Archive for United Nations

What Did You Learn in School Today?

Don’t get upset, Aggie. They promise an investigation:

The UN secretary-general on Wednesday said he was “alarmed” to hear that rockets were placed in a UN-run school in Gaza and now “have gone missing,” and he demanded a full review of such incidents.

A statement by the spokesman for Ban Ki-moon expressed the UN chief’s “outrage and regret” at the placement of weapons at a site run by the global organization. The UN says that has happened at least twice so far in the current fighting.

“Those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets, and endangering the lives of innocent children,” UN staff and anyone seeking shelter, the statement said.

That’s pretty funny. “Endangering the lives of innocent children” is Hamass policy. Just as aiding and abetting them is UN policy.

But fear not:

“The United Nations is taking concerted action to increase its vigilance in preventing such episodes from happening again,” the statement said.

The statement also demanded that militant groups stop such actions and be held accountable for endangering civilians.

That’s telling ‘em.

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SHOCKA! Missiles Found In UN School For The Second Time!

Huh. How’d that happen?

For the second time in less than a week, rockets have been found in a school in Gaza operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the body said.

“Today, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip,” the organization said in a statement issued Tuesday. “As soon as the rockets were discovered, UNRWA staff were withdrawn from the premises, and so we are unable to confirm the precise number of rockets. The school is situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons.”

As it did the last time around when missiles were found in a school it operates, UNRWA said it “strongly and unequivocally condemns the group or groups responsible for this flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law.”

UNRWA, the UN agency charged with overseeing humanitarian efforts in Gaza, said it immediately “informed the relevant parties and is pursuing all possible measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school.” The organization again pledged to launch a “comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident.”

An investigation? Excellent! That’ll do the trick.

- Aggie

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The Evil of Banality

We told you about the “shocking” discovery of missiles being stored in a UNRWA school. The Arab occupiers of Gaza routinely break the law and abuse privileges; while the UN plays the role of schlamazel with perverse aplomb.

Never more than this:

A United Nations agency that last week found rockets in a Gaza school operating under its auspices has handed that weaponry over to Hamas, Israeli officials said Sunday, accusing the organization of actively helping the terrorist organization potentially attack Israeli civilians.

“The rockets were passed on to the government authorities in Gaza, which is Hamas. In other words, UNRWA handed to Hamas rockets that could well be shot at Israel,” a senior Israeli official told The Times of Israel.

A different senior official said UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, charged with overseeing humanitarian efforts in Gaza, has been suffering from “battered-wife syndrome” for years and currently “attempts to ingratiate itself with Hamas.”

This is how UNRWA put is:

“According to longstanding UN practice in UN humanitarian operations worldwide, incidents involving unexploded ordnance that could endanger beneficiaries and staff are referred to the local authorities,” UNRWA’s director of advocacy and strategic communications, Christopher Gunness, told The Times of Israel Sunday.

“Immediately after the discovery of the rockets, UNRWA proactively informed the relevant parties and successfully took all necessary measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school. Local authorities fall under the government of national consensus in Ramallah. They pledged to pass a message to all parties not to violate UNRWA neutrality.”

I feel dirty.

The UN claims they didn’t give the missiles to Hamass, but to other Arabs who don’t answer to Hamass. Right. “How did I know what Lizzy Borden was going to do with that axe, your honor? We needed the firewood.”

Israel should impound the 20 missiles and deliver ten each to Geneva and East 42nd Street, Manhattan. At least then no innocents will be hurt.

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Water, Water Everywhere

And not a cent of it paid for:

More than 1,000 protesters rallied outside Cobo Center over shutoffs by the city’s water department.

The protest is led by National Nurses United, which says the shutoffs pose a public health emergency. The group and others seek an immediate end to them.

The group will march eight blocks, passing Detroit banks and City Hall before ending at Hart Plaza.

But Detroit Water and Sewerage spokesman Greg Eno says the city-owned utility has no plans to stop the shutoffs on accounts 60 days or more past due.

The water department stepped up the shutoffs in March to collect some of the nearly $90 million owed by residents, businesses and other customers with past-due accounts. Through June, more than $43 million was owed on over 80,000 city residential accounts.

Forty to 50% of Detroit Water and Sewerage bills are deliquent.

Water officials say they are working with customers who have “legitimate” problems paying their bills.

