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19 JUL 2024

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UN Bias Against Israel: Fact or Fiction?

A look at the amount of UN resolutions against Israel and what it says about UN bias towards the country itself and Jews as a whole  


Broken UN Flag


  •  The approach of the United Nations (UN) toward Israel-related issues has been a subject of ongoing controversy, with some asserting that the organization has disproportionately singled out Israel.




  • On December 22, 2023, the UN Security Council approved a resolution on the Israel-Hamas war, failing to condemn Hamas for the October 7 attack.  


 

What Is The United Nations (UN)?


In the realm of international discourse and diplomacy, the UN is a critical platform with considerable influence on decision-making and policy, as well as influencing public opinion. Its stated purpose is “to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and serve as a center for harmonizing the actions of nations.” (United Nations Charter, Chapter I: Purposes and Principles). The United Nations is a complex organization, made up of six parts: The General Assembly (GA), the Security Council (UNSC), Economic and Social Council, Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat. 


The Security Council’s mission is specifically “the maintenance of international peace and security,” using resolutions, formal opinions, to either praise or condemn nations of the world, send “peacekeepers,” or impose sanctions. “Security Council resolutions are legally binding and are considered the most forceful vehicle for the articulation of the views of the international community,” says the UN.


But the UN's approach to Israel-related issues has been a subject of controversy. Using the percentage of anti-Israel resolutions by the UN as evidence, some argue that the organization has disproportionately singled out Israel for scrutiny and condemnation. Others argue that such resolutions reflect legitimate concerns about Israel's policies and actions in relation to the Palestinian people.


When reviewing the percentage of UN resolutions that focus on Israel, it is apparent that the organization is persistent in its criticism of the state. Global observers have scrutinized the frequency and nature of these castigating resolutions, especially when compared to the number of resolutions condemning other nations. 



What Percentage of UN Resolutions Are Anti-Israel? 


A statistical breakdown offers insights into the disproportionate scrutiny faced by Israel by the UN. In 2023 alone, a new study conducted by UN Watch found that Israel was sanctioned by the UN twice as many times as the rest of the world combined. The Jewish state—the only democratic state in the Middle East—was the target of 14 General Assembly resolutions, while the remaining member states, including authoritarian regimes such as North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Iran, were denounced only seven times. Of the 14 resolutions against Israel, only one of them is non-condemnatory, 





That has been the pattern for many years. In 2022, 15 resolutions condemned Israel out of 27 total—more than 50%. From 2015 through 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted 140 resolutions on Israel and 68 on all other countries. According to data, since the creation of the UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) in 2006, there have been 45 resolutions condemning Israel on its own, a number that comprises 45.9% of all country-specific resolutions, and reflects the fact that there were nearly more resolutions condemning Israel than the rest of the world combined. 



List of UN Resolutions Condemning Israel Since 2023 


Below is a list of the number of UN resolutions condemning Israel since 2020. This list was gathered from the organization’s online database:



List of UN Resolutions Condemning Israel In 2020


In 2020, 50% of UN resolutions concerned Israel, with 23 out of 56 resolutions total mentioning condemnation of the state.



UN Resolutions Condemning Israel: 2020


 


Date 

Resolution 

Details 

June 19, 2020

Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

June 22, 2020

Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

June 22, 2020 

Human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

June 22, 2020

Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan

June 22, 2020

Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan

November 13, 2020

Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan

December 2, 2020

The Syrian Golan


December 2, 2020

Special information program on the question of Palestine of the Department of Global Communications of the Secretariat 

December 2, 2020

Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine

December 2, 2020

Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat

December 2, 2020

Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

December 7, 2020

The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East

December 10, 2020

Palestine refugees' properties and their revenues


December 10, 2020

Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East


December 10, 2020

Assistance to Palestine refugees 

December 11, 2020

Assistance to the Palestinian people

December 16, 2020

The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

December 18, 2020

The occupied Syrian Golan

December 18, 2020

Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Occupied Syrian Golan



December 18, 2020

Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and other Arabs of the Occupied Territories


December 18, 2020

Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

December 21, 2020

Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

December 21, 2020

Oil slick on Lebanese shores



List of UN Resolutions Condemning Israel In 2021


In 2021, the percentage of UN resolutions that concerned Israel was 38%, that’s 24 out of 63 total resolutions the UN adopted during that year.



