The New York Daily News published the editorial below on UN Watch's recent protest. The campaign has also been covered by Canada's National Post, the Jerusalem Post, the French Guysen TV, and respected British left-wing blog Harry's Place.
"Propagating hate: Despicable UN rights council breathes life into blood libel"
Monday, March 29th 2010
The grotesquely misnamed United Nations Human Rights Council has topped its own high standard of absurd lies about Israel - this time resurrecting the medieval blood libel against Jews with a medical twist.
The council has posted on its Web site a venomous letter from an anti-Israel organization called EAFORD, the International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which is just as grotesquely misnamed as the council itself.
EAFORD, a nonprofit founded in Libya and granted UN accreditation in 1981, has one consuming obsession: to brand Israel a criminal state.
EAFORD's statement, with the council's imprimatur, accuses Israel of plucking organs of "dead, kidnapped and killed Palestinians" in a conspiracy involving "Israeli physicians, medical centers, rabbis and the Israeli Army."
Such is the nature of the Human Rights Council. It legitimizes outrageous, inflammatory lies about Israel while ordering Hillel Neuer of UN Watch to refrain from using the word "regime" when talking about Iran. It ceaseslessly attacks the only democracy in the Middle East while turning a blind eye to genocide, female genital mutilation and human trafficking elsewhere.
Passover, the Jewish festival of freedom, begins at sundown tonight. This would be the perfect time for the Obama administration, which has suffered from the delusion that the council can be reformed, to call it out for the hatemongering farce that it is.
The UN Watch letter that exposed the blood libel follows below.
Amb. Alex Van Meeuwen, President of the Human Rights Council
Ms. Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations European Headquarters
March 24, 2010
Dear Mr. President,
Dear Madam High Commissioner,
As a human rights NGO dedicated to combating racism, UN Watch is alarmed to discover that the UN Human Rights Council, together with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, has, however unwittingly, helped to propagate an anti-Semitic blood libel by publishing it as an official United Nations document (A/HRC/13/NGO/23), which is now being distributed to country delegates"”under the same Agenda Item in which they will soon vote on the Goldstone Report.
We call upon you to immediately cease circulating this racist, hateful and inflammatory text to the ambassadors and other delegates of the Human Rights Council; to gather up and destroy all existing copies; and to remove it from the Human Rights Council website.
The document in question is A/HRC/13/NGO/23, entitled "Israeli Illegal Trafficking in Organs of Dead and Kidnapped Palestinian Victims." It was submitted by the "International Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination," also known as EAFORD. As shown on its website (www.eaford.org), the raison d’etre of this UN-accredited organization is to accuse Israel of being a racist state. (The website also links to a video on U.S. action in Iraq, which it describes as a "Holocaust.")
The statement begins by accusing Israel of "ethnic cleansing and massacres," creating the "largest open-air prison in the world," perpetrating "economic genocide," and having "let loose hordes of marauding gangs of Israeli illegal settlers" in order to "launch pogroms against Palestinians."
It then proceeds to the principal charge: "Now it is the turn of the dead, kidnapped and killed Palestinians. Their human organs, as reported in the press, can be a source of immense wealth through illegal trafficking in the world market. Israeli physicians, medical centers, rabbis and the Israeli army may be involved, according to reports published in the Swedish press and criminal investigations in the United States."
It goes on: "After Israeli physicians remove organs they think marketable, the soldiers bury the bodies in graves that carry only numbers and no names, or place them in sealed caskets and deliver them under curfew conditions to the families and supervise the digging of the graves and burial."
Finally, the statement concludes by calling on "physicians, medical centers and associations everywhere to condemn and boycott Israeli physicians and medical centers."
Your Excellencies, the accusation that the Jewish state and its doctors are engaged in a racist campaign to steal Palestinian organs has no basis in fact or reality, and is nothing less than the repackaging of the medieval blood libel that was used over centuries to incite anti-Semitic hatred, violence and pogroms against Jews.
The United Nations cannot allow itself to aid or abet such blatant incitement to racism. Given that the Office of the High Commissioner carefully screens all submissions before deciding to publish them"”indeed, our own submissions to this session were edited to remove certain words referring to regimes such as Iran and Libya"”we are deeply disappointed that this hateful text was accepted for publication as an official UN document, and that it is now being distributed as such within the Human Rights Council chamber.
We urge you to take immediate action in accordance with the principles of human rights, equality and anti-racism upon which the United Nations was founded.
Hillel C. Neuer