Archive for Human Rights Organizations

Drink Soda!

Sorry, Mrs. Obama, but I’m going to gorge myself on the stuff.

And I’m going to buy it with the money I was going to give to Oxfam:

An Israeli civil rights group, Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center,
has demanded that the international aid organization Oxfam severe its ties with the Union of Health Workers Committees (“UHWC”) and the Union of Agricultural Worker’s Committee (“UAWC”), two agencies of the proscribed terror organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Oxfam lists both of the agencies as its partners whom it works with in Hamas controlled Gaza and the Palestinian Authority. In a letter sent today, Shurat HaDun warned Oxfam that providing financial assistance and other forms of material support to affiliates of the terrorist PFLP is illegal and would subject the NGO to both criminal and civil liability.

Oxfam recently made world headlines when it criticized actress Scarlett Johansson’s involvement with the Israeli company, SodaStream. Johansson, who had been serving as a goodwill ambassador for Oxfam, refused to endorse the NGO’s policy of boycotting Israeli firms and resigned her position.

As the letter states, “The PFLP is one of the most violent and dangerous of the Palestinian terrorist organizations having carried out decades of murderous operations against civilian targets including airplane hijackings, the massacre at Ben Gurion Airport in 1972, intifada suicide bombings, the assassination of an Israeli minister and the murder of a Jewish family, including three infant children in the Itamar community in March 2011. The PFLP is responsible for the criminal deaths of Israeli, American and European victims around the world. Several of its leaders are currently serving life sentences in Israeli prisons for their involvement in heinous terrorist attacks.”

I didn’t even remember that the PFLP sponsored the Itamar massacre (see post below) when I started this post. Funny how things come together. Real funny.

Aggie and I were sharing a rant just the other day about how we don’t trust and absolutely reject all leftist movements and organizations. But I think now that it’s not us rejecting anything. If Oxfam is about feeding the hungry, that’s not “leftist”. But if Oxfam is about making common cause with “agencies” of an organization that could plot and carry out the murders of the Fogel children (among myriad other crimes and atrocities)—under the disguise of feeding the hungry—then Oxfam has rejected any moral standing. To greater and lesser extents, that same betrayal of moral authority exists across the spectrum of so-called human rights organizations. Scarlett Johansson (who identifies as Jewish) got out just in time.


Smile and the World Smiles With You

This guy cracks me up:

Iran has gone on an execution binge in the past two weeks, hanging some 40 people, including 19 in one day, according to international human rights groups inside and outside of Iran.

Iran hanged a total of 19 prisoners on Tuesday, including one who was executed publicly, according to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC), which tracks the Islamic Republic’s flawed judicial system.

Forty executions have taken place since the beginning of January, including 33 in just the past week, according to human rights group Amnesty International.

Iran, which human rights activists say is one of the world’s leaders in the abuse of prisoners, hit an all time execution peak in 2013 when it killed some 529 citizens.

The rate of executions has spiked under the leadership of President Hassan Rouhani despite his claims to be a “moderate” reformer.

More than 300 people were killed in the months after Rouhani assumed office, prompting criticism from human rights activists who criticized him for not living up to his moderate claims.

Did he really claim to be moderate? Isn’t that what others claimed him to be? And haven’t we learned for the gazillionth time that “others” don’t know [bleep]? That they (politicians, media morons) tell us as fact what they merely wish were true from their kindergarten minds?

Hey Israel, he’s smiling at you. Why can’t you smile back?



Hey, Obama, Stockholm called! They want their Nobel Prize back. (And Arafat’s, and Carter’s, and Tutu’s, and Gore’s… just kidding. That’ll be the day.):

According to Egyptian newspaper El Watan, a group of Egyptian lawyers has submitted a complaint charging U.S. president Barrack Hussein Obama with crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

The complaint charges Obama of being an accessory to the Muslim Brotherhood, which incited widespread violence in Egypt both before and after the June 30 Revolution.

Along with Obama, the complaint reproduced by El Watan mentions several Brotherhood members by name, beginning with the leader of the organization Muhammad Badie, and other top ranking leaders such as Mohamed al-Beltagy, Essam al-Erian, and Safwat Hegazi, adding that “Obama cooperated, incited, and assisted the armed elements of the Muslim Brotherhood in the commission of crimes against humanity in the period from 3/7/2013-8/18/2013, in the Arab Republic of Egypt.”

