Posted tagged ‘United Nations’
[Obama] prefers to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with human rights authorities on the Human Rights Council like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China and Cuba. He is prepared to spend American taxpayer dollars to create a blacklist of companies doing business with the democratic state of Israel instead of the world’s most horrific regimes. A presidency spent courting moral relativism, forsaking U.S. allies, and indulging U.S. adversaries is about to reach its lowest point yet.
U.S. companies are in for a shock as President Obama takes aim once again at Israel in the final month of his presidency. In the coming days, he is expected to direct his team at the United Nations to vote for U.S. funding of “BDS,” the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign aimed at financially ruining Israel and smearing the companies with which it does business.
The vote concerns the U.N. budget that is currently being negotiated and scheduled to be finalized this week. One of the line items provides funding for the implementation of a Human Rights Council resolution adopted in March. The resolution calls for the creation of a blacklist of companies around the world doing any business, directly or indirectly, connected to Israeli settlements. In effect, it launches a U.N.-sponsored BDS movement. Since the General Assembly holds the purse strings for the Human Rights Council’s operations, the time has come to allocate the money to pay for it.
With Obama’s U.N. diplomats sitting on their hands while the funding scheme is being hotly debated, American taxpayers can expect to find themselves funding BDS in the very near future, with American businesses caught in the crosshairs.
Israeli settlements consist of Jews living peaceful, productive lives on disputed territory whose ownership, by existing agreement, is to be determined through negotiations. This Jewish presence on Arab-claimed territory is offensive to a deeply anti-Semitic enemy that seeks to guarantee that land swapped in an eventual deal to create a Palestinian state will be Jew-free.
In the context of a Palestinian policy of ethnic cleansing, these Jewish farms, enterprises and schools are an “obstacle to peace,” to use the preferred verbiage of the United Nations and the Obama administration. The fact that Jews have repeatedly been moved in advance of a negotiated end to hostilities by their own government for the sake of peace, only to have those hopes dashed time and again, is simply dismissed.
The real obstacle to ending the Arab-Israeli conflict should be obvious after seven decades of non-stop war and terror since the minute of Israel’s creation. Arab rejectionists, on both the battlefield and diplomatic turf, consider all of Israel to be occupied territory and an illegal settlement from 1948 on. Rolling back the clock to the 1967 war is one stop on the way.
Those facts, however, will not intrude on Obama’s BDS calculus. He is an avid supporter of the Human Rights Council, one of the most extreme anti-Israel bodies at the United Nations. Joining the council was one of his first foreign policy initiatives. After serving two consecutive three-year terms starting in 2009, the rules required a one-year hiatus. Hence, the U.S. has not been a council member in 2016.
But attempting to rule from the grave, a week before the U.S. elections, Obama sought and obtained another three-year term to commence Jan. 1, 2017. As a council fan, he has no intention of objecting to funding it.
On the contrary, U.N. budget documents published Dec. 13 indicate that “new requirements” to implement council resolutions and decisions taken over the past year almost double the original $23 million it was allowed to spend for this purpose in the 2016-2017 biennium. Evidently, council devotees took for granted an Obama administration carte blanche.
On Dec. 15, the General Assembly budget committee (the “Fifth Committee”) met to approve the funds for the Human Rights Council, including the funds to create the Council’s blacklist — aka BDS “database.” U.N. documentation indicates that the cost is $138,700 “to pay for one staff member to create the database over a period of 8 months and present a report” to the Human Rights Council in March 2017. In other words, authorization is being backdated to pay for an operation already underway.
To put this in perspective, the council resolution on “Realizing the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl” needs $82,800. “Effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of all human rights” needs $74,700. And a blacklist of companies with ties to Israel needs $138,700.
At the Dec. 15 meeting, the Israeli U.N. representative on the Fifth Committee pleaded with “member states to reject the funding request.” But Obama’s U.N. diplomat — who was present and spoke on an unrelated issue — said nothing. The Palestinian representative floated procedural objections, claiming it was a done deal. Precedent, though, is not on his side.
