Resources updated between Monday, September 05, 2016 and Sunday, September 11, 2016
September 9, 2016
September 7, 2016
According to a UN summary provided to news media of a conference on antisemitism held at the UN on September 7, 2016, antisemitism is bad, but grossly disproportionate condemnation of Israel is fine. The summary was published on UNifeed, a UN website which provides videos and information about UN events to broadcast news providers the world over. Here are the only words on the day-long event circulated by the UNifeed summary:
"UN / GLOBAL ANTISEMITISM (2:38) At a high level forum on Global anti-Semitism, General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft said the UN has 'an enormous responsibility to go up against all expressions of prejudice and incitement,' but noted that 'it's not anti-Semitic to call for an end of the occupation and oppression of the people of Palestine and to demand an end to illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land.' UNIFEED-UNTV"
The United Nations was founded as a global pact among states, but over the decades in the name of transparency and to further the aim of globalization, it has opened its doors to more than 6,150 non-governmental organizations (NGOs). While governments wring their hands over incitement to terror and dangerous uses of social media, they ignore the alarming focal point within arms' reach: the United Nations. An examination of U.N. NGOs reveals that the U.N. has handed a global megaphone to groups spreading hatred and inciting terror from the world stage. In short, the so-called representatives of "civil society" aren't so civil after all.
In theory, the U.N. has processes for accreditation that share a common requirement: respect for the purposes and principles of the organization. In order to qualify for accreditation, NGOs must operate in conformity with, or promote, the U.N Charter. They must affirm "faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small."
In practice, NGOs have been welcomed into the world of international diplomacy and have gained access to international media platforms while they are simultaneously betraying the core U.N mission by advocating terror and intolerance. Most striking for an organization founded on the ashes of the Holocaust, U.N.-accredited NGOs play a central role in promoting modern anti-Semitism and encouraging the destruction of the Jewish state.
The benefits of U.N.-accreditation for NGOs are tangible and significant: the ability to sponsor speakers, mount exhibits, and screen films in the same U.N. facilities that house an international press corps; the right to speak at U.N. meetings and have their words translated and broadcast via U.N. webcasts worldwide; the capacity to publish written statements and have them disseminated by the U.N.; the opportunity to attend negotiating sessions and to influence the world's diplomats. U.N. websites even link directly to selected NGO websites, greatly enhancing their traffic and messaging.
Scattered around the U.N. system are a few disclaimers of responsibility for the content of NGO events and websites. But NGO events on U.N. premises are permitted only after detailed applications and approval by U.N. representatives. NGO website links are selectively posted on U.N. sites by U.N. officials. And NGOs are regularly singled out for coveted speaking gigs by U.N. representatives. U.N. selection and approval procedures, from accreditation on, belie claims that U.N. officials and envoys are ignorant of the purposes and content of the NGOs they choose.
In May 2016, many of the world's major NGOs complained that the accreditation processes were unfair because applications were being thwarted by certain member states for fear of empowering critics of these states. And, indeed, many of the states running the U.N. accreditation processes -- such as China, Cuba, Iran, Russia, and Sudan -- inhibit free speech and curtail the freedom of association in their own backyards. At the same time, these nations use their powers on the U.N. NGO Committee to protect themselves in the international arena.
But the NGOs busy clamoring for more access to the U.N. are seeking the privileges without the responsibilities. They have no intention of policing themselves. On the contrary, the common mantra among NGOs is that they promote "the voices of the victims" -- where victimhood is self-defined, regardless of the legitimacy of the claims. The reality is that U.N. member states are not only delaying or denying accreditation to the right NGOs; they are accrediting the wrong NGOs: the terrorist advocates, the haters, the anti-Semites.
Here is a selection of the output from U.N-accredited NGOs, their websites, their social-media accounts, their written and oral statements at the U.N. -- all easily accessible online in 2016.
September 6, 2016
THE HAGUE / GENEVA (5 September 2016) (Issued as received)– In a hard-hitting speech in the Hague on Monday, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called for action to confront European and U.S. demagogues who blend a fictional halcyon past with a classic propagandist mix of half truths and oversimplification, resulting in "the banalization of bigotry" and an atmosphere thick with hate that may descend into violence.
I wish to address this short statement to Mr. Geert Wilders, his acolytes, indeed to all those like him – the populists, demagogues and political fantasists.