Somehow, MSNBC and the New York Times missed this story. Oversight.

That “[Barack Hussein] “Obama cooperated, incited, and assisted the armed elements of the Muslim Brotherhood” is beyond dispute. Even he would say he did. Whether his involvement rises to the level of war crime is debatable.

As for the Obama administration’s support for the Brotherhood, if most Americans are clueless or indifferent about it, average Egyptians have long known and resented it—hence the many large placards and signs held during the June 30 Revolution calling on Obama to stop supporting terrorism and calling on Americans to wake up.

One need only follow the words and deeds of Anne Patterson, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Hillary Clinton, et. al. to know that the U.S president is a firm supporter of the crimes-against-humanity-committing Muslim Brotherhood.

[T]he facts are clear: by any definition, the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters have committed numerous crimes against humanity in Egypt, especially in the context of the Christian Copts; and by its ongoing support for the Brotherhood, the Obama administration is complicit. Remember this next time the Obama administration cites concerns about “human rights” violations as reason to involve the U.S. in war—as it recently tried to do in Syria, again, to support more Islamic terrorists who are committing even worse crimes against humanity.

An amicus brief, you might say:

For years various American administrations used Egyptian Christians—Orthodox Copts—to put pressure on Egyptian governments pushing for policies or to get them to refrain from doing something which the U.S. considered against their interests.

With the advent of Obama, everyone knew his administration was supporting radical extremists like the Muslim Brotherhood and fanatic rebels in Syria and Libya. Copts knew that they were only a pawn in the eyes of previous administrations, who didn’t really care about them except to the extent of what may have fit their interests. The Egyptian Christians are certain that Obama himself is one of the main reasons for what is happening to them now; the killings, burning of churches, and displacement from their homes and villages at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. Obama offers the Brotherhood both money and protection, using U.S. intelligence agencies with plans to restore them to power.

Dr. Naguib Gabriel, head of the Egyptian Human Rights organization and a senior Egyptian Christian, said that the Egyptian Human Rights will gather signatures from Christian Egyptians and a number of international organizations in the “peaceful coexistence conference” which will be held by Ovid, a French organization, to provide a memorandum to the international Criminal Court, accusing U.S. President Obama of crimes against humanity by helping and indirectly participating in the demolition of 102 Coptic facilities and the burning of ancient churches carrying the heritage of the Christian world, as well as causing the displacement of 150 Coptic families, and the slaughter of dozens of Christians.

Gabriel explained that these accusations are being made because Obama is funding the Muslim Brotherhood with 5 to 8 billion dollars, which the Muslim Brotherhood used to purchase arms and to pay criminals to kill Christians and torch churches…

You want his ass in court, Egypt? Take a number. Whether it’s due his abuse of power with ObamaCare, the IRS, NSA, Benghazi—or all this and more—I think this president will be in the dock for a long time to come.

But has any other Nobel Peace Prize recipient been hauled before the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity? He may be as “special” as his proponents say!

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Your United Nations

Ah, the UN. You can’t make this [bleep] up:

Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Chad, Lithuania and Chile all won coveted seats on the U.N. Security Council Thursday, after there were no contested races for the first time in several years.

Philippe Bolopion, United Nations director for Human Rights Watch, denounced the election of Chad, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

“The prestige of a seat at the world’s foremost diplomatic table should prompt the new members to get their house in order,” he said, according to the AP.

“Chad should put an end to the recruitment of child soldiers, which earned it a spot on the U.N. list of shame. Saudi Arabia should end its crackdown on human rights activists and grant women their full rights,” Mr. Bolopion said, adding that Nigeria should also “end chronic abuse by security forces and better protect civilians in the north.”

Lithuania, however: good to go. Chile, no problem.

Oh, and speaking of the UN. This came across our screens the other day:

Can the United Nations be held legally accountable for its actions in a U.S. court? That question is the crux of a lawsuit filed this week that wants to hold the world organization accountable for the deaths of thousands of Haitians in the 2010 outbreak of cholera that still smolders today.

