The United Nations (UN) was founded in 1946 to prevent another World War. Many people have looked towards the UN as a competent force to combat evil in the world. What does this competency look like? Did the UN punish Syria two months ago for using chemical weapons? No. Has the UN censured North Korea or Iran for their nuclear missile developments? No. So what has the UN done? They turned their attention to Israel. They have passed 26 measures criticizing or condemning Israel, while not one measure has criticized Arab nations for their questionable human rights record. If one were to step back, and base the morality of a country off of the UN’s criticisms, Israel would appear to be the most unjust country in the entire world. People don’t have to agree with the policies of Israel, but we should be able to agree on simple facts. There are other countries that have worse human rights records and are more dangerous to the world than Israel.
I am not going to use the rest of this article to defend Israel. Rather, I want to point out the damage that has resulted from singling out Israel at the UN.
Antisemitism is on the rise.
After World War II, public antisemitism was less overt in the aftermath of the Holocaust. The recent rise of antisemitism isn’t just emerging from far-right hate groups, but instead leftist organizations who focus their criticism not on Jewish people, but Israel. One organization, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) proposes the latter to combat Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank. BDS has become extremely popular among human rights activists on college campuses. Many people who support BDS do not consider themselves anti-Semitic, only anti-Israel. My grandfather has always told me, “who do you think lives in Israel? Martians?” Jewish people live in Israel. And who do you think gets hurt when people boycott companies that make products or do business with Israel? Not only does it hurt people in the United States of America, considering the chips in all of our iPhones are made in Israel, but it is devastating for the people of Israel. Anti-defamation groups trying to protect the lives of Jewish people in Israel criticize the BDS movement. This leads to BDS leaders delegitimizing these groups. From here, the evolution has come full circle, and the BDS organization, who claim they are a human rights movement, are now criticizing groups that are trying to fight antisemitism. Under this logic, one who supports a group that fights against antisemitism is against the plight of the Palestinian people, ergo Jews are not for Palestinian rights. That is an anti-Semitic trope.
And from there, it just spreads, and spreads, and spreads.
The UN has played an influential role in the rise of antisemitism. Israel is the only Jewish state and nearly half of the world’s Jewish population lives in Israel. With all of the problems in the world, the UN spends a disproportionate amount of time voting on measures to denounce Israel. Not only does it embolden hate groups, but has brought forth a new type of antisemitism, and maybe even a more dangerous one.