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Resources updated between Monday, June 19, 2017 and Sunday, June 25, 2017

June 25, 2017

June 23, 2017

Congressman Francis Rooney (R-FL) (File photo)

Why fund the United Nations Human Rights Council? Article

June 22, 2017

Ahmad Jalali (left), the Iranian ambassador to UNESCO and leading candidate to head the agency

"There is growing concern in the Israeli Mission to the United Nations that a prominent UN agency could soon find itself with an Iranian representative at its helm, Israel Hayom reported.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has been at the center of a string of controversies involving Israel recently, including the passage of resolutions denying the Jewish link to Jerusalem and key religious sites in the city, including the Temple Mount.

Iran's representative at UNESCO, Ahmad Jalali, is a leading candidate in the UNESCO Steering Committee's upcoming internal election.

The UNESCO Steering Committee, which includes 58 countries of the 195 currently represented at the UN, holds elections for committee chair every two years. The current UNESCO committee chair is Michael Worbs, a member of Germany's UN delegation and a part of UNESCO's Group I, made up of Western states..."

Growing concern that an Iranian will head UNESCO Article

Refugees in Syria receiving food aid

"Almost every weekday, tons of lentils, salt, oil and wheat flour are loaded onto an Ilyusin-76 cargo plane at an airport in Jordan. Russian contract pilots then fly nearly 400 miles across the Syrian border and parachute the supplies from about 15,000 feet over the outskirts of a government-controlled neighborhood in Der Ezzor.

The costly air drop operation organized by the World Food Program has saved countless lives in the besieged Sunni-majority city, which has been encircled by hostile forces of the Islamic State for more than three years. But the operation - heavily funded by American and European taxpayers - has also benefited the Syrian regime, and its Russian and Iranian backers, providing a lifeline to a strategic eastern city...

In contrast, Syria has been starving hundreds of thousands of civilians in opposition held towns, imposing an Kafka-esque set of regulations that systematically delay and deny the delivery of food and medicines to those in need. The impediments, U.N. emergency relief coordinator Stephen O'Brien recently told the Security Council, reflects 'a mindset and approach by the government of Syria that uses civilian suffering as a tactic of war.'

"The Syrian government has a big interest in having the U.N. feeding these people in Der Ezzor, because food is loyalty," said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert who heads the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. 'It reassures the locals that the government, not ISIS, is on their side.'...

The Der Ezzor airdrops are part of a broader humanitarian relief plan brokered by the U.N. special envoy, Staffan de Mistura, and backed by Russia and the United States. The arrangement - which was endorsed by the 17-nation International Syria Support Group, or ISSG, in February, 2016 - placed the burden on key international powers, including the U.S. and Russia, to ensure that combatants on all sides abided by the agreement.

The United States, which has footed the majority of the bill, poured more than $10 million into it its first months of operations, with Britain, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands throwing in several million more. There have been more than 260 airdrops to date, at a total cost of between $36 million and $65 million.

Initially, the pact saw U.N. and Syrian Red Cross convoys delivering food and other goods to towns that had been cut off from basic supplies for years.

'For a few months, it worked really well,' said one State Department official. 'The government provided the approval for the convoys, ensuring that even the government besieged areas received assistance. We were shocked at how well it was working.'

But over time, and as the world's attention turned elsewhere, Syria resumed its policy of blocking aid deliveries to rebel-controlled towns. Those convoys that did get through were required to unload stocks of medicines. 'The initial success had gone down the tubes.'..."

U.S. Taxpayers Are Helping Bashar Al-Assad in a Strategic City Article

June 21, 2017

Lakhdar Brahimi, an Algerian diplomat and a member of the so-called "The Elders" (File photo)

"A veteran Arab diplomat's remark comparing the Gaza Strip with a 'concentration camp' at a Security Council briefing drew a sharp rebuke from the US mission to the United Nations on Tuesday.

'Indecent and irresponsible remarks such as these are another example of the anti-Israel bias at the UN that has to end,' a spokesperson for the US mission to the UN told The Algemeiner following the speech at a Security Council meeting on 'the Middle East, including the Palestinian question' given by Lakhdar Brahimi, a former Algerian foreign minister and UN envoy to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

During his address, Brahimi - who spoke as a member 'The Elders,' a body of global influencers gathered under the auspices of former US President Jimmy Carter - sympathetically quoted a Palestinian woman in Gaza who told him, 'Israel has put us in a concentration camp.'...

'The Security Council has provided a platform to antisemitic comments and a malicious blood libel,' Danon declared in a statement. 'This one-sided obsession with Israel is beyond the pale. To accuse the Jewish state of using concentration camps is not only despicable, but it degrades the Security Council and the UN as a whole. We demand that the Security Council renounce Brahimi's statement immediately.'