IJDH is seeking unspecified damages on behalf of eight Haitians—half of them fatal cholera victims—as the nucleus of a much larger class action against the UN, and also demanding that the world organization pay $2.2 billion to complete a still underfunded program of cholera eradication and recovery in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.

[T]he lawsuit could yet prove to be a watershed moment for the world organization, amid a rising tide of human rights and other opinion—some within the UN itself—that it must do something to compensate victims of the cholera disaster, which most medical experts agree was caused by inadequate human sanitation facilities at a UN peacekeeping camp housing Nepalese soldiers who had been exposed to the water-born disease at home.

[T]he UN denied at the time that it had anything to do with the cholera outbreak, according to eyewitnesses made efforts to remove evidence and keep investigators away from its campsite, has continually questioned the scientific validity of any findings that pointed specifically at a UN cause for the disease, wrongly claimed that the soldiers had been tested for cholera before their arrival in Haiti, stonewalled petitioners seeking any form of redress, and, as the IJDH lawsuit points out, taken months and even years to reply to anyone addressing the compensation question.

Maybe they can ask Saudi Arabia to pay off Haiti, now that they’re on the inside.


Prisoners of Love

Israel treats its prisoners—hardened killers with Jewish blood on their hands—as, well, not prisoners. They spring ‘em loose, guilty as sin and free as a bird, as Bill Ayers famously said.

Here’s how others in the region treat their prisoners:

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Wednesday urged Hamas in the Gaza Strip not to carry out planned executions.

In a statement, Pillay expressed deep concern “at the possibility that executions might be carried out over the course of the next weeks in Gaza and urgently appeal to the de facto authorities there not to implement any death sentences.”

The attorney general in Gaza made several announcements during Ramadan that after the Eid al-Fitr celebrations, which have just ended, executions of people sentenced to death would take place.

“I am concerned about the process by which death sentences are imposed by military and civilian courts in the Gaza Strip,” Ms. Pillay said.

“Serious concerns have also been raised about ill-treatment and torture during interrogations of persons later sentenced to death,” she added.

According to Amnesty International, several of the “criminals” slated for execution confessed to their crimes under extreme duress.

The planned executions would not be the first time Hamas has carried out death sentences publicly. In June, two unidentified men were hanged publicly after being accused of spying for Israel.

Sixteen Palestinians have been executed in Gaza for spying since Hamas seized the territory in 2007.

Has Israel executed one single prisoner, even one convicted of the most capital crime? If the subhuman butchers of the Fogel family in Itamar still live, then the answer is no. As I wrote above, Israel releases its murderers in a misguided (and thoroughly coerced) attempt to reach a peace agreement with the very Arabs who execute their prisoners. Can you figure it out? I can’t.

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Some “Atrocities” Are More Atrocious Than Others

We don’t mean to focus disproportionately on Muslim atrocities—hacking a British soldier to death comes to mind—but too many Muslims do (one being too many), unfortunately.

So does Amnesty International, with some strange results:

In a report released Thursday, international leftist human rights group Amnesty accused both Israel and Hamas of committing “war crimes” during Operation Pillar of Defense last year. The accusations were made in the organization’s annual report.

According to the report, both sides shot indiscriminately at civilian targets. Both also violated international agreements and committee human rights violations. While it was Hamas that fired thousands of rockets at Israeli targets – a major war crime – Israel’s violations surround its ongoing naval blockade of Gaza, the report said.

Israeli defense officials say that the blockade is necessary to prevent Hamas terrorists from acquiring weapons, which will be used to attack Israeli civilians. “To place Israel’s defensive actions in the same context as Hamas’ attempts to murder Israeli civilians is ridiculous,” a source in the Foreign Ministry said.

Hamass is justifiably cited for firing missiles indiscriminately at civilians; Israel is cited for trying to keep those missiles out of Hamass’ blood-stained hands.


And speaking of blood-stained hands, yesterday’s cold-blooded murder of one British citizen by another, reminded Aggie of an image she had seen somewhere before:

I’m sure Israel identifies with the British public’s shock and horror at this heinous terrorist act. I hope Britain reciprocates some day. Though I’m not holding my breath.


