Resources updated between Monday, July 14, 2014 and Sunday, July 20, 2014
July 18, 2014
"A Baha'i man, Sarang Ettehadi, has been summoned to begin serving his one-year prison sentence on charges of 'propaganda against the state through participation in Baha'i worship and prayer groups.' Ettehadi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that he had been instructed via a telephone call from the Evin Prison Courts on July 6, 2014, to appear to begin serving his sentence within a week. Ettehadi's wife, Nasim Ashrafi, already began serving her sentence at Evin Prison on May 6, 2014.
"'They called my father, who holds the deed that was used as my bail collateral, and asked that I turn myself in to start serving the sentence. I will definitely go, because my wife went to Evin on May 6 for her one-year sentence. At least if I go now, our sentences will end almost at the same time and then we can live together in peace,' the Baha'i citizen told the Campaign.
"Intelligence agents arrested Sarang Ettehadi and his wife Nasim Ashrafi on July 11, 2012 at their home. Ettehadi spent 22 days and his wife 23 days at Evin Prison under interrogation before they were released on bail. Ettehadi was tried at Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court under Judge Moghisseh on January 15, 2014. Although he was indicted for 'propaganda against the state,' the judge added the charge of 'membership in a Baha'i organization to undermine national security' and sentenced him to five years in prison. After his lawyer appealed the sentence, Branch 26 of the Tehran Appeals Court exonerated him of the charge of 'membership in Baha'i organization,' but he was sentenced to one year in prison for 'propaganda against the state.'"
"Dozens of terror tunnels are spread throughout the Gaza Strip, the majority of them constructed and utilized by Hamas. The Hamas tunnel network is highly developed and continuously preserved interconnecting launch sites, rocket maintenance and command and control positions. Since beginning of the ground phase of Operation Protective Edge yesterday, July 17, approximately 5 of these terror tunnels have been exposed by IDF soldiers and are now under comprehensive investigation. Offensive tunnels are complex and advanced, crossing the border from Gaza to Israel, with an agenda to enable terrorists to infiltrate into the Israeli Home Front. Such tunnels, with openings deep within Israeli territory, are intended to carry out attacks such as abductions of Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers alike; infiltrations into Israeli communities, mass murders and hostage taking scenarios."
July 17, 2014
The current Palestinian terror campaign from Gaza, now affecting 4 million Israelis daily, hasn't caused the UN Israel-bashing machinery to skip a beat.
On July 16, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted a resolution entitled "Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan."
The text accuses Israel of "destruction of homes and properties, economic institutions and agricultural lands and orchards in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as in the occupied Syrian Golan." The UN mob adopted the resolution with 44 votes in favor, 2 against (Canada, United States), and 2 abstentions (Republic of Congo, Panama).
Before and after the vote several states took the floor to express their delight at the outcome. The Palestinian Authority representative accused Israel of "state terror and war crimes". The Syrian delegate said that Israel exercises "the worst occupation known by humanity."
And nobody laughed.
"The top U.N. human rights official suggested on Wednesday the United States should abandon its efforts to prosecute Edward Snowden...'We owe a great deal to him for revealing this kind of information'... Snowden should be seen as a 'human rights defender'.
'I am raising right here some very important arguments that could be raised on his behalf so that these criminal proceedings are averted,' she said.
Pillay was speaking after issuing a report on government surveillance, 'The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age'...
The report... will be debated at the U.N. General Assembly later this year."
July 16, 2014
July 15, 2014
The 20th century job description of the United Nations was "to maintain international peace and security" based on "the sovereign equality of all its members," and to do "nothing [to] impair the inherent right of self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a member of the UN."
But the UN of the 21st century has an exception clause. Every time Israel is attacked, not only does the UN fail to maintain peace and security – it attempts to gut Israel's inherent right of self-defense.
In accordance with this pathology, UN actors manufacture a cycle of violence that begins with Israeli aggression; assert a moral equivalence between Arab terrorists and their Israeli victims; and concoct a litany of Israeli human rights abuses. They conclude that Israeli actions in self-defense are crimes, and Israel's enemies are understandably, if a tad too fervently, protecting human rights.
Ceasefires are just opportunities to shift gears from alleging crimes to demanding punishments.
