Hypocrisy appears to be the leading trait we can expect from high-ranking UN officials such as the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Sadly, Ms. Bachelet is no exception

Bad Start for the New UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

By —— Bio and Archives--September 14, 2018

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Bad Start for the New UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

The new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has unfortunately continued the one-sided anti-Israel narrative that her anti-Semitic predecessor, Prince Zeid Raad Al Hussein, propagated whenever he got a chance. In her first speech to the UN Human Rights Council on September 10, 2018, Ms. Bachelet blamed Israel’s so-called “blockade” and its alleged “excessive use of force” for all the problems suffered by the Palestinians in Hamas-run Gaza.  “Prospects for peace and respect for human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” she declared, “are undermined by the continued occupation.” She attacked Israel’s settlements policy, as well as “the recent adoption of the Nation State Basic Law in Israel,” which, she claimed, “enshrines discrimination against Israel’s non-Jewish population.”

Ms. Bachelet also repeated her predecessor’s anti-U.S. rhetoric on migration

Israel has the sovereign right to protect its own civilians from relentless terrorist attacks committed by Hamas and other Palestinian militant organizations. Israel does not “occupy” Gaza. If it did, there would be no armed Hamas using Gaza as a base from which to launch thousands of rockets into Israel. Security measures at the crossings between Israel and Gaza as well as restrictions on maritime shipments are necessary to stop the flow of weapons to the terrorists who refuse to disarm. Humanitarian supplies and building materials have continued to flow into Gaza. The Palestinian leadership, including Palestinian Authority President Abbas, are the main obstacles to peace because of their intransigent positions on such issues as the so-called “right of return.” As for Israel’s Nation State Basic Law, it does no more than enshrine Israel’s commitment as a sovereign nation to protect the right of self-determination of the Jewish people to live securely in their historic homeland. Non-Jews have far more rights living in Israel than Jews have living in any Arab or Muslim majority country. In fact, non-Jews living in Israel have far more rights than they would have if they lived in Arab or Muslim-majority countries.

Ms. Bachelet also repeated her predecessor’s anti-U.S. rhetoric on migration. She expressed concern for the past separation of immigrant children from their families, the lack of redress for the families she said were “victimized,” and the recent announcement, in her words, that “the government would no longer abide by a court settlement limiting detention of children to 20 days.” Ms. Bachelet also criticized the United States for not joining the Global Compact for Migration, which purports to set so-called international “objectives” that include “providing basic services for migrants” and using “detention only as a measure of last resort.” Adhering to these “objectives” would mean that illegal immigrants are to be released into communities for the most part rather than kept in temporary detention and are to be granted taxpayer-subsidized health care benefits and education. Such policies will only encourage the flow of more illegal immigrants, which is the overall goal of open borders advocates who say that no immigrant should be considered “illegal.”


U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, correctly called Ms. Bachelet out for her Israel-bashing. “By not even mentioning Hamas – the source of violence and unrest in Gaza – her comments hurt chances for peace, rather than help them,” Ambassador Haley said. Ambassador Haley also criticized Ms. Bachelet for attacking the United States on migration issues. She said, “the High Commissioner fails to recognize that it is the human rights problems in parts of Latin America that drive many migrants toward the freedoms that are found in the United States.”

Just as the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Raad Al Hussein conveniently overlooked the human rights abuses within his own home country of Jordan, while using his global platform to condemn Israel and the United States, so too has Ms. Bachelet whitewashed the current human rights abuses in her home country of Chile. Indeed, in her speech, Ms. Bachelet praised Chile for being “able to surmount divisions and meet vast challenges – shaping institutions which enable greater participation, and greater freedom, justice and dignity, for our people.” Not so fast, Commissioner Bachelet. Just because Chile has moved well beyond its history of dictatorship and oppression does not justify Ms. Bachelet’s lack of self-examination of Chile’s current record of human rights abuses. Ms. Bachelet does not need to look any further in this regard than the UN Committee against Torture’s deliberations earlier this year on Chile’s efforts to implement the provisions of the Convention against Torture.

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The Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur for Chile pointed, for example, to severe problems in the detention of women and children. Regarding women in detention, “the Committee was concerned about the poor material conditions in detention facilities, namely lack of sanitary facilities and privacy, invasive body searches, and about the disproportionate effect of pre-trial detention on women and the psychological impact on mothers, particularly on single mothers.” Regarding children in detention, there were “a high number of violent incidents and suicide attempts among juveniles due to severe overcrowding, as well as to lengthy pre-trial detention.”

As for Chile’s own policies with respect to refugees and migrants, the Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur for Chile noted that there “was no mechanism in place to deal with the potential protection needs of persons subject to expulsion, return and extradition.” The expert added, “Of particular concern were the material conditions in the migrant detention centre at the international airport of Santiago.” Questions were also raised about police violence and other potentially lawless tactics used against Chile’s indigenous Mapuche community, as well as misuse of the country’s broad anti-terrorism law against the Mapuche people.

The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, formerly the president of Chile, did not see fit to address even a single one of these concerns about human rights conditions in her own country during the course of her inaugural speech to the UN Human Rights Council. Instead, she lavished praise on the country she ruled for two terms – most recently, between 2014 and 2018. Hypocrisy appears to be the leading trait we can expect from high-ranking UN officials such as the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Sadly, Ms. Bachelet is no exception.


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Joseph A. Klein, CFP United Nations Columnist -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Joseph A. Klein is the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom.

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