Tuesday, November 21, 2006

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Sderot

Sderot says "Haide!" to Arbour

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former Canadian Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour visited Sderot this morning, where she inspected areas hit by Qassam rockets together with the mayor of the city. Arbour's reputation (deserved or not) as well as that of the United Nations and her office in particular seems to have preceded her. Ynet reports that a "disturbance" broke out at the scene of one of the sites she was visiting, with residents of the town hitting the doors and windows of UN vehicles, and protesting what they saw as the body's one-sidedness and indifference to Israel.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has an editorial this morning lambasting the successor to the Commission, the Human Rights Council. Calling this body a "Discredit to the United Nations," the Times especially noted its condemnations of Israel:
The council is new, but its deliberations have already fallen into a shameful pattern. When it comes to the world’s worst and most consistent human rights violators, like China, Iran, North Korea, Myanmar and Sudan, there has been a tendency to muffle words and conclusions and shift the focus from individual and political rights to broader economic and social questions.

But when it comes to criticizing Israel for violations committed in a wartime context that includes armed attacks against its citizens and soldiers, the council seems to change personality, turning harshly critical and uninterested in broader contexts.

If the Times is annoyed, no wonder the residents of Sderot are upset.

1 comment:

John said...

Ha'aretz also reported that Arbour refused to meet with the families of the kidnapped soldiers who have began to petition her office for a meeting two weeks ago.

Apparently, Louise Arbour's car was attacked at the site of the Qassam rocket attack at Sha'ar ha-Negev, where a worker at a local frozen chicken plant was killed today.