Human Rights Shrug

When Ahmadinejad calls Israel a “a regime based on evil”, a “cancerous tumor”, a “stinking corpse”, a “filthy bacteria”, a “dead rat”, “a rotten, dried tree”, and “a mosquito” that “must be wiped off the map”; or that “one of the biggest lies was the Holocaust”; or that “Zionism is the modern times plight of the human society” and “basically a new [form of] fascism”; and that Zionists are “a group of blood-thirsty savages”, who “act like Hitler and behave worse than Genghis Khan”, and “have no faith in religion or even God”, and who are “are lying about being Jewish”, and “are the true manifestation of Satan”, and “have imposed themselves on a substantial portion of the banking, financial, cultural and media sectors”, and none of whom died on 9/11 because “one day earlier they were told not to go to their workplace”, why do you have to take it as a bad thing?

You Jews are so sensitive!

The head of New York-based Human Rights Watch refused to label as genocidal Iranian calls to obliterate the Jewish state and compared Iran’s mullah leadership to the Shas party.

The Wall Street Journal’s David Feith, as assistant editorial features editor with the paper, obtained internal HRW emails and published last week a report, headlined “Dancing around genocide,” about alleged HRW bias against Israel and an internecine conflict within HRW’s top leadership about the group’s head, Kenneth Roth, and his failure to take Iran’s calls to destroy Israel seriously.

The Journal reported that Sid Sheinberg, HRW’s vice chairman, wrote in an email, “Sitting still while Iran claims a ‘justification to kill all Jews and annihilate Israel’ is…a position unworthy of our great organization.”

According to the newspaper, Roth wrote in one email, “Many of [Iran’s] statements are certainly reprehensible, but they are not incitement to genocide. No one has acted on them.”

Did no one act in Buenos Aires in 1994? In Lebanon over and over? In Gaza just weeks ago? Iran’s DNA is all over those “acts” and myriad others, either directly or through its agents, Hizb’allah and Ham’ass.


The Journal report noted that “while Hamas started indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli towns a decade ago, Human Rights Watch took years to issue a report. From 2000 to 2010, it published about as many reports condemning Israel as criticizing the tyrannies in Syria, Libya and Iran combined. In 2009, the group’s top Middle East official went fundraising in Saudi Arabia – that human rights paragon – where she spoke proudly of her disputes with ‘pro-Israel pressure groups.’”

The online Jewish magazine Tablet obtained a separate set of emails, in which Roth compared Shas’s Rabbi Ovadia Yosef with Iranian leaders.

According to Tablet, Roth wrote, “Would you suggest that Human Rights Watch denounce these statements as incitement to genocide? If not, what is the difference between these statements and the ones by Iranian leaders that you consider incitement to genocide? After all, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s statements are arguably more direct than those made by Iranian leaders, and Israel, unlike Iran, has the means to carry them out.”

What is the difference? How about Shas doesn’t have hundreds of centrifuges whirling like demonic dervishes, refining uranium to weapon grade; or a missile program to deliver the resultant weapons? Just for starters.

Oh yeah, one other: while both the Islamic Republic of Iran and Shas deplore homosexuality, the next gay person stoned or hanged in Israel will be the first. Ahmadinejad boasts that there are no gays in Iran, and who’s to say he’s wrong? How it got that way, however, is open to discussion.

In an email to The Jerusalem Post on Saturday, Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg, the head of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, wrote, “This is a blatant example of Roth’s indifference to genocidal threats and human rights abuses when these target Israel.”

“Roth, who has controlled Human Rights Watch since 1996, has consistently demonstrated a obsession with attacking the Jewish state, and the people he selected to lead HRW’s Middle East and North Africa division are also infected with this deep bias,” Steinberg wrote.

“While Gaddafi was ranting against the Zionists, HRW embraced the regime as ‘human rights reformers.’ HRW’s studied silence in the face of Iran’s genocidal threats further demonstrates this organization’s moral bankruptcy.”

Steinberg added that “George Soros, who now provides HRW with most of its budget after many donors withdrew support, shares responsibility for enabling such immoral behavior under the facade of human rights.”

