?The United Nations has become the leading global purveyor of anti-Semitism, intolerance, and inequality against the Jewish people and its state.?
Those words were uttered by tenacious law professor Anne Bayesfsky last week at, of all places, the United Nations. No, it wasn?t outside the New York building as traffic whizzed by, but rather inside one of the auditoriums that more often plays host to anti-Semitic rants from UN member nations.
Six decades after its founding, the UN apparently decided that anti-Semitism was an issue worth addressing. The irony, though, was not lost on those painfully aware of the UN?s disturbing legacy.
In spite of the organization?s history?or perhaps because of it?the auditorium, including its balcony level, was overflowing. And almost the entire standing room-only crowd rose to its feet to applaud Bayefsky.
Though she did not talk much longer than most of the other panelists who followed her throughout the day, Bayefsky certainly had more to say.
Receiving the most blistering criticism was the UN?s Commission on Human Rights, which has devoted fully one-fourth of its resolutions in the past 40 years to the Middle East?s sole democracy.
But while all speakers who followed her were careful to be polite to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on his home turf, Bayefsky felt no such compunction. Early in her speech, she said, ?In November 2003, Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a report on Israel?s security fence, detailing the purported harm to Palestinians without describing one terrorist act against Israelis which preceded the fence?s construction.?
Bayefsky further attacked Annan for hypocrisy in condemning Israel for killing Hamas terrorist leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi, while saying nothing about ?the murder of more than 3,000 Brazilian civilians shot at close range by police.?
Although Bayefsky was only one of four participants on the first of three panels, her words clearly struck the biggest nerve.
Subsequent speakers competently addressed the issue of anti-Semitism, but what seemed consistent throughout was genuine gratitude that the UN would even convene such a conference. And none pointed out that the event was going to serve as a protective shield for Annan and the UN.
Panelist Mark Weitzman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center seemed sincere in expressing hope that the conference marked the dawn of a new era in the UN.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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