Resources updated between Monday, June 16, 2014 and Sunday, June 22, 2014
June 19, 2014
On June 18 2014, the UN General Assembly elected members of the executive committees, or the "bureaux" as they are called, of its six Main Committees. Election by acclamation is the norm, and all but one country was acclaimed this year - except for the selection of an Israeli. Once again, the UN played host to an antisemitic attack on the Jewish state, treating Israel as different than all other nations.
The Arab Group of states rejected the nomination of Israel by the Group of Western European and Other States (WEOG), for the Vice-Chair of the Special Political and Decolonization (Fourth) Committee.
The General Assembly's Fourth Committee spends most of its time condemning Israel, and is the origin of the majority of anti-Israel resolutions adopted by the Assembly every year.
Qatar, speaking for the Arab group, said that Israel's "track record was rife with murder". The Arab Group also "expressed regret that there had been no other candidate from the group of States to which Israel belonged." Actually there were 2 other candidates from WEOG, Belgium and Norway.
The Arab states requested a vote, but Mordehai Amihai from Israel was elected Vice-Chair with 74 votes while Belgium and Norway received one vote each. There were 68 abstentions.
Elected by acclamation, however, were Iran as the Vice-Chair of the Sixth Committee (the Legal committee of the General Assembly), and Saudi Arabia as the Vice-Chair of the First Committee (the committee on Disarmament and International Security).
This is just some of Iran's record on "legal questions" and its credentials for advising the nations of the world on the law:
"The court system was subject to political influence, and judges were appointed "in accordance with religious criteria." The supreme leader appoints the head of the judiciary, and the heads of the judiciary, the Supreme Court, and the prosecutor general were clerics...The government often charged political dissidents with vague crimes, such as "antirevolutionary behavior," "moral corruption," "siding with global arrogance," "enmity towards God"...Rape victims ... could be charged with indecency, immoral behavior, or adultery for being in the presence of an unrelated male while unaccompanied....By law four Muslim men or a combination of three men and two women are required to have witnessed the rape for conviction... "
As for the so-called legal process:
"Arbitrary arrest and detention... occurred frequently... Authorities often violated... procedures by holding some detainees, at times incommunicado, for weeks or months without charge or trial, frequently denying contact with family or timely access to legal representation... The courts set prohibitively high bail, even for lesser crimes, and in many cases courts did not set bail...The government placed persons under house arrest without due process to restrict their movement and communication...Authorities commonly used arbitrary arrests to impede alleged antiregime activities. Plainclothes officers often arrived unannounced at homes or offices, arrested persons, conducted raids, and confiscated private documents, passports, computers, electronic media, and other personal items without warrants or other assurances of due process. Individuals often remained in detention facilities for long periods without charges or trials...Authorities often denied detainees access to legal counsel..."
This is Saudi Arabia's record on" international security":
US embassy cables: Hillary Clinton says Saudi Arabia is 'a critical source of terrorist funding:' "...donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide...Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, LeT, and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during Hajj and Ramadan. In contrast to its increasingly aggressive efforts to disrupt al-Qa'ida's access to funding from Saudi sources, Riyadh has taken only limited action to disrupt fundraising for the UN 1267-listed Taliban and LeT-groups that are also aligned with al-Qa'ida and focused on undermining stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan."
Saudi Arabia is also a party to the Convention of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on Combating International Terrorism which states: "Peoples struggle including armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism, and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination in accordance with the principles of international law shall not be considered a terrorist crime".
The UN General Assembly has approved Prince Zeid al-Hussein of Jordan as the UN's first Muslim and Arab High Commissioner for Human Rights on September 1, 2014.
He replaces South African, Navi Pillay, best known for her gross anti-Israel and anti-American bias throughout her tenure. Among other things, Pillay questioned the legality of killing Osama bin Laden. ABC reports al-Hussein "praised the endeavors of Ms Pillay and pledged after being elected for the position to build upon her noteworthy achievements." Those "achievements" include her fanatical support of the racist anti-racism Durban conference and the notorious Goldstone report.
The biography of al-Hussein distributed by the UN upon his appointment, highlights that he is a member of the advisory committee to "The Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation." The output of this Institute ought to raise alarm bells on the thinking of al-Hussein.
