Posted tagged ‘UN Secretary General’

Report: Terror Attacks by Palestinian Children on the Rise, Despite U.N. Coverup

August 2, 2017

Report: Terror Attacks by Palestinian Children on the Rise, Despite U.N. Coverup, Washington Free Beacon , August 2, 2017

Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian youth during clashes between demonstrators and security forces in the city of Hebron / Getty Images

Palestinian child terrorists as young as eight years old are increasingly being radicalized and spurred to carry out terror attacks on Israeli citizens, according to a prominent human rights organization that is accusing the United Nations of covering up the recruitment of child terrorists by Palestinian militant groups.

At least 79 separate terror attacks have been carried out by Palestinian children ranging in ages from eight to 17 since 2015, when a wave of Palestinian terror attacks began, according to Human Rights Voices, or HRV, a U.N. watchdog group that has accused the international body of engaging in a “feeble cover-up” of this growing terror issue.

Palestinian leaders and other officials continue to praise the use of children in terror attacks and continue to encourage youths to take up arms against the Jewish state, according to HRV’s report, which was provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

“In violation of [its] legal obligations” to prevent such attacks, “there have been at least 79 separate terrorist attacks by Palestinian children since September13, 2015,” according to the report. “The preferred method of murder and attempted murder by Palestinian child terrorists are stabbings or knifings, the modus operandi in 66 of the 79 attacks.”

At least two of these attacks were committed by terrorists as young as eight, while another four attacks were done by children aged 12, according to the report. Thirteen-year-olds have carried out seven terror attacks, while Palestinian children 14 years of age are responsible for at least 10 of these terror incidents. The majority of these attacks were committed by children ages 16 and 17.

Palestinian leaders have celebrated the violence, even in the halls of the U.N., HRV found.

“After Palestinian child terrorists had murdered two and injured nine in sixteen attacks in the fall of 2015, Palestinian UN representative Riyad Mansour made this declaration in the public hall of UN Headquarters on November 23, 2015: ‘We are so proud that in this popular uprising that has started almost two months ago, that the backbone of this uprising are the youth of Palestine,'” according to the report.

“Since that time, Palestinian child terrorists have attacked Israelis at least another 60 times,” the report found.

Despite scores of public records outlining these attacks by child terrorists, the U.N. had moved to downplay and ignore this activity in official reports, prompting criticism from human rights organizations such as HRV.

The U.N. Secretary General’s 2017 annual report on children in armed conflict zones, which was published in April, claims there is little information about Palestinian children terrorists, despite publicly available data.

“Limited information is available about the recruitment or use of children,” the report states on its section about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Since the secretary-general’s claim is manifestly untrue, the United Nations is not merely engaged in a feeble cover-up,” the HRV report states. “The fact is that the U.N. is now an active enabler of the violation of the rights of Israelis and Palestinians: the basic rights to life and security of the person of the Israeli victims of Palestinian children engaged in terrorism, and the rights of Palestinian children not to be recruited or engaged in terrorism in the first place.”

Palestinian leaders continue to incite violence against Israel, despite recent promises to refrain from such activity. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denied officials engage in incitement during a recent meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump, a claim that prompted pushback from pro-Israel organizations.

“The Palestinian U.N. ambassador publicly supported child terrorism at the U.N. itself,” according to the HRV report. “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas embraced and shook hands with one of the child terrorists following his attack. ”

“Videos, photographs, television programs, and social media outlets—from Palestinian and Israeli sources—provide a multitude of other evidence both of Palestinian children engaged in armed conflict and Palestinian adults (from the political sphere to the education system—run by the U.N.’s own refugee agency UNRWA—to the family unit) promoting such behavior,” according to the report.