Plenty more on HRW, AI, B’Tselem, et al, at NGO Monitor. And of course the daily, hourly, minute-ly evil of the UN.

What this story and these briefs against such so-called human rights organizations remind me is that not only has the Left been corrupted, but that the Left has corrupted language. When I hear someone on the Left espouse “social justice”, I confess I inwardly spit (not a pleasant thought, I grant you). Not that “social justice” is a bad thing, but that it has become degraded into a tattered shopping list of Leftist causes. Whereas once “social justice” may have been synonymous with the brave, noble, and high-minded American civil rights movement, now it descended to the lower colon of the Occupy Movement, as symbolized by the gentleman having a bowel movement on the police cruiser.

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream and went to the mountain top. The Occupiers had a dump and took to the gutters. The symbolism of each defines them.

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Three More Years! Three More Years!

Today, for the first time in my adult life, I am disgusted by my country:

The Obama administration was reelected today for a second three-year term to the U.N.’s top human-rights body, the Human Rights Council, with substantially fewer votes than human-rights heavyweights United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Côte d’Ivoire, Venezuela, and Pakistan.

Also coming out a big winner today was the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which retained the balance of power on the Council. Council membership is divided among five regional groups, and the African and Asian regional groups comprise the majority of members. OIC states will continue to make up the majority on each of the African and Asian regional groups.

None of that fazed Obama U.N. ambassador Susan Rice. She told reporters after the vote that the outcome validated the administration’s decision to join the Council. Actually, the reverse is true. U.S. membership validates the Council as a serious human rights body — despite the fact that it is the U.N. entity chiefly responsible for the demonization of the state of Israel as allegedly the world’s worst human-rights violator. Thirty-eight percent of all the human rights criticism directed at specific countries by the Council in its six-year history has been directed at Israel alone. None has been directed at countries such as Saudi Arabia and China, to name but a few.

I guess you really can tell a man or woman by the company he or she keeps:

With a straight face Pakistani ambassador Masood Khan told the press after his country’s election today, “All forces and all segments of civil society in Pakistan are committed to civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.” That would be news to say, Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot in the head by fellow Pakistanis for advocating girls’ education.

The validation theme paraded by the Obama administration was echoed by the regime of another Council winner, Hugo Chavez. Venezuela ambassador Jorge Valero Brice?o told journalists that his country’s election was a recognition of the quality of democracy in Venezuela and its highly developed human-rights record.

The spectacle may portend an Obama second-term with Rice in a key role. She both bragged to reporters about fictional “strong American leadership” while adding a throw-away line about the “flaw” of “excessive focus on Israel.” Brace yourselves for four more years of such “leadership” and the minor nuisance of Israel’s life-and-death struggle for legitimacy and equality on the world stage.

I kind of mixed up the syntax of my opening. This is the first time today I am disgusted with my country.

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Let’s Say…

Let’s say you’re a human rights organization. Well, maybe not a whole organization, just a member of one. Another member has been removed for bad conduct, rare though that event is, and you need to fill the empty chair.

Got the picture?

That’s how we get here:

The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch urged United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to urgently speak out against the African-backed bid by Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir, indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court, for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Last week, the U.S. failed to get the council to pass a condemnation of what it said was a Syrian candidacy for 2014.

UN Watch, which headed the World NGO Summit on Darfur, also called on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the EU’s Catherine Ashton to denounce and fight against Sudan’s candidacy.

“Electing Sudan to the U.N. body mandated to promote and protect human rights worldwide is like putting Jack the Ripper in charge of a women’s shelter,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

UN Watch already heads an international campaign of MPs and human rights groups opposing the candidacies of Venezuela and Pakistan.

“Just a year after the human rights council sought to exorcise the ghosts of its past by suspending Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya — which infamously chaired the body in 2003, and was reelected a member in 2010 — it is now set to replace him with a tyrant wanted for genocide by the International Criminal Court. For how long must we have the inmates running the asylum?”

“The U.N. and the cause of human rights will be severely damaged if Al-Bashir’s Sudanese regime wins a seat,” said Neuer.

