Resources updated between Monday, September 29, 2014 and Sunday, October 05, 2014
October 3, 2014
"Islamic State militants on Friday claimed the beheading of a British aid worker and suggested an American hostage may be killed next, in what they said was retaliation for the U.S.-led campaign against the group. The killing of Alan Henning would be the fourth beheading of a Western hostage by the jihadist group, beginning with the killing of American journalist James Foley in August. The militants, also known as ISIL, made their announcement in a gruesome one-minute video released Friday, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a research group that monitors jihadist websites. The video came days after Britain's Parliament authorized military action against Islamic State, followed by the Royal Air Force's participation in the U.S.-led fight against the extremist group. The U.K. Foreign Office said it was trying to confirm the video's veracity, while British Prime Minister David Cameron said 'the brutal murder of Alan Henning by ISIL shows just how barbaric and repulsive these terrorists are.'"
October 2, 2014
Meet Makarim Wibisono of Indonesia. He's the new UN expert on the "situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967," the post filled for the past six years by the notorious antisemite Richard Falk. Wibisono was the ambassador of Indonesia to the UN from 2004 until 2008. Indonesia is a country that does not recognize Israel's right to exist.
In a 2006 statement to the new Human Rights Council, Ambassador Wibisono, described Israel as showing "ruthless contempt for the lives of the innocent," perpetrating "callous attacks against terrorized and defenseless civilians," among other things. His biography touts that until January 2014 he was "active in the private sector as an advisor to the Third World Network." Third World Network is a non-governmental organization that specializes in hysterical antisemitic vitriol, including: Israel is guilty of "bestiality, barbarity," pays "cash and other perks" for "towing the Zionist line,"and "the US plays the role of God in modern times" holding "back the sun to enable Israel...to finish the job" against its Arab victims.
In his new capacity as a UN-certified "expert," Wibisono has undertaken his first trip to the region. He visited Amman, Jordan and Cairo, Egypt, and interviewed people in Gaza via video and telephone. He then issued a press release about his alleged discoveries. Israel does not cooperate with the UN "expert," chosen for his or her expertise in peddling Palestinian propaganda, and he is therefore not permitted to enter either Gaza or the West Bank.
Wibisono did not disappoint his masters on the UN Human Rights Council - the states that appointed him and which will decide on whether his term-of-office will be renewed. His press release claims to cover the time between 12 June and 31 August 2014. But it never mentions the kidnapping and murder by Hamas operatives of the Israeli teens Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frankel. It never mentions Hamas rocket attacks on Israel. It never mentions the 32 terror tunnels Hamas built for the sole purpose of killing Jews. He mentions Palestinian children and never Israeli children. He says nothing about Hamas' use of the Palestinian civilian population as human shields. He never mentions Hamas' use of hospitals and UN schools and other civilian structures for military purposes - all war crimes.
What Wibisono did claim, is that Israel has no right of self-defense: "Israel's claim of self-defense ... is untenable." Having decided that, of course Israel was guilty of violating international law.
As far as the UN "Human Rights" Council (recently labeled by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as the "Terrorists Rights Council") is concerned, he's off to a great start.
October 1, 2014
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech on September 29, 2014, to the General Assembly was a plea for sanity. The inmates in the insane asylum may not have been listening, but the shofar needed to be blown. The statement was a clarion call to democracies to pull back from enabling a nuclear-armed Iran, from allowing antisemitism to flourish in their midst, and to understand the price that must be paid if freedom and human decency is to prevail in our world and in our time.
The speech included the following:
September 30, 2014
On September 26, 2014 the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity which the Obama administration praised as "an historic statement in support of LGBT rights". However, the text was significantly weakened from prior drafts, including by removing the reference to the UN's own campaign for LGBT equality and deleting a requirement for regular reporting on the subject.
This is only the second resolution adopted by the UN's top human rights body attempting to deal with sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2011 the Council adopted the first resolution which commissioned a "study" and a panel discussion. The 2011 report refused to name the worst abusers of LGBT rights - countries which criminalize homosexual acts with the death penalty. These states are Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Mauritania.
The panel discussion held by the Council in March 2012 was boycotted by Islamic states, while the African group "reject[d] categorically any attempt to impose ... such concept" and the Arab group "absolutely opposed the so-called concept of sexual orientation.
In order to pass at all, changes in the final version of the text ultimately adopted in September included:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chose not to let President Obama's bold allegation that Israelis were not interested in peace go unanswered in his speech Monday at the UN. "Brazen lies spoken from this very podium against my country" is how Netanyahu described the remarks of previous speakers, when he addressed the U.N. General Assembly.
Just five days earlier, President Obama had made a shocking assertion in his role as president while speaking on the world stage. He claimed that there were "too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace." Obama scolded: "that's something worthy of reflection within Israel."