UN Secretary-General Launches Slanderous Attack on Israel

June 7, 2017

UN Secretary-General Launches Slanderous Attack on Israel, PJ MediaP. David Hornik, June 7, 2017

(If Mr. Guterres gets kicked out as the UN Secretary General, which won’t happen, a job may well await him at the Washington Post. Please see also
Washington Post Peddles Palestinian Propaganda, Part Two. — DM)

06/01/2017 Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, at a meeting with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of 2017 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Evgeny Biyatov/Sputnik via AP

“This occupation,” Guterres writes:

… has imposed a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people. Among them are generation after generation of Palestinians who have been compelled to grow up and live in ever more crowded refugee camps, many in abject poverty, and with little or no prospect of a better life for their children.

Further, he writes:

Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remove a driver of violent extremism and terrorism in the Middle East and open the doors to cooperation, security, prosperity and human rights for all.

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At this time 50 years ago, Israel was fighting the Six Day War and conquering territories. Since then it has returned the Sinai to Egypt, withdrawn from Gaza, retained control of the Golan Heights, and created a self-governing Palestinian entity in part of the West Bank while retaining overall security control there.

This 50-year anniversary has seen a flood of statements lauding or lamenting the Six Day War and its outcomes for Israel. Statements of the former kind emphasize that the war gave Israel defensible borders, a close alliance with the United States (by showing that Israel was a regional power), and, eventually, peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan.

Among the best in this vein were op-eds by Michael Oren and Bret Stephens.

Statements of the latter kind bemoan Israel’s “occupation” of the Palestinians and describe it as a disaster that has to end — fast. And UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres offers some of the most egregious remarks in this vein.

“This occupation,” Guterres writes:

… has imposed a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people. Among them are generation after generation of Palestinians who have been compelled to grow up and live in ever more crowded refugee camps, many in abject poverty, and with little or no prospect of a better life for their children.

Further, he writes:

Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remove a driver of violent extremism and terrorism in the Middle East and open the doors to cooperation, security, prosperity and human rights for all.

Let’s start with Guterres’ first claim about the alleged misery of Palestinian life since Israel took over the territory.

A few days before Guterres posted his statement, popular Israeli columnist Ben-Dror Yemini published a piece called “The truth about the occupation.” Yemini is not a right-winger; he wants Israel to eventually withdraw from most of the West Bank and separate from the Palestinians. But he also wants the discourse to be based on truth and not propaganda.

Yemini looks at some key elements of Palestinian life and compares the situations before and after the “Israeli occupation” (I use the scare quotes because Israel has withdrawn from Gaza and — except for anti-terror operations — Area A of the West Bank):

Education: Before the Six Day War in 1967, there was not a single university in the West Bank (under Jordanian rule) and Gaza (under Egyptian rule). “Today, there are more than 50 higher education institutions in the territories.”

Infant mortality: According to a Palestinian study and World Bank figures, the rate has gone from 152-162 per 1,000 live births in 1967 to: 132 in 1974, 53-56 in 1985, less than 30 in 1993, 25 in 2002, and 18 at present.

Yemini notes:

“The sharp drop, from 1976 to 1993, took place under direct Israeli rule. The drop continued under the Palestinian Authority, but at a more moderate pace.”

” … [The] infant mortality rate among the Palestinians is much lower than the global average of 31.7, and is significantly lower than the average in the Arab world — 28.”

Life expectancy: “[F]rom 48.6 in 1967 to about 73 (or 75, according to different sources) today.”

Writes Yemini:

“I can touch on more and more areas in which an objective examination will reveal an amazing improvement in the past 50 years. For example, in the area of water. In 1967, only four of 708 Palestinian towns and villages were connected to running water. Today, 643 communities are connected to running water (97% of the population).”

From the UN secretary-general’s description — “a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people … with little or no prospect of a better life for their children” — one would think Israel is mercilessly grinding the Palestinians down. The truth is very different.

Guterres’ description of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — “a driver of violent extremism and terrorism in the Middle East” whose resolution would “open the door” to some sort of utopia — is even more shockingly at variance with the truth.

Before the “Arab Spring” erupted in 2011, such claims about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict being the cause of Middle East strife were par for the course.

