Resources updated between Monday, June 02, 2014 and Sunday, June 08, 2014
June 7, 2014
The UN Secretary-General has chosen a replacement for anti-Israel bigot Navi Pillay, the outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He is Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein, a member of Jordan's royal family and its ambassador to the United Nations. His selection will have to be formally approved by UN states, but he would not have been announced without Ban Ki-moon first receiving assurances he would sail through.
The articles praising the appointment are already coming fast and furious - from those who stand to benefit most in terms of access, power and available grant-money flowing from the UN to cooperative outsiders. The NGO Human Rights Watch tells reporter Colum Lynch: "Prince Zeid's work on sexual violence and his leadership on the international criminal court give a good foundation for this new role," said Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.
Hicks also says: "As states in his region silence civil society and crush peaceful protests, the real test for Prince Zeid will be his willingness to stand up to abusive governments and speak out for those facing injustice and human rights violations worldwide."
This kind of comment coming from Hicks is predictable in view of her own long history of anti-Israel bias. Because the real test for a Muslim who becomes the UN's top human rights authority, will be his attitude towards the obsessive demonization of Israel and the constant dissemination of antisemitism by the UN human rights system itself. The grotesque double-standards that the UN human rights apparatus applies only to Israel, day after day, constantly impede UN action on real human rights abuses around the world.
So how likely is it that a High Commissioner for Human Rights who comes from a country that is a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation - which has hijacked the UN Human Rights Council to serve as its personal Israel-bashing tool - will confront his nation's allies and refuse to become part of the problem?
The answer is, as the British would say, not bloody likely.
"His Royal Highness Prince Al-Hussein of Jordan" represented Jordan before the International Court of Justice when it considered the legality of Israel's security fence in 2004. The case was a farcical "legal" exercise that answered a "question" posed by the General Assembly. The Assembly had already decided the illegality of "the Wall" and gave the Court the information to "prove" the foregone conclusion.
During his appearance Al-Hussein said that Israeli "practices" were "no less horrific" than suicide-bombing.
Exactly the orientation that will be encouraged and welcomed by the UN's "human rights" establishment.
June 6, 2014
"Boko Haram rebels have tightened their grip over a 1,200-square-mile swath of northern Nigeria's most mountainous and formidable terrain, as motorcycle-riding fighters carried out a weeklong series of raids on villages that killed nearly 200 people, residents said on Thursday. In a pattern of attacks that began May 30, the Islamist insurgents stormed through five villages in the Gwoza region, firing automatic weapons into houses and killing at least 100 people, including Idrissa Timta, a prominent Muslim leader, said two residents and an official with a local self-defense force. Then on Wednesday, they struck the outskirts of Maiduguri, the largest and most fortified city in Nigeria's northeastern corner. They killed 48 people in the village of Kayamla, a resident said, followed a day later by an attack on Bagari, where an additional 45 people were slain, the official said. 'They have gone through the village and burned all the houses,' the official said. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan reiterated his vow last week to purge the West African nation of terrorists. 'These thugs will be driven away,' he said. But at the moment, it is Boko Haram that is cleansing the countryside, driving away any Nigerian opposed to its campaign to carve out a fundamentalist holy land inside Africa's most populous country...The villages of the heavily forested area, once home to some 300,000 people, have been abandoned or given in to Boko Haram rule....More than half of northeastern Nigeria's farmers have left their fields behind, the center said. In all, 3.3 million people have fled Boko Haram's attacks since the conflict began in 2009, Nigeria's National Commission for Refugees said."
June 5, 2014
Human rights groups are finally waking up to the anti-human rights realities of today's UN, with the assured election of Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa to the top post of President of the General Assembly.
In February, Uganda passed a new law which "authorises life imprisonment for "repeat homosexuals" – couples in a committed relationship; seven-year sentences for anyone helping gay people to avoid detection; and five years in prison for "promotion of homosexuality"."
Sam Kutesa, Uganda's foreign affairs chief, was responsible for defending the law in the face of international condemnation. Kutesa said "the majority of Africans abhor this practice".
He is scheduled to be "elected by acclamation", as he is the only candidate for the 12-month post, on June 11, 2014.
Voices of disapproval include:
On June 2, 2014, the UN Committee created in 1975 to implement the notorious Zionism-is-racism General Assembly resolution, held one of its regular monthly meetings dedicated to demonizing Israel.
