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August 7, 2011
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Thursday, August 04, 2011
This article by Anne Bayefsky appears on The Weekly Standard.
While the United Nations is doing its best to legitimize the forthcoming Durban III "anti-racism" bash, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears intent on blowing the U.N.'s cover. Each year for the past five years, Ahmadinejad has chosen to speak on the opening day of the General Assembly's so-called general debate, when all the presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers annually descend on New York City. According to a U.N. schedule, however, this year the Iranian president will speak on a different day – the same day as Durban III. This one-day conference is the General Assembly's 10th anniversary celebration of the hatefest held back in 2001 in South Africa, scheduled for New York City on September 22, 2011.
Americans are used to Ahmadinejad speaking at the U.N. – on their dime, since a quarter of the tab for the global platform is coming out of U.S. taxpayer pockets. They are also familiar with the content of his remarks – having heard his unadulterated hate speech every year since 2005. In 2010, he treated the audience to a speech claiming that 9/11 was an inside job "to save the Zionist regime." In 2009, he complained that "a small minority dominates the politics, economy and culture of major parts of the world by its complicated networks." But this year he will be able to dress up his brand of anti-Semitism as part and parcel of championing the Durban Declaration, a document which charges Israel – and only Israel, among 192 states – with racism.
Ahmadinejad was the sole world leader to show up for Durban II, a 2009 meeting which took place in Geneva. He was not going to let the opportunity provided by Durban III go to waste. His sense of entitlement is hardly surprising, given that the U.N. has elected Iran a vice president of the General Assembly starting in September.
Over the summer, the contours of Durban III have slowly emerged. The day will begin with a select group of speakers. They include Qatar, the president of the General Assembly. The head of Qatar's delegation at Durban I stated that "all the Israeli heinous violations are justified as a means to bring back every Jew to a land that they raped from its legitimate owners..."
Opening speakers will also include South Africa – lead promoter and home turf of the Durban fiasco. And there will be U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, herself a native of Durban, who promised the mayor, following her 2008 appointment, to rescue the city's good name.
In addition, one non-governmental organization "active in the field of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance" will be given an early speaking slot. From among the hundreds of thousands who might qualify, the U.N. has devised a selection plan – NGOs will be chosen by states on "a no-objection basis." That means leaders in the U.N.'s anti-racism world, like Ahmadinejad, will hold a veto.
Other NGOs can still attend a series of subsequent "round tables." But first, they have to nominate themselves by completing a questionnaire that asks, for instance, was your group "accredited" to Durban I? The vast majority of accredited Durban I NGOs were the same gang that participated in the Durban "NGO Forum" and who voted to declare that Zionism is racism and Israel is an apartheid state.
The NGO questionnaire also requires NGOs to specify "concrete activities" taken by their organization to implement the Durban Declaration. In other words, NGOs that have actively rejected the Declaration's paragraph on Palestinian victims of Israeli racism need not apply.
Organizers have decided that all participants in the round tables, states and NGOs alike, are "invited to make brief remarks that do not exceed three minutes." Most self-respecting heads of state take three minutes to settle in. Ahmadinejad has responded by simply signing up to speak for 30 minutes in the segment directly after the opening session in the General Assembly Hall.
This week the U.N. secretariat officially opened the sign-up sheet for wannabe round table speakers, which is being maintained in accordance with the official status of the speaker and "on a first-come, first-served basis." Then, at 6 p.m., they will all reconvene to adopt a "political declaration" intended to crown the Durban Declaration with the global legitimacy that has so long eluded it.
That is, unless decent people and democracies finally figure out that a club to which Ahmadinejad pines to belong is not one they should want to join.
This article by Anne Bayefsky appears on Fox News.
The United Nations showed its hand this week and sent out a provisional list of speakers for the opening session of the General Assembly in September listing the speaker from "Palestine" as "H.S." or Head of State.
Everybody knows that U.N. goings-on concerning anything Israel-related are about as crooked as it gets. But the much talked-about Palestinian statehood bid threatened for September is being sold as a test of legitimacy. So much for that bill of goods.
In the past, the speaker from Palestine has been given the title in the speakers' list "H.L." or High Level – short for high level delegation – precisely because Palestine is not a state member of the United Nations. Though the Palestinians themselves have put a cover page on their speeches that labels Mahmoud Abbas "President of the State of Palestine," the U.N. has, until now, resisted following suit.
Not this year, however. Negotiations are out. U.N.-imposed solutions on Israel are in.
The U.N. founding document – the U.N. Charter – promises the equality of states "large and small." But in reality, Islamic states and their cronies form an automatic General Assembly majority. In 2010, for example, this meant 78% of all the Assembly resolutions condemning any of the 192 U.N. members for human rights violations were directed at Israel alone.
To date, the U.N. has pretended that the parties themselves must take responsibility for recognizing each other; dozens of U.N. resolutions and the U.N. Middle East Roadmap pay lip service to the necessity of negotiations. After all, negotiations require a willingness to live in peace and acceptance of the other party's existential rights.
But that has never gone down very well in the Palestinian and larger Arab world and the U.N. has been their safety net for any and all excuses for a six decade rejection of a Jewish state.
