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Resources updated between Monday, October 16, 2017 and Sunday, October 22, 2017

October 22, 2017

October 21, 2017

Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, who has been accused of overseeing the economic devastation of Zimbabwe

World Health Organization's new "goodwill ambassador", brutal dictator Robert Mugabe

October 20, 2017

Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, who was named a "Goodwill Ambassador" for the World Health Organization

"The United Nations faced criticism Friday after naming Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe a 'goodwill ambassador' to promote health causes, despite the country's dire health crisis under his rule.

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) asked Mugabe to serve in the role to help tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart attacks, strokes and asthma across Africa.

Mugabe, 93, was in Uruguay for the announcement by WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who said he was 'honoured to announce that President Mugabe has agreed to serve as a goodwill ambassador on NCDs for Africa.'...

Zimbabwe's healthcare system, like many of its public services, has collapsed under Mugabe's authoritarian regime, with most hospitals out of stock of essential medicines and supplies, and nurses and doctors regularly left unpaid.

The appointment angered international rights campaigners and opposition parties, who also accuse Mugabe of violent repression, election rigging and presiding over the country's economic ruin..."

UN draws flak after naming Mugabe goodwill ambassador Article

President Donald Trump, October 19, 2017

Trump Is Right About the Iran Deal Article

October 19, 2017

A screenshot of the report showing an image from the website of an NGO accredited by the UN

"The United Nations has formally endorsed and approved scores of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hate groups that promote terrorism against Jews from within the halls of Turtle Bay and elsewhere, according to a new report that exposes how these organizations have been granted privileged status by the U.N., potentially in violation of the international body's own bylaws.

The U.N. has formally accredited scores of non-profit organizations that use their legitimacy to spread anti-Semitic propaganda promoting terrorism against Israel and Jews, according to an in-depth new expose by Human Rights Voices, a watchdog organization.

The report, which provides pictorial evidence of this behavior, exposes how these organizations use their U.N.-accredited stature to slander the Jewish state and promote terror groups such as Hamas..."

Report: UN Promoting Anti-Semitic Hate Groups, Terrorism Article

The knife used in the attempted attack

Attempted stabbing attack thwarted in West Bank Document

October 18, 2017

The UN Human Rights Council

Israel's Foreign Ministry quietly fights UN blacklist Article

Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton (File photo)

A Slow Death for the Iran Deal Article

Former Israeli ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor

"As a lifelong Israeli diplomat, especially when at the United Nations, I took comfort in Churchill's definition of success, of 'going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm'.

But the past two weeks have yielded relative successes regarding UNESCO. The United States announced its withdrawal from UNESCO, Israel followed suit, and the French candidate for director-general of the organisation won an unlikely election victory against candidates from Egypt and Qatar.

UNESCO, the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture, was founded in 1945 to bring nations together around liberal democratic values such as education, equality, science, press freedom and the preservation of world heritage sites. 'Building peace in the minds of men and women,' proclaims its slogan.

Yet it often poisons minds with the politics of conflict, making peace further away. Anti-Israel obsession is a driving force of its hypocrisy and incompetence...

To truly gauge the extent of the hostile takeover of UNESCO, look at how low the bar for success has fallen. We celebrated a victory of a candidate over an Egyptian who advocates Sharia law as the path to education and women's rights, and over a Qatari who in an 'uninterrupted' process would have had as much chance as Qatar winning an 'uninterrupted' World Cup bid.

In a credible organisation such a victory should be a given. That it isn't helps explain why the US and Israel took action..."

Israel bashing is UNESCO's drug of choice Article

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

Current ICC Chief Prosecutor Weighed Down by Predecessor's Scandals Article

Three of the adverts rejected by the Transport for London

Transport for London bans ads displaying Palestinian objections to Balfour declaration Article

October 17, 2017

Bezeq CEO Stella Handler, who criticized the UN for "anti-Israel propaganda"

"The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has threatened to blacklist Bezeq, Israel's most prominent telecommunications corporation, because the company provides services to Israeli communities in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.

