Resources updated between Monday, March 16, 2015 and Sunday, March 22, 2015
March 22, 2015
According to Senator John McCain, the US Congress needs to re-evaluate the funding for the United Nations should the Security Council approve a resolution in favor of Palestinian statehood.
During an interview on today's (Sunday) edition of CNN's "State of the Union" television program, McCain said that the US President should not even take such a resolution into consideration.
March 21, 2015
"...'Twenty-two percent of the funding for the United Nations comes from the American taxpayers, and I'm in charge of that account,' a defiant Graham told Fox News. He acknowledged he'd also need other lawmakers to sign onto any effort to suspend that funding.
Graham is worried that the administration, should it strike a nuclear deal with Iran, might get the U.N. to lift sanctions without going through Congress to lift U.S. sanctions.
Graham, who says the worst possible outcome would be for Iran to get a nuclear weapon, vowed: 'I'm not going to allow the United Nations to be used as a way to get around the United States Congress for a deal that affects the very existence of Israel and our own national security.'
When pushed on the issue, Graham said, 'If they go to the U.N. Security Council, and the U.N. Security Council lifts all sanctions before we ever get a chance to look at this deal, absolutely I would suspend funding the United Nations, because I don't think your money should go to an organization that irresponsible'..."
March 20, 2015
An Islamic State group says it carried out suicide attacks on two mosques in Yemen, killing 140 people and wounding 345 others.
Four suicide bombers, two at each mosque, struck in the capital Sanaa during midday Friday prayers, the most crowded time of the week.
The attacks were at the Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques, located across town from each other.
They are controlled by Shia rebels, known as Houthis, but are frequented by Sunni worshippers as well.
Witness Mohammed al-Ansi said: "The heads, legs and arms of the dead people were scattered on the floor of the mosque. Blood was running like a river."
Volunteers used blankets to carry away the victims, who included a small child.
The corpses were lined up and carried away in pick-up trucks.
At the Badr mosque, guards caught the first bomber and detonated his device outside the gates.
A second bomber then blew himself up inside.
A fifth suicide bomb attack on a mosque in the northern city of Saada, a Houthi stronghold, was foiled.
A Yemeni branch of Islamic State claimed it carried out the bombings.
An online statement described the attacks as a "blessed operation" against the "dens of the Shiites".
The claim was posted on the same website on which an IS group in Libya said it carried out Wednesday's attack on the Bardo museum in Tunisia.
March 19, 2015
Guess who is the number one violator of women's rights in the world today? Israel. Violating the rights of Palestinian women.
At least that is the view of the UN's top women's rights body, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). CSW ends its annual meeting on Friday, March 20 by condemning only one of the 193 UN member states for violating women's rights – Israel.
Not Syria. Where government forces routinely employ rape and other sexual violence and torture against women as a tactic of war. Where in 2014 the Assad regime starved, tortured and killed at least 24,000 civilians, and three million people – mostly women and children – are refugees.
Not Saudi Arabia. Where women are physically punished if not wearing compulsory clothing, are almost entirely excluded from political life, cannot drive, cannot travel without a male relative, receive half the inheritance of their brothers, and where their testimony counts for half that of a man's.
Not Sudan. Where domestic violence is not prohibited. There is no minimum age for "consensual" sex. The legal age of marriage for girls is ten. 88% of women under 50 have undergone female genital mutilation. And women are denied equal rights in marriage, inheritance and divorce.
Not Iran. Where every woman who registered as a presidential candidate in the last election was disqualified. "Adultery" is punishable by death by stoning. Women who fight back against rapists and kill their attackers are executed. The constitution bars female judges. And women must obtain the consent of their husbands to work outside the home.
In fact, not only is there no possibility that the UN Commission on the Status of Women will criticize Iran, Iran is an elected member of CSW. Sudan – whose president has been indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity – is currently a CSW Vice-Chair.
The 2015 CSW resolution on Israel will repeat, as it does every year, that "the Israeli occupation remains the major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development of their society..."
Not Palestinian men. Not religious edicts and traditions. Not a culture of violence. Not an educational system steeped in rejection of peaceful coexistence and of tolerance.
Instead, the fault for a UN statistic like this one – an average of 17% of Palestinian women are in the labor force as compared to 70% of Palestinian men – lies with the Jewish scapegoat.
That fact comes from one of only nine official documents produced by the UN for the 2015 annual CSW meeting. Eight were procedural or general in nature, and one was entitled: "Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women."
By comparison, there was no report on Chinese women and girls, half a billion people without elementary civil and political rights, who still face the prospect of forced abortion and sterilization.
There was no report on women in Somalia, where female genital mutilation is ubiquitous, sexual violence is rampant, and women are systematically subordinate to men.
There was no report on women in Yemen, where the penal code goes easy on the killers of women for "immodest" or "defiant" behavior, there is no minimum age for "marriage," and women have no equal rights to property, employment, credit, pay, education, or housing.
And the women's rights scene is not the only liberal sham at the UN.
