Jewish Journal

A letter to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council

by Noga Gur-Arieh

March 25, 2012 | 11:52 am

A U.N. vehicle drives near the border between Israel and Syria Mar 26. Photo by REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Dear members of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council,

Let me start by saying how important it is, to me, that there is someone out there who’s job is to protect the most valuable thing in the world: human rights. You are here to make the world a safe place for those who can’t find security in their own home.

I read about your recent resolution, ordering a first probe into how Israel’s West Bank settlements may be infringing on Palestinians’ rights. Right on! You really nailed it this time! I mean, nowadays there is nothing more important than inspecting how settlements that exist for years, influence the lives of people whose legal position in this state has been unclear for years. This everlasting conflict, which has been going on for years, is the most important thing for you to do, no doubt.

There is something about your ability to recognize the burning issues of the world that leaves me speechless, and even makes my heart skip a beat.  On your blind journey to justice, you probably missed that fact that Israel is a civilized, modern country. There is a big discussion on wheather Israel is treating Palestinians the “right way,” but it has never hurt their basic human rights. So if that’s okay with you, allow me to address some other places in the world, just once. It’s not that far from here, several hundred kilometers from Gaza. There is something going on there too, but don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret.

Currently, there is a major human rights violation in Syria. This one, as opposed to the current events in Israel, is real, so get ready to handle this in some other way other than condemning politely. I don’t know if you heard, but about a year ago, the people of the Arabian dictatorships of the Middle East, decided that they had enough, and began to fight for freedom. In some countries, Libya, for instance, the struggle ended with the joy of freedom. Syria was an example of a place where the ruler refused to surrender and let Democracy win. For months now there is genocide over there. Blood floods the street, the guns roar, and no one is safe. It is a bit hard to believe, but behind the cute little mustache and the shy smile, Bashar El- Assad is a ruthless killer. Innocent men, women, and children are being butchered every single day, while the president and his wife are sitting at their palace, enjoying the latest Harry Potter movie.

Shocking, right?! I was surprised, too. The only explanation that comes to mind as for why the UN did nothing in the matter so far, is that you’ve been so busy flipping stones at Israel, searching for something to accuse us for, that you didn’t have the time to watch the news. It’s okay, I only blame you a little bit. But now that we put the cards on the table, this is your chance to prove the world wrong, and do something worth doing. Stop the real violation of human rights, the most basic ones, actually: life and freedom. And please, don’t even dare comparing the situation in Syria to the one in Israel, because that will be the proof of your being anything but a neutral organization.

I wish I had the guts to send you this letter as is, but knowing myself, I would probably write a polite Email instead, wishing the UN wouldl put politics aside and deal with the true pain, the suffering and the constant fear the people of Syria deal with daily. 

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My name is Noga Gur-Arieh, and I’m an Israeli Journalist, currently studying for my B.A degree in Media and Political Science, at Tel Aviv University.

I am very socially...

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