In their letter to Bezeq, the UNHRC wrote that Bezeq could keep their response confidential, but Bezeq CEO Stella Handler chose to play no part in the UNHRC's anti-Semitic game and publicized the UNHRC letter as well as her response on Facebook.

In her Facebook post on Monday, Handler said the company would not collaborate with what which she called 'nothing more than anti-Israel propaganda.'

'Bezeq will continue to protect the rights of all our customers without discrimination. We will continue to provide service to all Israeli citizens without respect to religion, race or gender and we respect their right to choose to live in any part of this land be it Raanana, Jerusalem, Ariel, Sakhnin or Ma'aleh Adumim.'

Handler said attempts to blacklist Israeli companies were nothing than 'illegitimate pressure to 'head-butt' Israel.'..."

UN Threatens to Blacklist Israeli Company, CEO Calls Them Out Article

Offices of Bezeq, an Israeli company that received a letter from the UN Human Rights Council

"The United Nations Human Rights Council has been pressuring Israeli telecommunications giant Bezeq to cut off its services to settlements, saying that the company is promoting the illegal communities and their expansion, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Bezeq currently provides the same services to Israeli cities and towns within the Green Line and to the settlements beyond it. By pressuring the company to suspend services to Israel's West Bank settlements, the UNHRC has been accused of 'blackmail' and of participating in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that many Israelis see as antisemitic...

One activist said that letters like the one sent to Bezeq as part of the database campaign are 'nothing short of an assault on the economic welfare on the State of Israel, period.'..."

UN "Human Rights" Council Pressures Israeli Company to Cut Off Internet Services to Settlements Article

A sign for UNESCO

"Last week, the US announced that it was going to pull out of UNESCO in December 2018. The State Department accused the organization of 'continuing anti-Israel bias' and said that America would revert to being a non-member observer state. Israel announced shortly after that she was going to follow the US lead.

The decision is long overdue and represents a justified rebuke to a body that has become a willing arm of Palestinian propaganda. By adopting endless anti-Israel resolutions, UNESCO has strayed from its central purpose of defending cultural heritage with an impartial view to the historical record...

Some might argue that America's withdrawal is an act of temperamental unilateralism by President Trump, on a par with his threat to leave a host of other institutions. Naturally, there is a great deal to criticise in his 'America first' language and his often hot headed approach to international diplomacy. He is currently winning no awards for international co-operation.

But unilateralism is not the issue here. There is no reason for continued membership in an organisation which has fundamentally betrayed its founding purpose. In the words of Nikki Haley, America's ambassador to the UN: 'US taxpayers should no longer be on the hook to pay for policies that are hostile to our values and make a mockery of justice and common sense.' Further, UNESCO's 'extreme politicization has become a chronic embarrassment.'..."

UNESCO has become an arm of Palestinian propaganda Article

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who is to introduce the Senate version of the resolution criticizing UNESCO

"After the Trump administration withdrew the United States from UNESCO over what it called its 'anti-Israel bias,' two GOP lawmakers introduced a resolution that condemns the UN cultural organization and affirms Jewish ties to Jerusalem.

The UN body has, in recent years, passed a series of its own resolutions denying a Jewish link to the holy city.

On Israel's Independence Day this year, the UN cultural agency passed a motion that many Israelis saw as denying Jewish historical or religious ties to Jerusalem. Such measures were cited as one reason the US decided to pull out of the agency last week.

On Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, followed up on the move by authoring a resolution that 'recognizes and affirms the historical connection of the Jewish people to the ancient and sacred city of Jerusalem.'

It goes on to cite archaeologically excavated sites, like the City of David, that contain vast quantities of antiquities from the ancient Jewish and Christian presence in the city..."

Scolding UNESCO, GOP lawmakers introduce resolution on Jewish ties to Jerusalem Article

A sign for UNESCO

"UNESCO's decision to admit 'Palestine' as a member state in 2011 in apparent breach of UNESCO's own Constitution has come back to bite UNESCO with a vengeance as America and Israel now give formal notice of their intention to quit UNESCO on 31 December 2018.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert asserted America's decision was not taken lightly and reflected U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO...

