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Resources updated between Monday, February 02, 2015 and Sunday, February 08, 2015

February 7, 2015

IDF soldier carried after being wounded by Hezbollah

"When there was a recent Hezbollah attack that left two Israeli soldiers and a United Nations peace keeper dead, the international organization issued a statement.

"The terse, three-sentence release, the result of a week of consultations with the U.N. Security Council, said, 'Members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the killing of a UNIFIL [U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon] Spanish peace keeper which occurred in the context of fire exchanges along the Blue Line on 28 January 2015.'

"It didn't mention Hezbollah.

"And it didn't even acknowledge the Israeli Defense Force soldiers who were killed and wounded.

"The mission of the U.N. forces in Lebanon includes keeping Hezbollah weapons out of the area. But Hezbollah terrorists fired anti-tank missiles at an IDF patrol in the northern Mount Dov region of Lebanon.

"Israeli forces responded and the U.N. peace keeper was killed in the ensuing crossfire. The Hezbollah attack came after two days of rocket and mortar fire from Syria into Israel. Spain said Israeli artillery was responsible for the death of its soldier assigned to the U.N. operation. Israel's ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor blasted the Security Council's one-sided statement.

"'The Security Council seems to think that some lives have more value than others. It's barely a month since world leaders marched together to oppose radical extremism and affirm the sanctity of life. Now these same countries sit quietly as the world's autocrats indulge a dangerous terrorist group.'

"He continued, 'Some members of the council seem to think that they can operate with utter impunity, providing Iran and Syria with air defense and pandering to the whims of internationally recognized terrorist groups...'"

U.N. Ignores Israeli Soldiers Killed In Terror Attack Article

February 6, 2015

Four days ago, on February 2, the head of a U.N. commission of inquiry created to investigate war crimes in Gaza was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had taken money from the PLO for providing legal advice. William Schabas's U.N. job was to expose war criminals and recommend how to hold them "accountable." William Schabas's PLO job was to show them how to use the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hold Israeli war criminals accountable. He didn't think there was a problem.

His conflict of interest did not surface, however, until after the inquiry he was heading had "largely completed" its evidence-gathering, and the writing of the requisite report had begun, according to Schabas himself. But instead of taking the only legitimate route and setting aside the whole tainted exercise, the president of the U.N. Human Rights Council, Joachim Rücker of Germany, claimed he was "preserving the integrity" of the inquiry simply by accepting Schabas's resignation.

The council - the U.N.'s top human-rights body - had voted to create the Schabas inquiry in the middle of the Gaza War last July. Palestinians garnered support from council members and human-rights authorities like China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The United States and the members of the European Union either voted against or abstained. A majority of the states that have seats on the council are not "fully free" (on the Freedom House scale).

The idea of the inquiry was to open a second front in the war, conducted by international lawyers, to tie the hands of Israeli decision-makers - political and military - behind their backs.

Hence, the Schabas inquiry's mandate was to examine human-rights violations "in the occupied Palestinian territory," not "in Israel." The date cited for the beginning of the inquiry was June 13, 2014, because Palestinian terrorists had kidnapped (and later murdered) three Israeli teenagers the day before - and Israeli aggression was a given of the investigation. The mandate never mentioned "Hamas" or its terror tunnels, almost half of which opened into Israel.

With the terms of the "inquiry" set to ensure the desired outcome, Schabas and two others became the council's tools. They were selected by President Rücker "in consultation" with the Palestinians in the belief that they could be counted upon to deliver a guilty verdict.

Little wonder, then, that Schabas was miffed about the council's newfound concern over his past activities. He had earlier had plenty to say in public about the subject matter covered by his new position. In 2012, on camera, he lectured about "crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression, all of which I think it can be shown have been perpetrated at various times during the history of the State of Israel. . . . The International Criminal Court is in a position to exercise jurisdiction over crimes committed on the territory of Palestine . . . So much of my effort these times is addressed to try to get . . . the Court . . . to take up this burning, important issue. . . . With a bit of luck and by twisting things and maneuvering, we can get them before the courts."

This was just the kind of lawyer who the U.N. Human Rights Council would think satisfied its rule requiring the "independence, impartiality, personal integrity, and objectivity" of all its "mandate-holders."

The council could even be sure Schabas would go after Israel's prime minister personally. Said Schabas on camera before he was hired: "My favorite would be Netanyahu in the dock at the International Criminal Court."

His manifest bias, thought Schabas, should have saved him from his not-so-manifest conflict of interest. So he decided not to go quietly, even if it meant taking the council down with him. In his letter of resignation he divulged: "[W]hen I was asked if I would accept nomination to the Commission of Inquiry, I was not requested to provide any details of my past statements and other activities concerning Palestine and Israel." He assumed that because his "views on Israel and Palestine . . . were well known," the council was getting exactly what it wanted. And so was he.

What finally clued Schabas in to the fact that the jig was up? Shortly before he resigned, the council tried to save face all around by pretending "this matter" was so very complicated that it required an opinion from the U.N.'s legal office.

With Schabas gone, the legal opinion on the meaning of impartiality has been shelved - though it is a lesson the council evidently still needs. President Rücker moved the deck chairs around, appointing one of the two remaining members of the inquiry, the American Mary McGowan Davis, as chair, and fancies it is now business as usual.