UN Resolutions Condemning Israel: 2021


 


Date 

Resolution 

Details 

March 23, 2021 

Human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the obligation to ensure accountability and justice

March 24, 2021 

Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan

March 24, 2021 

Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

March 24, 2021

Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan 

May 31, 2021 

Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan

May 27, 2021 

Ensuring respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel


July 23, 2021 

Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women

July 22, 2021 

Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan



November 8, 2021

Implementation of 40 C/Resolution 67 concerning educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories

November 8, 2021

Jerusalem and the implementation of 40 C/Resolution 43

December 1, 2021 

Jerusalem

December 1, 2021 

The Syrian Golan

December 1, 2021 

Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine

December 6, 2021

The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East

December 9, 2021 

Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan

December 9, 2021 

The occupied Syrian Golan

December 9, 2021 

Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

December 9, 2021 

Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues

December 9, 2021 

Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

December 9, 2021 

Assistance to Palestine refugees

December 10, 2021

Assistance to Palestinian people 

December 16, 2021

The right of Palestinian people to self-determination

December 17, 2021

Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

December 17, 2021

Oil slick on Lebanese shores




List of UN Resolutions Condemning Israel In 2022


In 2022 nearly 33% of all UN resolutions concerned Israel, with 23 out of 70 total resolutions condemning the country:



UN Resolutions Condemning Israel: 2022


 


Date 

Resolution 

Details 

March 31, 2022 

Human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the obligation to ensure accountability and justice


April 1, 2022 

Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan

April 1, 2022 

Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan

April 1, 2022 

Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

April 27, 2022

Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan

July 13, 2022 

Oil slick on Lebanese shores

July 22, 2022 

Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women

July 22, 2022 

Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan

November 30, 2022 

The Syrian Golan

November 30, 2022 

Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine

November 30, 2022 

Special information program on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat

November 30, 2022

Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat

November 30, 2022

Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

December 6, 2022 

Assistance to the Palestinian people



December 7, 2022 

The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East

December 12, 2022 

Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan

December 12, 2022 

The occupied Syrian Golan



December 12, 2022

Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues

December 12, 2022 

Assistance to Palestine refugees

December 12, 2022 

Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

December 14, 2022 

Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

December 15, 2022 

The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

December 30, 2022 

Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem





List of UN Resolutions Condemning Israel In 2023

 

So far in 2023 19 out of 41 total UN resolutions—just about 50%—were concerning Israel in a condemnatory way.


UN Resolutions Condemning Israel: 2023


 


Date 

Resolution 

Details 

April 3, 2023 

Human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the obligation to ensure accountability and justice

April 4, 2023 

Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan

April 4, 2023 

Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

April 18, 2023 

Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan

May 30, 2023

Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan

July 14, 2023 

Implementation of Human Rights Council resolution 31/36

July 26, 2023

Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women

July 26, 2023

Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan

October 27, 2023 

Protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations

November 8, 2023 

Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the

rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the

occupied territories

November 9, 2023 

The occupied Syrian Golan

November 29, 2023

The Syrian Golan 

December 4, 2023

The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East 

December 7, 2023

Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the

rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the

occupied territories


December 7, 2023 

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for

Palestine Refugees in the Near East: Assistance to Palestinian Refugees


December 7, 2023

Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues 

December 12, 2023

Protection of civilians and upholding legal and

humanitarian obligations

December 14, 2023

Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the

Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and

of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

December 19, 2023 

The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

December 19, 2023 

Oil slick on Lebanese shores 


Is There A Pattern In The Relationship Between The UN And Israel? 


Critics argue that the percentage of resolutions condemning Israel represent an innate bias and unfair targeting within the UN system. They assert that often the resolutions include fabrications and distortions of facts, inciting prejudice and hatred toward Israel. 





Not only are the number of resolutions and Security Council presidential statements targeting Israel disproportionate, they consistently use language that devalues the country's security needs. 


Even when violence is carried out against Israel, the security threat aspect is often ignored. An example is Resolution 1322, passed on October 7, 2000, during the outbreak of the Second Intifada. During this brutal period in Israel-Palestine history (between September 29, 2000 and May 1, 2006) a total of 7,844 Israeli civilians were attacked, including 999 deaths, 642 severe injuries, and 5,263 light injuries, etc.—most the results of terror attacks carried out by Palestinian terrorist groups, claimed by Fatah and Hamas. 


Without condemning the terror attacks committed by Palestinians, the UN’s Resolution 1322 labeled Israel as an aggressor, placing blame and responsibility on the Jewish state, suggesting a visit to the Temple Mount by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon provoked and justified the violence. (Security Council Resolution S/RES/1322 [2000]. 


Resolution 1322 bemoaned “the provocation carried out at Al-Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem on 28 September 2000, and the subsequent violence there and at other Holy Places, as well as in other areas throughout the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, resulting in over 80 Palestinian deaths and many other casualties.” It goes on to condemn Israel for “acts of violence, especially the excessive use of force against Palestinians, resulting in injury and loss of human life” 


Another example of the extent of the UN’s inflammatory animosity toward Israel can be seen on the UN website, in a press release posted in 2015. The press release claimed:  “In Jerusalem, a policy of ethnic cleansing was pushing Palestinians out of the city.” With this blatantly false claim, the UN failed to reflect the reality that since 1967, the population of Palestinians in Jerusalem has in fact increased significantly. 