Not only did President Obama not include Palestinians in this demeaning and defamatory slur, he proceeded to equate "rockets fired at innocent Israelis" with "Palestinian children taken from us in Gaza." Not "taken from us" by Hamas who used them as human fodder in their attempted annihilation of Israel. But apparently "taken from us" by those Israelis not interested in peace.
No Israeli Prime Minister could allow such an attack to go unanswered. And so Netanyahu began his remarks by daring President Obama to distinguish between his battle against ISIS and Israel's battle with Hamas.
Said Netanyahu: "the people of Israel pray for peace, but our hopes and the world's hopes for peace are in danger because everywhere we look militant Islam in on the march."
The stark contrast between the two world leaders also could not have been more clear on the subject of Iran.
President Obama spent five sentences of his 39-minute UN address on Iran, telling the world "my message to Iran's leaders...We can reach a solution that meets your energy needs while assuring the world that your program is peaceful."
Another brazen lie, since no one believes that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful or has anything to do with its energy needs, which can be met into the next century by its natural resources.
Netanyahu instead pointed – yet again – to the terrifying threat of the acquisition of the world's most dangerous weapon by the world's most dangerous country and the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.
He challenged the president, and the global community, "to disarm ISIS but leave Iran with the bomb would be to win the battle but lose the war."
Sitting stone-faced in her seat, was the woman holding the bag on Obama's obsequious Iran policy, America's ambassador to the UN: Samantha Power.
Israeli Prime Minister's message Monday came as Palestinian leaders are vying to remain the U.N.'s favorite victim amidst the headless human carcasses now piling up in Iraq, Syria, the United Kingdom, Algeria, and the United States.
No doubt, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas has something to worry about. It's a tough sell to differentiate the Hamas partner in his unity government – an organization dedicated to the kidnapping, murder and execution of both Israelis and Palestinians en route to Islamic domination – from ISIS, Al Nusra, Al Qaeda and company.
So Israel's "peace partner" evidently decided the way forward was not to eschew Islamic fanaticism but to embrace it.
In one of the most vitriolic speeches ever delivered by a Palestinian leader at the U.N., Abbas accused Israel on Friday, September 26 of "genocide," of practicing "an abhorrent form of apartheid," and of "state terrorism." He analogized Israelis to Nazis with Palestinians living in "ghettos" and claimed the rise of ISIS was Israel's fault since Israel was a "source of terrorism" and a "breeding ground for incitement..."
Netanyahu called the assertions something derived from "the moral universe" of "a man who wrote a dissertation of lies about the Holocaust and who insists on a Palestine free of Jews."
Unfortunately, plain talk at the U.N. is as unwelcome as it is unusual.
Even more unfortunate is a president of the United States who sounds warmer when talking about Iran than about Israel.
UPDATE: Iran Postpones Execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari for 10 days
"UPDATE On September 30, 2014 Iran Human Rights (IHR) reported that "Reyhaneh Jabbari's scheduled execution has been postponed for 10 days".
"Iran has upheld its decision to execute Rayhaneh Jabbari, charged with the murder of a man who allegedly attempted to rape her.
Jabbari, 26, spent seven years in prison and her execution by hanging could be carried out as early as tomorrow (Tuesday, 30 September), according to local reports.
Jabbari was arrested in 2007, after she had killed a member of the Iranian Intelligence Services, Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, who she said tried to rape her."
Cuba lined up some of the world's worst human rights violators - China, North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, "Palestine", Sudan and Venezuela - and pushed through a UN resolution on an "equitable international order."
The resolution of the UN Human Rights Council was adopted on September 26, 2014 against the wishes of democratic states. The vote was 29 in favor and 14 against including the U.S. and the European Union.
Notwithstanding the defeat, the U.S. will now pay 22% of the cost for the position of "Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order." The position was first created in 2011 and this latest resolution extends the mandate for another three years.
What prompted the human rights abusing crowd to get behind the position and push? In his most recent report, expert Alfred de Zayas takes direct aim at the U.S. and its military spending in particular, criticizing it as antithetical to an equitable international order. Instead, de Zayas promotes "reducing military spending" and "resourcing...the global climate change challenge."
ISIS will apparently take care of itself.
Enthusiastic about the de Zayas report was Iran and the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Speaking on behalf of the OIC on September 10, 2014, Pakistan said: "the OIC welcomes the report...we strongly believe that staggering military expenditures and heavy investment in the production of armed drones and autonomous lethal weapons have an adverse impact on the enjoyment of rights..."