Ninety-million dollars owed; 80,000 delinquent accounts—more than half. When did Detroit relocate to the Horn of Africa? Unsurprisingly, the UN took the opportunity of lawlessness and irresponsibility to pipe up:

Some groups appealed to the United Nations for support in an effort to force the restoration of service. Three U.N. experts last month responded that the shutoffs could constitute a violation of the human right to water, but what the global organization might do beyond that is unclear.

Typical of the UN. But “the human right to water”? Says who? A necessity, sure, but a right? How did our Founding Fathers miss that one when they were enumerating the “unalienable” rights “endowed by our Creator”? And not just water, but ice and a lime wedge. And maybe some cheese and crackers, but not too much as we’re watching our weight. (And what qualifies someone to be a UN “expert” on water? And why did they need three?)

Last I checked, Detroit was on a river (the Detroit River, coincidentally). Help yourself:

It’s blue and it’s free. And it’s yours for the schleping.

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While I Have Your Attention…

Speaking of the UN (as we were below, last night):

Testimony before the UN Human Rights Council, delivered by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, 18 June 2014, during the Interactive Dialogue with the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

In November 2011, well into Syria’s atrocities, UNESCO elected the Syrian regime—unanimously—to its human rights committee.

I ask the commission: what message did the UN send, when—up until only a few months ago—it allowed the Assad regime to sit as a judge of petitions submitted by human rights victims from around the world?

But Mr. President, it didn’t stop there. On February 20th of this year, as Syria’s Juhayna news trumpeted with glee, that country, that mass murdering regime, was “unanimously re-elected as Rapporteur of the UN Special Committee on Decolonization.”

In fact, as we meet, that committee—with Syria as its Rapporteur—is in session this week in New York, debating the future of Gibraltar, the Falklands, Bermuda, French Polynesia and New Caledonia.

So while Assad’s forces starve Palestinians to death in Yarmouk, his representative sits on a UN podium telling democracies like Britain, France, the U.S. and New Zealand how to treat their populations—all in exercise of his UN-elected mandate to end the “subjugation, domination and exploitation of peoples.”

But Mr. President, it didn’t stop there. In March, this Council undermined its own credibility on Syrian human rights, by adopting a resolution entitled “Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan” — a resolution drafted by Syria itself.

The U.S. delegate commented at the time: “To consider such a resolution—while the Syrian regime continues to slaughter its own citizens by the tens of thousands—exemplifies absurdity.”

It’s rare that diplomats use plain language, but “exemplifies absurdity” comes pretty close to describing the United Nations. It also exemplifies cruelty, corruption, venality, racism, hypocrisy, and five out of the Seven Deadly Sins.

We will now let the subject of the UN slip back into the septic tank whence it came.

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DysfUNctional

I used to write more about the shabby character of the UN. I don’t know, I guess I got tired. It never seemed to be a big hit with any of the readers, judging from the lack of comments.

But just for old times’ sake:

Mr. President,

The members of this [Human Rights] Council have been mandated by the international community to protect victims of human rights violations around the world.

Is the Council living up to its mandate?

Let us consider the most fundamental of all human rights—the right to life—by examining what has happened in the world, over the past 12 months:

July 2013, Turkey: Doctors report that in the Gezi Park protests, police killed 5 people, wounded 8,163 and used chemical riot control weapons against more than 10,000.

August, Egypt: Authorities crush the sit-in held by supporters of deposed president Morsi, killing 1,000 people.

September, Iran: One month after President Rouhani’s inauguration, amid promises of human rights reforms, Iranian officials ignore UN appeals, and hang a record 50 individuals.

Did the council respond with any resolutions, urgent debates, or inquiries to determine the facts, and hold perpetrators accountable? No. Its response was silence.

October, Afghanistan: Terrorists bomb a minibus, killing 14 women and a child who were on their way to celebrate a wedding.

November, Libya: Militia kill 31 during protests in Tripoli, injuring 235.

December, South Sudan: BBC reports mass ethnic killings, including 200 shot by security forces.

January, Pakistan: 236 civilians killed by terrorist attacks.

This Council’s response? Silence.

February, Ukraine: Police kill 75 protesters in Kiev’s Independence Square.

March, China: Activist Cao Shunli, who was arrested for trying to travel to Geneva and participate this Council, mysteriously dies in prison.

April, Iraq: 750 Iraqis killed, 1,541 injured by terrorism.

May, Venezuela: Troops arrest 243 student protesters and kill one of their own, bringing the death toll to 42 since the start of the opposition protests.