Is The UN Biased Against Israel? 


In 1998, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan admitted that the UN behavior gives an impression of bias. “It sometimes seems as if the United Nations serves all the world’s people but one: the Jews,” he stated


He continued, “I know that the United Nations is regarded by many as biased against the State of Israel…I know that Israelis see hypocrisy and double standards in the intense scrutiny given to some of its actions, while other situations fail to elicit the world’s outrage and condemnations. I know that Israelis are offended when other nations’ delegates leave the room as Israelis rise to speak.” 


The UN response to the October 7 attacks has reinforced this perception.


Did The UN Condemn Israel After the October 7 Attacks? 


Most recently, critics of the UN’s treatment of Israel have pointed to the UN’s inaction following the unprecedented October 7 terror attack on Israel. The massacre, in which Hamas terrorists murdered some 1,200 Israelis (most of whom were civilians) and captured over 240 people to be held hostage in Gaza, provoked Israel to respond in defense with its “Swords of Iron” operation. 


On October 27, 2023, the General Assembly (GA) adopted an Arab-drafted resolution that called for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The resolution committee rejected amendments to condemn the terrorist attacks by Hamas and to demand the immediate release of all hostages held in Gaza. While passed by an overwhelming majority, the resolution provoked outrage from certain members of the UN, including Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová, who responded with a threat to leave


“Exactly 3 weeks ago, Hamas murdered over 1400 Israelis, more victims for their population than the militant Islamist organization al-Qaeda murdered in the US on 9/11. And only 14 countries, including ours, have spoken out clearly and understandably against this unprecedented terrorist attack perpetrated by Hamas terrorists! I am ashamed of the UN. In my opinion, the Czech Republic has no place in an organization that cheers on terrorists and does not respect the fundamental right to self-defense. Let's get out.”


The resolution did not condemn Hamas for its actions or acknowledge Israel’s right to defend itself. Instead, it called for a complete ceasefire for the benefit of humanitarian aid in Gaza. This resolution solely condemning Israel and calling for an immediate ceasefire caused certain nations and political figures to publicly dispute the matter. US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, “Ultimately, while we are encouraged that the Council spoke out on this humanitarian crisis we’re deeply disappointed—appalled, actually—that once again, the Council was not able to condemn Hamas for the horrific terrorist attack on October 7.” 


On December 22, the UN Security Council approved another resolution on the Israel-Hamas war, calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days.” Both Russia and the US opposed the resolution. 


US Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield stated that while the resolution presented a “glimmer of hope,” the US was still “appalled” that it failed to condemn Hamas. One senior US diplomat emphasized this, telling CNN, “We would love to see condemnation of Hamas….” “We don’t understand why the Council can’t just explain exactly how we got to where we are.”


Why Didn't The UN Condemn Hamas' Sexual Violence Against Israeli Women Immediately After October 7? 


The UN has also been criticized for its silence regarding the testimonies about sexual violence committed against Israeli women on October 7. It took almost two months for the UN to call on and hear the accounts of the crimes and consider an investigation into them. Israeli leaders, with international support, highlighted the hypocrisy of the UN’s slowness to act, pressing the UN to investigate the charges of sexual violence


The situation provoked worldwide protests, with many voicing their outrage and shining a light on the otherwise uncondemned sexual assaults. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, one of many who protested outside the UN headquarters, emphasized that  “The United Nations must denounce Hamas as a terrorist organization that uses rape as a weapon of war." 

 

Sources 


Wikipedia, United Nations, last edited December 24, 2023 




UN Watch, 2023 Resolutions on Israel, December 19, 2023 


Visual Capitalist, Mapped: The State of Democracy Around the World, April 4, 2023


X (formerly Twitter), UN Watch Status, December 20, 2023  


X (formerly Twitter), Hillel Neuer Status, December 31, 2022 


Wikipedia, Second Intifada, last updated December 10, 2023 


Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Victims of Palestinian Violence and Terrorism since September 2000, April 3, 2007 


The Guardian, Rioting as Sharon visits Islam holy site, September 29, 2000 


UN Digital Library, Resolution 1322, 2000




X (formerly Twitter), United Nations Status, October 27, 2023 








 

Jenna Romano


Jenna Romano is a writer, editor and blogger. Her writing has been featured in publications such as Telavivian, Jerusalem Post, Ha’aretz, Portfolio, Wix Blog, and more.

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