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Resources updated between Monday, March 21, 2011 and Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

First appearing on Pajamas Media, by Anne Bayefsky.

Syria The Obama Administration

State Sponsor of Terrorism, State Department:

Syria, since December 29, 1979

Rewarding Syria:

On January 26, 2011, President Obama appointed Robert Ford as the first US ambassador to Syria since 2005
(The U.S. ambassador had been withdrawn following the murder of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri).

Only Resolution Concerning Syria Adopted March 24, 2011,
UN Human Rights Council

Title: "Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan"

Only party criticized: Israel

Sponsors: Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, the Group of Arab States, the Group of African States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Vote: 29 in favor, 1 against (the United States), 16 abstentions

Text says: "The Human Rights Council [is] Deeply concerned at the suffering of the Syrian citizens...due to the systematic and continuous violation of their fundamental and human rights by Israel..."

Praise for the UN Human Rights Council:

U.S. UN Ambassador to Geneva Eileen Donahoe, March 24, 2011, UN Human Rights Council, Geneva:

"We are coming to the end of a session that has marked a significant shift at the Human Rights Council. We believe this session has been important in part because it coincided with an important moment in history, and because the Council has shown itself able to deal with changing circumstances on the ground..."

Friday, March 25, 2011

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears on Fox News.

The Obama administration's U.N.-centered foreign policy reached new heights of incredulity today with the U.N. Human Rights Council adoption of a resolution on Iran. With the Obama team in Geneva at the center of it, the resolution calls for more study of the Iranian human rights record and the submission of a report one year from now.

Instead of blasting the ridiculous excuse for delaying serious action against a notorious regime currently engaged in heinous violations of human rights, the Obama administration actually masterminded the resolution.

Immediately following the resolution's adoption, U.S.-U.N. Ambassador to Geneva Eileen Donahoe held a news conference in which she declared "what we have just witnessed is a seminal moment for this body – the Human Rights Council – with the establishment of a Special Rapporteur [investigator] on the human rights situation in Iran...Today we've seen the Council able to respond to a chronic, severe human rights violator which is Iran, and we're very pleased with this development."

The U.N. Human Rights Council's predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights, had adopted an Iran resolution every year from 1984 to 2001. Those resolutions mandated a special investigator to report each year on the gross violations of human rights occurring in Iran. From 1997 onwards Iran refused to allow the investigator into the country to investigate. In 2002 the Commission eliminated the post of investigator. It is a certainty that whoever is appointed to fill the position now recreated by the Human Rights Council will also not be permitted into the country. So the information available to the new investigator will be the same information available to anyone else doing research outside the country. Assuming, of course, that more research is the right answer to tackling human rights violations by Iran.

Less than half the Council members voted in favor of the American-led resolution – the vote was 22 for, 7 against, 14 abstentions and 3 absent. Iranian friends China, Russia, Cuba, and Pakistan voted against. Saudi Arabia merely abstained. Qatar, Kyrgyzstan and Angola ran out of the room so as to avoid being counted. Even so, in order to win, the resolution was minimalist in the extreme. It contains no description of any human rights atrocities being perpetrated by Iran. In fact, a reference which would have "reaffirmed" a resolution from the General Assembly in 2010 criticizing Iran in detail, was deleted.

To recap, the Obama administration's idea of doing something about the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, on the verge of acquiring the world's most devastating weapon, currently holding American hostages, and now engaged in a brutal crackdown of Iranian democracy-seekers, is to pass a U.N. resolution calling for the appointment of some individual who will "submit a report for consideration by the Human Rights Council at its 19th session" in March 2012.

Donahoe ended her news conference by lauding what might be called the Obama administration's my U.N.-do-or-die approach to foreign policy: "we believe the Council has shown itself able to deal more effectively than in the past with emergent crisis situations as in the case of...Libya." To be clear, the only reason the Council had to "deal" with Libya was that until a few weeks ago Libya was happily ensconced by fellow U.N. states as a member of the U.N. Human Rights Council. Its membership was proving to be profoundly embarrassing to the U.N. and to President Obama, who decided to join the Council and lend it credibility in the first place.

Donahoe, in fact told the Council today that last September the U.N. General Assembly had a report before it which – in her words – "documents amputations, floggings, and acts of torture carried out by the Iranian government. The report further highlights Iran's continued sentencing of both men and women to death by stoning."

Knowing that already, what is the Obama administration's solution to the ongoing crimes of Iran against its own people, Americans and freedom-loving people everywhere? One more U.N. report, one more year away.

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on National Review Online.

President Obama's decision to place the United Nations at the center of his foreign policy took another hit Friday as the U.N. Human Rights Council ended its latest session in Geneva. One of the president's primary justifications for joining the notorious council shortly after he assumed office was its mandatory five-year review process; if the U.S. was a member, the administration claimed, it could influence this process. The process, which quietly unfolded in back rooms in Geneva over the past six months, has been exposed to be a total fraud, taking the administration's cover down with it.

