Posts Tagged UN
Now Kofi Annan AND Ban-Ki Moon have issued a JOINT STATEMENT, condemning Syria in the “STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS”. Hold onto your seats guys, this shit just got serious!
The Secretary-General and the Joint Special Envoy condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing, confirmed by United Nations observers, of dozens of men, women and children and the wounding of hundreds more in the village of El-Houleh, near Homs. Observers from the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria have viewed the bodies of the dead and confirmed from an examination of ordnance that artillery and tank shells were fired at a residential neighbourhood.
It seems that the UN observers are doing a great job observing more things for the UN to condemn, and the UN leadership is issuing condemnations right on cue. As Tory Maguire said in that rather aptly titled post that I linked to, “well that ought to do the trick.”
I think Jeffrey Goldberg had the best critique of this devastating strategy being employed by the UN, the US and the rest of the international community:
Almost 10,000 people [now over 13,000] have died in the current Syrian uprising, and each passing day brings the killing and torture of more civilians, including many children.
Some critics say the U.S. has shamed itself by not intervening aggressively on behalf of Syria’s rebels and dissidents.
They’re wrong. The Obama administration hasn’t helped to arm the rebels, nor has it created safe havens for persecuted dissidents. But it has done something far more important: It has provided the Syrian opposition with very strong language to describe Assad’s various atrocities.
The administration’s unprecedented verbal and written sorties against the Assad regime have included some of the most powerful adjectives, adjectival intensifiers and adverbs ever aimed at an American foe. This campaign has helped Syrians understand, among other things, that the English language contains many synonyms for “repulsive.”
Sobering stuff from former South Sudanese Slave Simon Deng. Here is a record of the things that the world tends to ignore through our “we don’t care about black people” policy.
If you’re about to tell me you do care about black people, I call bullshit. The $20 you threw into a Somalia aid relief basket does not count. Look at this, I bet you had no idea this kind of thing was happening:
Everybody at the United Nations is concerned about the so-called Palestinian refugees. They dedicated a separate agency to provide for them; this agency, UNWRA, treats them with a special privilege.
Meanwhile, my people, ethnically cleansed, murdered and enslaved, are relatively ignored. The UN even resisted using the word “slavery” to describe the enslavement of tens of thousands of my people. Why? Because slavery is a crime against humanity, apparently no one committing it wanted to end up before an international court. When Khartoum insisted that the term “abducted people” be substituted for the word “slaves,” the UN, caved to Arab pressure and agreed. Try that in America. Try calling Frederick Douglas an “abducted person.” It is outrageous.
The UN refuses to tell the world the truth about the root causes of Sudan’s conflicts. Take Darfur, for example. Who knows really what is happening in Darfur? It is not a “tribal conflict.” It is a conflict rooted in Arab colonialism, as it has typically been practiced in Africa. In Darfur, a region in the Western Sudan everybody is Muslim. Everybody is Muslim because the Arabs invaded the North of Africa and converted the indigenous people to Islam In the eyes of the Islamists in Khartoum, the Darfuris are not Muslim enough. And they also do not want to be Arabized. They like their own African languages and dress and customs. They resist Arabization. The Arab response is genocide. But nobody tells the truth about Darfur.
In the Nuba Mountains, another region of Sudan, genocide is taking place as I speak. The regime is targeting the black Africans — Muslims and Christians. This happened to the Nuba people before. In the 1990’s hundreds of thousands were murdered; a large number of women were raped; children were abducted and forcibly converted to Islam. Nobody at the UN told the truth about the Nuba Mountains.
See? We don’t care about the Africans.
Look at the pages of the New York Times, or the record of the UN condemnations, What you will find is “Israeli crimes” and Palestinian suffering. My people have been driven off the front pages by the exaggerations of Palestinian suffering. Why? Because what Israel does is portrayed as a Western sin that we are all supposed to address.
The truth is that the West commits a real sin when it abandons us: the actual victims of non-Westerns. Our suffering has become almost taboo.
And there’s more. We also don’t care about atrocities carried out by Arabs. We care about things done to Arabs, but not about things they do.
That means that when Arabs do things to each other, we’re in an awkward position. We don’t know whether we should care, so we care selectively. We care about Libya and Egypt but not Bahrain and Syria. We don’t particularly care about Arab women, but we will jump to defend Muslim sensibilities.
And while we’re navigating this convoluted web of post-colonial guilt and patronising racism, this kind of thing is happening to people like Simon Deng:
I was only nine years old when I was made a slave. An Arab neighbor named Abdullahi tricked me into following him to a boat destined to Northern Sudan where he gave me as a gift to his family. For three and a half years I was their slave going through something that no child should ever go through: brutal beatings and humiliations; working around the clock; sleeping on the ground with animals; eating the family’s left-overs. During those three years I was unable to say the word “no.” All I could say was “yes,” “yes,” “yes.”
