Resources updated between Monday, December 08, 2014 and Sunday, December 14, 2014
December 14, 2014
"Nigeria is facing a rise in female teenage suicide bombers at the service of terror group Boko Haram.
"Residents of northern Nigeria are more on edge than ever. On top of a year of unprecedented terror at the hands of Boko Haram, an increasing number of young girls are donning explosive devices and blowing themselves up in public places-all in the name of the terror group, known for its egregious crimes against Nigeria's women.
"On Wednesday, two young female suicide bombers detonated in a crowded market in Kano State. The police commissioner told a local news site that the terrorists donned hijabs and attempted to go into a bank, but were stopped. They then entered a busy textile market, and went into the public bathrooms, after which two blasts shook the area, injuring seven and killing six, including the bombers. Witnesses said the girls were in their late teens and had been accompanied by a man who left soon after the blast. That same day a 13-year-old girl was arrested with explosives hidden under her hijab after walking into a medical clinic.
"Over the past eight months, there has been a disturbing spike in female suicide bombers and a rising body count to match. More than a dozen attacks have been carried out by women-with some attacks claiming up to 78 victims. This is a relatively new development: Boko Haram's first female suicide bomber was a middle-aged woman who rode a motorcycle into military barracks and blew herself up at a checkpoint this June..."
December 12, 2014
"Human rights have not just been abused, but are 'virtually non-existent in President Hassan Rouhani's Iranian regime, the Friends of a Free Iran in the European Parliament have declared. There have been at least 1,100 executions during his 15 months in office - more than in any similar period in the past 25 years, the group said. Iran is holds the world record for the highest number of executions per capita and is the biggest executioner of juvenile offenders. Death sentences for ethnic and religious minorities have increased dramatically, it reported."
"A resolution co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia unanimously passed the Senate yesterday to condemn the use of civilians as human shields by the terrorist group, Hamas.
'The Senate has sent a united signal that we denounce Hamas' barbaric tactics and unequivocally support Israel's right to self-defense,' said Sen. Cruz. 'Even though Republicans and Democrats may be divided on many issues, there should be no daylight between us when it comes to standing up to radical Islamic terrorists including Hamas. I hope the international community will join America in condemning their deplorable use of human shields, which is a war crime. I thank my colleagues for their affirmation of our unshakable bond with the nation of Israel. We look forward to the passage of this resolution in the House or Representatives, where it has been led by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida and Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Florida and has 102 co-sponsors.'
Sen. Cruz's resolution:
UN Special Rapporteur on torture Juan E. Méndez calls the prosecution of Americans the next step, following the release of the Feinstein interrogation report.
While ignoring human rights violations affecting billions around the world, the UN General Assembly found time to adopt a resolution on the pressing issue of "the benefits of practicing yoga."
On December 11, 2014 the Assembly adopted a resolution entitled "International Day of Yoga." Terror-sponsor Qatar praised "the health benefits of that practice." Human rights abuser Sri Lanka was thrilled with yoga's "holistic effect" and also warned about western states "diluting" "the intrinsic beauty of yoga".
Ironically, the resolution was hailed as promoting "clarity of vision and action." The 2014 UN General Assembly will not be adopting one resolution warning about clear human rights violations, for instance, in China, Russia, or Saudi Arabia.
"A routine UN press briefing this week was marred by an awkward exchange between New York Post correspondent Benny Avni and the UN Secretary-General's spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, over calls by an official of UNRWA, the UN agency catering to the descendants of Palestinian refugees, for a boycott of Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post.
UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness went into a rage on Twitter last week after the JPost published an oped on December 4 by Bassam Eid, a Palestinian human rights activist who was raised in an UNRWA refugee camp, in which he slammed the agency for perpetuating the refugee status of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as neighboring countries. Eid made similar points in an interview with The Algemeiner's Senior Editor, Ben Cohen, that was published on the same day.
"Ultra-right @Jerusalem_Post carries anti-UNRWA garbage boycotting me ie no quote. Ask @stevelinde Boycott the JPost! Don't read their lies," Gunness tweeted, apparently unaware that the article in question was an opinion piece, rather a news item, and therefore did not require a balancing quote.
