Israel Casually Bars UN Fact Finding Team

By Sami Zaatari

Imagine if Iran had recently denied allowing a UN fact-finding team from entering their country to inspect and investigate their atomic energy program. What kind of reaction would most likely come out? With no doubt, the United States, as well as Israel would begin to sound the drums of condemnation, and would point to this act as further proof of how sinister Iran is. Yet this is precisely what has recently happened, although it was not the dreaded Iran that barred a UN fact-finding team, rather it was none other than Israel.

There has hardly been any negative reaction or condemnation for Israel’s act. I waited for almost a week to write this article just to see if there would be any negative reaction towards Israel for this act. None. The US said nothing of the matter in terms of condemnation, and Israel has yet again proven it’s complete double standards to the world.

The UN fact finding team that was barred from Israel was part of the UN’s human rights council. Their mission was to go into Israel, and the West Bank to be able to investigate the illegal settlements that Israel has built and continues to build in the West Bank. Once again, contrast this with Iran, what would have happened if Iran did this? Coincidently, Iran has often opened up its atomic energy program for the UN and international inspectors to come in and investigate. Furthermore Iran hasn’t even breached any international law by their atomic energy program for anything to be inspected or investigated in the first place. On the other hand Israel is breaching international law in regard to their settlement building, therefore the UN has a full right to come and investigate the matter, yet Israel has barred them from doing so. Just think about that for a second, Iran is not breaching any law by their atomic energy program, yet they allow investigators in. Israel is breaching international law, yet doesn’t allow any investigators to come in and investigate.

As mentioned, this yet again exposes Israel’s double standards, and once again lays waste to their claims that they supposedly care for international law or respecting UN resolutions. What makes this all the more ironic is not that Israel simply pretends to care about international law or UN resolutions, but rather that they use such concepts/institutions when they seek to drum up pressure against Iran. Whenever Israel seeks to condemn Iran, Israeli politicians enjoy referring to international law, UN resolutions, but when it comes to Israel itself it openly disrespects and defies the very same concepts and institutions.

And where is the US in all of this? Nowhere to be seen, America yet again demonstrates why no level headed Middle Easterner (let alone dissatisfied American citizens) can take them seriously, or can lend them their trust. How can the US on one hand condemn Iran and refer to international law, the UN etc, but when it comes to Israel’s flagrant disregard for such institutions, it stands by quietly? Not to mention that Israel is actually in breach of international law by the very settlements themselves. So one would think that the US would be more than happy for such illegal settlements to be investigated, and would be incensed by Israel’s act of barring such an investigation. If the US wants to be a serious peace broker within the region, and if it actually wants to gain the trust and respect of you’re average Arab on the street, then it is time for America to get rid of it’s open biasness in regards to Israel and do what is right in order for peace to be achieved within the region.

Let us end with these words of Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman who said the following in regards to the UN fact finding team: "It means that we’re not going to work with them. We’re not going to let them carry out any kind of mission for the Human Rights Council, including this probe."

– Sami Zaatari is an American of Palestinian-Iranian descent. Zaatari is a writer, and a public speaker who has taken part in public events of inter-faith and inter-community discussions. Zaatari also holds an MSc in the field of Middle East Politics. He contributed this article to

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