Resources updated between Monday, July 21, 2014 and Sunday, July 27, 2014
July 24, 2014
The UN Human Rights Council held a special session in Geneva on July 23, 2014 to declare effectively that Israelis do not have human rights. The vote was 29 in favor, 1 against and 17 abstentions.
The Obama administration voted against – after joining and legitimizing the virulently anti-Jewish Council for the past five years, and now feigning disappointment for American cameras.
The Europeans abstained because they did not want to upset their violent Muslim minorities, and because their sordid past didn't leave the resolution's message too foreign in any case. A few cowardly countries that Israelis have magnanimously befriended over the years also abstained.
But the majority of the UN world cheered – literally. Speakers during the procession of hatemongers at the Council were greeted with applause.
As is their wont, CNN, the New York Times and company derived from this spectacle the lesson that Israel is pathetic, isolated and doomed.
But the real takeaway is the polar opposite.
Israel really is a light unto the nations.
The light years between the UN "human rights" machinery and genuine human rights is actually pretty obvious. At least to folks without years of foreign policy wonking, diplomatic double-talk language schooling, or blinkered war correspondence training.
Here is how it went down.
The "Human Rights" Council session on Gaza was presided over by President Baudelaire Ndong Ella of Gabon, a member of the Islamic bloc of states (OIC), and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.
Pillay retires in August after six years dedicated to the demonization of Israel. A native of Durban, South Africa, Pillay spent her time in office championing the racist anti-racism conference that took place in her hometown in 2001 (after Durban's mayor requested that she resurrect the city's good name). She choreographed the second and third UN Durban conferences in 2009 and 2011 that "reaffirmed" the Israel-is-racist canard.
Pillay also initiated, and subsequently became the lead spokesperson for, the 2009 slanderous UN Goldstone report. Though Goldstone himself later recanted the charge, the report accused Israel of deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians the last time Israel had the audacity to mount a sustained response to the Hamas killing machine in Gaza.
In short, Pillay was bent on leaving office with a bang. Along with Durban II and III, Goldstone I and II would be her anti-human rights legacy.
Pillay opened the Council session on July 23, 2014. For her, "suffering" was a description applicable only to Palestinians. She carefully presented the charge of "crimes against humanity" – knowing full well that the image projected was one of Israelis as the new Nazis. She simultaneously called for an investigation to discern the facts and recounted a list of supposed Israeli-driven horrors, like killing little children while their pious parents prepared for Muslim rituals. She summed up Israeli operations in Gaza as having "inflicted" "unimaginable death, destruction, terror and life-long consequences."
The feeding frenzy that followed her at the UN's highest human rights body was raw unadulterated antisemitism. It was a verbal blitz timed to coincide with the blitz of Hamas rocket attacks that Israelis were experiencing from the skies. The Council session revealed – for the umpteenth time – that these offensives are a continuation of the rejection of a Jewish state, period. Or in the words of Palestinian foreign minister Riyad Maliki himself at the Council, first came the "Israeli atrocities of 1948." Maliki went on to charge Israel with having "exterminated" Palestinians. His language included: "the smell of death is pursuing Palestinian children because of Israel...who have transformed children into shreds...while they tried to escape the machinery of death."
Over and over again the despicable antisemitic analogy of Israelis to Nazis was repeated, along with maniacal claims from a parade of human rights abusers. Algeria said "Gaza is a concentration camp." Sudan said Israel had a "policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide." Iran claimed Israel was engaged in "massacres and crimes against humanity." Venezuela said "Israel seeks to exterminate the Palestinian people." Tunisia said "Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism and is acting in Gaza like the Nazis." And then there were charges of "barbaric, inhuman acts," "heinous massacres," and "crimes unparalleled in recent history."
In the end, the Human Rights Council's resolution "deplores" and "condemns in the strongest terms" Israel's "grave," "widespread, systematic, and gross" "violations of human rights." The word "Hamas" is never mentioned.
And the UN launched what might be called Goldstone II – another so-called "human rights" investigation into "violations of law in the occupied Palestinian territory" – not Israeli territory of course.
Goldstone II joins the voluminous UN anti-Israel mechanisms already in operation, such as: the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; the UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People; the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories; the UN Division for Palestinian Rights, and the UN Information System on the Question of Palestine.
On top of that, Goldstone I is still alive and kicking. It generates annual reports by the UN human rights commissioner, produced as recently as January 13, 2014. And it spawns annual resolutions by the Human Rights Council calling for its implementation, adopted as recently as March 28, 2014.
Before the vote on the resolution, the UN staff announced that the initial price tag for Goldstone II will be $2,321,500 – twenty-two percent of which will come from the American taxpayer, thanks to Obama's ownership of the Council. Just on June 19, 2014, Keith Harper, U.S. Ambassador to the Council gushed: "The Obama Administration decided to seek membership because the United States believes the Council can make a difference. And on July 3, 2014 he claimed: "the most powerful tool we wield at the Human Rights Council is information – the ability to bring into stark focus the realities of injustice and abuse in the world...[T]he United Nations Human Rights Council is making a difference."
What difference is it making?...
