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Saturday, June 28, 2014 

Predictably, the UN members don't care about the kidnap victims

Israel HaYom reported that the UN's council, as expected, had no sympathy for the plight of the kidnapped students or their mother's speech:
"It is wrong to take children, innocent boys and girls, and use them as instruments of any struggle. It is cruel. This council is charged with protecting human rights. I wish to ask, doesn't every child have the right to come home safely from school? We just want them back at home, in their beds. We just want to hug them again," Rachel Frenkel, the mother of Naftali, one of the three Israeli teenagers abducted on June 12, stated in her address before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Her speech was two minutes long, in accordance with council rules. Sitting behind her were Iris Yifrach, Eyal's mother, and Bat-Galim Shaer, Gilad's mother. Standing beside Rachel as she spoke was Hillel Neuer, executive director of U.N. Watch, who arranged for her to give her speech to elicit a response from the international community. Despite the council's strong hostility toward Israel, one might have expected that someone would have approached the women, or at least one of them, to share her pain and perhaps even condemn the kidnapping.

I was there, several yards away from them. I waited to see who would approach them, who would shake Rachel's hand. I looked for someone to show a drop of humanity toward them, but not one stood up, and it was awful. They were alone.

Frenkel arrived together with Yifrach and Shaer, who became partners in her fate two weeks ago. They left the hall accompanied by representatives of the Israeli delegation from the embassy in Geneva. The hearing continued, as did the criticism and condemnations -- all of them against Israel.

Rania Madi, legal U.N. consultant for Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, who spoke several minutes before Frenkel, mentioned the kidnapping, but only to condemn the Israeli military's response to it. She left several minutes later. She was not too far from the three Israeli mothers, and she is close to them in age as well. But none of that encouraged her to reach out to them or say a word of comfort.

As far as Rania is concerned, the UNHRC is a political battlefield where the Palestinians have been winning for years. That should not be a surprise to anyone: the council, which has 47 members, just brought in countries that are known to harbor profound contempt for human rights issues: China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia. To these we should add Iran, which plays an important role there.

Incidentally, Rania did not understand exactly what Frenkel was doing at the meeting. Other Arab representatives who were there saw the Jewish women's appearance as an Israeli provocation. If peace is made between peoples, then Tuesday did not bode well. When I asked Rania whether she shared the Jewish mothers' sorrow, she answered with a question: "Is there also room here for 5,000 Palestinian mothers?"

"The greatest fear is that the world has simply gotten used to this situation, in which three Israeli boys were kidnapped," said Ian Zviovich, a young Jewish man living in Geneva, who attended a special prayer service organized by the local Chabad center and which Frenkel attended. "Look how long it took the world to deal with the kidnapped girls in Nigeria. At first there was commotion. Heads of state held meetings in Paris. And what's happening now? The world has moved on."
Tragically, that's just what happened, and there's been no solid action taken to helping the Nigerian girls either. It's no surprise the fiends who comprise the UN membership today had nothing but hatred to offer Frenkel, and that's one more reason why instead of speaking there, people with sense should campaign to have the UN condemned for the hatemongering institution they've long become.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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