Brahimi is no stranger to controversies arising from his comments about Israel or Jews more broadly. In 2009, he told the Algerian daily Liberte that 'the Jewish-Zionist lobby is controlling political life in the US and can pass any decision in Congress almost unanimously.' One year later, Israel's then-ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, accused Brahimi of 'prejudice, bigotry and antisemitism' after the Algerian described Israel and its policies as 'the great poison in the region.'..."

U.S. Rebukes Veteran Arab Diplomat Over Remark to U.N. Security Council Comparing Gaza to 'Concentration Camp' Article

Hamid Rashid (left), speaking at a UN meeting, December 10, 2015

U.N. Economist Charged With Underpaying Household Worker From Bangladesh Article

A knife used in a Palestinian terror attack (File photo)

IDF: Knife-wielding Palestinian attacks Israeli troops, is shot dead Document

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (File photo)

Haley calls for UN resolution to condemn Hamas as terrorist organization Article

Advertising for the UN "occupation" event

UN set to host major '50 years of Israeli occupation' event in New York City Article

June 20, 2017

Eugene Kontorovich delivering a statement slamming the hypocrisy of the U.N. Human Rights Council in singling out Israel for a "blacklist" of companies doing business in the West Bank

"Northwestern University Law Professor Eugene Kontorovich presented the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday with a report documenting business dealings in occupied territories around the world, underscoring the hypocrisy behind the council's decision to compile a blacklist only of companies operating in the West Bank.

In a presentation explaining the study, Kontorovich, who also heads the International Law Department at the Kohelet Policy Forum, observed that some 44 companies from countries including Sweden, Switzerland, France and Germany operate in different occupied territories around the world.

'The study reveals that international businesses play a crucial role supporting occupation and settlement enterprises around the world in places such as Western Sahara, Northern Cyprus, Nagorno-Karabakh and Crimea,' Kontorovich said, but 'the Council has never condemned any of this business activity.'...

Noting that there is no similar list of companies operating in any other occupied territory, Kontorovih asserted that 'the activity the Council treats as criminal when Israel is involved is regarded as unremarkable anywhere else.'..."

Legal Expert Slams Hypocrisy of UN's "Unprecedented" Israel Blacklist Article

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon (File photo)

Israeli Ambassador Danon: UN Security Council Provides Platform for 'Blood Libels' Article

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman Phobia Spreads Across Arab World Article

U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process Nickolay Mladenov briefs the Security Council next to the Palestinian representative (File photo)

"This week marks six months since the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which classifies Israeli settlements beyond the 1967 line, including in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, as illegal. Visiting Jerusalem last month, the distance between the pronouncements of Turtle Bay and the realities of the Old City appeared as stark as ever. For starters, everyone knows that Israel will absorb the major settlement blocs near the '67 line as part of any peace agreement. And no Israel government will ever surrender its access to Jerusalem.

Alas, the United Nations has long been a hub of anti-Israeli activity, in part because it views the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a colonial legacy pitting the powerful against the powerless. By pursing a one-sided agenda, the U.N. hopes to strengthen the weaker party in the service of justice. However, by issuing rulings on sensitive issues without first preparing the ground for peace, this approach only polarizes the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation. Just as bad, it damages the U.N.'s credibility with Israelis...

The U.N. should focus on achieving a breakthrough by fostering the conditions needed for genuine peace. Unfortunately, at present the message for peace is not competitive with the call to violence among Palestinians. This has led the Palestinian leadership to spin a cocoon of anti-Israeli rhetoric from which it has been unable to escape..."

The United Nations should ditch its anti-Israel bias Article

Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad sitting down with United Nations envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura (File photo)

"As the Syria regime of Bashar Assad grinds out a piecemeal victory in ravaged areas of resistance, the United Nations faces a new challenge: how, and with whom, it will help the regime rebuild -- and in the process might further help to consolidate Assad's sway.

Among other things, Fox News has learned, such recovery work has already involved local cooperation between one U.N. organization, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and a charity placed on a U.S. sanctions list last month for its close ties to Assad's militias and to the dictator's crony billionaire cousin, Rami Makhlouf, who was also sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury much earlier.

According to an internal U.N. document examined by Fox News, the small-scale project involved little more than assistance last year, with funding from Kuwait, to revive a number of local handmade carpet cooperatives, using funding from Kuwait, 'in cooperation with local communities and Al Bustan NGO.'