On July 23, 2014 the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution which created the latest UN anti-Israel kangaroo court. The resolution "deplores" and "condemns in the strongest terms" Israel's "grave," "widespread, systematic, and gross" "violations of human rights" but the word "Hamas" is never mentioned. The UN Council resolution launches what might be called 'Goldstone II' – another so-called "human rights" investigation into "violations of law in the occupied Palestinian territory" – not violations by Palestinians of anything in Israeli territory. The resolution was adopted with 29 voted in favor, 1 against and 17 abstentions with all Western democratic states abstaining or voting against it:
July 23, 2014
"Nearly 140,000 women in Britain are believed to be living with the consequences of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a practice that involves cutting, or in some cases total removal of, a woman's genitalia. According to a report by City University London and Equality Now, up to 137,000 women in England and Wales could be living with the after-effects of the practice, despite it being illegal in Britain. Of those, about 10,000 are under 15 years of age and 50,000 are over 50. Although most are believed to have emigrated to Britain from countries where the practice is more widespread, around 20,000 young girls are still thought to be at risk of having FGM performed on them within the UK. The figure in the report is slightly lower than the number estimated by the Home Affairs Select Committee earlier this month, who said up to 170,000 women in Britain could have suffered FGM, although it is still very high for a country which has outlawed the practice."
July 22, 2014
It is hard to imagine two more unwelcome, uninvited visitors to Israel in the middle of a war against Palestinian terrorists than UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry. But even more unwelcome is that they are working together.
Their common cause is that although Israel has a right of self-defense in theory, Israel ought to be prevented from exercising this right in practice.
Events over the past week have provided an extraordinary demonstration of this reprehensible nexus.
On July 16, 2014, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued a report stating: "the Israeli military delivered text messages to virtually all the residents of Ash Shuja'iyya and Az Zaitun neighborhoods in eastern Gaza city, approximately 100,000 people, warning them to leave their homes by 8 am today (16 July), ahead of attacks to be launched in the area." The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also made phone calls and distributed leaflets.
OCHA then describes what came next: "Subsequently, the Palestinian Ministry of Interior in Gaza reportedly instructed the residents to...not flee the area." As a result, OCHA admits: "the vast majority decided to stay."
This story tells us both that Israel adhered to the Geneva Convention demand of providing "effective advance warning" to civilians and that Hamas violated the rule forbidding parties to "direct the movement of ...civilians in order to shield military objectives from attack."
What was Hamas trying to protect when it used Palestinians as human shields in Shuja'iyya?
The IDF refers to Shuja'iyya as the Hamas' "terror fortress" in the Gaza Strip. The IDF has found more than ten openings to tunnels in Shuja'iyya and since July 8, Hamas has fired over 140 rockets at Israel from this neighborhood alone. As IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz put it: "Hamas has built a war machine in residential areas."
This is another violation of the laws of armed conflict. By deliberately locating its terrorist infrastructure in the midst of Shuja'iyya's civilian population, Hamas violates the prohibition on "locating legitimate military targets within or near densely populated areas."
Following the warnings, the IDF went into the Shuja'iyya neighborhood – and is still there – for the purpose of destroying the tunnels that have been designed and used to attack Israeli civilians. This is Hamas' most basic war crime of all. In the words of the Geneva Conventions, civilians "shall not be the object of attack."
On the night of July 19, 2014 in separate incidents in the Shuja'iyya area, Israel lost 13 soldiers, more soldiers in a single night than Israel lost in the whole of the three week 2008-2009 ground offensive Operation Cast Lead. These soldiers died in an ambush. An anti-tank mine. Trapped in a burning building.
The IDF affords us the context. They "encountered fierce Hamas fighting in the dense urban environment" as Hamas tried "to defend their tunnel infrastructure."
In these circumstances, Palestinian civilians who remained in Shuja'iyya – despite the warnings – died. Data on fatalities, in OCHA's own words, are "preliminary and subject to change based on further verification," so the number of civilian casualties is unclear.
What is clear is the outrageous reaction of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. On July 20, 2014 he said: "dozens more civilians, including children, have been killed in Israeli military strikes in the Shuja'iyya neighborhood in Gaza. I condemn this atrocious action. Israel must exercise maximum restraint and do far more to protect civilians."
Ban Ki-moon said nothing about Hamas having failed to protect Palestinian civilians. He said nothing about Hamas having put Palestinian civilians directly in harm's way. In fact he said nothing about any "atrocious action" by Hamas. He also made no demand that Hamas "restrain" itself from fulfilling its stated goal, namely, that "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it."
For the UN, no move that Israel makes short of surrender to the Palestinian mob, will ever be sufficient.
When Palestinian civilians did heed Israel's warnings and did not die, on July 16, 2014 OCHA complained "the relocation experience has been...traumatic...Women have reported stress due to their inability to maintain...modesty norms...[in] overcrowded spaces..."
Five million Israelis have just seconds to run for a bomb shelter and save their lives. Older people have died from heart failure when the sirens go off. Small children flee rockets raining down on their kindergartens and spend hours trapped between four walls day after day. Let alone the parents and brothers and sisters of the 50,000 plus heroic young men and women on the front lines who spend every waking minute dreading a phone call, haunted by the prospect of kidnapping by very real monsters.
The truth is the UN doesn't give a damn about the suffering of Israelis...
July 21, 2014
"A local court in Iran's northern Mazandaran province has sentenced a defendant to death by stoning. The head of Qaem Shahr city judiciary, Javad Borhani said that the 32-year old defendant has been sentenced to death by stoning, hanging and 15 years imprisonment, Iran's Mehr News Agency reported. The person is charged with such crimes as adultery, rape, possessing of weapons, alcohol and satellite receiver equipments, the official said. Borhani called the case one of the most important tasks of his office in recent months..."