Some Palestinians put it more clearly than others. As co-founder of Hamas and member of the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip, Mahmoud al-Zahar, declared on July 29: "we are not going to accept Israel as the owner of one square centimeter because it is a fabricated state."
The Palestinian unilateral declaration of statehood without negotiations is most likely to play out in some combination of U.N. bodies. The guessing at this point is that the Palestinians will go first to the Security Council demanding full U.N. membership in order to embarrass the president and force an Obama veto and then will proceed to the General Assembly for a statement of support. This course will not result in official U.N. membership, since a Security Council blessing is required for that, but additional trappings of statehood will – they hope – have been endowed.
Though the Obama administration is pretending they have little control of the Palestinian Authority or Mahmoud Abbas and company, it is clear that the Palestinians are proceeding apace because they have not been presented with sufficiently negative consequences. Obama isn't leading from behind. He is hiding in the bushes.
His shyness is partly a consequence of the fact that a U.N. end-run around a negotiated settlement challenges his administration's foreign policy yardstick of multilateralism at virtually any cost. He joined the U.N. Human Rights Council and gave it American credibility knowing that half of its resolutions and decisions on specific states are dedicated to Israel-bashing.
It waited for Security Council approval to do something about Colonel Qadaffi's threatened genocide – a delay proving more costly by the minute.
It has handled Syrian butchery by waiting for tepid noises from the Security Council.
It put Iranian nuclear non-proliferation in the hands of U.N. entities that have no hope of preventing an Iranian nuclear bomb. So U.S. objection to U.N. action to undercut Israel – yet again – presents a problem for this president.
The U.N. understands that very well, as do the Palestinians. So why not jump the gun on "Head of State"? American taxpayers pay 25% of the U.N. bills and the costs in 2010 represented a whopping 21% increase over the fiscal year 2009. The Palestinians see nothing but a president unwilling to put an end to their gravy train.
Without a major pushback, steamroller here we come.
August 3, 2011
Security Council Presidential Statement on Syria Development
August 2, 2011
Monday, August 01, 2011
New York, NY – The Hudson Institute and the Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust today announced an historic conference targeting manifestations of racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance at the United Nations. The conference will coincide with the highly controversial UN event known as "Durban III." Organizers were galvanized, according to Anne Bayefsky, a Senior Fellow of the Hudson Institute and Director of the Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, after learning that "Americans will be mourning the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001 at the same time as the United Nations will appear to be legitimizing the kind of intolerance that drives terrorism itself."
"Durban III" is intended to "commemorate" the 10th anniversary of the UN-sponsored anti-Semitic hatefest that took place in Durban, South Africa in 2001. The final product of that conference – the Durban Declaration – charged Israel with racism, the only one of the UN's 192 state members so accused. Led by Congressman and Holocaust survivor Tom Lantos, the United States – along with Israel – walked out of Durban I in disgust.
Bayefsky points out that "The Durban conference legitimized hate speech on a global scale." At the widely-perceived racist "anti-racism" conference, the streets were filled with signs such as "for the liberation of Quds machine guns based on faith and Islam must be used," and handouts with Hitler's photo read "What if I had won? The good things: there would be no Israel..." Durban I ended three days before 9/11. The Durban Review Conference, or Durban II, was held in Geneva in 2009, and the only world leader to attend was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The one-day conference will be a call to action. "Given the events that Durban III is intended to commemorate," Bayefsky noted, "the UN will sadly serve as a global platform to promote the inverse of its original purposes and principles. It is imperative to deny legitimacy to prejudice and the Durban Declaration."
A Speakers List of International Prominence
The conference has gathered an impressive array of distinguished speakers from three continents, including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, former US UN Ambassador John Bolton, former Governor Mike Huckabee, world-renowned scholar Bernard Lewis, Academy-award winning actor Jon Voight, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, Harvard Professor and best-selling author Alan Dershowitz, a psychologist named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world Wafa Sultan, Sudanese human rights activist Simon Deng, former Israeli UN Ambassador Dore Gold, Harvard Professor and National Humanities Medal recipient Ruth Wisse, veteran award-winning journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, Hoover Institution Fellow and National Humanities Medal recipient Shelby Steele, bestselling author and award-winning UK journalist Douglas Murray, and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy Zuhdi Jasser.
Political and other leaders who have a genuine interest in combating xenophobia will be provided a crucial forum to speak with passion about their concerns, and to distance America and decent people everywhere from a multilateralism divorced from fundamental freedoms and inalienable rights.
Press is invited to attend the conference, but conference credentials are required.
For more information, please see our website at www.DurbanWatch.com.
ABOUT THE HUDSON INSTITUTE AND THE TOURO INSTITUTE:
The Hudson Institute seeks to guide global leaders to promote security, prosperity, and freedom worldwide. Its innovative research explores the crossover between cultural, demographic, technological, economical, and political atmospheres. http://www.hudson.org/
The Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust aims to understand, explore and evaluate contemporary mechanisms for protecting human rights and the rule of law in view of the lessons of the Holocaust and its aftermath. http://www.touro.edu/ihrh