That appeared to be a reference to the Al Bustan Charity organization, an entity sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury on May 16, 2017. Treasury declared at the time, 'Makhlouf created a vast private network of miitias and security-linked institutions through al-Bustan, a prominent organization recruiting and mobilizing individuals to support and augment Syrian military forces.'...

In response to questions from Fox News about that relationship, an IOM spokesperson declared that 'individual countries have bilateral sanction lists which do not necessarily apply to the U.N.,'..."

The UN helps Assad rebuild, as he continues the carnage Article

June 19, 2017

The UN Human Rights Council, Geneva

One-after-another repressive countries demonized Israel during the UN Human Rights Council's regularly scheduled day intended to turn the Jewish state into an international pariah.

The meeting was held on June 19, 2017 under the Council's "Agenda Item 7," the only item on its permanent agenda dedicated to one specific country. Despite speeches by US UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on the "unacceptable" nature of the Council's treatment of Israel, the Trump administration remains a member of the Council and requires US taxpayers to cover 22% of its costs.

The meeting, which took place at the UN in Geneva, featured the following examples of hate speech under the guise of "human rights."

  • Pakistan on behalf of the 56 states in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation: "The overall context is one of colonization and apartheid... The OIC condemns in the strongest terms the continuous incitement by the Israeli officials and terrorist settlers against the Palestinian people and their holy places..."
  • Bangladesh: "[W]e continue witnessing Israeli aggression, colonial settlements, indiscriminate killing of innocent civilian people of Palestine, and their untold sufferings. Bangladesh continues to underscore that lasting solution to this crisis requires addressing the root causes leading to such violations, namely the Israeli state's Zionist ideology, which aims to establish a Jewish majority in historic Palestine through colonization, ethnic cleansing, and the systematic oppression and domination over the non-Jews."
  • South Africa: "South Africa wishes once again to register its most serious concern related to the construction of the apartheid wall in the occupied Palestinian territory..."
  • Iraq: "There are systematic murders by the occupying forces."
  • Tunisia: "All this happens in a culture of impunity as Israel goes ahead with its settlement policies, transgressing and attacking holy places of Muslims and Christians in order to Judaize and change the demographics of Jerusalem."
  • Venezuela: "We reject the colonialist policy of the occupying power which is terror, siege, and discrimination, ignoring all calls to dialogue and peace by the international community."
  • Qatar: "It is essential thus that the international community reiterate its commitment before the International Criminal Court to ensure that-and then be brought to the racist violations of Israelis towards Palestinians."
In addition Syria found the Council a welcome opportunity to blame Jews for its problems, claiming ""Israelis' facilitation of movement and transport of terrorist groups in occupied Syria...fuels and stokes tensions in the region..."

UN "Human Rights" Council Hosts Antisemitic, Anti-Israel Session, with U.S. Taxpayers Funding One-quarter of the Cost. Development

Bayefsky: Antisemitism personified at the UN. 6/19/17, UN, Geneva

Otto Warmbier, an American student, being taken away handcuffed by North Korean soldiers (File photo)

Otto Warmbier, the American student who was imprisoned in North Korea for more than 17 months and was returned home to Ohio last week, has died, his family said Monday.

"It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home," his family said in part in a statement. "Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20 p.m."

Doctors from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said last week that Warmbier, 22, was suffering from injuries related to cardiopulmonary arrest and was in a state of unresponsive wakefulness. Scans showed extensive loss in all regions of Warmbier's brain, doctors said.

Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, was medically evacuated from North Korea and flown to Cincinnati late last Tuesday. He was then transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

On Monday, the family paid tribute to Warmbier in their emotional statement.

"It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost -- future time that won't be spent with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds," the family's statement continues. "But we choose to focus on the time we were given to be with this remarkable person. You can tell from the outpouring of emotion from the communities that he touched -- Wyoming, Ohio, and the University of Virginia to name just two -- that the love for Otto went well beyond his immediate family."

The statement also thanked "the wonderful professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who did everything they could for Otto."

"When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable -- almost anguished. Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed -- he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that."

In a statement, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, called Warmbier a "promising young man."

"He was kind, generous and accomplished," Portman said. "He had all the talent you could ever ask for and a bright future ahead of him. His passing today is a loss for Ohio and for all of us. Jane and I are lifting up the Warmbier family in our prayers at this difficult time, and we are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of this remarkable young Ohioan."

Ohio Gov. John Kasich offered his prayers to the family in a statement posted on Twitter.

Otto Warmbier, American student detained in North Korea for 17 months, dies Document

Bayefsky: Israelis are expected to die laughing. 6/19/17, UN, Geneva

The International Criminal Court, The Hague

PLO Threatens to Go to ICC - to Protect Terrorist Salaries Article