As blossoming intellectuals at ASU, it’s important for us to have a critical eye of large institutions such as the federal government, multinational businesses and even the United Nations. The UN’s purpose appears altruistic at first glance. However, upon further examination of its actions over the last decade, the UN has focused too much of its efforts on attacking Israel both in speeches and through resolutions while it fumbles with the Arab-Israeli conflict and other worldwide crises.
With an aim to turn the page and serve as a messenger of peace, António Guterres became the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations last January. He began the process of working to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict on his first visit to Israel and the Gaza Strip in late August.
Guterres’ itinerary in Israel included meetings and public remarks with Israeli leaders, touring an Israeli innovation showcase of humanitarian enterprises and a speech on the dangers of modern Anti-Semitism at the Yad Vashem Museum.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Guterres’ visit saying,
“You have clearly demonstrated the desire since you have taken office to turn a new page in the relations between Israel and the UN. This is something I want too, and I look forward to working with you towards that joint mission.”
In the background of General-Secretary Guterres’ mission is the strained relationship between the United Nations and Israel due to the UN’s constant attacks against the democratic nation.
According to the UN Watch, “From 2012 through 2015, the United Nations General Assembly has adopted 97 resolutions criticizing countries; 83 out of those 97 have been against Israel (86%).” These resolutions have come down despite terrible human rights violations in nations such as North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, and Syria which have received little attention in the UN Headquarters.
It’s important for us as college students to be critical of the UN. Its unwarranted attacks on Israel negatively affect how we view Israel and could lead to anti-Israel groups gaining strength by further defaming Israel’s name. Understanding the good deeds the Israeli government and private enterprises perform is important to how we view the Arab-Israeli conflict.
For example, the UN World Health Organization ratifies resolutions painting Israel as a health rights violator, but neglects the fact that the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli charitable organizations provide medicine, food and clothing to thousands of Syrians fleeing the Syrian Civil War. Additionally, On September 20th, the IDF dispatched a team of 75 engineers, medics and soldiers to Mexico to aid in the relief efforts and examine structural damage after two devastating earthquakes hit Mexico’s capital.
During Guterres’ visit to Israel, he was introduced to several humanitarian start-up companies at the Innovation Showcase including Innovation: Africa — an Israeli association that brings solar, water and agricultural technologies from Israel to struggling rural communities in Africa.
By understanding the humanitarian causes Israel stands for, and its successes as a robust democracy, UN Secretary-General Guterres — and ASU students alike — can gain a different perspective regarding Israel that effectively discredits the biased and unwarranted attacks Israel sustains in the meetings of UN leaders.
Contributed by Arizona State University CAMERA Fellow Graham Paul.