The “Inquiry” has formally issued a “call for submissions.” It said: “The Commission invites individuals, groups and organizations to submit information and documentation relevant to its mandate."
The many NGOs with highly visible records of anti-Israel activity, and that have been publicly rallying around the “Inquiry,” will answer this call. Hence, it is already apparent that the “Inquiry” will soon be inundated with fanatical accusations masquerading as “facts” and “law,” and aimed at demonizing and destroying the Jewish state.
At the same time, Jewish and non-Jewish experts, NGOs, other organizations, parliamentarians or legislators – who care about defeating modern global antisemitism embodied in this UN Commission of Inquiry – need to proffer submissions too. Yes, Pillay & Co. will do their best to distort or ignore or butcher any submission which does not meet with their non-independent, partial and unfair agenda. After all, such an agenda is entrenched in the originating resolution, the mandate, and the minds of the carefully chosen investigators themselves. But this UN license to hate cannot go unchallenged. The time to mount that challenge is not after the fact. Simply being reactive is not good enough.
Undoubtedly, there is a legitimization question: by making a submission to this rigged exercise, will we legitimize it? The answer is no – in this case. The answer is emphatically NO, the greater the number of individuals and organizations who act. Nothing prevents submissions from stating at the outset that they are made for the purposes of informing the “Inquiry” members and the members of the UN community of the facts, of the truth, and that failure to produce a fact-based report will further extinguish credibility.
The UN has set up this “Inquiry” as a means of divisiveness. Its goal is not to promote peaceful coexistence, but to demonize a Jewish state as inherently dangerous and wrong. It is quintessential modern antisemitism. Concomitantly, past behavior suggests that the Chair and her cohorts will do everything possible not only to demonize Israel, but also to disparage the “Inquiry’s” critics as “extremists” and shady “Israel lobbyists” – and (incredulously) package their critique as human rights work.
But make no mistake: this is not an “inquiry.” It is a hit squad. As is evident from the history, the mandate, and public profiles, the minds of the inquisitors are made up.
Submissions are, therefore, not about changing their minds, but about educating those who remain open to learning the truth about the Jewish state and the Jewish people. Submissions ought to be about delegitimizing the delegitimizers. About exposing antisemitism and calling it out as such. About urging others to stand with the people of Israel and to object to the perversion of law and the falsification of right and wrong by the United Nations – for the sake of real human rights victims, now and in the future.
So stand up to #PillaysPogrom. Write now.
The "Inquiry’s" first report is due to be published in June. Submissions should be made as soon as possible.
Aim to be no later than the end of March 2022.
The more, the better. If they overlap, that is not a problem.
Individuals, organizations, and even legislators. Victims of modern antisemitism, victims of Palestinian terror, victims of Arab rejection of a Jewish state, students and teachers, campus groups, Jewish organizations, synagogue groups, interfaith groups, Birthright alum, day school students, legal experts, political scientists, historians, people from all walks of life. There are no pre-qualifications.
The “Inquiry” has a list of five acceptable topics. They are deliberately vast in scope. Below, the UN’s formal topics are italicized. Suggestions for submissions for each are listed underneath. They are just ideas and not intended to be limiting or determinative in any way:
- “Underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict in and between the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,* and Israel; as well as systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity;"
Suggestions: True accounts of the myriad dimensions of the history of the conflict. The enduring historical and spiritual realities of the Jewish people and the land of Israel. Palestinian antisemitism. Systematic Palestinian/Arab discrimination and Palestinian/Arab repression or attempted repression based on non-Muslim religious identity or non-Arab ethnic or racial identity. Refutations of the apartheid lie. What makes modern antisemitism clearly different from legitimate criticism of Israel (and the common recognition of room for improvement). Protraction of conflict by surrogates and defenders of Palestinian terrorists, revisionists, rejectionists and violent antisemites operating in politics, schools, media and non-governmental organizations around the world. The recurrence or cycle explained (hatred of Jews – hatred of the Jewish state – violence directed at the Jewish state – Jewish self-defense – more Jew-hatred).
