Commentary and Newsletters

Anne Bayefsky

The UN's Spokesperson for Suicide-Bombers: John Dugard

Monday, October 23, 2006

On October 19, UN-appointed "human rights" expert John Dugard told the General Assembly that "Palestinian suicide bombers" are "a consequence of occupation." In five years traveling on the UN payroll - twenty-two percent of which comes from American taxpayers - Dugard has now distinguished himself as the most fanatical spokesperson for terrorism at the UN outside the Arab and Moslem world.

UN "independent expert" Dugard was selected in 2001 to report regularly on Israeli human rights abuses to the UN Commission/Council on Human Rights and the General Assembly. His job description, or UN mandate, deliberately excludes Palestinian human rights abuses. As Dugard lectured the Israeli representative on October 19th: "I have a limited mandate, which is to investigate human rights violations by Israelis, not by Palestinians." The pre-determined outcome, however, has never been a problem for this lawyer. Far from being embarrassed, he launched into this year's diatribe this way: "Today I deliver my annual criticism of Israel's human rights record."

There is no perennial criticism at the UN of the human rights record of any other state, or terror organization for that matter. Just Israel.

Dugard's fanaticism is consistent with the UN reality that the more hysterical his claims, the more likely he is to keep his job. His usual modus operandi is to demonize Israel as the racist, blood-thirsty aggressor opposed by a hapless, freedom-loving people. This year he decided to outdo himself, taking aim at the Jewishness of the Jewish state itself. "The litany of human rights difficult to reconcile with Israel's...claim to be "a light unto the nations." Here is a sampling of his other remarks:

  • "I wish we could get rid of the word "terror" in this debate...I appeal to the Israeli government:...If you label your opponent a terrorist, it becomes very difficult to start negotiating with him...I appeal to the Israeli government to discontinue using this term..."
  • Referring to the situation of Palestinian farmers, he said: "in other countries this process might be described as ethnic cleansing but political correctness forbids such language where Israel is concerned."
  • "IDF soldiers...seem to regard all Palestinians as terrorists."
  • "Israel's desire for Palestinian land is insatiable."
  • The West Bank has been made into "Bantustans" ľa reference to apartheid South Africa.

Dugard's words Thursday were an instant hit with most of the UN representatives, who lined up to speak in an "interactive dialogue" conducted between him and the members of the General Assembly. One after another, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, Cuba, Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria expressed their appreciation.. But the most obvious sign of the special UN reception that is reserved for those who demonize Israel and provide sustenance to terrorists is evident from the response of the Libyan representative: "When it comes to commending Professor Dugard, I find myself running out of words...[W]hen I heard his speech, I felt as if I am seeing a very symbol of an honest man in the 21st century....I feel like adding more to what has been said earlier is like adding more salt to a very delicious dish. So, all I can say is thank you, Mr. Dugard, and God bless you."

Just another day at the UN's Third Committee, composed of all 192 UN members. In case it isn't obvious, this committee is the General Assembly's primary body for protecting human rights.

This article originally appeared in the National Review Online.