The February 3 letter from Rücker to Schabas accepting his resignation thanks him for his "work over the past six months," says that the "appearance" of a problem has now been solved, and says that Rücker is "looking forward" to the report, due out in March. Six months preparing the report, a month to go before publication, and the U.N. imagines all appearances of impropriety and contamination have vanished into thin air.

Rücker told McGowan Davis: "I am convinced that you will . . . uphold the highest standards of integrity, particularly the principles of independence, impartiality and objectivity."

Seriously? Unlike Schabas, McGowan Davis previously worked for the same U.N. employer on the same subject! In 2010 and 2011 she was a member of a Human Rights Council committee responsible for promoting the implementation of the council's infamous Goldstone Report on the 2008–09 Gaza War. She chaired this follow-up committee in the last months of its work. The Goldstone Report's central lie was its claim that Israel set out to kill Palestinian civilians deliberately. After Goldstone himself retracted the slander, McGowan Davis told the Jerusalem Post his statement "does not have any impact" and she would continue "to take his report as a given."

At that time, McGowan Davis had the specific task of assessing whether Israel had adequately responded to the Goldstone Report's defamatory accusations - and lo and behold, in her own report she found Israel's response wanting. Apparently her assessment of Israeli "proceedings" in one Gaza war between Israel and rocket-launching Palestinian terrorists leaves her "impartial" and "objective" about Israel's "accountability measures" in the subsequent Gaza war between Israel and rocket-launching Palestinian terrorists. Her 2011 finding that Israel did not conform to the "international standards" required to avoid the dominion of the International Criminal Court mirrors precisely the end game of her current job.

Furthermore, throughout her work for the U.N. Human Rights Council, McGowan Davis has been a member of the board of directors of the American Association of the International Commission of Jurists, which according to its website is "an affiliated organization of the ICJ in Geneva." The ICJ participated in the July council session that adopted the resolution creating the 2014 Gaza inquiry. Prior to the vote and only two weeks into the war, this group of lawyers made a statement to the council, judging Israel guilty of war crimes and making a specific suggestion: "[T]he ICJ calls on this Council to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate all breaches of international humanitarian law and gross violations of human rights committed during the Israeli military operations in Gaza."

Not only did the council adopt the ICJ's recommendation, it appointed a member of the board of directors of the ICJ's American affiliate to do the job - Mary McGowan Davis.

Three days ago, she accepted Schabas's chair with alacrity and promised "a report that meets the highest standards of independence and impartiality."

In what universe?

There is a reason why the council - along with its Palestinian partners, who are working furiously behind the scenes to salvage the fiasco - is so desperate to plow ahead. We now know that Schabas provided the Palestinians with legal advice about how to move forward with the prosecution of Israelis before the ICC, a step that they subsequently took. There is no doubt that the Schabas/McGowan Davis report will immediately be sent to the ICC prosecutor to assist in deciding whether a "preliminary examination" already underway should become a full-fledged "investigation." The report's lack of credibility has put the credibility of the ICC in question.

Setting aside all the legal verbiage, the politics are painfully clear. Criminalizing Israel's efforts to exercise its right of self-defense against a foe openly committed to genocide strikes at the heart of the sovereignty, well-being, and legitimacy of the Jewish state. Demonizing a democratic society that is ready, willing, and able to ensure the accountability of its armed forces is not about protecting Palestinians. It is about endangering Israelis.

Human-rights law is being perverted for anti-human-rights ends, and it is about time human-rights lawyers - and all those who care about defeating the enemies of rights and freedoms - stood up and objected.

Scandal Rocks the U.N. World Article

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits Auschwitz-Birkenau

No. 605 January-February 2015

  • While focusing on anti-Semitism has been studiously avoided by the United Nations, the subject of the Holocaust has served as the consolation prize.

  • The United Nations does not want to deal with anti-Semitism because the organization would be exposed as the global platform for anti-Semitism.

  • The most insidious argument is the twisted claim that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict exacerbates anti-Semitism. At the root of this assertion is the idea that the victims of anti-Semitism have a responsibility to ameliorate the pathology of their enemies.

  • How is it possible that in a matter of days the UN apparatus went from discussing anti-Semitism, to the Holocaust, to Israeli war crimes? Because the lessons of the Holocaust have never been learned, and the stage is being set for a repetition.


On January 22, 2015 the United Nations General Assembly held its first ever session dedicated to combating anti-Semitism.1, On January 27 and 28, 2015 the UN marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau and the "International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust."2 On January 31, 2015, other divisions of the UN started gearing up to indict Israelis for war crimes as a consequence of defending themselves against a genocidal foe.3 Unfortunately, there is method in this madness.

The UN was founded in 1945 on the ashes of the Jewish people, and the motivation for the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights acknowledged the debt in its preamble to the "barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind." But for 70 years the primary organ of the UN representing all its member states, the General Assembly, never devoted a single meeting to the subject of anti-Semitism.

The General Assembly officially allocates days to "jazz" and "yoga,"4 but focusing the world's collective energy on combating the world's oldest hatred never made the list.

