UN elects Israel as VP of UN committee overseeing human rights groups

by Leah Rosenberg

The United Nations has a dismal record on everything connected to human rights. The fact that Israel is finally in a senior position of a committee that deals with human rights is a positive step for the international body.

UN History

The UN originated in the years following World War II. It was the successor to the League of Nations which was established in World War I. It is important to note that in the last century, there has probably never been a major sea change in the world such as the changes that World War II brought. The United States went from a state of economic depression to a superpower. The British Empire began to fall apart, one country after another in the midst of the world conflict. The Soviet Union went from being a major power to the rival superpower of the Western free countries. Most importantly, Germany became a mere skeleton of it’s former self and was split down the middle into two separate entities.

It is through this backdrop that one needs to understand the historical context that the UN came into being. The world actually became more fractured at the end of World War II in many ways. The Cold War began between the West and the Soviet Union. However, the UN was the one place that all of the countries of the world could join together and work towards hashing out their issues.

The Miracle of Israel

The last thing that anyone figured would happen in the United Nations was that the US and the Soviet Union would agree on much of anything. However, that is exactly what happened in 1947. For different, even opposite reasons, the US and the Soviet Union both voted in favor of the establishment of the State of Israel. The Soviet Union looked at the Jewish Agency’s socialist ideology and thought that they could bring the new country into their orbit. But the leader of the United States, Harry S. Truman, saw in the formation of the State a hand of God and a historical righting of a wrong. Following the horrors of the Holocaust, he saw the State as the proper and reasonable response that the Jewish people deserved.

The UN has done some positive things in the past. Let’s hope it does in the future too.

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