Finally, June — a few weeks ago – in Nigeria: Boko Haram massacres 200 civilians while still holding the 276 school girls it abducted in April…

The UN’s response? Hung heads? Pleas for forgiveness? Promises to do better?

How about…?

At this point Mr. Neuer’s testimony was interrupted by points of order claiming that the content was outside of the agenda item, and requesting the Chair to stop him from speaking. Venezuela said Neuer was “out of order,” echoed by Cuba, China, Iran, Pakistan, and Egypt, the latter saying that the subject matter of the speech was “inappropriate.” Mr. Neuer’s right to speak was, however, defended by representatives of the U.S., France, Ireland, Canada, Norway, and Britain. The Chair read out the relevant rules of procedure, and gave the floor back to UN Watch.

Mr. President, if it “inappropriate” to speak about the urgent need to take action for victims of human rights violations around the world, then why are we here?

Our readers are wondering the same thing, Mr. Neuer.

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The End is Near

And it will be fair and warmer:

Climate change will complicate and make global security problems worse causing civil wars and conflict between nations, a UN report to be released tomorrow will say.

There would be devastating food shortages in Africa, Alpine ski-resorts would disappear and Caribbean beaches would be wiped out, according to the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

No ski resorts or beaches? Oh, the humanity!

If temperatures barely rise, crop yields could drop by 2 per cent a decade.

Or they could increase, as crop yields usually do in nicer weather.

‘Wealthy people can be vulnerable too especially as a result of poor planning.’

Okay, so maybe global warming would suck after all.

‘Climate change will not directly cause conflict – but it will exacerbate issues of poor governance, resource inequality and social unrest,’ retired U.S. Navy Adm. David Titley, now a Pennsylvania State University professor of meteorology, wrote in an email.

‘The Arab Spring and Syria are two recent examples.’

But Titley, who wasn’t part of the IPCC report, says ‘if you are already living in a place affected by violent conflict – I suspect climate change becomes the least of your worries.’

Shut that guy up! Who let him speak his mind? We say global warming cause the Arab Spring. That Tunisian fruit seller didn’t set himself on fire; he spontaneously combusted in the heat!

Joshua Goldstein, an international relations professor and expert on conflict at the University of Massachusetts, says it is probably weaker than people think.

It’s not as a big a problem as other impacts from climate change, like those on ecosystems, weather disasters and economic costs, he says.

Nooooooooooo!!!! It’s going to be awful!

Just look!

What is worse, cooties love the warmer weather. Expect them to breed like, well, cooties.

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Pearl Before Swine

You remember Daniel Pearl. At least as he was before Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (or someone else who doubtless includes Mohammed among his myriad names) dismembered him.

His savage, subhuman (to borrow from that reprobate Ted Nugent) butchering was filmed for all eternity lest anyone doubt that he was killed for one reason only: “My father’s Jewish, my mother’s Jewish, I’m Jewish. My family follows Judaism.” Those were his last words.

But our UN Ambassador has a different take:

Daniel Pearl’s story is reminder that individual accountability & reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence.

Huh?

With whom did Daniel Pearl have to recon—… Huh?

What violence did he—… Huh?

She sounds like Governor Deval Patrick, who summarized the terrorist mass-murders of 9/11 as “”a failure of human understanding.” His solution? To “learn to love each other.”

The cluelessness and denial of these people is not merely sickening; it is dangerous. To the extent that a governor of a no-account state like Massachusetts (which only gave you John Kerry, Mike Dukakis, Elizabeth Warren, and a succession of Kennedys) and a UN Ambassador have any responsibility for our safety or standing in the world, these comments—and the beliefs they betray—are dangerous.

Oh, Ambassador Powers: if “individual accountability” really counted for anything, Bill Clinton would be in the stocks in Dupont Circle to this day. With Hillary locked up at his side. Just to make each other miserable.

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Breaking News From Pyonyang!

Are you sitting down? Okay.

They torture people!

I kid you not:

After a year of public hearings, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea will paint a detailed, damning picture of the country.

“For the first time, the magnitude of what’s going on inside North Korea is coming to light,” says Lillian Lee, an officer for the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, a nongovernmental organization based in Seoul. Ms. Lee, who testified before the U.N. commission last year, said the report, by laying out details on labor camps, torture and inhuman treatment, will force the world to confront the issue.

“For the first time”? That must be a translation error. Haven’t we known about this for… oh, let me see… decades???