At Tuesday's press briefing, Avni asked Dujarric whether there would be any disciplinary action taken against Gunness as a result of his boycott call. Dujarric responded that Gunness 'was not calling for a boycott of this specific media outlet, but instead was making his objections quite clear on a single article that was found to be problematic.'"
December 11, 2014
"Hamas said Thursday that Robert Serry, UN coordinator for the Middle East peace process, had held talks with its representatives at the UN headquarters in Gaza City, reported the Associated Press later in the day.
The Hamas statement said that its delegation was headed by Moussa Abu Marzouk, its number two man, and Ghazi Hammad...
UN officials would only say that Serry meets with Hamas officials when needed."
"The celebrations by Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership during the course of the 13th Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC), in New York, on December 8, 2014, at their being invited to participate as an observer in the deliberations of the ICC Assembly of states parties1, would appear to indicate a major element of ignorance and naiveté on the part of the Palestinian leadership, as to the significance of such participation.
Failing such naiveté and ignorance, their statements are nothing more than a deliberate attempt to mislead the international public - and especially the Israeli leadership and public - into thinking that observer participation in an administrative body that regulates the management of the court, could in any way advance the oft-declared Palestinian hopes and aims to become a state party to the court and to attempt to institute claims against Israeli officials."
"Syrian opposition sources say al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels, known as the Al-Nusra Front, have taken over areas along the Israeli-Syrian border and have recently been spotted using UN cars to conduct terror operations."
"The United Nations wants us to remember human rights 365 days a year, in fact. One group that needs attention: 29 Kurds on a hunger strike in Iran's Orumiyeh prison.
"Today, December 10, marks United Nations Human Rights Day, first proclaimed in 1950 'to bring to the attention "of the peoples of the world" the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.'
"Today also marks the 20th day of a hunger strike by 29 political prisoners in Iran's Orumiyeh Central Prison, which mainly houses Kurdish political prisoners. Fellow Kurdish prisoners of conscience in other cities across Iran have followed suit.
"The prisoners of Ward 12 at Orumiyeh, in northwest Iran near the Turkish and Iraqi borders, 'started their hunger strike protesting felons and criminals in their ward,' according to HRANA, a human rights activist web site. 'The political prisoners on hunger strike have also demanded that another 27 prisoners who have been dispersed in other wards in the same prison be transferred to Ward 12.'
"Some 50 inmates with drug addiction problems or violent pasts have been mixed in with the political prisoners, according to Kurdish-language news agencies. This unexpected appears to be the result of a recent order by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, and there are strong indications that there is a plan by various security and intelligence apparatus to shut down sections of various prisons dedicated to prisoners of conscience..."
Sixty-six years ago was the high water mark of global disapproval of xenophobia, and racial and religious discrimination. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and then gave Eleanor Roosevelt a standing ovation for her leading role. Today, this statement of principle would never pass.
Racial and religious discrimination is the trademark of the U.N. itself.
Let's look back at the year 2014.
At least another 75,000 people were butchered in Syria. There were violent crackdowns in Hong Kong, bloody takeovers in Ukraine, subjugation of women in Saudi Arabia, brutal lawlessness in Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, Mexico – and so on.
But at the United Nations, 2014 wraps up with the adoption of twenty times more resolutions by the General Assembly condemning the state of Israel for violating human rights than any other nation on earth.
There is not one General Assembly resolution worried about human rights in China or Russia or Saudi Arabia or Yemen or Libya or Nigeria or Mexico – and so forth.
The General Assembly will even adopt one resolution critical of Syria but two resolutions demanding Israel immediately return the Golan Heights to Syria – the place where lucky Syrians and UN peacekeepers dash to Israel for protection.
The demonization of Israel, and the inequality of the self-determination of the Jewish people, by way of the United Nations have one painfully obvious purpose: the end of the Jewish state. Eleanor Roosevelt would have called it a gross violation of the very spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
If you walk into the newly-renovated UN, which opened its doors in the fall after a $2 billion dollar spending spree (a quarter of which came from American taxpayers), the first stop on the public tour straight off the elevator is an exhibit on Palestinian rights.
