The United Nations is widely, and accurately, known as a major hub of anti-Israel demonization, as well as for providing the Palestinians with a supportive framework for their propaganda. In particular, the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is the equivalent of a home field for Israel-bashing. With the majority of the council coming from members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and its allies, the pro-Palestinian party line is largely assured.
The resulting pronouncements, resolutions and so-called investigations of alleged Israeli violations are transformed into justifications for BDS resolutions at universities, and are even cited in court decisions.
But occasionally, the home field advantage of the UNHRC can be overcome. This happened recently during a meeting of the expert committee that reviews the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
As part of the campaign to gain international recognition as a state, the Palestinian Authority has signed many treaties, including CERD. As a signatory, it is subject to reviews of its own actions. The first review of Palestinian compliance took place on August 13-14 in Geneva, and did not go according to the standard script.
The first surprise for the Palestinians was a result of the unusual nature of the CERD review framework, which consists of 18 “independent experts” who are nominated by their governments and selected through a secret ballot. This process reduces the ability of the Islamic bloc and its allies to control the outcome. As their backgrounds and subsequent activities demonstrate, many of the current committee members are indeed independent experts, with academic appointments and other qualifications.