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UNITED NATIONS – Israel’s clash with the United Nations is quickly intensifying.
In less than a week, Israel’s United Nations mission has filed three official protests with the office of the secretary-general.
The complaints have ranged from Security Council silence on Hamas’ recent rocketing of Israeli cities to a publicized fraud made by an official in the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and an invitation to Hamas to address the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.
And, throughout, the U.S. mission to the U.N. has remained silent.
This, despite a visit last week by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to attend a special Security Council summit on the Middle East.
Clinton blasted the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad for the ongoing civil war. She also complained about the efforts by Moscow and Beijing to support Assad, but she said nothing regarding Israel.
Israel recently sustained a week of rocket attacks from Hamas locations inside Gaza.
A U.N. Office of Humanitarian Affairs official posted on Twitter a false photo of a Palestinian girl said to be killed by Israelis.
And – until the appearance was canceled Monday – a Hamas senior official had been invited to the U.N. offices in Geneva to address the Human Rights Council.
Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor blasted the Human Rights Council invitation.
“Inviting a Hamas official to lecture the world about human rights is like asking Charles Manson to run the murder investigation unit at the NYPD,” he said.
The ambassador complained that the Geneva-based council continues to dedicate a “separate agenda item” to debate human-rights issues related to Israel. He insists that “no other country is singled out with its own agenda item.”
The U.S., which boycotted the council during the Bush administration, rejoined the body in 2009. Its three-year membership expires later this year.
The U.S. mission to the U.N. did not respond to requests for comments on the Israeli complaint or whether its delegates had planned to attend the Hamas address.
Richard Grenell was director of communications at the U.S. mission and the longest- serving diplomat of the Bush administration in New York City, from 2001 to 2008.
“The U.N. had a chance to change the membership requirements for the HRC so that violators couldn’t join,” he explained. “They not only failed to change the rules but then the Obama administration gave credibility to the broken committee by rejoining it after the Bush administration defunded it and quit. Sadly, last week the Obama team had the U.S. taxpayer paying for this circus.”
Prosor complained that the Security Council, despite an extraordinary ministerial summit on the Middle East, said nothing about the Hamas rocket attacks.
In a March 13 letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Prosor said: “More than 75 rockets have been fired into communities from Gaza in the past day. … More than 250 have been fired over the last week. That’s one rocket every 20 minutes. Israeli citizens have less than 15 seconds to find shelter.”
More than 1 million Israeli citizens were said to have been affected, yet U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said nothing.
The following day, in yet another complaint, Prosor took aim at the U.N. Office of Humanitarian Affairs.
In that case, the Israeli-U.N. mission accused Khulhood Badawi, a public information and media coordinator, of knowingly perpetrating a fraud.
Prosor insisted that a photo Badawi posted on Twitter of a Palestinian girl allegedly killed by the Israeli military during the recent Gaza attacks was an archived Reuters image from 2006.
The ambassador insisted that the child was killed in a local accident not involving Israeli troops.
Reuters verified the origin and history of the controversial photo.
Yet the U.S. mission, despite repeated requests for comment, opted to remain silent.
The U.N. would only say it is investigating the incident.