According to the Institute's website,"The Advisory Board provides guidance and oversight in the selection and implementation of IHJR projects." A 2012 project, entitled "Two Sides of the Coin: Independence and Nakba 1948," purports to provide an historical account of the creation of Israel from the perspectives of Israeli and Palestinian "narratives." It includes this take on the Jewish problem: "The Zionist movement supported the British and their allies, while the Mufti supported the German-Italian axis, which meant the Jews were in better relations at the end of the war with Britain and their allies in the West than the Arabs were."
It also includes:
"Palestinians feel that they are paying for the European Jewish Holocaust rather than those responsible. The Jewish-Israeli perspective of the War of Independence is current rather than historical. It is perceived as an act of historical justice and the birth of a nation; therefore, it must be pure and untainted to ensure the state's legitimacy...The Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917 is viewed by Palestinians as the beginning of Zionist aggression
From the Holocaust to the Partition of Palestine, 1945-1947
...Holocaust...survivors had nowhere else to go ...The Palestinians thought of themselves as the indigenous community
The Path to Independence and Nakba, Late November 1947 to Mid-May 1948
...The narratives both acknowledge the unprepared and weaker condition of the Palestinian fighters, and the well-preparedness of the Jewish forces...From April 1948 to the end of the Mandate in May the Jewish narratives address actions in a militaristic fashion, describing actions as operations...The Jewish-Israeli narrative focuses primarily on the offensive,
At the Expense of the Palestinians: The First Israeli-Arab War
...mid-May 1948 to January 1949...The Jewish-Israelis viewed themselves as being attacked by seven Arab countries, while the Palestinian narrative makes it clear that only four countries sent troops, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Syria... While the Jewish-Israeli narrative focuses on military maneuvers, the Palestinian narrative at multiple points mentions Israel's planned program of ethnic cleansing,
Post-Trauma, Post-Euphoria, 1949-1956
Return for refugees and those expelled has reached almost sacred status and elevated importance for the Palestinian community.
For more on al-Hussein see Meet New UN Human Rights Chief: A Jordanian Prince With An Anti-Israel History.
June 18, 2014
The kidnapping of three Israeli teens places the Palestinian Authority in direct violation of...international treaties it recently signed, Israeli legal expert and former Ambassador Alan Baker points out.
The international treaties include the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Optional Protocol on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, and the four 1949 Geneva conventions and the first Additional Protocol (1977).
These violations, Baker says, raise several questions and responsibilities for the "UN Secretary General, the Swiss government, and the 194 states parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Geneva conventions, as well as Abbas and his colleagues in the Palestinian leadership":
Obvious, egregious violations include:
- Article 34 of the Fourth Geneva convention (1949) according to which "The taking of hostages is prohibited."
- Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to prevent illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad.
- Article 19 of the CRC which obliges parties to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation.
- Article 35 of the CRC to take all appropriate measures to prevent abduction, sale or trafficking in children.
- Article 36 of the CRC to protect children against all forms of exploitation prejudicial to their welfare.
- Article 37 of the CRC prohibiting torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of children, unlawful or arbitrary deprivation of their liberty and imprisonment, requiring humane treatment and respect for their dignity and needs.
Column Lynch reports: "For years, American administrations have embraced U.N. peacekeeping as a cost-effective alternative to U.S. military intervention, a policy that has allowed Washington to harness the power and purse of foreign governments to promote America's security and humanitarian interests abroad. 'It's a smart investment,' President Obama recently told cadets at West Point.
In South Sudan, the investment is indeed paying dividends -- for China. Last month, Beijing quietly secured a deal that will put the U.N.'s famed blue helmets to work protecting workers in South Sudan's oil installations, where China has invested billions of dollars over the years and holds a major financial stake -- at least 40 percent -- in South Sudan's largest oil field. American taxpayers, who fund about 27 percent of the cost of U.N. peacekeeping missions, will effectively be helping to shoulder the financial burden of securing China's investment.
The unprecedented arrangement was hammered out last month in closed-door negotiations -- which have not been previously detailed -- over how to bolster the U.N. Mission in South Sudan, or UNMISS, so it could better protect hundreds of thousands of civilians from ethnic cleansing. The beefed-up mission will include thousands of additional troops from African countries as well as hundreds more from China.
