Resources updated between Monday, February 27, 2012 and Sunday, March 04, 2012
Friday, March 02, 2012
This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on PJ Media.
On the eve of a meeting between President Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the President has orchestrated the publication of his most revealing interview yet on the state of relations between the two countries. Instead of bolstering his pro-Israel image, however, the interview is proof positive of his dangerous animus towards the Jewish state and its elected leaders.
The interview with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg took place earlier this week but was released only today. In it, the President exasperatedly asked: "Why is it that despite me never failing to support Israel on every single problem that they've had over the last three years, that there are still questions about that?" To which Goldberg solicitously responded "that's a good way to phrase it" and the President replied "there is no good reason to doubt me on these issues."
Let me count the ways.
During the interview the President claimed to "have Israel's back" among other places at the United Nations. The administration's actions at the UN allegedly corroborate that his "relationship [with Israel] is very functional and the proof of the pudding is in the eating."
What digestible meal might that be? The President specified: "When you look at what I've done with respect to...fighting back against delegitimization of Israel, whether at the [UN] Human Rights Council, or in front of the General Assembly, or during the Goldstone Report, or after the flare-up involving the flotilla the truth of the matter is that the relationship has functioned very well."
Actually, the truth is that President Obama has done more to legitimize the delegitimizers of Israel than any other President in the history of the Jewish state. For instance, one of his opening foreign policy moves was to join for the first time the UN Human Rights Council, allowing the full weight of American membership to boost the credibility of this viciously anti-Israel body.
When the President decided to join the Council he knew full well that the body organized every regular session around a permanent agenda of ten items: one directed only to Israel-bashing and another to the remaining (unspecified) 192 UN member states. But the administration claimed that it joined the Council to reform it from the inside during a 5-year deadline imposed by the General Assembly. The reform scheme went down in flames last June and the agenda remained unchanged. What was the President's response to the ritualized Jew-bating that carries on unabated in a global forum in the name of human rights? He is now actively seeking a second-term on the Council for the United States.
Not once, did President Obama make the equal treatment of the Jewish state a condition for remaining on this "human rights" body notwithstanding that the whole foundation of the UN Charter is the "equal rights of nations large and small."
At the General Assembly, the President's speech of 2010 specifically planted in the minds of every listener and fueled a September 2011 date for a "state of Palestine" becoming "a new member of the United Nations." Moreover, President Obama devoted more than a third of his entire General Assembly statement focusing on what Israel should and should not do, knowing full well that the deadly Arab narrative is that the failure to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict on their terms is the root cause of Islamic fanaticism and violence. In other words, it was the President himself who used his speech in the UN forum as a pressure tactic against the state of Israel.
On the flotilla of Turkish-backed extremists who attempted to violate Israel's lawful blockade of Hamas-run Gaza, the Obama administration extraordinarily permitted the Security Council to adopt a presidential statement within 24 hours of the event. The statement cast the flotilla participants as humanitarians, was silent on Israel's legitimate concerns about arms-smuggling, and made no mention of Hamas at all. Without taking any time to ensure the facts were at hand, the Council unanimously agreed to a UN investigation of the Israel Defense Forces which the United States would have never have legitimized for American armed forces in similar or in fact any circumstances.
And as for Iran, President Obama's use of the United Nations has moved the country in only one direction inexorably closer to obtaining nuclear weapons. President Obama was the first U.S. President to preside over a meeting of the UN Security Council in September 2009 and he personally took the opportunity of controlling the Council agenda to tie nuclear non-proliferation together with nuclear disarmament. His move had the predictable effect of setting back non-proliferation efforts by giving Iran one more excuse to delay, while disarming Americans moved to center stage. The sanctions regime belatedly adopted by the Council has been an incontrovertible failure.
At rock bottom, the President's interview makes one claim more poisonous to Israel's welfare than all others. He argues that if Israel uses military force against Iranian nuclear sites, then the timeline for any negative consequences will start with Israel not Iran. Obama urges Netanyahu to think about "the profound costs of any military action," places the focus on "potential unintended consequences" of Israel's actions, and describes the move as libel to be a "distraction in which Iran suddenly can portray itself as the victim."
This is not the statement of an ally at a turning point in world history, with the most dangerous country on earth on the verge of acquiring the world's most dangerous weapon. Israel's actions would be taken in self-defense. They would not be the starting point. Israel and the civilized world, in the crosshairs of this leading state sponsor of terrorism and its genocidal ambitions, are the real victims and any claim to the contrary would be a lie not a distraction. To suggest that Israel will be responsible for the economic costs of seriously slowing or ending Iran's race towards nuclear weapons places the shoe exactly on the wrong foot, and diminishes the much higher cost of Iranian victory.
The President's miscalculation on Iran is of epic proportion. He even describes the Iranian leadership to Goldberg this way: "they're sensitive to the opinions of the people." The freedom-loving-people of Iran who are rotting in Iranian torture chambers are undoubtedly as mortified by this claim as the people of Israel and its supporters across America. The very unfortunate reality is that Israel may be forced to save America and the civilized world because this Commander-in-chief is awol. Israel has America's back, not the other way around.