Over the years, there were focused reports to the UN Commission on Human Rights on Islamophobia and the "situation of Muslim and Arab peoples in various parts of the world,"5 but never a report focusing on Jews. Multiple resolutions expressed "deep concern about...intolerance and discrimination in matters of religion or belief" mentioning only "Islam"6 or Muslim victims, but not one resolution focusing on understanding and combating Jew hatred.

A Soviet-Arab cabal succeeded in deleting "anti-Semitism" from the draft of the 1965 convention on all forms of racial discrimination as a trade-off for omitting Zionism from the treaty's list of racist offences.7 At the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights – the second of only two human rights world conferences in history – attempts to place "anti-Semitism" into the Vienna Declaration failed because it was deemed "too controversial."8 A backroom effort in 2004 to adopt a focused General Assembly resolution on anti-Semitism never made it to the introduction phase after Germany and the European Union refused to confront Arab and Muslim opposition.9

In 1994, when for only the second time in 30 years "anti-Semitism" appeared in a resolution of the Commission on Human Rights, it had to get past a roll-call vote.10 After the word eked its way into a minor place on the UN scene, Arab and Islamic states stymied any possibility of serious focus on anti-Semitism – which continues to this day.

Sometimes "anti-Semitism" has been upstaged alphabetically by becoming discrimination against "Jewish communities" and inserting discrimination against "Arab communities" first.11 Other times, the alphabet has been entirely ignored and "Islamophobia" placed first.12 Sometimes, the list has been expanded to include variously "blacks," "Negrophobia," "Africans," "people of African descent," "people of Asian descent," "Christianophobia," "all religious communities," "communities of indigenous people," and "other communities."13 On other occasions, the list has been challenged as too long, or thrown out altogether.14

While focusing on anti-Semitism has been studiously avoided, the subject of the Holocaust has served as the consolation prize. The 2004 closed-door defeat of a General Assembly resolution on anti-Semitism was followed by a 2005 resolution on the Holocaust.15 Indeed, three-quarters of the speakers at the January 22, 2015 Assembly event on anti-Semitism mentioned the Holocaust. The reason that there is less of an allergic reaction to the Holocaust than to anti-Semitism is manifest from another measurement. Less than one-fifth of the speakers at the same meeting mentioned Israel or connected the dots between hatred of individual Jews and of the Jewish state.

The United Nations does not want to deal with anti-Semitism because the organization would be exposed as the global platform for anti-Semitism. Despite the verbiage about the victims of the Holocaust and the Paris kosher market attack, the reality is that the foreign policy of the majority of nations today condones and even promotes anti-Semitism.

The General Assembly's anti-Semitism event was a case study in prejudice:

  • In 2014, the General Assembly adopted 20 times more resolutions condemning Israel for human rights violations than any other country, and only seven such resolutions on all of the other 192 UN member states combined.

  • Five of all the ten emergency sessions of the General Assembly in its history attack Israel. The Assembly did not hold one emergency session about genocide in Rwanda or Sudan.16

  • One-third of all the resolutions and decisions ever adopted by the UN's top human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council, condemn only Israel.

  • In advance of every regular session, regardless of the facts, the Council sets aside time specifically to condemn only one state – Israel.17

  • 38 percent of the special sessions and urgent debates ever held by the Council have been convened to condemn Israel. Not a single such session has been held on countries violating the rights of millions – like China, Iran, Saudi Arabia or Russia.

There is a word for patently obvious double-standards and discrimination against the Jewish state and for using the nomenclature of human rights to demonize and delegitimize the self-determination of the Jewish people – anti-Semitism.

This is the conclusion: the nations of the world and UN leaders dodge, conceal and deny. Ironically, it was even clearer from the General Assembly event on anti-Semitism itself.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – who did not even bother to show up at UN headquarters for the historic meeting except by videotape – opened the session with these words, "Criticisms of Israeli actions should not be summarily dismissed as anti-Semitism."18 Lebanon declared, "When we criticize Israel and condemn its policies...it is never because of the Jewish character of the majority of its population."19 Turkey claimed: "Turkey's stance is not directed at the Jewish people either in Israel or elsewhere, but solely against the conduct and practices of the government of Israel."20

Invited guest Elisa Massimino from "Human Rights First" (formerly known as the "Lawyers Committee for Human Rights," an NGO that refused to vote against the NGO Durban declaration's claim that Zionism is racism) argued about the "Israeli-Palestinian conflict - "...only a fool would deny that it exacerbates anti-Semitism."21 The stand-in for the President of the General Assembly (who was also a no-show), Vice-President Alvaro José de Mendonça e Moura of Portugal, enthusiastically quoted her words and added: "The crucial point is to distinguish any anti-Semitic attitude and...fair criticism of the policies of the State of Israel." "Criticism of the State of Israel cannot be equated with an attack on Jews."22

The straw man argument is unmistakable. No one outside or inside Israel's vibrant democracy "summarily" dismisses all criticism as anti-Semitism, or "equates" any criticism with anti-Semitism, or denies the legitimacy of "fair criticism" of Israeli policies. And no one believes that the policies of increasingly Islamist Turkey or Hizbullah-driven Lebanon are unrelated to their antipathy towards any Jewish state.

But most insidious is the ignorant and twisted claim that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, rightly or wrongly, exacerbates anti-Semitism. At the root of this assertion is the idea that the victims of anti-Semitism have a responsibility to ameliorate the pathology of their enemies.