Since then, the region has seen six years of apparently endless warfare — among Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, and Kurds, among Islamists and non-Islamists, and among armies, militias, and terror organizations of every conceivable stripe — from Yemen to Iraq to Syria to Egypt to Libya, accompanied by the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.

To say that all these disparate groups are bombing, shooting, besieging, and even gassing each other because of the Israelis and the Palestinians is to make a mockery of reality.

None of Yemini’s work implies that most Palestinians favor the current situation on the West Bank. They’ve been taught from the cradle that Jews are demons, that Tel Aviv and Haifa are “settlements,” and that the only just fate for the Israeli endeavor is to be annihilated.

Yet Westerners, including the UN secretary-general, are not required to adopt the viewpoint of a brainwashed Middle Eastern people.

The Palestinians not only hate Jews but — in classic Middle Eastern style — are riven by violent internal animosities between the Islamists of Hamas and the nationalists of Fatah, and between different Fatah factions.

Awareness of facts, as opposed to anti-Israeli canards, suggests that Israeli security control of the West Bank is — for now — better than the alternatives, and is in fact preventing another Middle Eastern hellhole from erupting.

Top UN Official Resigns Over Pressure to Withdraw Report That Accused Israel of Imposing ‘Apartheid Regime’ on the Palestinians

March 17, 2017

Top UN Official Resigns Over Pressure to Withdraw Report That Accused Israel of Imposing ‘Apartheid Regime’ on the Palestinians, AlgemeinerBarney Breen-Portnoy, March 17, 2017

(Did having a new American ambassador to the UN who does not hate Israel help? Probably. — DM)

Rima Khalaf. Photo: Chatham House via Wikimedia Commons.

As of Friday, a link to the report could no longer be found on the front page of the ESCWA website.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley welcomed the news, saying in a statement, “When someone issues a false and defamatory report in the name of the UN, it is appropriate that the person resign. UN agencies must do a better job of eliminating false and biased work, and I applaud the secretary-general’s decision to distance his good office from it.”

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The head of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) has resigned over pressure she said she received from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to withdraw a report published earlier this week that accused Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” that “dominates the Palestinian people as a whole,” according to Reuters.

Under Secretary-General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf made the announcement on Friday in Beirut, Lebanon — where the 18-member ESCWA is headquartered.

As of Friday, a link to the report could no longer be found on the front page of the ESCWA website.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley welcomed the news, saying in a statement, “When someone issues a false and defamatory report in the name of the UN, it is appropriate that the person resign. UN agencies must do a better job of eliminating false and biased work, and I applaud the secretary-general’s decision to distance his good office from it.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon also praised Guterres, stating, “The secretary-general’s decision is an important step in ending the bias against Israel at the UN. Anti-Israel activists do not belong in the UN. It is time to put an end to practice in which UN officials use their position to advance their anti-Israel agenda.”

“Over the years,” Danon continued, “Khalaf has worked to harm Israel and advocate for the BDS movement. Her removal from the UN is long overdue.”

On Wednesday, after the publication of the report — which was authored by Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley — Haley slammed it, saying, “That such anti-Israel propaganda would come from a body whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel is unsurprising. That it was drafted by Richard Falk, a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories, including about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is equally unsurprising.”

“The United States stands with our ally Israel and will continue to oppose biased and anti-Israel actions across the UN system and around the world,” she continued.

A number of top US Jewish groups — including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, World Jewish Congress, B’nai B’rith International and the Anti-Defamation League — also issued strong condemnations of the report.

For Next UN Secretary-General, A Managerially Incompetent Socialist

October 6, 2016

For Next UN Secretary-General, A Managerially Incompetent Socialist, PJ Media, Claudia Rosett, October 5, 2016

unsecgenFILE – In this Friday, Dec. 18, 2015 file photo, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres speaks during a news conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the race for the next United Nations secretary-general, the Security Council has narrowed the field of candidates from a remaining 10 to precisely one: and the winner is, former Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Guterres. It could have been worse — but not by much. Guterres brings to the job a record that suggests he is a perfect fit to head a UN that is prone to overreach, mismanagement, waste, fraud, abuse and government meddling in every aspect of life — provided we all want even more of the same.