The events of the past week have been a textbook demonstration of this toxic formula.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued a "situation report" on July 9, 2014. It provides a "background on the crisis" that states: "the latest escalation round started on 11 June when Israeli forces targeted and killed an alleged member of an armed group, along with a child accompanying him, and Palestinian factions responded by shooting rockets at southern Israel."
OCHA could have started with something else that occurred on June 11, 2014 – a rocket sent from Gaza that narrowly missed a main artery in southern Israel. Or the UN body might have started with the rocket attacks perpetrated by the targeted Hamas operative himself, such as the rocket shot at Sderot on April 21, 2014. Or it could have chosen any of the other 200 rockets fired into Israel in the first six months of 2014.
Alternatively, a "background on the crisis" could have begun at the beginning, with uninterrupted violent Arab rejection of a Jewish state from the moment of Israel's creation.
Instead, the UN body chose the routine of "it all started when he hit me back."
Next on the bandwagon came Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Pillay is responsible for hatching the infamous Goldstone inquiry, together with the UN Human Rights Council, at a special Council session in January 2009. Goldstone's report claimed Israel was deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians, as opposed to defending itself from 8,000 rocket and mortar attacks launched from Gaza over eight years. Though Goldstone himself later retracted the slanderous charge, Pillay remained an enthusiastic supporter.
Evidently, Pillay has been hoping to repeat history. On July 3, 2014, Pillay told journalists in Vienna "I utterly condemn these rocket attacks and more especially I condemn Israel's excessive acts of retaliation." Then, on July 11, 2014 Pillay expressed "serious doubt about whether the Israeli strikes have been in accordance with international law" and called for an "independent" investigation.
Right on cue, on July 11, 2014 the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called for a special meeting of the UN Human Rights Council "to investigate Israel's crimes."
And then there's UNRWA, the UN Palestinian refugee agency. Director of Gaza Operations, Robert Turner, said on July 10, 2014 that he both "condemned indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza...and the use of force by Israeli security forces on Gaza that cause civilian casualties in violation of international humanitarian law." On July 14, 2014 UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl went even further, stating in a press briefing: "I urgently call on the Israeli Security Forces to put an end to attacks against, or endangering, civilians..."
The allegation that Israel is targeting or attacking civilians is a vile and incendiary falsehood.
In addition, the Geneva Conventions on the laws of war do not outlaw "an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life." The test is one of proportionality between the loss of civilian life or injury expected and "the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated." The application of this rule requires tangible facts of no interest to UN choreographers.
International law does, however, outlaw the use of human beings "in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favor or impede military operations." The cause of a human shield's death is the person using the shield – just as the cause of the death of a hostage shot by police in the course of a kidnapping is the kidnapper – not the police.
Ironically, the July 9, 2014 OCHA report confirms that Palestinian civilians are serving as human shields, for it asserts both that civilians casualties have mainly occurred during the destruction of residential properties and that "prior to the attacks residents have been warned to leave."
Also jumping onboard was UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, playing a similar blame game. In a statement released on July 8, 2014, he said he "is extremely concerned" about the "multiple Palestinian deaths and injuries as a result of Israeli operations in Gaza."
In Israel's case, the Secretary-General could find no moral daylight between a terrorist organization and a democratic society. At a briefing to the Security Council on July 10, 2014, he said there were "cycles of violence," and "attacks on both sides." In his view, "Palestinian civilians are caught between Hamas's irresponsibility and Israel's tough response."
Terrorism is not "irresponsibility" – it's evil. The Hamas Charter says: "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it." Palestinian civilians are hooked on a Palestinian government committed to genocide and acting to fulfill its stated mission. And yes, the intended victim is not prepared to go gently into the night.
July 14, 2014
"An Iranian court handed jail sentences of eight to 21 years to eight Facebook page administrators, the official IRNA news agency reported on Sunday. The report said the defendants were convicted of plotting against national security, spreading propaganda against the ruling system and insulting officials. It did not identify the defendants or the Facebook pages...Facebook is already officially banned in the country, along with other social websites like Twitter and YouTube as well as their mobile apps. However some senior leaders like Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are active on Twitter..."