The UN plans to show the film Miral on Monday night in the main hall of the General Assembly, and the world body’s decision has sparked outrage from groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee. The Daily Caller also said the government of Israel has joined these groups in opposing the showing of the film at that venue.
The film tells the story of the Palestinians’ conflict with Israel as told from the perspective of an orphaned Palestinian.
In the aftermath of Israel’s creation, Arab countries treated refugees as guests, setting up camps rather than attempting to incorporate them into their societies. I don’t know whether the film focuses on the roles other governments played in decisions leading to unrest.
Paul Johnson, in his essay ‘A History of the Jews’ [Inside Israel; John Miller et al], writes: “The Arab governments, with the assistance of the U.N., kept the Arab refugees in camps, pending a reconquest of Palestine which never came. Hence, as a result of natural increase, there were more Arab refugees in the late 1980s than there had been forty years before.” [pg. 82]
Johnson also points out the political dividend from those refugees. “As Cairo Radio put it: ‘The refugees are the cornerstone in the Arab struggle against Israel.’” [pg. 83]
Critics say the film is ‘anti-Israel.’ A UN spokesman rebutted the argument by saying films had been shown at the UN before. That is a half truth—films about the Holocaust for instance have been showed in various UN offices. However, The US Report was unable to find any documentation of other films shown at the General Assembly. The UN spokesman did not specify which films he had in mind; the spokesman did not specify the venues either.
Films like Geert Wilders’ Fitna based on themes related to Islamist violence drew fire from the UN—Sec. Gen. Ban Ki-moon said it was “offensively anti-Islamic.”
Films like The Stoning of Soraya M. have been largely ignored by big media in the U.S. and although the UN pays lip service to women’s rights, cultures in many Middle East countries remain as they have for centuries.
The US Report has pointed out the UN tends to be concerned with protection of only one faith, a direct contradiction to Western values. The UN Human Rights Council, for example, passed Resolution 7/19, ‘Combating defamation of religions.’ This document severely limits freedom of speech when it comes to religion—another direct conflict with the spirit of Western laws. The document purports to protect religions from ‘defamation’—an impossible task to accomplish alongside freedom. The only faith specified—13 times—is Islam. Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and other world faiths received no specific mention.
In my opinion you’d have to be pushing up daisies in the corner cemetery to deny anti-Israel bias in world bodies. The UN has expanded its original mission so drastically, creating a de facto world government, many Americans have called for the US to exit the body.
It should come as a surprise to no one the UN is screening a film many perceive as anti-Israel. That, in my opinion, is in keeping with past and current UN policy.
Related Articles and Sources
Geert Wilders’ ‘Fitna’ insightful and inciteful
Israel at the UN: Progress amid a history of bias
Israel calls on UN to cancel Miral film premiere
[Book] Inside Israel
By John Miller et al; Marlowe & Company; 2002.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/March 15, 2011)
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