The fact is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rooted in the rejection of a Jewish state and the denial of Jewish self-determination. It is itself quintessential anti-Semitism. The conflict legitimizes anti-Semitism for anti-Semites. The solution to the conflict is to call the discrimination, demonization, and intended destruction of Israel on the battlefields of the United Nations and the Middle East, by its name – anti-Semitism.

Instead, the General Assembly was treated to this contribution from Saudi Arabia, speaking on behalf of the 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC): "The practices of the occupation and colonization have fueled anti-Semitism....Occupation itself is an anti-Semitic act. It threatens humankind....Persecution of the Palestinian people...is also an example of anti-Semitism."23

Lebanon added, "Anti-Semitism may be a misnomer as Arabs are Semites too," and fantastically announced that, "There have never been any Arab pogroms" and "the Muslims never imposed their religion by force on Jews and Christians."24

The endeavors to divorce anti-Semitism from Israel and individual Jews from the Jewish collective also stood out in the commentary about the murders of four Jews in Paris in January 2015. Though selected for death because they were Jews and not because they were French, the representatives of Brazil, the European Union, Japan, Luxembourg, India and Costa Rica, all expressed "solidarity with the people of France" and not with the Jewish people or the Jewish state.

Similarly, the palpable discomfort among UN actors with addressing anti-Semitism head-on, resulted in the subject matter being repeatedly generalized and alleged Muslim victims of "Islamophobia" constantly injected. The Secretary-General: "Jews remain targets, as do Muslims..."25 The General Assembly President: "We must condemn without reservation all manifestations of intolerance, including anti-Semitism, including Islamophobia..."26 Argentina: "...violence and hatred for others feeds anti-Semitism, anti-Arabism, Islamophobia..."27 Denmark even thanked the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for its showcase UN resolution on religion that is a notorious assault on free speech.28 South Africa, whose current government welcomed the world's decades-long attention to apartheid,, lashed out at the whole concept of one event on anti-Semitism:

"We limit the scope at which we can address these challenges when we single out one particular form of intolerance without highlighting others, including the rise in Afrophobia, Nazism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, anti-ciganism [anti-Romani] as they all lead to violence worldwide. The issue of anti-Semitism falls within the anti-racism agenda within the UN and should be addressed within the spectrum of all forms of intolerance to avoid creating confusion."29

Less confusing, according to South Africa, were the anti-Semitic "anti-racist" 2001 Durban conference and declaration – that they asserted remain "the cornerstone in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."30

The UN event on anti-Semitism did not even avoid what is so often heard at UN meetings – an open display of anti-Semitism. Lebanon retold the lie of Jews having no ties to the land and analogized Israelis to Nazis: "No code of morals can justify the persecution of one people in an attempt to relieve the persecution of another...[T]he relief of Jewish distress may not be accomplished at the cost of inflicting a corresponding distress upon an innocent and peaceful population."31

The UN press office issued a scandalous release after the session, apparently reading from a UN playbook rather than the actual content of the statements. The press release fabricated the remarks of keynote speaker Bernard-Henri Lévy, piecing together disparate references to ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and a later comment on Palestinians. The release reads: "Mr. Lévy...called for a second meeting...to reveal the truth of the past decades - of the horror of the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Palestine."32

Beyond Israel, only two states reached the crux of modern anti-Semitism: Canada and the tiny country of Palau. Canada sent a Cabinet Minister, Steven Blaney, to speak truth to diplomatic power:

"Israel has every right to exist as a Jewish state... Our Canadian government has adopted an unequivocal approach against groups that...are in favour of terrorist acts committed against the State of Israel. ... Canada has taken a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination including in rhetoric towards Israel, and attempts to delegitimize Israel such as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement."33

The Canadians provided a very stark contrast to the input of the Obama administration, whose UN Ambassador Samantha Power shamefully made no mention of Israel at all.34

This is not semantics. It is the way we know whether the pro forma "Never Again," tripping easily off the lips of UN speakers, means anything.

The more than one hundred states represented could have mentioned the 3.5 million Israelis endangered by Hamas rocket fire just a few months ago,35 the three Israeli teens kidnapped and murdered on their way home from school, the four-year old child mortally wounded by shrapnel seconds away from a safe-house, the construction worker who fell to his death after his cables were cut, or the 3-month old killed when her stroller was rammed by a car.36 Or the 66 Israeli soldiers killed this past summer in the line of duty – because virtually all 18-year old Israelis have had to take up arms to defend their loved ones from anti-Semites for the past 67 years. But they did not.

The explanation lies between the lines. States frequently referred to the Paris shoppers as "innocent," and to Holocaust victims as "innocent," but not to innocent Israelis. This is the sickening nature of modern anti-Semitism – a strategic calculus over where to draw the politically-opportunistic line between innocent and culpable Jews.

At the end of the anti-Semitism meeting – which was informal because formal agreement by the General Assembly to address the subject would have run smack into Arab and OIC intransigence –a joint statement was issued.37 The lack of formality meant it could not take the form of an official UN resolution. It does not explicitly mention Israel, but it is tangible. Fifty states signed on to what could be called the New York declaration on anti-Semitism.

