The Times of Israel reports:
Last month, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) organized a “Kites of Hope” festival for over 1,000 Gazan schoolchildren from Khan Younis.
The same report also tells us:
Israel struggles to handle latest threat from Gaza: Fire-starting kites
Blaze breaks out near Kibbutz Be’eri after a container of burning liquid is flown over the border on a kite, in fourth such attack in as many days
I have cycled at Be’eri. I knew it was close to Gaza. This brings it into perspective as to how close. And it also underlines that no good deed goes unpunished. Except that, when it comes to the UN, you do have to wonder about their motivation.
To put it another way, welcome to the Middle East.
From the Jerusalem Post:
PARIS – French and Israeli dignitaries gathered at the National Assembly’s Victor Hugo Amphitheater on Wednesday, to commemorate 40 years since then-Israeli envoy to the UN Chaim Herzog delivered a historic speech to the General Assembly, condemning the UN’s resolution that said Zionism is racism.
In this speech in November 1975, Herzog symbolically tore up a copy of General Assembly Resolution 3379, pushed through by the Soviet and Arab blocs.
There are many reasons to remember this black day in history.
One, for example, is to mark the wisdom and force of Herzog’s words:
“For us, the Jewish people, this resolution based on hatred, falsehood and arrogance, is devoid of any moral or legal value. For us, the Jewish people, this is no more than a piece of paper and we shall treat it as such…”
Another reason, is to have it in mind when any anti-Israel person mouths off about Israel being in breach of UN resolutions. That 40 year old resolution underlines, emphasizes and clearly demonstrates the moral bankruptcy that, sadly all too often, is at the heart and soul of the UN’s planning, decisions, and resolutions.
From today’s Jerusalem Post (letters section) comes this cracker:
The near-daily murderous attacks by Palestinian terrorists against Israeli soldiers and civilians demonstrates that the army and government are unable to keep the peace and guarantee the safety of Israelis, wherever they live.
Senior officials claim that there is no way to effectively combat this “knife intifada,” but I would beg to differ. As the violence between Israel and the Palestinians rages on, with no end in sight, the Palestinians and others have demanded that the United Nations take a more active role in order to stem the violence.
I could not agree more – the status quo is simply not sustainable, and it is high time we listened, for a change, to the international community.
To that end, I propose that the UN immediately commission and issue a report detailing the measures that Russia, Iran and Syria employ against terrorists operating in their respective countries. I am confident that if the UN makes Israel implement the report’s findings in their entirety, Palestinian terrorism will cease in record time, and calm and security will be permanently restored to our streets.
KENNY FISHER Jerusalem
With the emphasis on ‘UN’.
Israel slams decision saying the British-based Palestinian advocacy group is a ‘front’ for Hamas
A British-based Palestinian advocacy group allegedly linked to Hamas that promotes “anti-Israel propaganda in Europe” was on Monday granted an observer status at the United Nations, in a move that sparked ire among Israeli officials.
The decision to approve the application of the Palestinian Return Center (PRC) was made by the 19-member UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, which is understood to be dominated by Israel’s regional arch enemy Iran.
Israel’s mission to the United Nations issued a statement condemning the decision to approve the application of the PRC, an organization based in Britain. The PRC denied having ties to Hamas and accused Israel of trying to “distort and mislead the committee member states.”
The Israeli statement said it banned the PRC in 2010 because of its ties to Hamas, labeling it “an organizational and a coordinating wing of Hamas in Europe” with members that include senior Hamas officials.
“Until today, the UN has given Hamas discounts and let it strengthen its activities,” Israel’s UN ambassador, Ron Prosor, said in the statement. “Now, the UN went one step further, and gave Hamas a welcoming celebration at its main entrance, allowing it to be a full participant.”
Some 12 countries voted in favor, including Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey, Venezuela, China and Cuba, while three voted against – the United States, Uruguay and Israel. India, Russia and Greece abstained, and Burundi was absent.
Note the PRC’s position, if only for future reference:
PRC described Israel’s allegations as baseless.
“PRC will hand a letter of protest to the United Nations … against the false allegations circulated by Israel,” the group said on its website, adding that it was “not affiliated to any Palestinian party including Hamas.”
It added that PRC was “independent and dedicated to serve the cause of Palestinian refugees and their right of return.”
Time to turn to the wit and wisdom of Dry Bones. His contribution here is worth viewing and bookmarking. Well done, Dry Bones!
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has been speaking his mind, according to this Jerusalem Post report:
But Ban also had some choice words directed at Israel: “I fully understand the security threat from rockets above and tunnels below,” he said. “At the same time, the scale of the destruction in Gaza has left deep questions about proportionality.”
Unfortunately for Ban Ki Moon, proportionality is irrelevant. (It is worrying when someone holding such an elevated post is so out of touch with reality, and more comfortable with a biased narrative that is so thoroughly wrong – in many aspects. I wonder how much of his comments were driven by the Gaza protests against the man himself. No, they were not widely covered. But they did happen.) I suppose it’s further proof, if any more were needed, that the UN is a liability. It was a good idea, but it’s gone bad. And its Secretary General is an empty mind. Or, to put it another way, unfortunately for Ban Ki Moon, he is irrelevant.
