agency Tucked Away in Beirut

March 17, 2017


The Whatever UN Agency Tucked Away in Beirut

The double standard against Israel at the United Nations was on full display again this week. This time, the attack was not from the General Assembly or even the Security Council. It was from a small commission originally set up in Beirut in 1973 called the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).  It receives funding from the UN and lives in a not-free war-torn country run by disparate factions like Hezbollah.  According to its website, the "purpose of ESCWA is to stimulate economic activity in member countries, strengthen cooperation between them and promote development". 

ESCWA is just a cover name for yet another UN agency that spreads hate against Israel.

ESCWA is making a name for itself these days, drawing severe criticism from the international community. In the report, it appears that its Executive Secretary and her team of "experts" are calling for the destruction of the only democracy in the Middle East, the State of Israel. Its report slanders Israel by charging that it practices "apartheid" and more.  In a March 15th press release, the Secretary states that the report is the "first of its kind published by a United Nations body" - even while her agency has no status to make such declarations.  In fact, a UN spokesperson said that the report was published without prior consultation with the secretariat. The UN Secretary General has distanced himself. 

It appears from the ESCWA website that this UN agency has made numerous claims against Israel, while even promoting "campaigns boycotting the occupying regime and its institutions".  The report itself argues that "states have a collective duty in bringing apartheid regimes to an end". 

I could not agree more that true apartheid regimes must face the music.  This is why I am proposing here and now the establishment of a new UN agency called, The Investigative Group for Humanity. The group, comprised of democracies, will first begin investigating the 18 countries that make up ESCWA's lovely membership: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, The Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, The United Arab Emirates and Yemen and a non state, which they designate as "Palestine".  

Thankfully, The Investigative Group for Humanity, can get started immediately by cross referencing statistics provided by Freedom House.  Among these nations, and in fact throughout the Middle East, only Israel is identified as being "Free".  

Conversely, the 18 ESCWA member states, apartheid is practiced quite liberally from racial discrimination – to gender and religious apartheid, to slavery and trafficking and to non citizenship rights to non ethnic groups and more.  There is no freedom in these despot nations. How is it even possible that Syria – the land of terror and murder – can be one of the sponsoring nations of the ESCWA report? And war torn Yemen and genocidal Sudan that is killing off its Christian minority to the South? In fact, Freedom House designates Syria, Saudi Arabia and The Sudan as "the worst of the worst" in as far as political rights and liberties are concerned.  

Once my new UN Agency is established to evaluate and designate true apartheid states around the world, and my Investigative Group for humanity is in full gear, it will be found that approximately 61% of our planet and especially 420 million people living in 21 countries in the Middle East and Africa (excluding Israel) live in Unfree conditions.  More importantly, since the ESCWA report calls for action by international law, my new UN Agency will lead the charge by applying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Our first order of business will be to apply section 18 of the declaration (chosen because there are 18 member states): "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance".

I have to wonder if the 18 member states of  ESCWA could stomach implementing section 18 of the Declaration. Could they overcome the big lie they are spreading about Israel? Will they truly promote freedom and democracy – or will they continue to sow hate and intolerance?  In the meantime, by releasing this report, we now know about yet another little pariah UN agency tucked away in the back streets of Beirut spreading propaganda against Israel and covering up for its special 18 members. 

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