Tellingly, 90 percent of the signatories are fully free democracies (on the Freedom House scale), while only 45 percent of all UN member states are fully free. The countries that participated in the event but refused to sign the commitment to combating anti-Semitism, not only included Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar and Russia, but, disgracefully, Brazil, India, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, South Africa, and Switzerland.

Less than a week later, at the UN Holocaust commemoration held on January 28, 2015 in New York, listeners heard the gut-wrenching story of one of the few surviving twins of the Nazi Dr. Mengele's hideous experiments. Jona Laks concluded her account of the horrors of Auschwitz and surviving the Nazi death marches, only to be turned away from her former home in Poland, with this: "In 1948, an orphan, and completely alone, I made my way...to the soon to be born State of Israel. I began to rebuild my life. Only then, I began to get the feeling that I was a human being again, with a name and no more just a number."38

It was a precise and authentic message understood long ago by the majority at the United Nations, but no longer.

On January 31, 2015, the UN Human Rights Council finished the first phase of its latest legal pogrom against the State of Israel when an inquiry that it commissioned wrapped up so-called fact-finding on the Gaza war. Although the inquiry's Chair, William Schabas, was forced to resign on February 2, 2015 when it was revealed he had been a paid legal advisor to the PLO in 2012, all the hearings and preparatory work that he managed and directed will form the basis of the report due in March. Before he had even started, Schabas had been recorded on camera calling for "Netanyahu in the dock of the International Criminal Court."39 His "impartial and objective" successor,40 Mary McGowan Davis (one of the two remaining inquiry members), chaired the Council committee to implement the infamous Goldstone report that charged Israel with war crimes in the previous Gaza war.41

The devotion of Hamas to genocide is spelled out in its Covenant42 and reiterated continuously by its leadership.43 During the Gaza War, Israel was forced to respond to 4,564 rockets and mortars in just 50 days that deliberately targeted its civilian population.44 In the first 26 days alone, 597 of those rockets specifically came from Palestinian civilian sites.45 These are archetypal war crimes.

Pursuing Israel and its democratically-elected, accountable leaders for war crimes – after they dutifully acted to protect their citizens from Palestinian war crimes – is an attempt to ravage the essence of Israeli sovereignty: the right of self-defense. This move aims to cast asunder the promise that a Jewish state made to Jona Laks and to all Jews after the Holocaust.

How is it possible that in a matter of days the UN apparatus went from discussing anti-Semitism, to the Holocaust, to Israeli war crimes?

Because the lessons of the Holocaust have never really been learned and the stage is being set for a repetition.

***

Notes

1 UN Daily Journal Announcement of "an informal meeting of the plenary to address concerns of a rise in anti-Semitic violence worldwide" by the General Assembly, January 22, 2015 http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/En/20150122e.pdf

2 UN Daily Journal Announcement of "special events on the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust," January 27/28, 2015. http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/En/20150127e.pdf

3 "Submissions should be sent no later than 31 January 2015," Call for Submissions, The United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/CoIGazaConflict/Pages/CommissionOfInquiry.aspx

4 United Nations Observances, International Days, "International Jazz Day," (April 30), "International Day of Yoga," (June 21), http://www.un.org/en/events/observances/days.shtml

5 "Situation of Muslims and Arab peoples in various parts of the world," Commission on Human Rights Report, E/CN.4/2006/17, February 13, 2006. See also: "Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Githu Muigai, on the manifestations of defamation of religions, and in particular on the ongoing serious implications of Islamophobia, for the enjoyment of all rights by their followers," Human Rights Council, A/HRC/15/53, July 10, 2010

6 "Combating defamation of religions," General Assembly Resolution A/RES/62/154, Adopted December 18, 2007. See also for example: "Combating defamation of religions," Commission on Human Rights Resolution 2004/6, April 13, 2004.

7 Natan Lerner, Group Rights and Discrimination in International Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, c. 2003, p. 132

8 Anne Bayefsky, "Inequity in the United Nations Human Rights System," Justice, No. 6, August 1995, p. 28; http://www.intjewishlawyers.org/main/files/Justice%20No.6%20August1995.pdf

9 Anne Bayefsky, "Fatal Failure: The U.N. won't recognize the connection between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism," November 30, 2004. http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/213010/fatal-failure/anne-bayefsky

10 E/CN.4/1994/SR.31, February 18, 1994, Commission on Human Rights, Summary Record of the 31st meeting; "56. The seventh preambular paragraph of draft resolution E/CN.4/1994/L.14/Rev.1 ["Measures to combat contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance"] was adopted by 34 votes to none, with 17 abstentions." http://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G94/112/17/pdf/G9411217.pdf?OpenElement The first time and only previous time anti-Semitism appeared in a UN resolution was a Commission on Human Rights Resolution in 1959 after 2,000 anti-Jewish incidents occurred in almost 40 countries. Mention of anti-Semitism, however, did not make it as far as the version adopted by the General Assembly (1510(XV), "Manifestations of racial and national harmony," Adopted December 12, 1960

11 "Global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action," General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/155, 2012, Adopted December 20, 2012 (by vote), paragraph 35, http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/67/155; In many cases, anti-Semitism is deliberately inserted in a UN resolution that also focuses on the implementation of the 2001 Durban Declaration, in the full knowledge that Israel, the United States, Canada and others are opposed to the Declaration and will vote against.