It's a fictional narrative of "11 million Palestinians" and the story of generation after generation of "refugees" from successive wars that spontaneously "broke out." The only "contraventions of international law" are by Israel. Palestinians have justifiable "uprisings." Israelis have "extremists." Arabs mount "peace initiatives." Israelis mount "military operations."
The kicker: Palestinian history miraculously mirrors Jewish history and begins in 1948 with an "exodus" after "the catastrophe" of the establishment of Israel.
If our nation is seriously worried about incitement to racial and religious intolerance, it is time to get serious about incitement at the UN.
On November 24, 2014, the U.N. held its annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. It marked the anniversary of the 1948 General Assembly resolution partitioning Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state by flying only the flag of the "State of Palestine" and banning the flag of Israel.
For the past two weeks, the public entrance to U.N. headquarters has been decorated with another exhibit. "The Long Journey" purports to tell the history of the Palestinian "exodus" that began in 1948 – not 1967. Photos show Palestinians studying, eating, praying, training, cooking, shopping, dancing, sewing, and playing. Never killing. Never terrorizing. Never making war. Never spouting anti-Semitism. But suffering with "ingenuity, resilience and steadfastness" from wanton Israeli aggression.
At the U.N. in Geneva there has been another public exhibit gracing the U.N.'s Palais des Nations. It is entitled "La Nakba: Exode et Expulsion des Palestiniens en 1948" – meaning "The Nakba: Exodus and Expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948." The exhibit, which was a "cultural activity" requested by "Palestine," required UN approval and facilitation. According to formal guidelines, it must have been approved at the highest levels – the Director-General, Michael Møller of Denmark.
It includes the following astounding statements: "The Palestinians failed to see why they should be made to pay for the Holocaust...Acts of terrorism...by the Zionists led to the flight and expulsion of the native Arab Palestinian population....Zionist representatives...planned and implemented the ethnic purge." "The partition resolution violates fundamental principles of the UN Charter."
The organizers shamelessly responded in a written handout to the rhetorical question: "Why did we create this exhibition on the Nakba?" Their answer: to reeducate those misinformed by "German guilt" and "the mass media" in order to appreciate that in 1948, Palestinians were "robbed of their homeland and their property."
Hiding in plain sight at the UN is the reason for the lack of peace between Israelis and Arabs – and it has nothing to do with 1967 and "occupation." For Palestinians and Arabs across the Middle East, Israel is one big settlement.
As Palestinian representative Riyad Mansour openly told his U.N. audience on November 24, 2014: "Our people are suffering immense and growing hardships, all stemming from the grave injustice done to them in Al-Nakba of 1948 and thereafter."
The month of November saw six full days at U.N. headquarters dedicated to dehumanizing Israelis, led by speakers from UNRWA, the Palestinian Authority and Iran. Israel was guilty of "an onslaught," "ethnic cleansing," "an inhumane blockade," "torture," "massacring civilians with a vengeance," "virulent racism," "barbarism," "a policy of terrorism," "genocide," "apartheid," "savagery," "terror rampages," "horrific abuse," "supporting Al Qaeda," "heinous crimes," "beating and torturing juveniles," and "crimes against humanity."
That was in addition, to repeating "Zionism is racism" and analogizing Israelis to Nazis. Lebanon, for instance, said: "From 1948 until today, many Palestinian young girls and boys are just as determined as Anne Frank to conquer their fear of the occupier..."
How many more stabbings, rapes, and killings of Jews around the globe will it take to end American tolerance for incitement to racial and religious intolerance at the United Nations?
Eleanor Roosevelt would have had an answer.
December 10, 2014
"On December 10, 2014, the Al-Furat province of the Islamic State (ISIS) (straddling parts of eastern Syria and western Iraq), announced that it had executed a man convicted of homosexuality.
The announcement read: "Following the example of Muslims Caliph Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (ruled 632-634), the Islamic court in Al-Furat province sentenced a man who performed acts of the people of Lot [i.e.,homosexual acts] to be cast off the highest place in the town and then stoned to death. Allah's command [is valid] in both the past and the future."
The accompanying photos show the man being cast off the rooftop by a band of masked and armed ISIS fighters, followed by his stoning."
