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August 12, 2011
August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
This article by Anne Bayefsky appears on NY Daily News.
The UN's top human rights official, Navi Pillay, attempted on Monday to block further defections from the UN's racist "anti-racism" bash scheduled for New York City on Sept. 22. The United States, Canada, Israel, the Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands have already announced a boycott of "Durban III," a UN event designed to "commemorate" the 10th anniversary of the UN anti-Semitic hatefest held in Durban, South Africa, in September 2001. Pillay said she was "disappointed" with these pullouts, labeling them a "political distraction."
The barb was no accident for a UN high commissioner for human rights who has been distracted by her anti-Israel and anti-American agenda since taking office in 2008. Pillay is perhaps best known for her unremitting defense of the notorious Goldstone report and for having questioned the legality of the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
For Pillay, championing the Durban conference and its manifesto, the Durban Declaration, is a personal crusade. A native of Durban herself, shortly after her appointment she explained to a Geneva audience that the city's mayor asked her to "rescue the name of Durban," given its unflattering association with anti-Semitism. In response, she helped launch both Durban II in Geneva in 2009 and Durban III.
Unfortunately, her efforts to legitimize the Durban Declaration have little to do with the most basic of human rights: equality. The Durban Declaration charges only one country with racism among all 192 UN states - Israel. It calls Palestinians "victims" of Israeli racism, a 21st century reincarnation of the Zionism-is-racism libel. When Durban II ended with an "outcome document" that reaffirmed the Durban Declaration, Pillay gloated in a news conference on April 24, 2009, that Palestine is indeed "mentioned in the Durban Declaration and the word 'reaffirm' carries those paragraphs into this document."
While Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the "anti-racism" crowd at Durban II, Pillay remained glued to her seat. UN videotape shows her simply watching democratic states walk out in disgust, although she and her secretariat colleagues had a copy of his Holocaust-denying speech in advance. Despite her later scramble, when under pressure, to distance herself from his comments, she issued a flowery thank-you to the Organization of the Islamic Conference for their role in Durban II - which included warm applause for Ahmadinejad.
Pillay's enthusiasm for the Durban "anti-racism" agenda goes hand in hand with her single-minded pursuit of the demonization of Israel throughout her tenure. In January 2009, Pillay called for the creation of what became the Goldstone inquiry. In August 2009, she issued a report that lauded Hamas for having "made public statements that it is committed to respect international human rights and humanitarian law." After Goldstone claimed that Israel had intentionally targeted civilians, Pillay said on Sept. 30, 2009, "I lend my full support to Justice Goldstone's report and its recommendations." Goldstone has since recanted the veracity of his slur; Pillay has not.
In July 2010, she made a rare appearance before the Security Council on "situations where the protection of civilians has been and remains of great concern" around the world - and made only two pleas to the council, both about Israel. Referring to Gaza, she said: "I urge the council . . . to ensure the lifting in full of the blockade" - which would stymie Israel's ability to limit the flow of arms to Hamas. And she made this plea: "I urge the Security Council to support the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict" - that is, the Goldstone report.
After a visit this past February to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, she said this at her final Jerusalem news conference: "The clearest manifestation of institutional discrimination is the fact that during all my meetings with government and state officials, I do not believe I met a single Palestinian citizen of Israel." She could have easily determined that Israeli Arabs are members of Israel's parliament, in the diplomatic corps and on the Supreme Court. The discrimination that was apparently unclear to Pillay was the institutional charter of the Hamas government in Gaza, which calls for the annihilation of the Jewish citizens of Israel, and the Palestinian Authority's refusal to recognize the right of a Jewish state to exist at all.
The antagonism between Pillay's political priorities and the interests of Americans was most evident in her reaction to the death of Bin Laden. On May 3, Pillay expressed concern about his treatment. She demanded to know "the precise facts surrounding his killing" for the purpose of determining its legality. According to Pillay, "counterterrorism activity . . . in compliance with international law" means "you're not allowed . . . to commit extrajudicial killings." And this requirement would be satisfied only if the Americans had stuck by what she claimed was their "stated . . . intention . . . to arrest Bin Laden if they could."
Her concern for Bin Laden was remarkable both for its flagrant contradiction with the laws of war justifying lethal force in his case, and for being three times as fast as her expressions of concern in March about the victims of lethal terror in Syria.
It is little wonder, therefore, that Pillay should be a fan of Durban III. On Monday, she confirmed that she will be coming to New York to participate in Durban III, which she described as an "important event . . . to combat discrimination." Discrimination defined by the sponsors of discrimination itself.
August 9, 2011
August 8, 2011