The United Nations knew about the brutal enslavement of South Sudanese by the Arabs from the early days of the conflict. Human Right Watch issued extensive reports about the issue. These reports gathered dust on UN shelves. It took UNICEF – under pressure from the Jewish –led American Anti-Slavery Group — sixteen years to acknowledge what was happening.
As soon as the Sudanese government and the Arab League pressured UNICEF, the UN agency backtracked, and proceeded to criticize the Non-Governmental Organizations that worked to liberate Sudanese slaves. In 1998, Dr. Gaspar Biro, the courageous UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Sudan who reported on slavery, resigned in protest of the UN’s actions.
And who do we really care about?
Well, it’s been going on for millenia and why break a good tradition? The Jews of course.
So, yes … my claim may be a radical claim: I claim that the victims who suffer most from the UN’s anti-Israel policy are not just the Israelis but all those people who have to be ignored in order for the UN to tell its big lie against Israel: all those victims of non Western abuse, especially all those victims of Arab and Muslim abuse: women, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, homosexuals, in the Arab and Muslim world. These are the biggest victims of UN Israel hatred.
Everyone reading this is racist (you don’t care about black people), sexist (you don’t care about Arab women) and totally ignorant (you have no idea what’s really going on in Africa and in large parts of Asia). I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.
Judge Richard Goldstone commented in the Washington Post on an 18-month review of the UN-mandated report that he prepared in September 2009 investigating Israel’s Gaza incursion.
He recognised that Israel did not deliberately fire on civilians and condemned Hamas for doing so and then failing to investigate it.
Our main recommendation was for each party to investigate, transparently and in good faith, the incidents referred to in our report…Israel has done this to a significant degree; Hamas has done nothin
At minimum I hoped that in the face of a clear finding that its members were committing serious war crimes, Hamas would curtail its attacks. Sadly, that has not been the case. Hundreds more rockets and mortar rounds have been directed at civilian targets in southern Israel.
That comparatively few Israelis have been killed by the unlawful rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza in no way minimizes the criminality. The U.N. Human Rights Council should condemn these heinous acts in the strongest terms.
Funny thing is, Hamas had promised to investigate it – as Mousa Abu Marzook, the deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau in Damascus said last year when the report was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council.
We thank our people, all those who support to submit again this report to the human rights committee and all the countries who voted for the report…We will co-operate with this report and we will establish a new committee to investigate.
In fact, take another look at that:
The UN human rights council has endorsed the Goldstone report on Israel’s war on Gaza, which accuses the military of using disproportionate force as well as laying charges of war crimes on Israeli occupation forces and Hamas.
The council’s resolution adopting the report was passed in Geneva by 25 votes to six with 11 countries abstaining and five declining to vote.
Terror attack in Gaza
Apparently, firing on a school bus was in self-defence, so said Hamas spokesman Fauzi Barhum on April 7 while taking responsibility for a rocket attack on a school bus in Southern Israel.
The resistance movement’s response to the enemy’s massacre comes as self-defense, and to protect the citizens. It aims to pressure the occupier to stop committing crimes.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague didn’t quite agree:
This is a despicable and cowardly act that stands in stark contrast to people’s desire for peaceful reform across the region. Violence will never deliver peace. I reiterate that Hamas must halt these strikes immediately, and rein in other militant factions in Gaza.”
Neither did the US State Department:
We condemn the attack on innocent civilians in southern Israel in the strongest possible terms as well as ongoing rocket fire from Gaza. We have reiterated many times there is no justification of the targeting of innocent civilians and those responsible for these terrorist acts should be held accountable…We are particularly concerned about reports that indicate the use of an advanced anti-tank weapon in an attack against …Any attack on innocent civilians is abhorrent but certainly the nature of the attack is particularly so.
Neither did Netanyahu, although he did offer to stop escalating tensions on April 10:
No other country would be willing to countenance the intentional firing of an anti-tank missile at a children’s bus, to say nothing of criminal attacks against civilians, and Israel is certainly not willing to accept it.
Today, the Cabinet instructed the IDF to do whatever is necessary to stop the firing at our people and restore quiet to the south. This is our intention. I hope that this will be Hamas’s intention as well. If this is what it intends, then quiet will return. If it steps up its aggression, it will feel our arm and our response will be much harsher.
According to Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas also wants a ceasefire. Although, he admitted that the military wing is a little out of control.
The Palestinian groups are only defending themselves and our people. We do not intend to inflame the situation but we can not keep quiet when faced with aggression…We didn’t know that the bus was carrying children. It was driving on a road which is often used by Israeli military vehicles, which is often targeted by armed Palestinian group
There is coordination with the political leadership over the bigger picture but on the ground, it is the armed wing which decides the appropriate time to respond to the Israeli aggressions. We give general guidance about what stance to take in response to Israel’s position, but the armed wing has freedom of action and decisions made in the field are not the responsibility of the political leadership.