The "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People" meeting was opened by Abdou Salam Diallo, the Senegalese Chairman of the Committee, who praised the PLO deal with the terror organization, Hamas, as a "significant development".
After that the Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour was given the floor. He was "delighted" that PLO-Hamas government is "enjoying support from day one of almost everyone."
Then he accused Israel of not wanting to negotiate with a terrorist organization or as he put it "they dislike certain political elements that are supporting this government". Mansour also made sure to thank the Committee for "its role in this accomplishment we are observing today."
Next the Palestinian ambassador referred to the creation of the State of Israel as a "catastrophe". In his words: "What happened to us on May 15 1948 is a catastrophe that led to the creation of tragedy...".
He finished his speech with declaring the "holy city Jerusalem the capital of our own state."
The UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, which grants coveted UN NGO status to selected applicants, continues to derail applications of genuine human rights NGOs, while approving anti-Western organizations. UN NGO status allows NGOs to participate in UN meetings, and can include speaking rights, the ability to organize events inside the UN, and circulating documents on the official UN website.
The Committee members include countries infamous for NGO harassment and intimidation such as China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, and Venezuela.
On May 29, 2014, the Committee wrapped up its 2014 regular session at UN Headquarters in New York. During this session the Committee again postponed applications of a Muslim feminist NGO and an organization that represents individual prisoners of conscience.
The Committee postponed the consideration of Women Living under Muslim Laws based in the UK after both China and Morocco asked trumped up "additional questions." The Chinese UN delegate wanted to know "how the organization worked with a Hong Kong partner." Morocco's UN delegate objected to the NGO "answering questions to specific countries, not to the Committee as a whole" and inquired about "details of the organization's activities and case studies in Europe and North America."
Further, China blocked decision on Freedom Now from the United States, because the Chinese delegate wasn't clear on the "theoretical definition of prisoners of conscience."
In addition, the UN NGO Committee rejected outright the application from the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights from Canada, an organization that advocates the rights of LGBT individuals. The Coalition is "an international organization of young people committed to promoting adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive rights" including "identifying issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity." The organization was denied status after China, Morocco, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Senegal and Sudan voted against its application.
During the May session Committee members from some of the world's worst human rights abusing countries postponed numerous other applications by making frivolous objections. Their highly successful game is to delay the involvement of human rights organizations in the work of the UN, where there is a chance that such organizations might criticize these states. They also just seem to enjoy harassing Western NGOs for its own sake. For example:
On June 3, 2014 the UN Secretary-General wholeheartedly embraced the PLO deal with the terrorist organization Hamas, dedicated to the genocidal eradication of the Jewish people.
Ban Ki-Moon's spokesperson issued a statement which includes the following:
June 4, 2014
"According to official and unofficial reports at least 320 prisoners have been executed in the first 5 months of 2014 in Iran. This makes an average of more than two executions everyday. Iran Human Rights urges the international community to react...According to the reports collected by Iran Human Rights (IHR), at least 320 prisoners have been executed in 2014 in Iran. Iranian official sources have announced at least 147 executions in the period between 1. January and 1. June 2014. In addition, more than 180 executions have been reported by human rights groups and not announced by the official sources. Based on these numbers, the Iranian authorities have executed in average, more than 2 people every day in the first five months of 2014. This is despite the fact that there has been a 3 weeks halt in the executions around the Iranian new year in March."
"The World Watch List (WWL) Research team of Open Doors International has released a Top 10 Violence List of countries in which Christians have experienced the most violent incidents for their faith in Jesus Christ. The World Watch Top 10 Violence List, which is based on persecution incidents between Nov. 1, 2012, and March 31, 2014, is topped by Nigeria. The others, in order, are: Syria, Egypt, Central African Republic (CAR), Mexico, Pakistan, Colombia, India, Kenya and Iraq....In all countries where Christians are persecuted, researchers recorded 3,641 churches and Christian properties destroyed and 13,120 other forms of violence against Christians such as beatings, abductions, rapes, arrests and forced marriages. Open Doors researchers also released information on the Top 10 Violence List in the category of faith-related killings during the 17-month reporting period. Nigeria was No. 1 with a total of 2,073 Christian martyrs. Nigeria is followed by Syria 1,479, CAR 1,115, Pakistan 228, Egypt 147, Kenya 85, Iraq 84, Myanmar (Burma) and Sudan 33 each and Venezuela 26. Of the overall compilation of 5,479 Christians killed for their faith around the world, Nigeria, Syria and CAR make up 85 percent of the total. The estimated average of Christians killed for their faith per month in the reporting period is 322. Researchers say the total number of martyrs is 'a very minimum count and could be significantly higher.'"