"Iran is being accused of illicitly stepping up purchases for its heavy water reactor, which if completed will produce enough plutonium for several nuclear weapons a year, UN diplomats said Tuesday. The allegation against Iran by an unnamed country, if true, would suggest that Tehran is rejecting the U.S. reconfiguration into a light-water reactor. The accusation was contained in a report to the Security Council sanctions committee prepared by experts monitoring sanctions against Iran..."
December 9, 2014
"Addressing a conference of states pledging voluntary donations to UNRWA, the agency's deputy commissioner-general Margot Ellis, a former official with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), claimed that "This summer, around 2,200 people were killed in 50 days; over 500 were children, most under age twelve. 46 of those killed were in our shelters at the time."
As well as failing to distinguish civilians from terrorists, Ellis omitted to mention that many UNRWA facilities, including schools, were used as weapons storage depots by Hamas.
The number cited by Ellis contradicts the assessment of the UN's own Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which concluded that the "Palestinian fatality toll is 2,131, of whom 1,473 have been identified as civilians."
While OCHA records civilians as composing just under 70 percent of the total Palestinian death toll, other organizations place the figure even lower. Recent research by the Meir Amit Center, an Israeli strategic think-tank, estimates that as many as 52 percent of fatalities were terrorists. The Centers' figures are based on fatality lists collated by OCHA.
Nor do the UNRWA figures account for Palestinians killed by Hamas rockets aimed at Israel that landed in Gaza, either because of operational incompetence or a deliberate attempt by Hamas to increase the number of casualties. At the end of July, for example, dozens of Palestinians were killed and wounded at the Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, after a Hamas Fajr-5 rocket aimed at central Israel was fired from a playground outside the hospital and exploded on the site."
Paraguay, newly-elected Vice-Chair of the UN "Human Rights" Council, was first elected to the Council in October. Its election was part of what was called a "shocking" upset over the fully-free democracy of Costa Rica.
Notwithstanding its human rights record, Paraguay got 139 votes - that's 72 % of General Assembly members.
Just prior to the vote, Paraguay distributed a gift to every UN member state in the UN General Assembly Hall. It included a bag of Paraguayan baked goodies and a jar of guava jam.
Vice-Chair of the UN's top human rights body comes cheap.
"The President of the Assembly of State Parties of the Rome Statute of the ICC cautiously noted that this step was not indicative of any action the court's judicial body might later take on the matter, when she spoke at the start of Monday's meeting about the invitation to observer nations to attend the gathering.
"The assembly takes the following decisions on procedure independently and without prejudice to decisions taken for other purposes, including the decisions of any other organization or any organ of the court concerning legal matters before it," she said.
"At the same time I recall that Rule 94 of the rules of procedures states that at the beginning of every session of the assembly the president, subject to the adoption of the assembly, may invite states which are not parties to the Rome Statute and which have not signed the final act nor the statute to attend the assembly proceedings," she said.
She then listed those invited to attend the meeting, including the "state of Palestine." ICC participants were invited to object if they wanted to, but none did."
Germany was elected as President of the UN Human Rights Council for 2015. Taking the helm will be German Ambassador Joachim Rücker. After his election, Rücker praised the notoriously anti-Israel Council for "having a serious impact on the world stage." Although he also said that "Israel should be treated like any other state," Germany's own voting record on the Council is part of the problem.
In 2014 the Council passed 6 resolutions slandering Israel and Germany supported four of them, while merely abstaining on another two.
Germany, for example, voted in favor of the following:
December 8, 2014
On December 8, 2014 the UN Human Rights Council elected the five members of its executive committee, or "bureau," for 2015. Representing each of the UN's five regional groups on the bureau will be Ambassador Joachim Ruecker, Permanent Representative of Germany as President, and Filloreta Kodra of Albania, Juan Esteban Aguirre Martinez of Paraguay, Mukhtar Tileuberdi of Kazakhstan and Mothusi Bruce Rabasha Palai of Botswana as Vice Presidents. Ambassador Rabasha Palai was also elected to fill the post of Rapporteur. Only two of the five countries that will lead the Council in 2015, Germany and Botswana, are ranked "fully free" by the Freedom House index.
Here is part of the human rights records of vice-presidents Albania, Kazakhstan and Paraguay as set out in the latest US State Department reports: