Resources updated between Monday, December 15, 2014 and Sunday, December 21, 2014
December 21, 2014
"Militants with Nigeria's radical jihadist group Boko Haram have killed more than 50 elderly people from several villages in the Gwoza area in the country. Residents who were too old to flee the area recently dominated by Boko Haram were gathered and taken to two schools, where they were executed by firing squad."
December 20, 2014
"Look who's sparring at the UN Security Council: America v. Palestine.
Who's winning? Hard to tell. Palestinian UN ambassador Riyad Mansour sure acts in public like the winner, though...
Kerry - or better yet, the lower-ranked Power - should have publicly said "no" long ago: No, America doesn't want the United Nations (or the Europeans) anywhere near Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy. No, we have the veto power and we're ready to use it.
And then Kerry should seriously move on to issues that constitute far greater threats to the world's peace and security than some Palestinian-initiated resolution."
December 19, 2014
On December 18, 2014 the UN General Assembly adopted the annual resolution on the 2014 "Report of the Human Rights Council." During the proceedings, Human Rights Council member Kuwait - where women must have a male guardian in order to marry - had "reservations regarding a resolution" on gender equality adopted by the Council in 2014. Why? Because it wasn't "taking into account religious and cultural issues."
"For almost 70 years, the UN Security Council, the body charged with maintaining international peace and security, has failed utterly to resolve the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For all the hubbub in New York, there's little reason to believe this encounter will be any more fruitful. The Council's membership has limited appetite for sustained diplomatic involvement in the conflict. It's doubtful that the new initiative at the Security Council represents a major change in that dynamic."
The Security Council Intifada Article
The UN Human Rights Council's March 2015 session is taking up the report "On the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms While Countering Terrorism" by Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The report includes:
"...While Security Council resolution 2178 (2014) includes important provisions for ensuring compliance with international human rights law, concerns have been raised over the broad nature of certain provisions and the potential this creates for the implementation of measures at the national level that may result in violations of human rights. The significant shortcomings in the compliance of many States with their obligations under international human rights law in the context of counter-terrorism are disturbing and provided a backdrop to these concerns. For example, the reference made by the Council in resolution 2178 (2014) to 'terrorism in all forms and manifestations' as one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, without qualification or further definition, has prompted well-founded concerns that the resolution may fuel the adoption of repressive measures at the national level against otherwise lawful, non-violent activities of groups or individuals. The lack of an explicit exemption for acts that otherwise may be lawful under international humanitarian law is also a cause for concern...
Particularly in view of the legally binding nature of Security Council resolution 2178 (2014), concerns also have been raised at the lack of definition of the terms 'terrorism' or 'extremism'..."
The UN Human Rights Council's March 2015 session is taking up the "Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism" by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The report includes:
"...In its resolution 2178 (2014), the Security Council condemned violent extremism and decided that Member States should, consistent with international law, prevent the recruiting, organizing, transporting or equipping of individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning of, or participation in terrorist acts. Expressing concern at the establishment of international terrorist networks, the Council underscored the particular and urgent need to implement the resolution with respect to foreign terrorist fighters associated with ISIL, the Al-Nusrah Front and other cells, affiliates, splinter groups or derivatives of Al-Qaida, as designated by the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011)...
Importantly, in its resolution 2178 (2014), the Security Council also reaffirms the obligation of all Member States to comply with international human rights law when fighting terrorism, underscoring that, at a practical level, respect for human rights and the rule of law are essential to a successful counter-terrorism effort. It noted that a failure to comply with human rights and other international obligations, including under the Charter, contributed to increased radicalization and fostered a sense of impunity..."
"A global call for concrete action for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the DDPA", UN GA draft resolution
The UN Human Rights Council's March 2015 session is taking up the Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General. The report includes:
"...At a time of deepening turmoil worldwide, OHCHR was in great demand: the relentless conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic and spill-over into Iraq; from the conflict in Ukraine to the bloodshed in South Sudan... The period under review has seen a devastating deterioration in human rights...
...Rising inequality and the political, economic and social exclusion of marginalized groups undermined the dignity and rights of people in many States, and drove much of the unrest and most of the conflicts reported. Economic, social and cultural rights, as well as the right to development, were affected by austerity policies that disproportionately burden the poor and marginalized, as did corruption; there were failures to prioritize public services, and refusal to recognize people's right to participate in decisions that shape their lives..."
One missing root cause? Religion, particularly Islamic extremism.
"At least 150 women who refused to marry militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, were executed in the western Iraqi province of Al-Anbar, Iraq's Ministry of Human Rights said.
"According to a ministry statement released Tuesday, ISIL militants carried out a number of attacks in Fallujah and buried the victims in mass graves in one of the city's neighborhoods.
"'At least 150 females, including pregnant women, were executed in Fallujah by a militant named Abu Anas Al-Libi after they refused to accept jihad marriage,' the statement said. 'Many families were also forced to migrate from the province's northern town of Al-Wafa after hundreds of residents received death threats.'
"The ministry said many children died when their families were stranded in the desert after leaving their homes..."
"Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnapped more than 100 women and children and killed 35 other people on Sunday during a raid on the remote northeast Nigerian village of Gumsuri, a security source and resident said on Thursday.
"Although no one has claimed it yet, the attack bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, which abducted more than 200 women in April from a secondary school in Chibok, only 24 km (15 miles) from this latest attack.
"Its campaign for an Islamic state by Boko Haram, whose name means 'Western education is sinful', has become the gravest threat to Africa's biggest economy and top oil producer.
"Thousands of people have been killed and many hundreds abducted, raising questions about the ability of security forces to protect civilians, especially around the north Cameroon border where the militants are well established.
"Maina Chibok, who did not witness the attack but is from Gumsuri and visited family there shortly afterwards, said the insurgents came in pick-up trucks and sprayed the town with bullets from AK-47s and machine guns.
"'They gathered the people, shot dead over 30 people and took away more than 100 women and children in two open-top trucks,' Chibok said. Burials of many of the victims had already happened, he added..."
December 18, 2014
Draft was adopted on December 18, 2014 with 180 votes in favor, 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), and 4 abstentions (Cameroon, Paraguay, South Sudan, Tonga)
"With the procedural decision by the General Court of the European Union to annul the 2001 inclusion of Hamas on the EU list of terrorist organizations, the Hamas terror organization responded, describing the move as a stunning victory for Hamas in Europe. 'This is a victory for the Palestinian question and for the rights of our people,' Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum told the press. 'We thank the European court for this positive decision which must be followed by international steps to lift the oppression of the Palestinian people,' Barhum continued.
The Court decision should not be seen as proof of the legitimacy of Hamas and its actions, nor as ultimate recognition by Europe of the organization's status.
Such a deception would clearly be part of the general policy of the Palestinian leadership to cynically manipulate and mislead the European governments, media and general public and thereby attempt to generate European approval, a green light and even impunity for Hamas terrorist activities."
A meeting convened by Switzerland, as the Depository of the Fourth Geneva Convention, ended with the expected condemnation of Israel. Israel was said to violate international humanitarian law, among other things, by Jews building and living on Arab-claimed land. "Hamas" wasn't mentioned. Also omitted was any reference to the Geneva Conventions being violated by Hamas using children as human shields. The word "tunnel" and "rocket" likewise never made it into the declaration about the violations of humanitarian law. Israel, Canada, the U.S. and Australia did not participate. Switzerland agreed to summon the meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention following a request by the Palestinian Authority which signed the treaty in April of 2014. The High Contracting Parties have only met twice before - both times to condemn Israel. Concern about violations of international humanitarian law is a highly selective affair.
"Jordan formally submitted to the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday night a draft resolution calling for peace between Israel and the Palestinians within one year and an end to Israel's 'occupation' of the West Bank by the end of 2017. Palestinians, however, sought to avoid a clash with the United States by saying they were open to negotiations on the text."
December 17, 2014
Incitement against the Jewish state is directly related to the stabbings, raping and killing of Jews inside and outside of Israel. But doing something to stop it requires confronting a very troubling fact: the global epicenter for incitement is the "human rights" leviathan, the United Nations.
From November 24, 2014 until December 5, 2014, UN human rights headquarters in Geneva mounted a public exhibit that was pure incitement. UN-driven antisemitism that takes the form of seeking to demonize, disable and ultimately destroy the Jewish state.
The exhibit was entitled: "La Nakba: Exode et Expulsion des Palestiniens en 1948" - or "The Nakba: Exodus and Expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948." The occasion was the annual UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Solidarity Day marks the adoption by the General Assembly on November 29, 1947 of the resolution that approved the partitioning of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state.
"We are not satisfied with the European Union's explanation that the removal of Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations is a 'technical matter'. The burden of proof is on the European Union and we expect it to put Hamas back on the list forthwith given that it is understood by all that Hamas - a murderous terrorist organization, the covenant of which specifies the destruction of Israel as its goal - is an inseparable part of this list. We will continue to fight Hamas with strength and determination so that it never achieves this goal."
"The conference convened today (17 December) in Geneva is another example of a multilateral mechanism falling victim to an anti-Israel agenda, moving the parties away from negotiations and undermining the universality and integrity of the Geneva Conventions.
Whether the convening of this conference is the result of Arab pressure, a distorted interpretation of the Geneva Conventions, a desire to coerce Israel into succumbing to a political dictate or any other motive, it will serve only to further immune terrorist groups targeting civilians and using their own civilians as human shields.
However, it won't stop Israel from implementing its primary obligation to its citizens - to provide them with security and protect them from merciless and fanatic terrorists..."
December 16, 2014
"A woman who was arrested for attending a football match in Saudi Arabia disguised as a man has claimed she did not know the stadium was for male fans only.
"The female spectator covered her hair in a hat and wore a black and white football stand as she sat in the away section of the new al-Jawhara stadium in the Red Sea city of Jiddah.
"However, she was reportedly spotted by security staff at Friday night's game between home side al-Ittihad and Riyadh's al-Shabab and arrested for 'impersonating' a man.
"Saudi Arabia enforces a strict segregation of the sexes, and football stadiums are out of bounds to women..."
On December 13, 2014, the Senate passed the appropriations bill that will fund the federal government through September 2015. Among other things the bill contains some limitations on funding for the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority.
Limitations to the funding provided to the Palestinians include: "None of the funds appropriated under the heading ``Economic Support Fund' in this Act may be made available for assistance for the Palestinian Authority, if after the date of enactment of this Act-- (I) the Palestinians obtain the same standing as member states or full membership as a state in the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof outside an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians; or (II) the Palestinians initiate an International Criminal Court judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians."
Limitations to the funding for the United Nations include: "(c) United Nations Human Rights Council. --Funds appropriated by this Act may be made available to support the United Nations Human Rights Council only if the Secretary of State reports to the Committees on Appropriations that participation in the Council is in the national interest of the United States: Provided, That the Secretary of State shall report to the Committees on Appropriations not later than September 30, 2015, on the resolutions considered in the United Nations Human Rights Council during the previous 12 months, and on steps taken to remove Israel as a permanent agenda item."
"The Obama administration is shamelessly outsourcing the United States' historic leadership in facilitating negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel of a workable, secure two-state solution to the United Nations and European governments. In putting its trust in these two centers of anti-Israel sentiment, the Obama administration refuses to say categorically that it would veto a UN Security Council resolution setting some sort of deadline for the creation of a Palestinian state and Israeli withdrawal to the pre-June 1967 lines.
In the words of an unnamed senior U.S. State Department official quoted by Reuters, 'These things are all very much in flux, it's not as if we're being asked to take a position on any particular Security Council resolution right now. It would be premature for us to discuss documents that are of uncertain status right now.'
Any Security Council resolution the Obama administration would agree to, which imposes pressure only on Israel to make more unilateral concessions for an illusionary 'peace,' will serve to legitimize a United Nations timetable for Israel's surrender to forces that wish to destroy it."