Posed by Israellycool:
If A Rocket Hits Our Kindergarten And The Kids Are Not There…Will the UN and the US State Department even notice?
Check out the details, here.
[A follow up to this post.]
The Russell Tribunal is a combination of kangaroo court and theater:
Judge Richard Goldstone, writing in The New York Times in October 2011, said of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine that “It is not a ‘tribunal.’ The ‘evidence’ is going to be one-sided and the members of the ‘jury’ are critics whose harsh views of Israel are well known. In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing there comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome Statute.”
South African journalist and human rights activist Benjamin Pogrund, now living in Israel, described the Cape Town Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine as “It’s theatre: the actors know their parts and the result is known before they start. Israel is to be dragged into the mud.”
You can read more about the infernal beast here.
The relevance is that, as Legal Insurrection points out, the UNHRC’s newly appointed head of their anti-Israel inquiry, William Schabas, appeared before that tribunal.
In his appearance there, Schabas said this:
I recognize the value of enriching the debate with the use of “sociocide” but I am very concerned as John Dugard has mentioned that this opens up the chance for our enemies to attack us by suggesting that we’re acknowledging or admitting that the existing law is inadequate to describe the horrors that are being committed, and I don’t want to do that.
The context is that some people at the Russell Tribunal were complaining that Israel could not be said to be breaking international law as it stands, so instead of stretching the existing law to condemn Israel, they wanted to develop new law…
Schabas said he did not want to do that.
Look at his choice of words: “…our enemies…”
Who else can he mean, but Zionists or Israel – since that was the only target of the Russell Tribunal?
As the Elder points out (where you can see a video of Schabas in action):
Here, when not reading his prepared statements, Schabas reveals his bias for all to see. Anyone who disagrees with the aims of the Russell Tribunal – which is, anyone who says that Israel has the right to exist – is considered “our enemies.”
And now he will get a chance to judge the very people he considers, in his own words, to be his enemies.
That’s UN objectivity for you.
But, hey, he says now he is not anti-Israel, so never mind what else he ever said.
Here’s how he performed in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2:
Note: his explanation for calling Bibi Netanyahu his “favorite” to indict at the International Criminal Court was that Schabas was following the Goldstone Report.
- Netanyahu was not the Prime Minister then.
- Netanyahu isn’t mentioned anywhere in the report.
Ooops. Mr Schabas has, figuratively speaking, shot himself in the foot. (And, the knee, belly, and wrist.) The man’s credibility is rapidly reaching the bottom of the pit.
Make your own minds up. I wouldn’t let the lying bastard into the country.
The UN is up to its usual tricks again, I see. UN Watch points out one or two wee problems about the impartiality of the person appointed to head the kangaroo court the UNHRC instituted, one William Schabas.
UN Watch noted the following Schabas actions and statements:
– “My favorite would be Netanyahu within the dock of the International Criminal Court,” Schabas declared last year.
– Schabas was an active participant before a pro-Palestinian “tribunal” that, according to a New York Times op-ed by Judge Richard Goldstone, consisted of one-sided evidence and a jury composed of “critics whose harsh views of Israel are well known.”
– In a law journal article, Schabas wrote that Netanyahu could be considered “the single individual most likely to threaten the survival of Israel.”
– A few years earlier, Schabas called for “going after” Israeli president Shimon Peres in the ICC, saying, “Why are we going after the president of Sudan for Darfur and not the president of Israel for Gaza?”
– In a 2009 blog post about the UN’s infamous Durban II conference on racism, Schabas urged the world not only to “ignore” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statements, but to stop “exaggerating” them. According to Schabas, those who “deserve the blame” are “Israel and its friends, who have manipulated the truth about the nature of the work of the United Nations by gross exaggeration of the role and intervention of certain fanatics.” Schabas described Ahmadinejad as nothing more than a “provocative politician,” and not a torturer of dissidents, inciter of genocidal anti-Semitism, and arch-sponsor of terrorism.
– In 2011, Schabas went to Iran to co-sponsor conferences with the Tehran-based “Center for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity,” despite its intimate ties with the fundamentalist regime, and avowed propaganda agenda. The center’s director, Kamran Hashemi, a former political officer with Iran’s foreign ministry, wrote his Ph.D under Schabas at the Irish Center for Human Rights.
Schabas’s response, according to one source, was this:
“Like everybody inside and outside Israel, I disagree with people. Is everyone in Israel who has an opinion about (Benjamin) Netanyahu anti-Israel?”
This is deceit. It’s not about people in Israel, but about a person nominated to hold a post as a judge. You know the old saw about justice not only having to be done, but needing to be seen to be done? What judicial system appoints biased judges?
Notice, he does not deny his comments. Notice, he effectively thereby admits his bias.
It’s a disgusting state of affairs. At least some players on the world stage recognize this. But, once again, the UN’s name will be used as a stick with which to beat Israel. After all, we do know in advance what the outcome of the report will be.