Anti-Americanism at the United Nations is now routine. Every few days, some kind of statement comes out of the United Nations condemning the United States. It is impossible to keep up with the criticisms because there are so many. U.N. hostility toward the United States reached an all-time high in 2001, when the United States was removed from the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Instead, the despotic countries Libya, Syria and Sudan were given seats. The removal was done in retaliation for the United States' defense of Israel.
One of the recent attacks coming from the United Nations has reached another outrageous level. "U.N. expert" Richard Falk wrote an article about the Boston bombings asserting that Boston had it coming. Falk, who is Jewish, has a history of anti-Israel sentiments. He issued this warning condemning both the United States and our relationship with Israel, "[A]s long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy." The United Nations appointed Falk, an American, in 2008 as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. The Obama administration pays 22 percent of Falk's costs in this position.
Twenty-five Congressional leaders submitted letters to Obama and to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for Falk's removal from the U.N. Human Rights Council. Even the Obama administration admitted Falk went too far. Controversial U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice tweeted, "Outraged by Richard Falk's highly offensive Boston comments. Someone who spews such vitriol has no place at the UN. Past time for him to go." This isn't the first time Falk has been denounced by the Obama administration for anti-Semitism. Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, has documented past instances where the administration has admonished Falk.
The remarks were also too much for Ban Ki-moon, who responded by saying that Falk's statements undermined the credibility and work of the United Nations. But notably, he did not remove him from his post. Ki-moon reprimanded Falk two years ago for promoting 9/11 conspiracy theories that alleged the United States was responsible. Keeping him on in this position, against the wishes of even the liberal Obama administration, whose attitude toward Israel has been rather subdued, speaks volumes about how the United Nations really views us.
Another anti-American initiative coming from the United Nations recently is the Small Arms Treaty, which was adopted in April. It may very well affect the United States more negatively than any other country. The United States is one of a few countries that protect the right to keep and bear arms. The treaty prohibits countries that ratify it from exporting conventional weapons – which include personal firearms - to countries with poor human rights records. One hundred fifty four countries voted to pass it, and most of them can be expected to ratify it. The United States is the biggest importer of conventional weapons, and has been accused by U.N. officials of violating human rights, so it would be easy for the United Nations to instruct other countries to stop exporting conventional weapons to us. The treaty also contains language that instructs nations to create a universal registration of gun imports down to the final purchaser, which could easily lead to private gun confiscation.
Scrolling through the U.N.'s latest news, it is easy to find attacks on the United States. A few days ago, the United Nations issued a statement castigating U.S. business practices for allegedly failing to protect human rights. "The UN experts heard allegations of significant and widespread labor practices that, if correct, would be both illegal under US laws, as well as fall below international standards," the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a news release. Tellingly, only five readers had clicked "like" on the article at the time of this writing, very likely an indication of how little the public cares about the U.N.'s opinion.
The United Nations creates standards and laws based upon the whims of member nations with divergent interests to the United States. Many of its nation members are dictatorships that don't represent their citizens democratically, and are much smaller than the United States - yet each one has a vote equal to us. The United Nations is not a true representative democracy like the United States, yet it is steadily passing more and more treaties and regulations that supersede our laws. Many of those decisions will result in the United States being ordered to pay monetary penalties for things contrary to our interests, such as the Kyoto Treaty, which would require us to pay monetary penalties for the large amount of carbon fuels we expend (we would have to purchase carbon credits from other nations to account for our higher level of carbon emissions). So far, the U.S. Senate has refused to ratify Kyoto.
Even though every U.N. member country gets a vote equal to each other member country, the United States contributes far more money to the United Nations than any other country, 22 percent of the U.N.'s budget. The next biggest contributor is Japan, which contributes less than half that amount, just over 10 percent of the budget. It seems a bit ludicrous that we are the largest contributor to an organization that may hate us the most of all of its members. It is even more troubling considering all of the waste and corruption that has taken place there in recent years, such as the Oil-for-Food scandal with Saddam Hussein.
Some critics want the United States to drop out of the United Nations; others think it can be reformed. Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced legislation every year he was in Congress to withdraw our membership. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, a longtime critic of the U.N., once said, "...there is no United Nations... there is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that's the United States, when it suits our interests, and when we can get others to go along." Americans' approval rating of the United Nations has declined over the years. According to a Gallup poll from February, only 35 percent now believe that the United Nations is doing a good job.
Under President George W. Bush, the United States didn't even bother trying to reapply to the Human Rights Commission. In contrast, the Obama administration has embraced the Commission. Considering the country is so financially broke that sequestration went into effect, most Americans should agree on this: why aren't efforts being made to reduce our generous contributions to the United Nations?
Rachel is the editor for intellectualconservative.com and an attorney.