UNESCO anti-Israel decisions since 'Palestine' was admitted to UNESCO membership have included:

January 2014 the cancellation of an exhibition at its Paris headquarters on the Jewish presence in the land of Israel.

October 2016 - disregarding any Jewish ties to the Temple Mount - only referring to it by its Muslim names then several weeks later - passing a softer version of the resolution that referred to the Western Wall by its Jewish name - though still ignoring Judaism's ties to the site.

May 2017 UNESCO's executive committee passing a resolution critical of Israeli conduct in Jerusalem and Gaza.

July 2017 - designating Hevron and the two adjoined shrines at its heart - the Jewish Tomb of the Patriarchs and the Muslim Ibrahimi Mosque - as a 'Palestinian World Heritage Site in Danger'.

UNESCO appears to have acted outside the terms of its own Constitution in admitting 'Palestine' to membership.

That decision was open to possible legal challenge for two reasons:

Only states can be admitted to UNESCO under Article II (2) of UNESCO's Constitution - and 'Palestine' was not a state..."

How UNESCO breached its own constitution by admitting "Palestine" in 2011 Article

The seat for Venezuela at the UN Human Rights Council (File photo)

"Australia's election to membership of the controversial, 47-nation UN Human Rights Council is a significant success for Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and the protracted global campaign waged by our diplomats to win the seat. There should be no illusion about the challenge we face, however, in achieving what Ms Bishop has rightly identified as one of our main goals in joining: achieving long-overdue reform of a body whose hypocritically pontificating membership includes some of the world's most egregious human rights abusers, ever ready to point fingers at others. States such as Venezuela, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, China and Egypt have helped ensure, as US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has pointed out, the council's focus is perpetually on denouncing the purported human rights depredations of one country, Israel. At the same time, the council has been far less concerned about atrocities such as the bloodbaths in Syria and Yemen and the plight of Myanmar's Rohingya minority.

Israel, uniquely, is a fixed item on the UNHRC's agenda. As Ms Haley has said, 'When the council passes more than 70 resolutions against Israel, a country with a strong human rights record, and just seven resolutions against Iran, a country with an abysmal human rights record, you know something is seriously wrong.'

Paradoxically, coinciding with Australia's election, the Trump administration is preparing to quit the UNHRC following its decision last week to abandon membership of the Paris-based UNESCO, one of the UN's biggest and most important agencies. The reasoning in both instances is that neither UN body is doing its job and is fixated by 'anti-Israel bias'.

Given the line-up of countries elected or re-elected to a three-year term alongside Australia, there is, short of genuine reform, unlikely to be any amelioration of the council's bias. Among those countries is Pakistan, notorious for double-dealing with Islamist terrorists and using military courts to carry out hundreds of executions. The Democratic Republic of Congo, which also won a seat, has seen thousands of its people killed in the Kasai region in the past year. Ironically, it is under investigation by the UNHRC for human rights abuses..."

UN human rights reform vital Article

October 16, 2017

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein

"The United Nations Human Rights Council is pressuring a major Israeli telecommunications company to cease operations in disputed areas of the Jewish state or face a potential designation as a human rights abuser, according to a copy of communications sent by the Human Rights Council that is being viewed as an attempt to blackmail international corporations into boycotting the Jewish state.

The UNHRC recently sent a letter to the CEO of Bezeq, a major Israeli telecoms firm, accusing it of promoting settlement activity in Israel and of providing cellular services to areas that the Council believes are Palestinian territory...

'The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jordanian Prince Zeid Al Hussein, acting in cahoots with the UN Human Rights Council, has been blackmailing companies around the world as part of a UN BDS campaign directed at Israel,' Bayefsky said..."

Israeli Company, Bezeq, Reveals Astonishing UN Blackmail Article

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

"The flight of Myanmar's Rohingya to Bangladesh should have come as no surprise to the United Nations.

For more than three years, a chorus of voices from within the U.N. community have warned that the country's minority Muslims faced a grim reckoning that the U.N. was ill prepared to handle and called for pressing the government of Myanmar, which is often referred to as Burma, to halt its abuses...