In 2007, when the U.N. allotted money to fund a second iteration of the racist “anti-racism” Durban conference, the Bush administration stood rock solid on a matter of principle. The U.S. called for the vote in the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee and unequivocally voted against. When it lost, it voted against the entire U.N. biennial budget.
Obama is not that man. He prefers to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with human rights authorities on the Human Rights Council like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China and Cuba. He is prepared to spend American taxpayer dollars to create a blacklist of companies doing business with the democratic state of Israel instead of the world’s most horrific regimes. A presidency spent courting moral relativism, forsaking U.S. allies, and indulging U.S. adversaries is about to reach its lowest point yet.
A budget and administration committee within the United Nations is set to vote next week on a blacklist against firms with ties to Israel.
The UN “Fifth Committee” is scheduled to vote on funding for the blacklist, which names Israeli and international firms with offices located in post-1967 areas of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.
The black list was initiated this past March in a resolution approved in 32-0 vote (15 abstentions) by member states at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. According to a report published Friday in Haaretz, the resolution required UN ‘human rights officials’ to create a database of “all business enterprises” that have enabled or profited from the growth of Israeli settlements.
Proposed and sponsored by the Palestinian Authority and the Arab nations, it includes a condemnation of ‘settlements’ and a call for companies not to work with Israeli communities in post-1967 areas.
The blacklist, to be updated annually, is expected to become a useful tool for activists in the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, according to Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon.
Israel’s mission to the UN will publicly oppose the list, Danon said. The envoy added that he intends to organize a task force comprised of international pro-Israel organizations and other partners to fight the move.
“We will not be silent in the face of this shameful initiative,” said Danon. “The UN’s intent to mark Jewish businesses and international companies with ties to Israel, so that they can boycott them, reminds us of dark times in history.
“The Human Rights Council has already become notorious as an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel entity.
“But it’s unacceptable for the UN itself to continue to support this despicable decision,” Danon added.
Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Israel National News, Dr. Max Singer, November 30, 2016
(Please see also, Jimmy Carter wants UN to impose a Palestinian state by fiat, with US recognition. — DM)
The US State Department, which has always opposed moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, understands very well that any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will leave at least western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and part of sovereign Israel. So why will the State Department nevertheless advise President-Elect Donald Trump not to fulfill his promise to move the embassy?
Moving the embassy to Israel’s actual capital would provoke Arab anger at the US and lead to protests that might turn violent. The foreign policy establishment wishes to prevent this result and protect America’s status as an “honest broker.” It therefore continues to insist that because Jerusalem’s ultimate status can only be determined by agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and that it would be wrong for the US to “prejudge” the outcome by acting on the truth that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem.
This is a perfect example of the kind of politically-correct establishment pettifogging that Trump campaigned against. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem is a low-cost action that he could take as soon as he is inaugurated, and one of the easiest and quickest changes in policy that he could implement. The new US consulate in Jerusalem was built with security features that would be needed for an embassy, so the move could be started almost immediately, without any prejudice to the Palestinian claim to eastern Jerusalem.
The State Department’s insistence on the diplomatic fiction that none of Jerusalem is part of Israel helps preserve the Palestinian hope that, someday, Israel will be forced to give up its capital and will be destroyed as the independent, democratic Jewish state.
That Palestinian hope is the main obstacle to peace. The Palestinians can only make peace when their community – and perhaps the Arab world of which it is a part – comes to understand that international pressure will never force Israel to acquiesce in its own destruction. One of the best ways the US can demonstrate that it will never consent to the Palestinian destruction of Israel is for Washington to stop ignoring blatant Palestinian lies that work against peace.
There is another way that an American truth-telling strategy could encourage peace. Palestinian leadership now tells its people – and most of them believe – that compromise with Israel would be immoral because Israel is a colonial invader that stole Palestinian land by force. By that argument, Israel has no moral claim to any of the land, and any concession to it would be dishonorable.