Faced with South Sudan's descent into civil and ethnic conflict over the past seven months, the United States spearheaded negotiations in the U.N. Security Council on a new resolution that would seek to ensure the safety of the country's civilian population. The resolution "focuses the mission on its core activities of protection of civilians; monitoring and investigating human rights abuses; and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance," Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said after the May 27 vote.
But garnering China's support came at a cost: ensuring the protection of South Sudan's oil workers."
On June 17, 2014 the International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensoiuda blasted the U.N. for "failing Darfur's victims" and covering up crimes against civilians in Darfur.
During a UN Security Council briefing Bensoiuda said: "nearly 10 years since the much lauded Council's referral of the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court, systematic and widespread crimes continued to be committed with total impunity in that region...It is indeed an understatement to say that we have failed the Darfur victims who continue to bear the brunt of these crimes."
As far back as March 4, 2009 and July 12, 2010, the ICC indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes. But years later he remains at large.
Commenting on that fact, Bensoiuda said "The Court had also taken note of President Omar al-Bashir's travels during the reporting period, including his visits to Rome Statute State parties, which were obligated to arrest and surrender those subject to arrest warrants... Concerted efforts to promote cooperation with the Council may help to fill the gap. She called on the Council and all States to find creative ways to support those among them that may be most vulnerable to planned visits by the Sudanese President or other individuals wanted under International Criminal Court arrest warrants." "The reality is that the International Criminal Court's judicial process could not take place without arrests. Darfur suspects remained at large and no meaningful steps had been taken to apprehend them and bring them to justice..."
And she demanded: "What amount of suffering should Darfur's victims endure for this Council to act decisively on the situation in Darfur?"
She also pointed directly at a UN cover-up aimed at helping the government of Sudan. "She stated that recent allegations that reporting from the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) had been manipulated, with the intention of covering up crimes against civilians and peacekeepers, including those committed by the Government of Sudan, should be a matter of concern. The allegations called for a thorough, independent and public inquiry ..."
Harshly criticizing the Security Council, she said: "It was a sad reality that action from the Council had not been forthcoming when it mattered most for those victims. That reflected badly, not only on the international criminal justice system, but also undermined the credibility of the Council as an instrument of international peace and security."
Exactly. The Security Council has no credibility as an instrument of international peace and security.
While terrorism grips the world, across Africa, the Middle East and Europe, the UN General Assembly was busy adopting a resolution on "The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Review."
In adopting the resolution, a top priority of UN members was concern for the poor perpetrators of terrorism, that is, terrorists. In UN parlance, this is called the "root causes" of terrorism or "conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism." The resolution, therefore, reaffirms:
"the commitment of Member States to undertaking the measures aimed at addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, including but not limited to prolonged unresolved conflicts, dehumanization of victims of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, lack of the rule of law and violations of human rights, ethnic, national and religious discrimination, political exclusion, socioeconomic marginalization and lack of good governance..."
In keeping with the same political interests, the General Assembly resolution on terrorism includes criticism of the use of drones to eliminate terrorists. Pakistan "welcomed new elements in the resolution, such as State compliance with the United Nations Charter in the use of remotely piloted aircraft." In the resolution's words:
"13. Urges Member States to ensure that any measures taken or means employed to counter terrorism, including the use of remotely piloted aircraft, comply with their obligations under international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, human rights law and international humanitarian law, in particular the principles of distinction and proportionality."
The resolution also includes a provision targeting the United States:
"12. Urges all States to respect and protect the right to privacy, as set out in article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights including in the context of digital communication, also while countering terrorism, in accordance with international law, in particular international human rights law, and to take measures to ensure that interferences with or restrictions on that right are not arbitrary, are adequately regulated by law, and are subject to effective oversight and to appropriate redress, including through judicial review or other legal means."
UN states were pleased with themselves. And terrorists haven't skipped a beat.
On June 13, 2014 the UN General Assembly continued its major event on a "counter-terrorism strategy." Since, the UN has no definition of terrorism, all the many states discussing the subject were happy to denounce "it." Other states encouraged terrorism under another name. Some worried about the hapless terrorists. Here are some of the contributions to the discussion.