12 "Freedom of religion or belief," General Assembly Resolution A/RES/69/175, Adopted December 18, 2014, paragraph 4.

13 "Measures to combat contemporary forms of racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance," General Assembly Resolution A/RES/55/83, 2000, Adopted December 4, 2000, paragraph 22, http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/55/83; "Measures to combat contemporary forms of racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance," General Assembly Resolution A/RES/56/267, http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/56/267, Adopted March 27, 2002, paragraph 35, 2001; "Global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action," General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/155, 2012, http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/67/155, Adopted December 20, 2012 (by vote), paragraph 35

14 In 2002 the Commission on Human Rights removed anti-Semitism from the their resolution (2002/68), "Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance." Adopted by vote, April 25, 2002. See preambular paragraph 7. Anti-Semitism had been included in this resolution every year since 1994.

15 UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/60/7, November 1, 2005; Transcript of the General Assembly Proceedings at which the resolution was adopted, 42nd plenary meeting of the 60th session of the General Assembly: http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/60/PV.42

16 Emergency special sessions, http://www.un.org/en/ga/sessions/emergency.shtml

17 Resolution 5/1 of the UN Human Rights Council, Institution-building of the United Nations Human Rights Council, June 18, 2007, Annex, V. Agenda and Framework for the Programme of Work, B. Agenda, "Item 7. Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories"

18 Secretary-General's video message for the Informal Meeting of the General Assembly to address concerns of a rise in anti-semitism worldwide, New York, 22 January 2015 http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=8341

19 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001

20 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001

21 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001

22 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001

23 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001

24 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001

25 Secretary-General's video message for the Informal Meeting of the General Assembly to address concerns of a rise in anti-semitism worldwide, New York, 22 January 2015 http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=8341

26 Statement on behalf of the President delivered by Vice-President Alvaro José de Mendonça e Moura, at the General Assembly meeting on the rise of anti-Semitism New York, January 22, 2015, http://www.un.org/pga/220115_statement-anti-semitism/

27 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001

28 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001

29 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001

30 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001

31 UN Webcast, January 22, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/part-2-concerns-of-a-rise-in-anti-semitic-violence-worldwide-general-assembly-informal-meeting-of-the-plenary-69th-session/4005728787001

32 "Fight against Anti-Semitism 'A Fight for All of Us', Secretary-General Says, as General Assembly Debates Issue Following Rise in Attacks on Jews," UN Press Release, January 22, 2015, GA/11613, http://www.un.org/press/en/2015/ga11613.doc.htm The text of the actual speech can be found at: Bernard-Henri Lévy, "Against the New Anti-Semitism: Remembering the Holocaust Protects Us All," http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernardhenri-levy/against-the-new-anti-semi_b_6526364.html

33 United Nations General Assembly Session on Anti-Semitism, Statement by Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Steven Blaney, New York, January 22, 2015 http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/prmny-mponu/canada_un-canada_onu/statements-declarations/other-autres/2015-01-22_AS_Blaney.aspx?lang=en

34 Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at a General Assembly Meeting on Anti-Semitism, New York, NY, January 22, 2015. http://usun.state.gov/briefing/statements/236203.htm

35 Operation Protective Edge by the Numbers, August 5, 2014, IDF Blog, http://www.idfblog.com/blog/2014/08/05/operation-protective-edge-numbers/

36 Victims of Palestinian Violence and Terrorism since September 2000, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/terrorism/palestinian/pages/victims%20of%20palestinian%20violence%20and%20terrorism%20sinc.aspx

37 http://embassies.gov.il/un/NewsAndEvents/Pages/Joint-statement-following-the-Informal-meeting-of-the-General-Assembly-to-address-concerns-of-a-rise-in-Anti-Semitic-violenc.aspx By January 28, 2015, 50 countries had signed the Joint Statement/Declaration Against Anti-Semitism.

38 UN Webcast, January 28, 2015. http://webtv.un.org/watch/united-nations-holocaust-memorial-ceremony-liberty-life-and-the-legacy-of-holocaust-survivors/4018684117001

39 Russell Tribunal, New York, October 6-7, 2012, Youtube video: (excerpt) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EgykgqpgQY&index=4&list=PLgpQlmlhMOVnMrWTFFUpkUXLMqoj2Ya8X (complete) http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/sessions/future-sessions/new-york-session-video-presentations/william-schabas

40 UN Human Rights Council rules state: "The following general criteria will be of paramount importance while nominating, selecting and appointing mandate-holders: (a) expertise; (b) experience in the field of the mandate; (c) independence; (d) impartiality; (e) personal integrity; and (f) objectivity." Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, June 18, 2007, para. 39.

