JERUSALEM, Israel – As Israel approaches its 70th anniversary as a modern nation state, the anti-Israel agenda at the United Nations – and elsewhere – continues pretty much unabated.
Over the weekend, the UN Human Rights Council (OHCHR) passed five new resolutions against Israel. Among them is one essentially calling for an arms embargo to prevent Israel from allegedly violating international humanitarian and human rights laws by refusing to sell weapons to Israel that could be used against Palestinians. Another called on Israel to cede sovereignty over areas beyond the pre-1967 armistice lines, i.e., Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, etc. One demanded that Israel halt all activity in the "settlements" and another charged Israel with human rights abuses against Palestinians.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the resolutions a "circus of the absurd."
'Unworthy of its Name'
US UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said the council is "foolish and unworthy of its name," hinting that the US may withdraw funding from OHCHR as it did from UNWRA.
"When the Human Rights Council treats Israel worse than North Korea, Iran and Syria, it is the council itself that is foolish and unworthy of its name," she said.
Anti-Israel rhetoric isn't limited to the United Nations and neither are calls to abandon the Golan Heights.
At a conference in Moscow last month, former Israeli Ambassador Dore Gold responded to one participant who said Israel is breaking international law by refusing to withdraw from the Golan Heights.
Following a lengthy and provocative statement by Vitaly Naumkin, president of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences and advisor to President Vladimir Putin, Gold said Israel will not allow Syria to become an Iranian "satellite state."
"Israel has been taking a strong stand – and will continue to take a strong stand – against the conversion of Syria into a satellite state of Iran, which would be used as a launching pad for aggression against the northern part of my country," he said.
When Naumkin claimed Israel's presence on the Golan "contradicts international law," Gold set the record straight.
"Our claim to the Golan Heights is not in violation of international law.... Great international lawyers, after the 1967 Six-Day War, drew a distinction between wars of self-defense and wars of aggression," he said. "Taking territory in a war of aggression is a violation of international law. Asserting your rights to territory in a war of self-defense is a whole different story."
He continued. "The Soviet Union sought to have Israel branded as the aggressor after the Six-Day War. They tried it in the General Assembly, but they failed. They tried it in the Security Council, but they failed because it was generally understood by the international community that Israel was acting out of self-defense, and therefore our claim to the Golan Heights is on very strong legal grounds....We are not oblivious to international law. We seek to fulfill international law."
"It's important to stress that from the point of view of Israel ... the Golan Heights will remain under Israeli sovereignty," Gold said.
Israel Will Never Leave the Golan
At a special cabinet meeting in April 2016, Netanyahu said Israel will never withdraw from the Golan.
"I convened this celebratory meeting in the Golan Heights to send a clear message," he said. "The Golan will forever remain in Israel's hands. Israel will never withdraw from the Golan Heights."
Israel gained control of the Golan in the 1967 Six-Day War.
"During the 19 years the Golan Heights were under Syrian occupation, when they were a place for bunkers, wire fences, mines and aggression, they were for war," Netanyahu said at the ceremony.
Israel developed the area for agriculture, tourism, business initiatives and building. In the early 80s, the Knesset voted to annex the Golan Heights.