In his interview, President Obama worried that Republicans are trying to "drive a wedge...between Barack Obama and a Jewish American vote." They don't have to Mr. President. You can take credit for the mile-wide gulf all yourself.
Two issues of "central importance" to Islamic states at the UN "Human Rights" Council: Koran burning & situation in Palestinian territories
March 1, 2012
New evidence emerge on UN "Human Rights" Council member Saudi Arabia direct role in 9/11
UN Rights Council members Cuba, China & Russia vote against Syria resolution; Angola, Burkina Faso, Kyrgyzstan & Uganda AWOL
Draft was adopted with 37 votes in favor, 3 against and 3 abstentions (4 countries did not vote)
February 29, 2012
UN "Human Rights" Council members China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia advocate curbing free expression
February 28, 2012
Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief: Palestinian issue #1 priority for UN Rights Council and "raison d'κtre" for OIC. Unify Muslim world? Jew-bashing.
UN rights chief Pillay says "difficult" to count Syrian dead but has no problem with citing Assad numbers
Obama's UN Love Affair Continues at Israel's Expense
Monday, February 27, 2012
This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on FoxNews.com.
On Monday the UN opens two major human rights meetings, the annual session of its top women's rights body, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York, and a month-long session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Lecturing Americans about human rights protection from the UN-provided podium will be CSW member Iran where women are stoned to death for adultery and Council member Saudi Arabia which regularly lops off heads for all kinds of offenses.
Not surprisingly, the results of such bodies are somewhat skewed. 2011 statistics are now available that indicate the frequency of criticism lodged against specific states by all UN human rights-related bodies.
Of 193 member states, the country most condemned for human rights violations by the UN was Israel. Coming in at number four was the United States. Iran, China and Somalia were criticized on fewer occasions than the U.S. and were tied for seventh place.
UN concerns about the United States included the effects of the foreclosure crisis, failure to grant a UN expert unmonitored access to Private Bradley Manning (the WikiLeaks accused), the planned burning of a Koran by a Florida Church, "sketchy" information about the killing of Usama bin Laden, failure to cooperate with a UN expert's inquiry on the "targeted killing" of Al Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki, and the lack of a national water policy.
The only developments keeping pace with the UN debacle is the steady stream of Obama administration attempts to defend it.
A January 19 State Department Fact Sheet acknowledges the president "has dramatically changed America's course at the United Nations" and sports the heading "Integrity: A Respected UN."
On February 16, Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs, Esther Brimmer, told the World Affairs Council of Greater Atlanta that the Human Rights Council "has been rightly criticized in the past for being...absurdly focused on excoriating Israel" but the Obama administration had since been having "great success."
In fact, 2012 promises to look a lot like 2011.
The Human Rights Council will adopt at its March session at least three more resolutions condemning Israel, and one each for a mere handful of other states.
Next week, the Commission on the Status of Women will again adopt just one country-specific resolution concerned about the violation of women's rights anywhere in the world Israel for allegedly violating the rights of Palestinian women.
Nevertheless, behind-the-scenes the Obama administration is engaged in a major effort to capture another term at the Human Rights Council.
Last year the UN decided to annualize Council membership and begin terms in January rather than September. It was anticipated that this would also move the election cycle from the spring to the fall of 2012. But since the U.S. is now completing its first three-year term, President Obama's Council re-election bid threatens to coincide with the final stretch of his presidential re-election campaign. Rather than risk having to defend his UN engagement charade at an extremely visible moment, American diplomats are working overtime pressing for May 2012 elections.
Interestingly, a second Council term would only start January 2013 and staggered elections would allow the U.S. simply to stand down now and run next year instead.
Given that the Bush administration vehemently refused to lend legitimacy to the Council by becoming a member, Obama's maneuver is either a brazen attempt to shove membership down the throat of a future Republican administration or a cocky assumption of a Democratic win in November 2012.
At the same time, the administration isn't taking re-election to the Council for granted. This helps explain a few more recent pro-UN and anti-Israel chess moves.
Two weeks ago President Obama put $79 million dollars in his budget for UNESCO and began pressing Congress to remove a prohibition on American funding to the organization.
The congressional injunction had kicked in after UNESCO pre-emptively granted Palestine "statehood" status. The move had successfully put the brakes on Palestinian attempts to achieve statehood via the UN without committing to peaceful co-existence with Israel. By seeking to overturn it, the president makes clear that burnishing his pro-UN credentials is his higher priority. -- And increasing the daylight between his administration and Israel is a distant second.
Iran's foreign minister calls UN HR Council "momentous" and of "special importance". Obama admin couldn't agree more.
Qatari foreign minister resuscitates "defamation of religions" on 1st day of UN "Human Rights" Council session
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay brags about her LGBT report which is silent on worst abusers like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
GA President confirms UN Rights Council anti-Israel agenda: 1 item on Israel & 1 on all other countries on this planet