Starting last fall, the Obama team was a very active participant in a working group of the council that had been set up to tackle reform. At the end of February, the working group produced a document summarizing its decisions, and on Friday the council passed a resolution adopting that document by consensus - that is, without a vote. Regardless of the fact that every serious recommendation of the United States was rejected, Obama's diplomats refused to call for a vote on the resolution so that they could vote against it.

They did play a little game intended to fool uninformed listeners by claiming to "dissociate" the administration from the resolution. However, since the resolution has been adopted by consensus, it will proceed unimpeded to the General Assembly, where it will be rubber-stamped. The U.S. could not have stopped the resolution, but an American vote against the measure would have been a major blow to the credibility of the Human Rights Council. It also would have set up the U.S. to leave the council as a logical consequence of the failure to reform it.

The slap in the face to President Obama is painfully clear from a short list of American demands for reform and the council's responses.

The council has an official, permanent agenda that governs all its meetings and consists of only ten items. One of those items is reserved for condemning Israel, and another is assigned to human rights in the other 191 U.N. member states. This session, for instance, produced six resolutions condemning Israel, one resolution each on four other states, and nothing at all on the remaining 187 countries. The American delegation huffed and puffed that this obvious discrimination - which characterizes every meeting of the council - must come to an end, and proposed that the two agenda items be rolled into one. The proposal was rejected.

The American delegation proposed creating easier trigger mechanisms for convening special sessions on specific countries when serious human-rights concerns arise. The proposal was rejected.

The American delegation proposed abolishing the council's make-work "Advisory Committee." It is currently populated by such human-rights luminaries as former Sandinista leader and suspended priest Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann. (Brockmann once served as president of the U.N. General Assembly and is best remembered for a series of anti-Semitic outbursts and for coming down off his podium to hug Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.) The proposal was rejected.

The American delegation proposed making public pre-screened complaints of gross and systematic violations of human rights that are received by the council. Specific cases, which have poured into the U.N. for over half a century from poor souls around the world, have never been revealed. The proposal was rejected.

The American delegation proposed expanding the time allocated to discussions of abuses in specific countries. The proposal was rejected.

The American delegation proposed that states running for a seat on the council should engage in a public dialogue with General Assembly members on their human-rights record, as measured by specific criteria. The proposal was rejected.

In all, the U.N. reports that 42 proposals were put forward by the American delegation orally and in writing. Only three were accepted. Those three addressed minutiae. For instance, the Obama team proposed allowing all states that wish to speak during the council's "universal periodic review" (UPR) to be permitted to do so. The UPR is the procedure in which the council considers the human-rights record of every state, but the council tightly controls the time spent on each country. Council members are allotted three minutes' and non-members two minutes' worth of comments, regardless of the scope of the issues. Since the total time is fixed, would-be commentators are frequently silenced by ending up too low on the speakers' list. The "reform" that was proposed and accepted? Keep the total time the same and reduce the allotted time per speaker. Thirty-second critiques of human-rights abuses, here we come.

Instead of admitting their complete inability to accomplish their mission of reforming the council, however, Obama's representatives are scrambling to sweep the disaster under the rug. Admitting their error would no doubt strike at the heart of the president's U.N. chorus line.

On March 31, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. ambassador Susan Rice announced that the U.S. would seek to join the council "because we believe that working from within, we can make the Council a more effective forum," and because "the Council . . . is scheduled to undergo a formal review of its structure and procedures in 2011, which will offer a significant opportunity for Council reform." In a New York Times op-ed on Sept. 13, 2010, Eileen Donahoe - the United States' ambassador to the council - called the review "a serious self-reflection exercise" and claimed that "if we do not sit at the table with others and do the work necessary to influence the process, U.S. values and priorities will not be reflected in the outcome."

Now we know there was no "serious self-reflection." U.S. values and priorities have not been reflected in the outcome. The reform opportunity is in shreds.

The result leaves the administration with two choices. Choice number one: Admit the fiasco. Refuse to lend legitimacy to a highly discriminatory agency designed to help members such as Saudi Arabia, China, and Cuba conceal their own abuses. And get out. Choice number two: Allow a bogus "reform" to be adopted by consensus, and stay put.

President Obama has evidently decided to take the second course, sending one more signal about how little he values Israel and how few are the number of human-rights victims around the world that stand any chance of capturing his attention.

Draft, as orally revised, was adopted with 27 votes in favor, 3 against and 16 abstentions.

Draft resolution "Follow-up to the report of the Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza conflict" (Goldstone Report) Development

Draft, as orally revised, was adopted with 45 votes in favor, 1 against and 0 abstentions.

Draft resolution "Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan" Development

Draft was adopted with 45 votes in favor, 1 against and 0 abstentions

Draft resolution "Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination" Development

Draft, as orally revised, was adopted with 30 votes in favor, 1 against and 15 abstentions.

Draft Resolution "The human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem" Development

Draft, as orally revised, was adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution "Situation of human rights in Cτte d'Ivoire" Development

Draft was adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution "Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar" Development

Draft, as orally revised, was adopted with 37 votes in favor, 1 against and 8 abstentions.

