Two countries in the Middle East - Syria and Israel - recently severed ties with the UN Human Rights Council. Both of them reprimanded states that supported resolutions by the United Nations council to investigate allegations of systematic violations of human rights in their countries. In Syria's case, it was the brutal slaughter of civilians, while the complaint against Israel was "only" violating the rights and stealing the property of foreign citizens. While the case can be made that the council has a biased obsession with the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, that is far from sufficient reason to boycott an important international organization - about as far as the settlements policy is from a two-state solution to the conflict.
The investigation committee does not need Israeli visas or an invitation to spend Shabbat at Migron. All it needs is the rejection by the High Court of Justice of the state's disgraceful request to delay implementation of the court's earlier ruling ordering the outpost's evacuation by the end of this week. As in the case of the Goldstone Report, boycotting the investigation committee will not stop the investigation. Its members will have to settle for High Court rulings, testimony from Palestinian victims and figures from the Palestinian Authority and from Palestinian, Israeli and international NGOs that specialize in monitoring the settlement enterprise - the most subsidized enterprise in Israel. When the committee issues its findings the government will presumably complain about its one-sidedness and blame the New Israel Fund and the human rights organizations it supports.
Israel's most loyal allies - starting with Germany, which last year supported a UN resolution condemning the settlement policy - are not willing to ignore the contradiction between that policy and Israel's declarations about seeking peace. Even the United States blanches at Israel's long-running violation of its promise to evacuate the unauthorized outposts, particularly those built on stolen land. Above all, settlement expansion deals a mortal blow to grassroots Palestinian support for a two-state solution, and plays into the hands of the extremists. Only an irresponsible government could demand that the whole world boycott Iran, while itself boycotting the whole world.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now