41 See her follow-up reports: (as Chair) "Report of the Committee of independent experts in international humanitarian and human rights law established pursuant to Council resolution 13/9," A/HRC/16/24, March 18, 2011, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/16session/A.HRC.16.24_AUV.pdf; and (as Committee member) A/HRC/15/50, September 21, 2010, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/15session/A.HRC.15.50_AEV.pdf

42 The Hamas Covenant, August 10, 1988, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

43 "The gun is our only response to [the] Zionist regime" (Ismail Haniyeh, Feb. 12, 2012), http://www.idfblog.com/hamas/2014/02/19/8-years-8-quotes-hamas-leader-ismail-haniyeh/ "Palestine is from the sea to the river...We will not recognize Israel." (Ismail Haniyeh, Dec. 14, 2010), http://www.idfblog.com/hamas/2014/02/19/8-years-8-quotes-hamas-leader-ismail-haniyeh/ "The Hamas political leadership has freed the hand of the brigades to do whatever they want against the brothers of monkeys and pigs." (Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, July 31, 2001), Reuters; Testimony of John S. Pistole, Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division, FBI, Before the House Committee on Firnancial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, September 24, 2003; http://www2.fbi.gov/congress/congress03/pistole092403.htm

44 Operation Protective Edge, IDF Blog, http://www.idfblog.com/IDFsummary2014/

45 Operation Protective Edge by the Numbers, August 5, 2014, IDF blog, http://www.idfblog.com/blog/2014/08/05/operation-protective-edge-numbers/


How the UN Mixes
Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and Israeli War Crimes
Article

February 5, 2015

February 4, 2015

Canadian lawyer William Schabas

Canadian lawyer William Schabas was forced to resign as chair of the UN Human Rights Council's "independent" inquiry on the Gaza war Monday after it was discovered he had been paid to provide legal advice to the PLO as recently as 2012. In one fell swoop, Schabas has managed to embarrass and disgrace not only himself, but the whole UN apparatus that appointed and promoted him.

During the Gaza War last summer, Palestinian rockets deliberately targeted Israel's civilian population, in many cases having been launched from Palestinian civilian sites – both archetypal war crimes. The response of the UN Human Rights Council was to pursue Israel for war crimes for protecting its citizens from Palestinian war crimes.

Though the Human Rights Council is the UN's top human rights body, it has no human rights conditions for membership. So the vote in favour of creating the "inquiry" on July 23, 2014 saw the likes of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates vote in favour, and the United States and European Union states either vote against or abstain.

Schabas apparently considered this an auspicious sign of a desirable human rights job. He agreed to Chair a three-person team appointed by the Council President, in consultation with Council members and the Palestinians.

Schabas also failed to discern any red flags in the mandate given the "independent" inquiry by the Council. The inquiry was "...to investigate all violations... in the Occupied Palestinian Territory...in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014..." Violations of law "in" Israeli territory – like 3,659 impact sites of rockets and mortars in Israel over a mere 50 days, and 14 terror tunnels built from Gaza with openings into Israel – were somehow omitted.

June 13, 2014 was highlighted by the Council because Palestinian terrorists kidnapped (and later murdered) three Israeli teenagers on June 12, 2014 – in a blatant effort to invert cause and effect. Though the Council resolution had no trouble detailing and "deploring" Israel's "grave violations of the human rights of the Palestinian civilian population," it made no mention at all of "Hamas" or the terror tunnels.

In other words, the mandate for the inquiry alone should have been toxic for any self-respecting international lawyer. But not Schabas.

There are, of course, official requirements for the job of UN Human Rights Council "expert" or "mandate-holder," including "independence, impartiality, personal integrity, and objectivity." Yet in his letter of resignation on February 2, Schabas defends himself against charges of conflict of interest on the novel grounds that he had clearly been partial from the start: his political views, he complains, were "well-known" prior to his appointment. For this lawyer, evidently, two wrongs do make a right.

Among those "views" was this statement from 2012: "Crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression, all of which I think it can be shown have been perpetrated at various times during the history of the State of Israel..." Moreover, the job description assigned to the inquiry by the Council specifically asked it "to identify those responsible" for "the crimes perpetrated" and "to make recommendations...on accountability measures..." Hence, the outcome of any Schabas-run inquiry was "well-known." He had already said back in 2012: "my favorite would be Netanyahu in the dock at the International Criminal Court."

It is a testament to the corruption at the Human Rights Council that none of this disqualified Schabas in the first place. Perhaps that explains how he might have dreamt that taking money from one of the sides to a dispute – to provide advice directly related to the subject he was now called upon to consider – would not be a problem for the UN.

As he tells the Council in his resignation letter, he imagined his "legal opinion" to the PLO on how to capitalize on the International Criminal Court "was a tiny part" of his "enormous body of scholarly work." (Non-lawyers and the less erudite might call this being a tiny bit pregnant.) He rants, further : "when I was asked if I would accept nomination to the Commission of Inquiry, I was not requested to provide any details of my past statements and other activities concerning Palestine and Israel."

In a final stunning display of hubris, Schabas claims that none of this should affect the legitimacy of the inquiry's forthcoming report, to be presented to the Council in March and then being sent to the ICC. According to Schabas, the research and evidence-gathering phase he had conducted, managed and directed for five months – which will form the basis of the entire report – was "largely completed." Indeed, "the work on the drafting of the report is beginning."

Obviously, the credibility of the final product is irrevocably discredited - to all but the Human Rights Council, which is simply reassigning the job of Chair to one of the two remaining inquiry members (both also chosen on the basis of their prior displays of anti-Israel bias).