But Israel is descended from Jewish kingdoms that ruled parts of the land for centuries in ancient times. It too has a traditional base for moral claims to the territory (in addition to legal claims from the League of Nations mandate). If the Palestinians recognized this truth, they would see that compromise between the two groups, each of which has valid claims to the land, could be an honorable way to end the dispute and not a cowardly yielding to force.
To undermine this moral basis for compromise with Israel, Palestinian leadership flatly denies any ancient Jewish connection to the land. They claim, for example, that there never was a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount from which Jesus could have chased the money-changers. Yet their own history belies this claim. In 1929, the Supreme Moslem Council in Jerusalem, in its guide to the Mount, wrote: “[The Temple Mount’s] identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute.”
The US may not be able to induce the Palestinian Authority to stop inciting its constituents and teaching its children to hate Israel. But there are ways in which the US can expose and eventually defeat Palestinian lies that work against peace; ways that do not require getting agreement from anyone.
Exploring these new approaches would constitute a striking change in diplomatic direction. There are many examples of the West rejecting truth on behalf of the Palestinians and their Arab supporters. For example, some Western countries went along with the recent denial by UNESCO of any ancient Jewish connection to the land of Israel. The US politely ignores the Palestinian lie that there was never a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount.
If the US consistently tells the truth about the ancient Jewish presence in Palestine, and publicly refuses to swallow the Palestinians’ false and anti-peace denials of history, the Palestinian leadership will not for long be able to keep the truth from their people, or at least from the large educated class.
The US has followed a policy of avoiding truths that are painful or embarrassing to the Arabs for at least 50 years. It hasn’t worked. Maybe it is time to try the strategy of telling the truth. Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, in accordance with the long-standing congressional position, would be a good way for President Trump to make a start on a truth-telling strategy – as well as to fulfill a campaign promise.
Secret Israel-Jordanian-Syrian border talks begin, DEBKAfile, November 21, 2016
Israel, Jordan and Syria have embarked on secret discussions for the stabilization of their borders in southern Syria by restoring the status quo ante that reigned on the Golan prior to the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
This is reported exclusively by DEBKAfile from intelligence, Washington and Moscow sources.
The incoming Trump administration in Washington and Russian President Vladimir Putin are in the picture; so is the United Arab Emirates ruler, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Although still at a preliminary stage, the talks have produced their first tangible result: A vanguard of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has arrived on the Syrian side of the Golan. It has taken up position at its former Fawwar Camp base 4km east of Quneitra, which it evacuated during the Syrian fighting. The main body of the force, around 1,000 UN soldiers and 70 observers, is expected soon, to take up the task of reconstituting the former demilitarized zone that separated Israel and Syria under the 1974 armistice agreement.
This DMZ runs 80km along the Hermon range up to the Lebanese border in the north and down to the Israel-Syrian-Jordanian triangle in southern Syria up to the Jordanian border. In the 25km long Golan strip, between half a kilometer and 10 deep, the IDF and Syrian army were originally limited as to the number of soldiers and types of weaponry they are allowed to maintain. The strip will revert to Syrian civil administration under UNDOF control, and the Israeli-Syrian border crossing point will be reopened in the Quneitra area under the joint supervision of UN, Israeli and Syrian officers.
The military arrangements are still in discussion and changes may be introduced to this format.
The main obstacle to the return of pre-Syrian war conditions to this sensitive border region is the presence of radical Syrian rebel forces in southern Syria, mainly the Khalid bin Walid Army, whose leaders have sworn allegiance to Islamic State commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
These forces will face the option of accepting the authority of the Syrian army or fighting a win-or-die battle.
Israel has an additional, compelling interest in restoring the disengagement zone with Syria in that it leaves no room for the grab for a military presence opposite Israeli Golan and Galilee that was made in recent months by Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hizballah, for the purpose of opening a new front for terrorist attacks against Israel – as DEBKAfile was first to reveal. .