Draft resolution "Follow-up to the report of the independent international fact-finding mission on the incident of the humanitarian flotilla" Development

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Watch the video of Islamic states speaking at the UN "Human Rights" Council on March 22, 2011. Their gross intolerance, which in their own words they call Islamic culture, is undeniable. Where is the response by "liberals" who make a practice of coming to their defense?

Watch video here.
March 22, 2011, UN Human Rights Council:
Human rights and the Islamic world

Draft was adopted with 29 votes in favor, 1 against and 16 abstentions.

Draft resolution on the "Occupied Syrian Golan" Development

Draft was adopted with 22 votes in favor, 7 against and 14 abstentions

Draft Resolution "Human Rights situation in Iran" Development

Draft was adopted with 30 votes in favor, 3 against and 11 abstentions.

Draft resolution "Situation of Human Rights in the DPRK" Development

March 23, 2011

March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears in The Jerusalem Post.

The meeting on Monday at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva helps explain how it is possible for the horrifying murder of the Fogel family by Palestinian terrorists on March 11 to have been so easily minimized by the "civilized" world. Slashing the throat of a three-month old baby and stabbing a three-year old twice in the heart has sickened and anguished Jews everywhere, but the steady pounding of anti-Semitism at the United Nations has not skipped a beat.

At this session of the Human Rights Council a UN-accredited NGO distributed a publication containing the following picture:

The demonic Jew, with the swastika substituted for the star of David on the Israeli flag, is depicted as an octopus strangling freedom-loving innocents.

The Jews as a vile life-threatening octopus was also a feature of Nazi propaganda. Today, it is how the Turkish NGO, the International Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), is permitted to portray its attempt last May to defy a legal Israeli naval blockade.

An appeal made to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to take action against the IHH and to object to the distribution of this material on the UN "designated NGO tables outside the plenary room" was ignored.

The UN-accredited IHH "humanitarians" also delivered a statement at this Council's session in which they said: "we consider the unlawful activities of Israel to be the most serious threat, one that is even more dangerous than that of a nuclear attack."

Being fanatical hatemongers is evidently no barrier to being UN-accredited.

The IHH is not alone. On March 11 of the current session, the Council "Bulletin of informal meetings" advertised the time and place of a meeting entitled "Human rights in Palestine." It was organized by the UN-accredited NGO "Nord-Sud XXI" and held in a UN-provided room near the Council chamber. Invited speakers manufactured such accusations as "people are buried alive in Israeli prison cells," and "one woman had gangrene and they cut her foot off instead of treating her," followed by "we want a future free of Zionist crimes," and "we need revolution and intifada against this oppression." Imad Zuhairi, deputy permanent observer of the Palestinian Authority to the UN in Geneva, was an enthusiastic participant in this event, made possible only with the assistance of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights despite its focus on advocating violence against Israelis. Zuhairi declared a few hours before the Fogel murders: "we cannot equate resistance against occupation with terrorism."

Such NGOs operate hand-in-glove with the Council. Currently being discussed during the Council session is another resolution on the IHH flotilla, calling for still another report to condemn Israel on the same subject in June. Because the Organization of the Islamic Conference holds the balance of power at the Council, by controlling the regional groups that form the Council's majority, the resolution is guaranteed to be adopted later this week.

Furthermore, the flotilla resolution is just one of many. There is another resolution on settlements. It condemns only Israel, references the Road Map only to allege Israeli violations, and demands Israel end "all settlement activity, including "natural growth."

This is not just verbiage. Such UN settlement resolutions intimate that the three young Fogel children, while living and breathing, were criminals.

And still it does not end. Incredibly, at this Council session there will be a total of six resolutions adopted condemning Israel alone – on the flotilla, settlements, the Goldstone Report and its successors, the "Syrian Golan," other "grave human rights violations by Israel," and Palestinian self-determination.

Consider the absurdity of the resolution entitled "human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan." The Council claims to be "deeply concerned at the suffering of Syrian citizens" and then demands that Israel "desist from...practices that obstruct the enjoyment of their fundamental rights." There is no mention whatsoever of the Syrian government, its murderous rampages at this very moment in time, and its "obstruction" of the fundamental right of Syrians to live.

On the contrary, Syria is currently running for a seat on the Council and is widely expected to be elected in May.

Saudi Arabia is already a Council member and the ongoing crackdown on democracy advocates in Saudi Arabia is nowhere to be found in the Council's repertoire. The only states other than Israel subject to a resolution of the Council at this session will be North Korea, Iran, Myanmar/Burma, and Cote d'Ivoire.

In sum, the Council is poised to adopt this week six resolutions condemning just Israel, one resolution for each of four other countries, and nothing for the other 187 UN member states. This is the highest number of resolutions dedicated to the demonization of Israel at a single session of the Council since it began in 2006 as the crown jewel of Kofi Annan's UN reform.

A great many in the Western world believe either that discrimination against the Jewish people is an acceptable price to pay for progress on other fronts, or that the United Nations serves at worst as an incompetent but necessary escape valve for hot air and play-acting by weak countries with inferiority complexes. The atrocity committed against the Fogel family puts the lie to this reprehensible and deadly exploitation. The world should have learned long ago that demonizing Jews is not a human right.