Good for the UN and all (the one and only time I’ll ever write those words), but this news is only slightly fresher than the sinking of the Titanic.

What, pray tell, do they hope to accomplish with this “scoop”?

[W]ill it make much of a difference to North Korea’s regime, or to its people?

On one level, probably not. The report, due for release later Monday in Geneva, will include the commission’s conclusions about human-rights violations and possible crimes against humanity in North Korea. But China, a longtime ally of Pyongyang, holds a veto in the U.N. Security Council—enough to prevent a referral to the International Criminal Court.

“We think that it will not contribute to improving a country’s human-rights situation by resorting to the International Criminal Court to address the human-rights issue,” Chinese foreign-ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Monday. She added that China’s deputy foreign affairs minister, Liu Zhenmin, is in North Korea this week for what she called a routine visit.

On a larger scale, however, government officials and human-rights activists argue, the commission’s findings could prove a breakthrough, increasing international pressure on North Korea’s leadership while laying the groundwork for eventual legal proceedings.

Nonsense. Poppycock. Balderdash. Don’t waste our time. North Korea in court? What are you smoking?

What do you think, honey?

I would ask if the cat had her tongue, but she already skinned and ate the cat (and swallowed her tongue).

PS: As disturbing an image as this young woman makes, I use her as my face of starvation in NK out of kindness to our readers. There are worse.

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[Bleep] the Mahatma

Hey, one could make a case.

But Rosa Parks? Who could object to Rosa Parks?

The Hamas government in Gaza accused a UN agency on Tuesday of unlawfully printing and disseminating school textbooks dealing with human rights in a way that offends Palestinian cultural sensitivities.

“The vast majority of examples [in the books] refer to [Mahatma] Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Helen Suzman, the Soweto Uprising, the Magna Carta and Apartheid, even though Islamic-Arab-Palestinian alternatives exist,” Al-Minawi said. “There are many models which could be used which are closer to the students’ understanding.”

Ooh! Ooh! Can we suggest one?

Dalal Mughrabi, as we like to think of her.

But perhaps worst of all, the books focused on “peaceful resistance as the only way of achieving freedom and independence.” The entire eighth grade curriculum, Al-Minawi lamented, is “not dedicated to human rights but to domesticate the psyche of the Palestinian pupil, fostering negative feelings toward armed resistance.”

“Domesticate the psyche of the Palestinian pupil”: what a messed-up phrase.

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UNESCO “Delays” Exhibit Recording Jewish Ties To Israel

We shouldn’t be surprised, but it is a shame

Anything with UN in the name is bound to be antisemitic.

Less than a week before the start an exhibit chronicling 3,500 years of Jewish ties to the Land of Israel, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has postponed the event, slated to open at its Paris headquarters Monday, out of concern that it could be harmful to the peace process.

“UNESCO is deeply committed to the successful outcome of the peace process in order to achieve stability in the region and we have a responsibility in ensuring that current efforts in this regard are not endangered,” wrote director-general Irina Bokova on Wednesday to the exhibit’s cohost, the Los Angels-based Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The postponement, with no alternative date, came at the request of Arab nations. It is the latest in a series of skirmishes in which both Israelis and Palestinians have battled for narrative recognition at UNESCO.

Failure to open the exhibit as planned, warned the dean of the Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Marvin Hier, would “confirm to the world that UNESCO is the official address of the Arab narrative in the Middle East.”

UNESCO and the center worked on the exhibit, “People, Book, Land: The 3,500-year relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land,” for two years with the help of Hebrew University of Jerusalem Prof. Robert Wistrich, who designed its panels.

Each panel, Wistrich said, had been approved by UNESCO. From the biblical forefather Abraham to the State of Israel’s status as “a start-up nation,” the exhibit was designed to highlight and affirm Jewish roots in the land, on which the Jewish people alternatively flourished and suffered throughout the generations.

More at the link, if you can stomach it.

- Aggie

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[Bleep] You Can’t Make Up

Smoke gets in your eyes:

United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres said that democracy is a poor political system for fighting global warming. Communist China, she says, is the best model.

China may be the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide and struggling with major pollution problems of their own, but the country is “doing it right” when it comes to fighting global warming says Figueres.

“They actually want to breathe air that they don’t have to look at,” she said. “They’re not doing this because they want to save the planet. They’re doing it because it’s in their national interest.”

They actually like it! Haven’t you heard the expression “happy as a pig in sh*t”?

They like those too.

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