Iran said it "opposed any attempt to equate with terrorism the struggle for self-determination of peoples under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation."
Lebanon said there was "a critical need to differentiate between terrorism and the legitimate right to resist foreign occupation" like "acts of terrorism against Palestinians by Israelis". The Lebanese delegate was also concerned with "conditions conducive to the threat of terrorism" and said "it was important to address the causes that could lead to extremism and radicalism, including marginalization and impunity and double standards".
Venezuela was worried about "unilateral lists of countries that supported terrorist activities".
Sudan made a self congratulatory statement on ratifying "all the international conventions related to countering terrorism" and being active "in efforts deployed to combat the scourge."
The United Arab Emirates boasted about promoting "tolerance including through securing religious freedom for all communities and achieving gender parity" and establishing "the international centre for combating violent extremism."
The Syrian delegate lectured on "respect" for the UN Charter and said "some States were not serious in their commitment to fighting terrorism." His speech also included condemnation of the United States for producing an Islamist radical suicide-bomber in Syria: "The causes of terrorism must also be addressed, he said, asking how a youth playing football in Florida could be lured to being a suicide bomber dead at age 20...Syria had worked to raise awareness against terrorism and to address its roots causes."
Saudi Arabia said it "was leading the charge to address terrorism from a legal point of view."
On June 12, 2014 the UN General Assembly convened a review of its "Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy." The UN "strategy" was first adopted on September 8, 2006.
Discussions about countering terrorism at the UN are always fraught with a certain difficulty - the absence of a UN-agreed definition of terrorism. The prime reason for the standoff is the insistence of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) that various targets - like Israelis - are always fair game. The Arab Terrorism Convention and the Terrorism Convention of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) define terrorism to exclude armed struggle for liberation and self-determination. This claim purports to exclude blowing up certain civilians from the reach of international law and organizations.
In keeping with this outlook, the General Assembly's "counter-terrorism" discussion on June 12 included the following:
Egypt, speaking on behalf of the OIC, "rejected any attempt to associate terrorism with any religion," and called for addressing the issue of financing of terrorism "in an impartial, non-political manner." The Islamic states also objected to "unilateral elaboration of lists accusing States of allegedly supporting terrorism".
The Cuban representative accused the United States for organizing financing and executing "terrorist acts" against his country while Russia lectured on "the need to ensure security and promotion of fundamental rights."
Senegal was worried about "root causes" of terrorism like "discrimination" and "poverty" and suggested "dialogue and tolerance promoting mutual respect between all cultures, beliefs and religions".
Pakistan was concerned with "conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism", while Qatar bragged about establishing "a centre for peaceful dialogue".
Kyrgyzstan's idea of fighting terrorism includes "enhancing education, job creation" because "terrorism cannot be overcome by the use of force."
Malaysia's recipe for fighting terrorism is eradicating "hard core poverty", and ensuring "equitable economic growth."
At the end of the meeting Iran accused Israel of "genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes" as well as being "behind the most horrific terrorist acts of our time." On the actual battlefield, Iran continued its role as the main state sponsor of terrorism - a fact of no interest to the majority of members of the General Assembly.
June 17, 2014
Palestinian barbarians have kidnapped an American boy and President Obama is making every American an accomplice.
Ittael Fraenkel, a 16-year-old with American and Israeli citizenship, and two other Israeli teens, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrah, were kidnapped on June 12 on their way home from school. The president of the United States has said nothing.
Secretary of State John Kerry waited three days to issue a press release in which he identified the boys only as "Israelis," letting us know he was praying for them.
Many other countries – led by Canada's foreign minister – issued condemnations before Kerry, even though none of their citizens were involved.
Just one day before the boys were kidnapped, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, at the daily press briefing said the Hamas/PLO Palestinian unity government was a "technocratic government" and that "nothing has changed as it relates to our assistance" – notwithstanding that Hamas is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.
There are 6 million Jewish dead because the aiders and abettors of the Nazis helped round up their Jewish neighbors, did the counting and kept the cattle cars moving and the dollars flowing. Now, when the Obama administration tells us we must not distinguish between Palestinian technocrats and Palestinian terrorists in a unity government, and that American dollars will keep flowing, the president makes each and every American taxpayer an accomplice.