- "Facts and circumstances regarding alleged violations of international humanitarian law and alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021;"
Suggestions: The experiences of the full range of victims of Palestinian terror and incitement. Legal accounts or demonstrations of the panoply of unlawful Palestinian acts.
- "Identification of those responsible;"
Suggestions: The identification and naming of: members of Palestinian terrorist organizations; various Palestinian criminal acts and their perpetrators; the promoters of antisemitic hate in traditional and social media; payors and recipients of Palestinian funds under “pay-to-slay” rules; inciters of terrorism and violence; child educators teaching hate; parents who send their children into harm’s way; members of NGOs engaged in systemic antisemitism, or incitement to violence or terror; organizers and members of groups using Israel as a cover for antisemitism; Palestinian officials or representatives (elected or chosen) engaged in sponsoring, funding, inciting and otherwise supporting antisemitism, religious and racial intolerance, violence and terror, and the rejection of a Jewish state.
- "Recommendations on accountability measures, with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring legal accountability, including individual criminal and command responsibility;"
Suggestions: Instances of the unaccountability of Palestinians and their governing entities. The wrongfulness of turning those responsible for self-defense into criminals. The rules of international humanitarian law and their proper application to this conflict. How Israel’s legal system promotes accountability. Why discriminatory UN apparatus does not and will not promote accountability in this conflict. Accountability measures for ending the spread of modern antisemitism and impunity for fueling antisemitic violence.
- "Recommendations on measures to be taken by third States to ensure respect for international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.*”
Suggestions: The antisemitic character of BDS and the illegality of endorsing it. Recommendations for measures by third states to terminate legitimization and financing of Palestinian terrorist organizations and their NGO enablers and accomplices, wherever they are based. Measures third states, as funders and supporters of the United Nations, can take to rebuff disrespect for international humanitarian law by and through the United Nations at the bidding of Israel’s enemies.
“Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem” is the inaccurate terminology used by the United Nations and its “Inquiry” for Israel’s undivided capital city of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and Hamas-run Gaza.
- Start your submission with the following caveat: This submission in itself should not be understood as an endorsement of the "Commission of Inquiry," including its mandate.
- Secondly, reproduce or point to one or more of the five allowable topics. The topics are listed in the UN’s formal “Call for Submissions” and reproduced on this webpage.
- Briefly introduce yourself, if you wish. (Anonymous entries are permissible.)
- Make your case in reasoned terms, with sources as appropriate.
- Any length will do. Even a few sentences explaining a photo or video.
- The work need not be new or original or your own work if in the public domain. An existing or pre-published work can be submitted identifying the source – so long as it is introduced as clearly connected to one or more of the five topics.
- Don’t rely on the UN’s assurances about privacy or assume confidentiality. Write what you would be fine with putting out into the world.
Submissions should be uploaded to three places (the first two are found on the UN website):
1. By email, to the UN Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. By "cloud" at https://owncloud.unog.ch/s/eYqkCWdqgMUqFTs
The UN says they will not acknowledge receipt of submissions. So be sure to keep a record of your sent email.
3. To Human Rights Voices at Submissions.email@example.com. Human Rights Voices is keeping a log of submissions. This will be an important verification tool (especially if and when submissions are ignored).
Making Sure Your Voice is Heard:
You cannot assume that your submission will be read or noticed in the “Inquiry’s” report. But you can reach the court of public opinion and affect the reception and impact of the report. Proactive steps are required to ensure that your voice is heard. These can include:
- holding a news conference or publishing a press release announcing your submission
- turning your submission into an op-ed
- publishing your submission online or elsewhere
- using your submission as the basis of a webinar or conference
- using the substance of your submission on social media.
Furthermore, UN actors and anti-Israel organizations will mount a sustained campaign hyping the “Inquiry’s” reports and demanding their implementation, starting with its first report in June 2022. You too can prepare for this onslaught with news conferences, press releases, interviews, and social media campaigns.