More than 3,000 non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, are officially accredited by the UN, entitling these groups to enter UN premises, get access to meetings and decision-makers, and speak at UN bodies like the Human Rights Council. However, on Tuesday, the UN Committee on Non-governmental Organizations is poised to revoke these basic access rights from the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), which represents more than 1.7 million reform, progressive, liberal and reconstructionist Jews all over the world. The WUPJ offers a rare but tenacious voice that confronts Islamic human rights abuses at the UN at every turn.
Bureaucrats at the UN trace the problem back to a Jan. 24, 2008, session of the Human Rights Council. As the council conducted its predetermined witch hunt against Israel, WUPJ representative David Littman referred to Hamas’ genocidal charter. He began three times, quoting the charter’s words that “Israel will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it,” and calling upon the council to invoke the Genocide Convention.
Each time, the council president interrupted and warned him to “focus on the issue.” Littman stood his ground: “The issue is what Hamas and the government in Gaza wishes to do to Israel.” Bang, bang, bang went the gavel. Stymied, Littman recalled his Shakespeare and said: “There is a general malaise in the air. A feeling that something is rotten in the state of this council.” Those words were “disrespectful” to the Human Rights Council, the diplomats from the Muslim world declared.