But at every step of the way these critics have faced fierce resistance from some of the most senior U.N. officials, who feared that publicly shaming Myanmar's rulers would complicate efforts to steer the country through a delicate political transition from military rule to democracy and jeopardize the U.N.'s development and humanitarian relief efforts in the country...

The refugee crisis has its roots in a long history of Burmese discrimination against the Rohingya. But some of the U.N.'s shortcomings in responding to the crisis are self-made: a product of long-standing interagency squabbles over turf and policy, compounded by a bureaucratic decision taken in December 1977 that empowered the U.N. Development Program to appoint the senior U.N. official, or resident coordinator, presiding over most of the international body's duty stations around the world.

As an agency that relies on governments' cooperation to do its work, UNDP has historically shied away from tackling thorny political matters or confronting those governments when they commit abuses, according to the critics. That, they claimed, fed a culture of silence that has pervaded many duty stations, subjecting the U.N. to allegations that it has been complicit in atrocities, from Myanmar to Sri Lanka...

In April, a consultant hired by the U.N. office in Yangon warned in an internal report that it was only a matter of time before a new wave of violence occurred. 'All indications,' the consultant, Richard Horsey, wrote in his confidential report, are that Muslim insurgents would launch an attack on Myanmar security forces in the next six months, triggering a 'heavy-handed and indiscriminate' army assault on the region's long-discriminated-against Rohingya Muslims.

The report, which was obtained by Foreign Policy, was first reported on by the Guardian, which said its distribution within the U.N. was suppressed by [U.N.'s resident coordinator, Renata] Lok-Dessallien..."

For Years, UN Was Warned of Threat to Rohingya in Myanmar Article

The aftermath of the attack in Mogadishu, Somalia

The death toll has risen to 276, with more than 300 people wounded, after a truck bombing in Somalia that the U.S. government condemned Sunday as a "cowardly" attack.

"Such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism," the U.S. mission to Somalia said in a statement.

The U.S. military this year has stepped up drone strikes and other efforts this year against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, which is based in Somalia and often targets Mogadishu, the capital.

None of the roughly 400 U.S. troops in Somalia were hurt in the attack, a spokesman for the U.S. Africa Command told Fox News.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said four volunteers with the Somali Red Crescent Society were among the dead.

A statement Sunday said "this figure may rise as there are a number of volunteers still missing."

Hospitals in Mogadishu struggled Sunday to cope with the high number of deaths and injuries, security and medical sources said.

Ambulance sirens echoed across the city a day after the blast as bewildered families wandered in the rubble of buildings, looking for missing relatives.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared three days of mourning and joined thousands of people who responded to a desperate plea by hospitals to donate blood for the wounded victims. "I am appealing all Somali people to come forward and donate," he said.

Many victims died at hospitals from their wounds, said Police Capt. Mohamed Hussein.

Abshir Abdi Ahmed, a senator, announced the number injured, citing doctors at hospitals he has visited in Mogadishu.

Somalia's government has blamed the Al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab extremist group for the attack it called a "national disaster." However, al-Shabab, which often targets high-profile areas of the capital with bombings, had yet to comment.

"They don't care about the lives of Somali people, mothers, fathers and children," Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire said. "They have targeted the most populated area in Mogadishu, killing only civilians."

Somalia's information minister, Abdirahman Omar, said the blast was the largest the city had ever seen. "It's a sad day. This how merciless and brutal they are, and we have to unite against them," he said, speaking to the state-run radio station.

Overnight, rescue workers with torch lights searched for any survivors trapped under the rubble of the Safari Hotel, which was largely destroyed. The hotel is close to Somalia's foreign ministry. The blast blew off metal gates and blast walls erected outside the hotel.

At least 276 killed in Somalia's deadliest attack on record Document

Illustrative: A Gazan man looking at a pro-Palestinian post on Facebook on April 7, 2013.

Arab Israeli indicted for social media posts supporting terror Article

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, October 15, 2017

Israel to set up parliamentary probe into foreign gov't funding of "rights" groups Article