An indirect clue to the secret diplomatic talks ongoing came from the Syrian ruler Bashar Assad in an interview he gave on Nov. 16 to a Portuguese radio station, when he said: “If –if – he [Trump] fights the terrorists, it is clear that we will be a natural ally, together with the Russians, Iranians and many other countries who want to defeat the terrorists.”
The parties with varying degrees of involvement in the restoration of the UN-controlled DMZ on the Golan border are, therefore, the incoming Trump administration, Moscow, Damascus, Amman, Abu Dhabi and Jerusalem. Russia, Jordan and the Emirates have gained relevance for the first time as a result of changes in the strategic balance engendered by the Syrian war.
Donald Trump’s first appointment – one he could announce urbi et orbi within the week, if the person I have in mind is willing – should be that of Ayaan Hirsi Ali as the next American ambassador to the United Nations.
What are her qualifications?
She is supremely intelligent, articulate – soft-spoken but steely – in speech, a lucid and impassioned writer, and, what never hurts in making a case at the U.N. or on television, unusually attractive.
She has written four books: The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam; Infidel: My Life; Nomad: From Islam to America. A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations; and Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now.
Were she to be appointed, those books will no doubt be reprinted, and read, by diplomats at the U.N. who want to find out more about her, by people in chanceries all over the world, and even in courses on Islam (those that are not taught by propagandists for the faith).
She was born in Somalia, and spent her first nine years there. She then lived in Saudi Arabia and Kenya before moving to the Netherlands. There she worked with mistreated Muslim women, learned Dutch, and became a member of the lower house of the Dutch Parliament.
In the Netherlands, Ayaan Hirsi Ali had the freedom to study and question Islam, which ultimately led to her abandoning the faith forever. But she did not drop the subject. She did not forget what so disturbed her about Islam, a faith which, through no fault of her own, she was born into. She has seen Islam as it was practiced in Somalia, in Saudi Arabia, in Europe and in the United States. She was a friend of Theo van Gogh, with whom she made the movie Submission, about the position of women in Islam. For his pains, van Gogh was murdered by a Muslim. Ayaan Hirsi Ali moved to the United States.
As the American representative at the U.N., she would make the freshly-minted charge that the presidential election signaled the triumph of “white nationalists” look ridiculous. And on meeting with her predecessor to discuss the job, Hirsi Ali would be able to speak truth to Power.
And she would be able to drive the Muslim representatives mad with fury as no one else possibly could. Every attempt at Taqiyya or Tu-Quoque by these representatives will be held up by her for inspection and mockery. She will be able to quote – and will be sure to quote – from the Qur’an and the Hadith. What will they say? How can they respond? That she doesn’t know what Islam is all about? She knows.
Ambassadors from the non-Muslim lands have so far not dared to speak truthfully about Islam. No doubt some are willfully ignorant, or intolerably stupid, while others have a hypertrophied fear of offending the Muslims who are now in their midst, living in the countries that these diplomats represent. Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s ability to discuss Islam with authority, to quietly but relentlessly refute what the defenders of the faith offer, will at first be a source of secret delight. And then some of those formerly fearful representatives will be emboldened to add their voices to what started out as a chorus of one: Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
There is one more thing. It’s the matter of security. Wherever Ayaan Hirsi Ali goes, wherever she speaks, there must be bodyguards. There are already plenty of guards all over the U.N. But more would be needed to guard a particular person, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. There are logistical problems. There is the extra cost. But it would be worth it. The very presence of those bodyguards would be a constant reminder to everyone of the threat of Muslim terrorism and of what Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and others who leave Islam and proclaim the reasons for their apostasy, must endure. And that’s not a bad thing. It should even be possible to have the U.N. pay the bill for her security, because “the terrorism that threatens Ayaan Hirsi Ali threatens the world” – or at least for the American government to loudly make that request of the U.N. and, if turned down, at the very least make that refusal widely known, or even threaten to deduct the cost of that extra security from what our government contributes to the U.N.
As they used to say on Delancey Street, what’s not to like?