Iran, currently spending its country's precious resources to acquire nuclear weapons, told the Council on September 10: "On the report...we appreciate his preliminary study on the adverse impacts of military spending in which he has stressed the need for disarmament...We share also the idea...that nuclear arsenals are anachronisms... "
September 29, 2014
"Police used pepper spray and tear gas to disperse pro-democracy protesters in the city's most serious confrontation with Beijing in more than a decade.
Roads were blocked and some schools and offices were closed Monday morning as protests spread to other neighborhoods in the city. Police stopped using tear gas late in the night and tried negotiating with protesters but crowds remained in several locations...
The Hong Kong government said Monday morning that riot police were withdrawn after peace was restored among protesters.
The escalation of the protests-centered on Beijing's decision to impose limits on how Hong Kong elects its leader-threatens to strain relations with Beijing which controls Hong Kong under an arrangement called one country, two systems. Beijing has taken a hard line over the brewing dispute over democracy in Hong Kong, issuing warnings to protest organizers and pushing business leaders to support its stance, allowing universal suffrage but only allowing people to vote for preapproved candidates."
Mahmoud Abbas, whom the UN designates as the President of the "State of Palestine," delivered his most incendiary speech yet at the opening of the UN's new session.
On September 26, 2014 Abbas analogized Israelis to Nazis, referred to the creation of Israel as an "historic injustice" and "catastrophe," blamed Israel - as a terrorist "breeding ground" - for ISIL atrocities, praised "Boycott Divestment Sanctions" (BDS) campaign and repeatedly accused Israel of "genocide", "war crimes," "apartheid," "racism," and the deliberate murder of children. He received loud applause throughout his speech.
His words included the following:
The UN's top human rights body, the Human Rights Council, adopted a resolution on human rights in Yemen by consensus - which includes the United States, a member of the Council - on September 26, 2014. Despite the fact that Yemen has an abysmal human rights record - ranked lowest on the Freedom House scale as "not free" - the Council has gone to extraordinary lengths to praise the country.
The text was adopted several days after Shiite militants seized control over much of Yemen's capital and the U.S. State Department began removing some of its diplomats from U.S. facilities and advised Americans living there to leave the country.
The text of the resolution is entitled "Technical assistance and capacity building for Yemen in the field of human rights." It includes such language as: " The Human Rights Council... Welcomes... the commitment of the government of Yemen to fully promote and protect human rights...Welcomes the measures of the government of Yemen to end the recruitment and the use of children...Notes with appreciation the considerable representation of women...Looks forward to the Government continuing its efforts to promote and protect human rights... Reiterates the commitments and obligations of the government of Yemen to promote and protect human rights".
The actual record of human rights in Yemen, as detailed in the most recent State Department report of 2013 includes:
What do a state that is currently committing mass murder against its own people, and the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, have in common? Syria and Iran both champion the UN Human Rights Council's activities on the "right to peace."
On September 26, 2014 the UN Council adopted the Cuban-led draft resolution entitled the "Promotion of the right to peace."
Back in July 2012, the Council established a so-called "working group" of governments to draft a Declaration on the Right to Peace. The worst human right abusers have been very enthusiastic about the "right to peace."
The group's first session in February 2013 included:
Against the wishes of the United States and the European Union, on September 27, 2014 the UN Human Rights Council created a new job - called the "Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights." The more than 2 million dollars over 3 years will be paid almost entirely by the taxpayers of the United States and the European Union.
The push for the new position came from Iran, the president of the so-called Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which is composed of 120 of the 193 members of the UN.
"Unilateral coercive measures" is a shifting term that can refer to economic measures such as embargoes and sanctions, opposed of course by the targeted states. Targeted states like Iran.
The Obama administration team at the Council session in Geneva attempted to defeat the move by way of a procedural maneuver. But if failed miserably, as the U.S. amendment deleting the post was rejected by a margin of 2 to 1.
Cuba played an active role, calling on all countries "which support ending the US embargo of Cuba" to reject the American amendment and vote in favor of the resolution.
The American amendment received 15 votes in favor (including the US and the EU), 30 against and two abstentions.
Once the U.S. amendment was defeated, 66% of Council members voted in favor of the final resolution on "human rights and unilateral coercive measures." Supporters included such countries as Cuba, China, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.
On September 26, 2014 the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on foreign debt. The push for the resolution came from states with some of the world's worst human rights situations, like Algeria, China, Cuba, Lebanon, Pakistan, Russian Federation, China, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Venezuela.
The point was to claim "foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States" hurt "the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights." According to the resolution, "the unjust nature of the current system... directly affects the enjoyment of human rights in debtor States " and "Encourages all States to participate in the negotiations aimed at establishing a multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring processes."
The text was adopted - against American wishes - by an overwhelming number of Council members. There were 33 votes in favor, 9 abstentions and 5 against (the U.S., the U.K., Czech Republic, Germany, Japan).