I’m a broken record on the subject, but “the UN and the cause of human rights already are severely damaged”. Debased, even. Corrupted. China and Saudi Arabia already sit on the Council, as do Russia and Kuwait; Syria, Venezuela, and Pakistan are as certain as Sudan to make it aboard as well. The asylum analogy works a lot better than the women’s shelter analogy: there are no innocents, no victims, only degrees of guilty.

Chief among whom we must count ourselves, the USA. We should know better; in fact, we do. We knowingly choose to be a part of this. What we don’t know is shame.


Not in Our Name

Well, actually, yes in our name:

The event was advertised on the UN website and listed on an official UN document headlined “Human Rights Council, twentieth session, 18 June – 06 July 2012.”

Opening week of the Council’s latest session, therefore, featured both friends of Hamas sporting UN passes and championing an end to a Jewish state, and Obama’s Ambassador (and former California fundraiser) Eileen Donahoe painting the Council as the place to be to promote and protect human rights.

In recent months, top Israeli officials have pleaded with their US counterparts to end American legitimization of the Council in light of its virulently anti-Israel record. In fact, this is the first Council session in which Israel’s observer seat is empty. Instead, the Obama administration has doubled-down on its support for the UN body and continues to trumpet its decision to seek a second term on the Council at elections this fall.

Hamas and company have now calibrated team Obama’s evident priorities to their advantage.

One of Friday’s three speakers was Sameh Habeeb, head of the media department of the “Palestinian Return Centre.” The event flyer, which clearly identified the Center as a “coorganizer” and named its representative as a speaker, was authorized to be posted at the UN conference room and distributed on UN NGO-reserved tables.

Here is some of what Habeeb had to say while speaking in a UN room, at a UN-provided microphone, at a UN-advertised event associated with the UN’s top human rights body: “In 1947, 1948 and 1949 the Palestinian refugees were ethnically cleansed by the Israeli gangs…. Some Arab armies came to Palestine to fight the Zionist project, which came from all over Europe to take over Palestine and to make it as a national home for the Jews, although it was always the national home for the Palestinians for thousands and thousands of years.”

There was the pamphlet with this bigoted diatribe: “a racist ideology is inherent in political Zionism and… is being implemented as a political project by the state of Israel.

Political Zionism idealizes and advances a racist and chauvinistic… religion and nationalism.”

And there was the map with the word “Palestine” splashed across the entirety of what is now Israel. Advocating the elimination of a UN member state, the most elementary violation of the UN Charter, is evidently acceptable literature in the belly of the UN human rights beast.

A third handout, entitled “Apartheid against Palestinians,” analogized Israelis to Nazis: “The Israeli regime is based on… race and religious supremacy… Modern nation states formed through these corrosive ideals scarred the 20th century, including in Germany and the South African apartheid regime.”

Though UN organizers issued the standard disclaimer about what is said during such events, applications to hold any such meeting are first vetted and approved by UN staff.

Though one is never tired of being right, one does weary of having to make the same point over and over again. The UN may not be institutionally evil (though I will argue, elsewhere, that it is), but it is an institution of evil.

As if on cue:

Nevertheless, today the UN Human Rights Council’s lead promoter is President Obama.

As November’s election fast approaches, UN Ambassador Susan Rice has been commissioned to explain the troubling disconnect with American values to disaffected voters.

At a synagogue in Boca Raton, Florida last month, Rice lectured: the administration had made “meaningful progress… at the Human Rights Council.” That is, some are more equal than others. She also tried this contortion: “there’s an important distinction to understand. Israel gets singled out at the UN, not by the UN. When Israel gets marginalized and maligned, it’s not usually because of the UN Secretariat…. It’s usually because of decisions by individual member states.”

Thank goodness we don’t have to schlep down to Florida to tell our parents and grandparents how to vote. The Obama administration is making Romney’s case for him. Are the Jews listening?

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Save Moose Jaw!

Oh, all right, to be accurate, Moose Jaw is in Saskatchewan.

But the point stands: if fundamental rights are not protected in Medicine Hat (Alberta), they’re not protected anywhere:

The UN’s top human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council, opened its current session in Geneva this week with some Canada-bashing. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, ran down a list of human rights issues around the world that in her view were particularly pressing: Syria for crimes against humanity, a military coup in Mali, torture and summary executions in Eritrea, political prison camps and public executions in North Korea – and human rights in Quebec.