That’s not what you’re reading in most press reports right now, where news of Guterres as top pick for the next UN secretary-general seems to consist largely of recycled public relations materials from the UN, related officials, and the Portuguese government. Guterres was roundly praised on Wednesday by Russia’s ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin (“we have a clear favorite”) and America’s Ambassador Samantha Power (who called Guterres “a candidate whose experience, vision and versatility across a range of areas proved compelling”).

So who is this man, Antonio Guterres, who so impressed the UN envoys of both Presidents Putin and Obama?

Along with a stint as prime minister of Portugal from 1995-2002, Guterres also served as president of the Socialist International, from 1999-2005, following a stint as vice-president of the organization from 1992-1999. As the Daily Caller reminds us, the Socialist International is “a global network of national socialist parties seeking to establish ‘democratic socialism’ around the world,” an endeavor that in the late 1980s included funding the communist Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

From 2005-2015, Guterres served as high commissioner of the UN agency for refugees (UNHCR), garnering experience which he and the Portuguese government advertised as one of his chief qualifications to head the UN Secretariat. In nominating Guterres for the post of UN secretary-general, Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa wrote that Guterres throughout his tenure as the UN’s high commissioner for refugees “showed exemplary understanding of and respect for the values of the United Nations,” ushering in all sorts of marvelous “reform and innovation.”

That sounds great, except the UN’s own auditors took a far less laudatory view of Guterres’s performance. This April the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services issued an audit report identifying a series of “critical” lapses by the UNHCR under Guterres’s management. That audit was obtained by Fox News editor-at-large George Russell, who published a story on June 7 headlined “UN refugee agency handed over hundreds of millions to partners without monitoring.”

Russell in his article, based on the UN internal audit, detailed a “saga of inaction, bureaucratic incoherence and apparent unconcern about the spending of huge amounts of cash at UNHCR,” and described the UNHCR mess as “the latest symptom of problems for the U.N. system as a whole.”

Overall, reported Russell, “over the last two years, as the global refugee crisis spiraled out of control, the United Nations’ refugee organization has handed over nearly a billion dollars to private organizations and national governments, much of it without verifying whether those partners had the expertise to buy the goods, or the means to detect fraud in the purchases.” While Russell did not get into details of where exactly this money went, it’s worth asking whether the UNCHR, which under Guterres was apparently in frequent violation of its own policies, might have ended up funding any of villains responsible for the floods of refugees (the havoc in Syria comes to mind).

Nor was this 2016 internal audit the only damning UN document. In 2012, Russell obtained a 2011 UN audit report critical of the UNHCR under Guterres, and published a story about that one under the headline: “United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees blasted for poor financial handling.” That UN document, reported Russell, cited the UNHCR “for sloppy bookkeeping, poor financial oversight, managerial disarray, and a lack of tools to judge how well it was doing its job of helping tens of millions of the world’s displaced people.”

Under the UN charter, the secretary-general serves as “chief administrative officer of the organization.” If that’s how Guterres managed — or mismanaged — a single UN agency while running it for more than a decade, is it likely he will do a better job as secretary-general?

For that matter, have any of the ambassadors now singing the praises of Guterres taken the time to glance at any of these UN audits? Did Ambassador Power before gushing about Guterres ever delve into the nitty-gritty of his “experience, vision and versatility”? Or is it only George Russell at Fox who takes the trouble to unearth and toil through the actual record?

As it is, following a formal vote in the Security Council on a resolution recommending Guterres for secretary-general, we can expect rubber-stamp approval perhaps as early as next week by the General Assembly. Guterres will take over at the beginning of 2017, when Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s second five-year term expires.

Then we get a longtime socialist with a record of managerial incompetence, heading a multi-billion dollar, diplomatically immune, opaque, globe-girdling organization funded with billions of other people’s money (America, which bankrolls roughly one-quarter of the UN system with your tax dollars, being the largest contributor). What could go wrong?