The military wing, of course, don’t particularly want a ceasefire. They are pretty keen to boast about their terror attacks though:
Al-Qassam Brigades’ operations during the last Forty-Eight hours:
First: Targeting a bus was traveling between the Zionist military sites on the strip border, east of Gaza City, at around three o’clock on Thursday, 07.04.2011, near the so-called “Kfar Saad,” the bus was passing in the way of tanks and artillery.
Second: Al-Qassam Brigades within forty-eight hours pounded the Zionist military sites adjacent to the Gaza Strip with 68 rockets and mortars (28 rockets and 40 mortar shells).
Al-Qassam Brigades emphasize the following:
First: The Zionist enemy is responsible for these crimes and escalation in the Gaza Strip, the Zionist arrogance and aggression will not deter us from doing our duty to respond to aggression.
Second: There is no opportunity to talk about calm between us and the occupation at a time Zionist entity bombs our people and committing massacres, but the blood of our people will not be wasted.
Third: We will continue our revolution and our jihad against the occupiers, rand our entire nation and the free world with us until liberating Palestine.
Meanwhile, Israel continued trying to stop weapons reaching Gaza by capping the guys who are smuggling them in, according to this Hamas spokesman:
”He was in Sudan co-ordinating new smuggling routes for weapons arriving from Iran, which then pass through the border into Egypt, across to the Sinai and into Gaza. No one but Israel could have been responsible for the attack.”
Bob Brown figures that BDS might have cost them Marrickville:
I think it had an effect on [the election] – that’s my feedback from the electorate and it’s no doubt something that the NSW Greens will be looking at.
Lee Rhiannon, however, reckons that BDS just wasn’t explained well:
Months before the election we needed to explain why the Greens backed BDS and we needed to work closer with our allies on BDS – academics, the Arab community and social justice movements in Sydney and MelbourneCollectively we didn’t do enough to amplify support for BDS and show that this is part of an international movement.
Kevin Rudd, however, doesn’t agree:
Senator-elect Rhiannon’s stand on a boycott of Israel is just plain loopy. But it’s more than just loopy. It verges on the dangerous. It’s dangerous because it reflects no analysis of the complexity of the Middle East peace process, nor of what Israel and the Palestinian Authority are trying to do, nor of what (Palestinian President) Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister (Salam) Fayyad are doing with their own direct engagement with Israel. This is the stuff of foreign policy being made by pre-schoolers. The whole principle of BDS…is unacceptable to Australia and ineffective in driving any real outcome in the peace process.”
Syria and the UN Human Rights Council
Last but not least, it’s ok that Syria is going to be voted onto the UNHRC unopposed, because it really cares about human rights, at least according to its UN ambassador.
The so-called turmoil does not affect our candidacy, these are two different issues… Syria considers that the protection of human dignity and fundamental rights are the base of freedom, justice and peace. Promotion and protection of human rights are of the highest importance to Syria.
Again, the US doesn’t quite see eye-to-eye:
We are deeply concerned by reports that Syrians who have been wounded by their government are being denied access to medical care. The escalating repression by the Syrian government is outrageous, and the United States strongly condemns the continued efforts to suppress peaceful protesters. President Assad and the Syrian government must respect the universal rights of the Syrian people, who are rightly demanding the basic freedoms that they have been denied.
And you thought all of the news on Syria was about authorities beating protesters to death and the president firing the government to hold on to power. No, apparently they’re about to be elected to the UN Human Rights Council too.
Don’t you love the UN?
March 29 (Bloomberg) — Syria’s government, accused of shooting peaceful protesters, is bidding at the United Nations for a seat on the Geneva-based Human Rights Council less than a month after Libya was suspended for attacking demonstrators.
Syria is one of four candidates for four seats on the Human Rights Council that will go to Asian nations when the UN General Assembly votes on May 20 for new members. The so-called clean slate endorsed in January by the UN’s so-called Asian Group of countries puts Syria in a position to win a three-year term on the 47-member council unless another Asian nation seeks a seat.
Or at least the teaching of it. With all the other stuff going on at the moment, it’s easy for things like this to slip under the radar.
The UNRWA, the UN agency dedicated to working with Palestinian refugees (and apparently maintaining their refugee status without allowing them to be settled), also the only UN agency in the world that exists solely to deal with one people, has been teaching the Holocaust in its schools since 2002. Hamas, apparently, is a little nonplussed:
“We cannot agree to a programme that is intended to poison the minds of our children,” said a statement from the ministry for refugee affairs.
“Holocaust studies in refugee camps is a contemptible plot and serves the Zionist entity with a goal of creating a reality and telling stories in order to justify acts of slaughter against the Palestinian people.”
It said UNRWA should focus on the human rights of Palestinian refugees.
UNRWA makes the valid point that the Palestinian refugees are only afforded refugee status, and therefore afforded an entire international organisation, funded by the international community and dedicated to maintaining their poor standard of living, because of the International Convention on Human Rights and that this Convention only exists because of the Holocaust.
No Holocaust, no UNRWA; no UNRWA, no schools, ergo, UNRWA is kinda obligated to teach about the Holocaust to its students.