The only human rights issue Pillay described as “alarming” were “moves to restrict freedom of assembly,” and the only alarming instance she could summon up were restrictions in Quebec. The only issue about which she said she was “disappointed” was the law in Quebec. And the only specific concern she had with the violation of “freedom of association” anywhere the world over was in Quebec.

What’s behind her preposterous move?

Oh, I think I know! Pick me! Pick me!

Ahem. The UN, especially its human rights body, could never be seen as an instrument of white authority. Hence, it must ignore some of the most egregious violations of human dignity among Africans, Muslims, Asians, Hispanics, etc., and instead highlight “injustice” in the Great White North.

How’d I do?


Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, has long been familiar with this UN modus operandi. The Human Rights Council — created in 2006 as the new and improved version of the UN Human Rights Commission that once sported Libya as its President — has adopted resolutions and decisions condemning specific states for human rights violations. Forty-one percent of them have been directed at Israel alone.

By contrast, there has been no resolution about Saudi Arabia, which this week again beheaded someone for sorcery, witchcraft and adultery. Nor has there been a single resolution on China, where fleeing to the American embassy during a visit of the U.S. Secretary of State is the most viable option for a human rights activist wanting to leave the country.

Navi Pillay’s decision to target Canada in this go-round was, therefore, entirely in character. She is perhaps best known for having questioned the legality of the killing of Osama Bin Laden within hours of his death. She is also the lead champion of the Durban “anti-racism” declaration, and remained glued to her chair during the second Durban Conference — while diplomats from democratic states walked out en masse when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad questioned the veracity of the Holocaust.

The tragedy of the contorted view of human rights applied by UN officials anxious to impress UN majorities — Pillay’s term was renewed just a few weeks ago — is that Canada is a true friend of human rights at home and abroad. Over the years, regardless of party, Canadian representatives have never argued that Canada is above reproach and cannot do better. Not only has Canada been generous with human rights-related dollars on many fronts, for decades it has taken the lead at the UN itself on central human rights issues ranging from freedom of expression to Iran.

It’s no coincidence that the UN has turned on Canada as its government turned conservative. Under liberals, Canada was a reliable Jew-bashing vote at the UN; under Stephen Harper’s government, Israel has no better friend.

In other words, Canada was asking for it.


UN: The Movie

Like most UN peacekeeping missions, it’ll kill ‘em:

Call it Michael Moore meets Sacha Baron Cohen.

A pro-Israel activist is hoping that his documentary on the United Nations — to be released nationwide on June 1 — brings focus to what he says is the world body’s global ineffectiveness.

But will the left-leaning Moore’s trademark style wow viewers of a documentary taking aim at an organization that has long been a punching bag for the right?

Horowitz, a former investment banker and avowed conservative, says the film is neither liberal nor conservative. Indeed, in what may wind up being a savvy directorial decision, the film never mentions what many consider one of the most egregious examples of the UN’s moral blindspot: a relentless focus on Israel.

I understand the decision, but I have to call it out. Leaving out the UN’s pathological focus on Israel is like leaving the Holocaust out of Hitler’s bio. Yes, the UN is corrupt and incompetent, and, yes, Hitler caused World War Two—but hello?! Aren’t you forgetting something?

That said:

Instead, Horowitz keeps the lens trained on UN failures in areas generally cherished by liberals: peacekeeping and human rights.

He travels to the African nation of Cote d’Ivoire, where he reports on a little-known incident in which a contingent of French UN peacekeepers fired on protesters. He interviews Nobel laureate Jody Williams, whose report on Darfur for the UN Human Rights Council was nearly blocked by the very body that commissioned it. And he reviews the details of better-known examples of UN wrongdoing, such as sexual abuse allegations by peacekeepers and the atrocious Oil for Food Programme that served mainly to enrich Saddam Hussein.

“Almost anybody who is a liberal thinks it’s a liberal movie, and everybody who is conservative thinks it’s a conservative movie,” Horowitz said. “People don’t know [UN reform] is a conservative cause.”

