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Resources updated between Monday, May 20, 2013 and Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 23, 2013

President Obama: do nothing on Iran

President Obama is still blathering on about talking Iran out of its nuclear ambitions. Here's the latest update from the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) answering the question 'how's that goin for ya?' "between January and the beginning of September 2012, Agency and Iranian officials held six rounds of talks in Vienna and Tehran...However, no concrete results were achieved....[B]etween mid-December 2012 and mid-February 2013, Agency and Iranian officials held three further rounds of talks in Tehran...Agency and Iranian officials have held one further round of talks, in Vienna on 15 May 2013, aimed at concluding the structured approach document. No agreement was reached and the Agency has not been able to begin substantive work with Iran on resolving the outstanding issues..." The IAEA also said that it cannot "conduct effective verification." The IAEA already reported in November 2011 "that Iran has carried out activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device." Now the Agency says it "has obtained more information which further corroborates the analysis." President Obama? Awaiting the tooth fairy.

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran, GOV/2013/27 Article

Robert Serry addresses the Security Council

Poor Robert Serry, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. His usual job is to focus on Israel-bashing and the Syrian crisis is getting in the way. Nevertheless, the UN official did his best to refocus the attention of the Security Council on his blame-Israel priorities. Analogizing mass murder in Syria to the plight of Palestinians, Kerry said: "the coming weeks would be critical on two major diplomatic fronts - negotiations to halt the increasingly bloody crisis in Syria, and ending the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict." In his briefing, Kerry started with Israel and spent twice as long speaking about Israel than Syria. As the UN has pitched for decades, giving Arabs what they want immediately is now "critical;" the parties "cannot afford to lose" the moment. He proceeded to praise the Palestinians for having "shown countenance in diplomatic fora" - (how soon unilateral declarations of statehood are forgotten) - and to announce that the only "exception" he could see to the parties exercising laudable "restraint" was Israel's building of apartments. He referred to the Israeli father of five recently murdered by a Palestinian as a "settler" - a nomenclature specifically designed to downplay the attack - and then he made the de rigeur exculpatory reference to "settler violence."

Upcoming Period Will Be Critical to Talks on Ending Crisis in Syria, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Press Release), SC/11013 Development

May 22, 2013

Mecca, the city where only believers in Islam are allowed

The State Department has released the International Religious Freedom Report 2012. It highlights 8 countries of most concern when it comes to religious freedom: China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Uzbekistan. When words like the Saudi "peace initiative" get bandied about in the Arab-Israeli context, remembers these words from the report:: "In Saudi Arabia, the public practice of any religion other than Islam is prohibited."

State Department International Religious Freedom Report 2012 Executive Summary Article

May 21, 2013

The Tahrir Bodyguard walk Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Gruesome Attacks on Egyptian Women Spawn Helmeted, Volunteer Protectors Human Rights Voices

Soldiers in Bashiqa, Iraq, where Iraqi Christians seek autonomy. (Karlos Zurutuza/IPS)

Living in Hell, Iraqi Christians Dream of Paradise Human Rights Voices

Saeb Erekat

Another Israel-bashing day at the UN as the UN Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People met in New York to hear Palestinian Saeb Erekat talk about Israeli "apartheid" and the "catastrophe" of Israel's creation. Not a word was said about the million free Arab citizens of Israel, or the reality of Jew-free apartheid-Palestine. But facts didn't get in Erekat's way as he had this to say about why the Palestinians are boycotting negotiations: "Mr. Erakat said he had no conditions for re-starting negotiations. A halt to settlement activity was not a condition, but "a must"." The Cuban Vice-Chair of the Committee was excited by that kind of enlightening dialogue, which also included Indonesia's suggestion to hold another special meeting of the General Assembly on what's the matter with Israel. (There have been 10 special sessions of the GA ever - half on Israel - none on Rwanda, Sudan or Syria...) The meeting ended by planning the next shindig at UN expense for Beijing in June. In a nutshell, how the UN spreads Jew hatred around the world.

Success in Resuming Peace Talks Vital, Top Negotiator Stresses at Meeting of Palestinian Rights Committee (Press Release), GA/PAL/1269 Development

Bernard Doyle, Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Iran

The UN human rights investigator on Iran has been denied entry into the country for years. But UN "humanitarian" officials have no problem going to Iran, knowing full well their presence will be used by Tehran to undercut criticism of its non-cooperation. The envoy from the UN's refugee agency even took the opportunity to complain that international sanctions were hurting Iranians - not the Iranian government. The Iranian press enthusiastically broadcast the message sent by the UN's latest visitor.

UN Official: Sanctions Hampering Money Wiring to Iran for Humanitarian Projects Article

Burqas fail to shield many Afghan women from daily harassment

Afghan Women Harrassed Into Unemployment Human Rights Voices

May 20, 2013

Palestinian Authority thugs

'Palestinian lost speech ability after PA torture' Human Rights Voices

Syrian victim of Sarin gas

Remember that UN "fact-finding" mission to Syria to determine if chemical weapons were used? The one President Obama is anxiously waiting for? It hasn't started. Instead: "There is no prospect for a resolution to the diplomatic wrangling between Syria and the U.N. Secretariat about its scope and purpose. In the meantime, any scientific evidence of a chemical attack in Aleppo on March 19 is quickly disintegrating into the soil." UN in operation: a finding of fact that chemical weapons were used would be a red line. So let's not find "facts."

Will A U.N. Fact-Finding Mission Ever Make It To Syria? Article

Jamal al-Dura and his 12-year-old son Mohammed supposedly under fire

The photo of 12-year old Mohammed al Dura cowering behind his father - distributed with the storyline that he was shot dead by Israeli soldiers shortly thereafter - was plastered all over the UN's racist anti-racism Durban conference in 2001. Al Dura became the poster-boy for Palestinian terrorists. Now, "an official Israeli government report has declared...that Mohammed al-Dura...not only did not die but also may never have been shot." The report supports the struggle to expose the hoax by French Jew, Philippe Karsenty. Karsenty has long charged that France 2 television journalist Charles Enderlin created a media lie by broadcasting edited footage of al-Dura's alleged death at the hands of the IDF.

Israel Explodes the 'Big Lie' Gaza Al Dura Boy Wasn't Killed Article

Iran borrows from the Obama Benghazi playbook

Iran has taken a page out of President Obama's Benghazi playbook. Iranian press has explained the goings-on in Syria this way: "Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes." Fill in the blank: ________ minds think alike.

Iran warns West over Syria Article

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) holds press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was in Russia. The UN press release omits any mention of Russian arm sales to Syria. Instead, the SG was anxious to arrange for more talking - and proceeded to beg the Russians to convene the U.S. - Russia co-sponsored conference on Syria asap. Ban Ki-moon also said "the crisis in Syria is first and foremost on our minds." Which is patently false, as the Israel-fixated UN Human Rights Council will demonstrate when it starts its next session in a week.

Syria conference should be held 'as soon as possible,' Ban says during visit to Russia Development