To them, I must be a sort of nightmare. I am the global voice on human rights, universal rights; elected by all governments, and now critic of almost all governments. I defend and promote the human rights of each individual, everywhere: the rights of migrants, asylum seekers and immigrants; the rights of the LGBTi community; the rights of women and children in all countries; minorities; indigenous persons; people with disabilities, and any and all who are discriminated against, disadvantaged, persecuted or tortured – whether by governments, political movements or by terrorists.
I am a Muslim, who is, confusingly to racists, also white-skinned; whose mother is European and father, Arab. And I am angry, too. Because of Mr. Wilder's lies and half-truths, manipulations and peddling of fear. You see, twenty years ago I served in the UN peacekeeping force during the Balkan wars – wars so cruel, so devastating, which flowed from this same factory of deceit, bigotry and ethnic nationalism.
Geert Wilders released his grotesque eleven-point manifesto only days ago, and a month ago he spoke along similar lines in Cleveland, in the United States. I will not repeat what he has said, but there are many who will, and his party is expected to do well in the elections in March.
And yet what Mr. Wilders shares in common with Mr. Trump, Mr. Orban, Mr. Zeman, Mr. Hofer, Mr. Fico, Madame Le Pen, Mr. Farage, he also shares with Da'esh.
All seek in varying degrees to recover a past, halcyon and so pure in form, where sunlit fields are settled by peoples united by ethnicity or religion – living peacefully in isolation, pilots of their fate, free of crime, foreign influence and war. A past that most certainly, in reality, did not exist anywhere, ever. Europe's past, as we all know, was for centuries anything but that.
The proposition of recovering a supposedly perfect past is fiction; its merchants are cheats. Clever cheats.
Populists use half-truths and oversimplification -- the two scalpels of the arch propagandist, and here the internet and social media are a perfect rail for them, by reducing thought into the smallest packages: sound-bites; tweets. Paint half a picture in the mind of an anxious individual, exposed as they may be to economic hardship and through the media to the horrors of terrorism. Prop this picture up by some half-truth here and there and allow the natural prejudice of people to fill in the rest. Add drama, emphasizing it's all the fault of a clear-cut group, so the speakers lobbing this verbal artillery, and their followers, can feel somehow blameless.
The formula is therefore simple: make people, already nervous, feel terrible, and then emphasize it's all because of a group, lying within, foreign and menacing. Then make your target audience feel good by offering up what is a fantasy to them, but a horrendous injustice to others. Inflame and quench, repeat many times over, until anxiety has been hardened into hatred.
Make no mistake, I certainly do not equate the actions of nationalist demagogues with those of Da'esh, which are monstrous, sickening; Da'esh must be brought to justice. But in its mode of communication, its use of half-truths and oversimplification, the propaganda of Da'esh uses tactics similar to those of the populists. And both sides of this equation benefit from each other – indeed would not expand in influence without each others' actions.
The humiliating racial and religious prejudice fanned by the likes of Mr. Wilders has become in some countries municipal or even national policy. We hear of accelerating discrimination in workplaces. Children are being shamed and shunned for their ethnic and religious origins – whatever their passports, they are told they are not "really" European, not "really" French, or British, or Hungarian. Entire communities are being smeared with suspicion of collusion with terrorists.
History has perhaps taught Mr. Wilders and his ilk how effectively xenophobia and bigotry can be weaponized. Communities will barricade themselves into fearful, hostile camps, with populists like them, and the extremists, as the commandants. The atmosphere will become thick with hate; at this point it can descend rapidly into colossal violence.
We must pull back from this trajectory. My friends, are we doing enough to counter this cross-border bonding of demagogues? A decade ago, Geert Wilder's manifesto and Cleveland speech would have created a world-wide furore. Now? Now, they are met with little more than a shrug, and, outside the Netherlands, his words and pernicious plans were barely noticed. Are we going to continue to stand by and watch this banalization of bigotry, until it reaches its logical conclusion?
Ultimately, it is the law that will safeguard our societies – human rights law, binding law which is the distillation of human experience, of generations of human suffering, the screams of the victims of past crimes and hate. We must guard this law passionately, and be guided by it.
Do not, my friends, be led by the deceiver. It is only by pursuing the entire truth, and acting wisely, that humanity can ever survive. So draw the line and speak. Speak out and up, speak the truth and do so compassionately, speak for your children, for those you care about, for the rights of all, and be sure to say clearly: stop! We will not be bullied by you the bully, nor fooled by you the deceiver, not again, no more; because we, not you, will steer our collective fate. And we, not you, will write and sculpt this coming century. Draw the line!"
September 5, 2016