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Resources updated between Monday, April 24, 2006 and Sunday, April 30, 2006

April 28, 2006

April 27, 2006

Fidel Castro

Cuba - that bastion of free speech - using its UN platform to call for the creation of a "New World Information Order."

Statement of Cuba at the Committee on Information Development

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The UN Environmental Programme gave out its 2006 Champion of the Earth awards on 21 April, 2006. The awards are intended to honor individuals or groups "for their creativity, vision and leadership, and the potential of their work and ideas for replication across the globe." One of those justified in receiving this award in the UN's estimation - was Iranian Massoumeh Ebtekar. She was Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the Department of Environment from 1997-2005. But Ebtekar has another name - "Screaming Mary" given to her by the American press during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. Mary was her nom de guerre and Ebtekar was the hostage-takers' spokesperson.

A December 2004 article in the Atlantic Monthly provides more details about the UN's latest champion:

    "she was especially disliked by many of the hostages...in part because of her endless propagandizing. She would saunter through the captured embassy with a camera crew in tow, urging the hostages to describe their ordeal in upbeat terms. "You have been treated well, haven't you?" was her constant refrain. During one such filming session, in the final days of captivity, Army Sergeant Regis Regan got so fed up with Ebtekar that he let loose with a stream of invective and was dragged into a hallway for a beating."

A 1998 New York Times article recounts that she was asked by an ABC news correspondent whether she could see herself picking up a gun and killing the hostages to which she responded "Yes. When I've seen an American gun being lifted up and killing my brothers and sisters in the streets, of course."

Screaming Mary has no regrets. New York Times journalist Elaine Sciolino elaborated, in her book Persian Mirrors, on a conversation she had with Ebtekar in 1998:

    "I asked Ebtekar about the wisdom of the embassy takeover. She offered no apology; she made no excuses. "I wouldn't think that it would be logical for any nation to look back and see any part of its revolution or its movement as negative," she said. "That was the best direction that could have been taken." She said the embassy was seized to preserve what she called "the values" of the revolution..."The action was a natural consequence of decisions that had been taken by the Americans.""

Capitalizing on her insider's knowledge of the terrorist mind Ebtekar authored a 2001 book called Takeover in Tehran. By contrast, the UN's biography of the winner is silent about her infamous past. Instead, the UN's announcement of the special prize to be given to Ebtekar boasts, "The annual ceremony will publicize and encourage the worldwide replication of the achievements of the Champions."

In her acceptance speech last week, Ebtekar thanked the UN for the honor and the UN Environmental Programme's "generous recognition...[which] gives new impetus for all those who endeavour to protect life on earth." She then took the opportunity, courtesy of the UN, to support the current Iranian regime, castigating the "systematic effort to portray Iran as a source of aggression and violence."

The UN honors a person who was vice-president and minister of the environment in a government already doing its best to develop the ultimate environmental nightmare, nuclear weapons. It honors a commitment "to protect life on earth" from someone who would exclude Americans. The face of a UN champion.

This article appeared in the National Review Online.

Anne Bayefsky

The UN Environmental Programme gave out its 2006 Champion of the Earth awards on 21 April, 2006. The awards are intended to honor individuals or groups "for their creativity, vision and leadership, and the potential of their work and ideas for replication across the globe." One of those justified in receiving this award in the UN's estimation - was Iranian Massoumeh Ebtekar. She was Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the Department of Environment from 1997-2005. But Ebtekar has another name - "Screaming Mary" given to her by the American press during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. Mary was her nom de guerre and Ebtekar was the hostage-takers' spokesperson.

UN Honors Iranian terrorist as "Champion of the Earth" Editor's Note

Kofi Annan

The global UN campaign to demonize Israel continues with another UN "seminar," this time in Egypt. The Secretary-General refuses to mention the word "Hamas," and has this to say about the election: It "marked an important milestone in the Palestinian people's continued pursuit of democracy and self-determination. I respect the decision of the Palestinian people." Moral equivalence between aggressor and victim, instead of leadership and moral clarity, is the essence of the Secretary-General's message: "I remain extremely worried about the intensification of violence, including Palestinian rocket attacks and suicide bombings, as well as Israeli air strikes, shelling and ground operations. Civilians on both sides have been killed and injured from this violence, igniting feelings of anger and revenge."

Statement of the Secretary-General at the meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in Cairo Development

April 25, 2006

Monday, April 24, 2006

Iran's election as one of the Vice-Chairpersons of the UN Disarmament Commission has begun to reap the predictable results. This past week Iranian Vice-Chair Reza Najafi was an active participant in the Commission's Working Group on "Recommendations for Achieving the Objectives of Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons." On April 19th he told the Commission that suggestions Iran had a nuclear weapons program were "Jewish propaganda" and a fabrication of "the Jewish lobby" in the United States. American delegate, John Bravaco, responded by complaining Iran's remarks were clearly anti-semitic and he asked the Chair to call the Iranian delegate to order. Chairperson Jean-Francis Zinsou of Benin refused to respond or make any comment. Only when the meeting was over did a handful of European delegates personally express their dismay over the Iranian comments to the Israeli representative but none of them had been publicly prepared to support the U.S. call to silence anti-semitism in the meeting rooms of the UN.

Anne Bayefsky

Iran's election as one of the Vice-Chairpersons of the UN Disarmament Commission has begun to reap the predictable results. This past week Iranian Vice-Chair Reza Najafi was an active participant in the Commission's Working Group on "Recommendations for Achieving the Objectives of Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons." On April 19th he told the Commission that suggestions Iran had a nuclear weapons program were "Jewish propaganda" and a fabrication of "the Jewish lobby" in the United States. American delegate, John Bravaco, responded by complaining Iran's remarks were clearly anti-semitic and he asked the Chair to call the Iranian delegate to order. Chairperson Jean-Francis Zinsou of Benin refused to respond or make any comment. Only when the meeting was over did a handful of European delegates personally express their dismay over the Iranian comments to the Israeli representative but none of them had been publicly prepared to support the U.S. call to silence anti-semitism in the meeting rooms of the UN.

Iran and the UN platform for anti-semitism Editor's Note