Horowitz routinely presents himself as a credulous buffoon, eagerly accepting the assurances of an Iranian official that his country is not making nuclear weapons and agreeing with UN disarmament chief Sergio Duarte’s assessment that despite Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s repeated hostile declarations against Israel, the Iranian president’s true intensions cannot be divined.

The routine succeeds, Borat-syle, in making several interviewees look silly. In a segment on the UNs failure to stop the killings in Darfur, Horowitz asks Sudan’s ambassador to the United Nations why Sudan stones gays after the first offense but lesbians only after the fourth.

“No, no, no,” the ambassador corrects him. “Woman, if she is married, she will be stoned immediately.”

Earlier in the interview, Horowitz informs the ambassador that before learning of the situation in Darfur, he had thought the Janjaweed was a strain of Sudanese marijuana.

Horowitz screened the film for Dick Cheney at the former vice president’s home in Virginia, and for media executives Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes in New York. According to Horowitz, Murdoch liked the film and wanted to distribute it, but Ailes warned him that supporting the film would be tantamount to declaring war on the United Nations.

Murdoch, Horowitz recalled, replied that Ailes’ FOX News is already at war with the world body.

“The whole idea of the movie is based on the idea of activism,” Horowitz said. “I’m not trying to tell an impartial story. The only thing I’m responsible for is the truth. I have no responsibility beyond that. I don’t have to show both sides of anything. I have a point of view and I’m trying to prove it.”

Aggie and I have written here and talked off line about what is a reasonable response to genocide in all its guises: gendercide, infanticide, ethnic slaughter, etc. We don’t disagree, but we present different sides. If America washes its hands of Afghanistan, for example, many/most/all women there will suffer at the hands of the Taliban; yet if America stays, we own a corrupt, incompetent government (sounds like a job for the UN!), unwilling or incapable of defeating the Taliban. And we bleed, however slowly.

Can’t really argue against either side.

But I wonder if that might be a false choice. Afghanistan may be intractable, but perhaps there are choices other than should we stay or should we go. Perhaps the UN’s utter rottenness can be said to have claimed another victim.

The UN treats Kim’s Korea and Harper’s Canada the same. The US and China. That structure stretches amorality to the edge of immorality—and beyond. To refuse to judge countries and rank them objectively on human rights and civil liberties for their citizens, on transparency, on corruption, on threats of war with neighbors, the region, the world—that is no club of which to be a member. I’d rather be a Blood or a Crip, where at least initiative and drive count for something.

I’m not saying another entity would solve Afghanistan: NATO hasn’t. But if there is value in countries acting together when common interests align, it must be among countries with common interests. Iran is no such country. Sudan is no such country. Castro’s Cuba and Chavez’s Venezuela are no such countries. Probably 90% of the countries are no such countries. (I mean, I think Peru is a cool country—I love it. But would I want it in my fox… rather, llama-hole?)

I don’t really know. As I say, NATO doesn’t have the will to stay in Afghanistan, but maybe that’s because Afghanistan isn’t exactly adjacent to the North Atlantic (the NA of its acronym). But would a ToAD (Treaty of Allied Democracies)? Is there even the glimmer of a hint of a spine among those few countries with thriving democracies AND a functioning military to solve the world’s problems? Wouldn’t we rather The Avengers sort it out?

What I have no patience for (if you have the patience to keep reading) is pointless mewling over vewy sad twagedies. I focused my contempt at the impotence of the Free Tibet movement into the founding of this blog. Over its six years, I couldn’t have held the Save Darfur crowd in lower esteem if they kicked puppies in the inadequate, pathetic failure to save it. If Mia Farrow really wanted to make a difference, she should have entered pie-eating and hot-dog wolfing contests, rather than go on a hunger strike. Who wants to watch a bleeding heart anorexic starve herself? But watch an elfin, neurotic social x-ray put her cinched waist on the line for real change? I’d pay whatever pay-per-view charged: that’s conservative porn. “Double Chins for Darfur”, “Big Asses for Biafra”, “Tubs of Goo for Timbuktu”.

“Mia Does Mallomars”.

Saving innocent people from tyranny may be the highest cause a people can aspire to. I just set my sights a little lower, I guess.


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