Our president is forcing us to become the aiders and abettors to modern anti-Semitism and its terrible consequences – including the hellish kidnapping of three teenage boys by emboldened terrorists a day after Psaki's remarks.
Wake up, America. Do you think these savages can be exempted from the norms of civilized society and your children will still be safe? That the very principles we stand for are not in mortal jeopardy when the leader of the free world draws an imaginary line between political mouthpieces and the killers and kidnappers they dispatch?
Yes, we need energy independence so that we can finally end the stranglehold of oil-producing terror-sponsoring states. But we can turn off the tap to the Palestinian network of terrorist enablers and child-abducting monsters today. With the Palestinian thugocracy, it is a matter of our will, not their extortion.
On Friday, June 13, while an American kid was being terrified out of his mind and the president and secretary of state of the United States couldn't find their voice, the American delegate to the U.N., Howard Wachtel, was making the following speech at a General Assembly blabfest about "counterterrorism":
"The world has to rededicate itself to implementing the U.N. counterterrorism strategy. As new threats emerge, responses have to be tailored to address them, especially when terrorist groups are turning to practices, such as kidnapping..." And the only kidnappings that Obama's delegate could manage to "condemn" were those of Turks in Iraq, not that of an American child!
Did you know the U.N. even had a counterterrorism strategy? Probably not, because the U.N. has no definition of terrorism. So the actual U.N. strategy is to counter whatever.
After the speech, the U.N. adopted a resolution on countering terror that stressed "the measures aimed at addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism ... including socioeconomic marginalization." Nowhere in the long list of conditions and the hand-wringing over the poor terrorists did the U.N. mention the terrorists' sordid hatred, aversion to liberty and preference for obscene violence.
Just a few months ago, Barack Obama and John Kerry demanded Israel release from prison Palestinian murderers who had been duly convicted for their crimes – for the sake of a fictitious peace process with a make-believe peace partner. Unsurprisingly, Palestinian terrorists are not satisfied and want more.
The unimaginable suffering of those three boys and their families – now human pawns in a White House-driven chess game – is on our president's hands.
But it should not be on ours. Members of Congress have a duty to withhold American support from the Palestinian terrorist technocrats until those boys are safely returned. And Americans have a duty to demand no less.
"President Uhuru Kenyatta has blamed 'local political networks' for the overnight raid on two villages near the town of Mpeketoni. But Somalia's al-Shabab group had earlier said it was behind the attack. At least 49 people died in a separate raid on hotels and a police station in Mpeketoni on Sunday. Al-Shabab said it was revenge for the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia and the killing of Muslims. Kenya sent troops to Somalia in 2011 to help the weak UN-backed government defeat the militants. Two days after the deadly wave of violence in Mpeketoni, Kenyans are still unclear who is responsible. If it was al-Shabab, the targeting of villages, not towns, and the killing of men only, while abducting women, would be new tactics. By sparing women and children, they could be trying to sanitise their image after even their own supporters criticised them for the indiscriminate killings during the Westgate siege last year..."
June 16, 2014
"Chinese authorities formally arrested prominent lawyer Pu Zhiqiang on Friday for 'picking quarrels and creating a disturbance.' His other alleged crime was 'illegally obtaining citizens' personal information,' Beijing police said on their official microblog, adding that the investigation into Pu is still ongoing. Pu, 49, was detained in early May after attending a low-key seminar in a private home to mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. State-run Global Times newspaper said in an editorial at the time that he had crossed 'a legal red line' by associating himself with a topic still considered taboo in China. Pu took part in the student-led demonstrations in 1989 that ended in a bloody military crackdown on June 4 of that year. He later become one of the best-known lawyers in China for defending human rights in courts as well as in the media. A fierce critic of China's once ubiquitous forced labor camps, Pu took on several high-profile clients who were victims of the 're-education through labor' system. His cases gained nationwide attention and support, pressuring the government to re-examine the controversial system and leading to its eventual abolition late last year...Pu's arrest comes as the latest development in a new wave of government crackdowns on human rights advocates. Police put nearly 100 people in detention or under house arrest before this year's Tiananmen anniversary, said Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a Washington-based monitoring group."