It is about time that pundits stop describing President Obama's foreign policy as weak. There is a straight line between emboldening Syria's Assad by calling him a reformer, Egypt's Morsi a democrat, Turkey's Erdogan a friend, Iran's Rouhani a moderate, and now a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, a peace partner.
Monday's speedy announcement that the United States will work with and pay for a PLO-Hamas coalition government is a strong and predictable step in an alarming pattern.
Every one of these moves has deliberately driven a wedge between Obama and Israel. President Obama's priority is, and always has been, the Muslim world. It has made no difference to this partiality that in the latter world American hostages are languishing in prison cells, the killers of Americans are government insiders, official anti-Semitism is flourishing, and the locals are brutalized.
At the same time, President Obama has a recurring problem with his choice of best friends. There is an inconvenient discord between the terrorism and violence emanating from his BFF's and his putative job as commander-in-chief.
The difficulty presents itself, for example, in the context of Benghazi. The anger over Benghazi is more than justified, but not because it is still a mystery why the president sent no one to bomb Libya in order to save Americans under attack. He may have hurt somebody on the ground who was not American, or he may have stirred up local resentment.
President Obama has never made a secret of his "counter-terrorism" policy. In May 2013 he said quite clearly that even in the face of "terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people," "before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured."
Speaking at West Point on May 28, 2014 he reiterated that in taking direct action "against terrorism," we may strike "only where there is near certainty of no civilian casualties."
The problem is not that he's unclear. It's that he isn't right. International law does not require planning for zero civilian casualties – which would simply encourage combatants to use more civilians as human shields. The Geneva Conventions test is one of proportionality: "An attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life [or] injury to civilians" is prohibited if it "would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated."
So international law is not what is driving President Obama's foreign policy. What's really eating him is that he believes we are our own worst enemy. As he said at West Point: "our actions should meet a simple test: We must not create more enemies than we take off the battlefield." He is worried that if we defend ourselves, we "stir up local resentments."
That's a green light for the political enablers of terrorists everywhere to start writing UN speeches, mount new phony demonstrations, and concoct more bogus Islamophobia charges. If we are the ones responsible for creating more terrorists by fighting terrorists, then we may as well just go golfing.
The President's release of top five Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo this past weekend fits the dogma. As early as May 21, 2009, the President told us: "the existence of Guantanamo...created ...terrorists...It is a rallying cry for our enemies." Unsurprisingly, they prefer their terrorist buddies back in the field.
Similarly, our drone program is dwindling – nothing in Pakistan's tribal areas since last December – because our enemies don't like it either. But then, why would they?
Which brings us back to the President's embrace of a Palestinian government that includes the terror organization, Hamas – just hours after the PLO-Hamas deal was done.
Why the rush? Why was the issue of legitimizing a terror organization, dedicated to the annihilation of one of our closest allies, not worth more than a few seconds thought?
The answer is that for President Obama, it was just business as usual. His top priority is not delegitimizing terrorists and fighting to win, but avoiding stirring up local resentments. And Palestinians have made fabricating resentment for every imaginable affront into an art form. "A house is being built!" is a favorite, while Palestinian rocket-launchers and kidnappers and would-be suicide bombers are plying their wares.
Furthermore, the President never seriously tried to stop it. He could have threatened and ensured harsh economic and political repercussions, which Congress would have supported. But he didn't. Just as he didn't make any such threats when the Palestinians went to the UN in November 2012 to become a non-member observer state. And just as he didn't when the Palestinians started signing treaties this past April that legally are only open to states.
The ugly truth is that President Obama is happy to let the UN turn Palestine into a state, and thereby allow Palestinians to avoid negotiation, avoid recognition of the Jewish state, and avoid genuine commitment to peaceful coexistence with its Jewish neighbor. Unilateralism and the UN was always the back-up plan to Kerry's egoistic globe-hopping.
Asked about Hamas' continued commitment to militarism, Psaki responded "we'll continue to evaluate the specifics here."
The specifics are simple. One more Jew-hating, Israel-bashing, American foe has been welcomed into Obama's Islamist inner circle.