The UN's top human rights body, the Human Rights Council (HRC), will wrap up a major session next week by adopting a minimum of four times as many resolutions slamming Israel than any other country on earth.
Condemnations of Israel will include a resolution demanding Israel immediately give back the Golan Heights to Syria – the place where Syrians run from their own government for life-saving Israeli medical care.
Tallying all the resolutions and decisions condemning a specific state over the history of the Human Rights Council, one-third has been directed at Israel alone.
Remember Ukraine? In the past year, there have been at least 5,500 confirmed killed – with recent reports from Germany suggesting the total may be as high as 50,000 dead – in addition to a million people displaced. But the score is 67 Council resolutions and decisions attacking Israel and zero on Russia.
So who is calling the shots at the Council? A closer look at its members reveals human rights luminaries like Qatar – that bankrolls the terrorist organization Hamas – along with China, Pakistan, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
It is impossible to add this all up and conclude that the UN's treatment of Israel is anything but wildly discriminatory. In the twisted language of UN rights, the means is the verbiage of equality, while the end game is prejudice.
The Obama administration has an answer to this dilemma. Vote against the resolutions, while paying the fees to run the bodies that adopt them. Join and legitimize the institution, while consoling the delegitimized that it feels their pain.
As Secretary Kerry told the Council on March 2, 2015: "President Obama and I support the HRC..." and "the HRC's obsession with Israel actually risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization." "Risks undermining" – as opposed to "has grossly undermined already."
This attitude towards the UN's demonization of Israel foreshadows the administration's Israel policy in the days ahead – a policy unaffected by Israeli election results.
The Palestinians will continue to use the UN and the International Criminal Court to attempt to accomplish with lethal politics what they have never been able to do with lethal force. And President Obama will hold open the door.
March 18, 2015
Islamic terrorists armed with assault rifles and grenades gunned down at least 19 people at a crowded museum in the capital of Tunisia on Wednesday, officials said.
The mayhem started around 12:30 p.m. when the militants picked off tourists as they got off a bus outside the Bardo National Museum, killing eight, according to witnesses and officials.
The gunmen then stormed the museum, where they grabbed several hostages and hunkered down for hours, according to the Associated Press. They killed 10 of their victims during that standoff.
Television footage from the attack depicts a chaotic scene as people frantically escape from the building. One man cradling a child can be seen sprinting for shelter in a compound next to the parliament.
The two militants inside the museum were eventually killed in a firefight, along with a security officer, during a counter-operation to retake the building, officials said.
Of the 19 people who died, Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid said 17 were tourists from Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland. The other two victims were from Tunisia, according to BBC.
In addition, 22 others were injured during the assault, officials said.
The Bardo museum had been exceptionally busy Wednesday thanks to a pair of cruise ships that were docked in Tunis at the time. The attack unfolded as many guests were on tour at the museum, according to CNN.
It is unclear exactly how many militants took part in the attack, but initial reports said three men were involved in the strike - and officials now believe one of the bloodthirsty savages could still be out there.
"It is a critical moment in our history, and a defining moment for our future," Essid explained. "We have not established the identity of the two terrorists. Reports are not final, these two terrorists could have been assisted by two or three other operatives."
A manhunt was under way to find any additional militants as authorities "comb the area to find out the remaining operatives, if any," Essid said.
Interior Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui told Radio Mosaique that the attackers were Islamists, and witnesses told Radio Mosaique that all three men were wearing military-style clothing and posing as soldiers when they made their assault.
A large police presence was spotted moving in to evacuate any other people remaining inside the parliament building, which is located in Bardo Palace. The TAP state news agency claims that local cops opened fire with one of the terrorists outside, RT reports.
Local TV stations say several of the fatalities occurred during the counter-operation, but this had yet to be confirmed by authorities.
The Bardo museum is one of the North African nation's most popular tourist attractions and chronicles Tunisia's history. It includes one of the world's largest collections of Roman mosaics.
Wednesday's assault there was the worst attack involving foreigners in Tunisia since an al Qaeda suicide bombing of a synagogue left 21 people dead on the popular island of Djerba in 2002, according to Reuters.
While the identity of the attackers could not be verified, Tunisia has struggled with violence sparked by Islamic extremists in recent years. Tunisia's armed forces are currently fighting Islamist militants who emerged in 2011 after the country's uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.
Bordering Libya, the North African nation has reportedly become a breeding ground for ISIS. Since 2011, officials estimate that around 3,000 Tunisians have traveled to Syria to wage jihad, according to Reuters.
Back in February, Tunisian authorities arrested an estimated 100 people in just three days because they were all suspected of having links to the Islamic State.
A message sent from a pro-ISIS Twitter account just hours before Wednesday's attack possibly hinted the terror group's involvement in the attack on the Bardo museum.
"Coming good news to Tunisia's Muslims," the tweet read, according to the Daily Mail. "And a shock to the disbelievers and the hypocrites, especially those who claim to be cultured.'"
The tweet was posted by the account @riff0BA9 and was retweeted numerous times by other Islamic State sympathizers. The profile and message have since been deleted.