It is no accident that a Council notorious for applying double-standards to Israel embraced Schabas, or that a lawyer like Schabas embraced the Council. But there is no excuse for the the free world not to shun both of them and renounce their legal pogrom.

William Schabas Disgraced,
But His Disgraceful UN Handiwork Remains
Article

February 3, 2015

First Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh

"Islamic State jihadists released a video purporting to show them burning alive a captured Jordanian air-force pilot, spurring cries of revenge from Jordan and a fresh U.S. pledge to defeat the extremist group.

"Jordanian and U.S. officials promised swift action in response to the killing of First Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh and said the death wouldn't fracture the American-led coalition fighting Islamic State.

"The 22-minute video begins with footage of Jordanian involvement in a U.S.-led military coalition against Islamic State. It then shows what appears to be Lt. Kasasbeh describing Jordan's military operations before he is burned alive inside a cage.

"Jordan's government confirmed Lt. Kasasbeh's death shortly after the video's release by the extremist-tracking organization SITE Intelligence Group, but didn't say whether the video was authentic.

"U.S. and Jordanian officials expressed outrage over the killing and vowed to press on with the campaign against Islamic State, a radical group that erected a de facto state across large swaths of Syria and Iraq last summer..."

Islamic State Releases Video Purporting to Show Jordanian Pilot's Death Document

A terrorist front organization is seeking formal UN NGO status. On January 30, 2015, the Islamic African Relief Agency's (IARA) deferred application came before the UN Committee in charge of NGO accreditation. NGO accreditation provides NGOs with real benefits, such as attending international conferences and events, making written and oral statements, organizing side events, entering UN premises, and having opportunities to network and lobby.

At a 2013 UN NGO Committee session, the US representative said that the IARA was designated as a terrorist organization by the US Treasury Department in 2004 "for providing support to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorist groups. They were involved in terrorist financing ... and have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars" to terrorist organizations. The UN press release, on the other hand, described this terrorist patron as an organization "focused on humanitarian relief, rehabilitation and development".

On January 30, 2015 at the UN Committee the US delegate questioned Sudan-based IARA "about funding provided by the organization and its American partner, the Islamic American Relief Agency, to other countries." The representative of Sudan - a member of the UN NGO Committee - stepped in to defend the IARA on the grounds that "the organization had been asked that same question in the past, and that it had submitted a detailed response". Rather than being dismissed as clearly incompatible with "the spirit, purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations", consideration of the application will continue.

UN body in charge of NGO-accreditation fails to dismiss application from major Bin Laden, Hamas supporter Development

UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that the United Nations commission investigating potential war crimes in Gaza should be 'shelved' now that its head has resigned amid accusations he was biased against Israel.

Netanyahu said Tuesday that the commission, set up by the UN Human Rights Council, is an 'an anti-Israel body, the decisions of which prove it has nothing to do with human rights.'

Netanyahu said that in 2014 alone, it passed more resolutions against Israel that Iran, Syria and North Korea combined. 'It is Hamas, the other terrorist organizations and the terrorist regimes around us that need to be investigated," said the Israeli leader.'"

Netanyahu: UN's Gaza probe should be shelved Article

February 2, 2015

William Schabas

"The head of the United Nations inquiry into the 2014 Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas announced on Monday that he was stepping down.

Canadian international law professor William Schabas sent a letter to the UN commission, citing Israeli allegations of bias over consulting work he did for the Palestine Liberation Organization, Reuters reported.

In 2012, Schabas was paid $1,300 for a legal opinion he wrote for the PLO...

Casting himself as a victim of 'malicious attacks', Schabas wrote that he did not want the charges to cast a cloud over the investigation...

The UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict , commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, is scheduled to release its report in March. Schabas said in his letter that most of the research was done, and the writing phase was underway."

Head of UN Gaza inquiry quits after his paid work for PLO is revealed Article

The office of the Sudan Human Rights Monitor in Khartoum after a raid by security agents

Sudanese civil society faces crackdown ahead of elections say international NGOs Article

Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Hosseini Khamenei and U.S. President Barack Obama

"Israeli officials told Channel 10 on Friday that they are convinced the Obama administration has already agreed to most of Iran's demands in the P5+1 negotiations over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

According to unnamed officials, Washington 'has given the Iranians 80 percent of what they want' out of the negotiations, Channel 10 is reporting.

Jerusalem officials appear alarmed at the prospect that the United States will soon strike a deal with the Iranian regime that will leave it with a 'breakout capacity' of months during which it can gallop toward a nuclear bomb.

The practical significance of the American compromises in the talks is that Iran will be permitted to keep over 7,000 centrifuges, enough for the Iranians to produce enough enriched material to sprint toward the bomb within a matter of months."

Obama has agreed to 80 percent of Iran's demands in nuclear talks Article

UNIFIL forces

In a conversation with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged Sunday that the United Nations was failing to implement Security Council Resolution 1701 and that soldiers from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were "not reporting on the smuggling of weapons into southern Lebanon...

Netanyahu also told Ban the international community was ignoring Iran's efforts to "export terrorism around the world," accusing Tehran of being behind the Hezbollah attack on the Israel-Lebanon border that killed two IDF soldiers last week and of trying to establish a new front against Israel in the Golan Heights with its involvement in Syria."

Netanyahu: UNIFIL failing to report weapons smuggling Article