The Olympics have reminded us just how dreadfully deep anti-Semitism runs across the world. In the past two weeks, the Israeli delegation has faced openly hostile athletes who have had a platform to broadcast their prejudice internationally.
The Lebanese delegation physically blocked the Israeli delegation from entering their bus upon realizing that they were scheduled to ride together.
A Saudi Arabian judo competitor forfeited a match to avoid getting paired up with an Israeli athlete.
An Egyptian athlete refused to shake the hand of his Israeli competitor after being defeated in a judo competition.
Back in 2012, Olympic officials even refused to pay respects for a ceremony held in honor of the Israelis killed in Munich in 1972.
These stories seem all too common at the famous games, but the fact is that the Olympics is not the only international forum guilty of blatant anti-Semitism. Like a disease, anti-Semitic activity is spreading around the world.
Jewish people are being violently harassed in countless ways, and Jewish sites are being vandalized with swastikas all too often. A full report of anti-Semitic incidents in 2015 by the Anti-Defamation League leaves one absolutely disgusted.
But it is the presence of anti-Semitism in international organizations that is most dangerous.
In March of this year, the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women issued an official condemnation of exactly one nation for violating women’s rights. That nation was Israel. How ironic this truly is when one takes the time to look at the facts. Among developed nations, Israel is one of the leaders for women’s participation in the work force. The Israeli Declaration of Independence makes clear that the state “will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race, or sex.”
Israel is a leading defender of women’s rights in a region dominated by institutionalized sexism. Multiple countries in the area uphold laws requiring women to be accompanied out of the house, making it more difficult for women to acquire passports, making rape a minor offense, and, on top of that, these countries often fail to punish men for abusing their wives. And yet the U.N. singled out Israel.
U.N. Watch reported in November of last year that the United Nations had issued 20 resolutions singling out Israel for criticism. Compare that to the three it issued against other states. These resolutions repeatedly claimed the existence of human right abuses being perpetrated by Israel and called for investigations into the nation. In the same time period, there was one resolution condemning violations of human rights in North Korea, one in Syria, and one in Iran. Besides the fact that countries like China, Venezuela, and Cuba received no condemnations, zero resolutions held Palestinian groups like Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, accountable for terrorist activity.
In the nine years that the U.N. Humans Rights Council has been in existence, Israel has been condemned 61 times, versus 55 condemnations against the rest of the world combined. Compare this to 15 for Syria, where a government has waged a brutal and oppressive war against its citizens, or eight for North Korea, which has starved its people and suppressed human rights for years. The agenda of the council explicitly targets Israel. While it calls for the group to look at human rights across the world, it specifically calls for investigations into the situation in Palestine and “other occupied Arab territories.” No other nation is explicitly targeted in the group’s agenda.
Hillel Neur, the director of U.N. Watch has stated that “sadly, with members like China, Russia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Venzuela, and Qatar, the UNHRC today may possibly rank as a more corrupt international organization than FIFA.”
We seriously must call into question the effectiveness of U.N. bodies when they seem to spend the vast majority of their time singling out Israel instead of attempting to address problems around the globe.
This clear anti-Israel prejudice, and even anti-Semitism, cannot be ignored. In particular, the United States must take a stronger stand against the nations that aim to perpetuate this enduring injustice against our most vital security partner in the Middle East and, more importantly, the bedrock of democracy and human rights in the region.
Unfortunately, we are not immune to this anti-Semitic infection. The modern college campus has become a breeding ground for young activists with clear anti-Israel agendas. The BDS, or Boycott, Divest, and Sanction, movement embodies the growth of these attitudes. Groups like this ignore the fact that Israel has repeatedly sought a peaceful resolution to its longstanding conflict with Palestine. They have, on numerous occasions, come to the table ready to approve deals recognizing Palestine, however the Palestinians have rejected these agreements multiple times.
The truth is that Israel is a sanctuary of liberty, democracy, and human rights in the Middle East. As much of the region tears itself apart, or upholds archaic laws that lead to the oppression of women and the murder of homosexuals, Israel stands proud and strong as a beacon of freedom.
The United States needs to stand with Israel in the fight against anti-Semitism, across the world. This deep-seated prejudice, which plagues many of our international organizations, represents the absolute worst in humanity. In the past, evil triumphed while good men did nothing for the Jewish people; we must act quickly and purge this virus from our international institutions.