It is silent, of course, because this takes place in Jordan. And when Kuwait expelled about 400,000 Palestinians in 1991, nobody cared much, either. This is not the first conflict between Jordan and its Palestinian population, but today it is inconvenient to remember such violent episodes as the “Black September” of 1970. Can you imagine the outcry if similar measures would be taken by Israel?
So why the double standard? Because Palestinian “refugees” (in quotes because no other population carries perpetual refugee status through generations) are being kept in misery, deprived of basic human rights by their Arab brethren. The UN encourages and perpetuates this condition because:
a) this way its numerous agencies and departments are able to milk generous and gullible Western sponsors of billions of dollars, and
b) ever since 1948 Arab-Israeli War, this was made into a political and demographic threat against Israel.
Every other refugee population on the planet eventually gets more or less settled, absorbed, etc. and gets along with their lives.
Amman revoking Palestinians’ citizenship by Khaled Abu Toameh (JPost)
Palestinian Rights: A Warning by Joel B. Pollak (Am. Thinker)
Tensions mounting between Jordan’s Hashemites, Palestinian majority (World Tribune)
Why is the Palestinian Arab refugee problem still here? (MiddleEastPiece.com)
A great piece in NYT by a great Czech, Vaclav Havel: A Table for Tyrants:
Governments seem to have forgotten the commitment made only three short years ago to create an organization able to protect victims and confront human rights abuses wherever they occur.
An essential precondition was better membership. The council’s precursor, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, was folded in 2006 mainly because it had, for too long, allowed gross violators of human rights like Sudan and Zimbabwe to block action on their own abuses.
The council was supposed to be different. For the first time, countries agreed to take human rights records into account when voting for the council’s members, and those member-states that failed to, in the words of the founding resolution, “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights” would find themselves up for review and their seats endangered. For victims of human rights abuses and advocates for human rights worldwide, the reforms offered the hope of a credible and effective body.
Now, it seems, principle has given way to expediency. Governments have resumed trading votes for membership in various other United Nations bodies, putting political considerations ahead of human rights.
Will someone listen?
A sobering reminder of UN’s irrelevancy and need for reform.
Usually I do not post entire articles, but this one is both concise and essential.
Anti-Semitism Courtesy of the U.N. by Anne Bayefsky
On Tuesday, the U.N.’s racist anti-racism conference “Durban II” rammed through a final declaration three days before its scheduled conclusion. On Monday Iranian President Ahamadinejad had opened the substantive program by denying the Holocaust and spewing anti-Semitism. A day later UN members rewarded Iran by electing it one of three Vice-Chairs of the committee which adopted the final declaration.
The committee meeting was chaired by Libya and lasted fifteen minutes. No discussion of the merits of the Durban II declaration was tolerated.
The document reaffirms the 2001 Durban Declaration, which alleges Palestinians are victims of Israeli racism and mentions only Israel among all 192 UN member states. It also multiplies the anti-Israel provisions, using the usual UN code, by adding yet another rant about racist foreign occupation.
Not surprisingly, such a manifesto encouraged the racists and anti-Semites which had pressed for its adoption. Speaking on Tuesday the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Faysal Mekdad, alleged “the right of return” of Jews to Israel – Jewish self-determination – was “a form of racial discrimination”. He also objected to the “Judaization of Israel” and to the “ethnic cleansing of 1948.”
Palestinian Riyad Al-Maliki claimed that “for over 60 years the Palestinian people has been suffering under the ugliest face of racism and racial discrimination ” and said an Israeli government “declaration regarding the Jewish nature of the state is a form of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.” Al-Maliki was delighted with the result of the conference and gloated by reading excerpts from the 2001 Durban Declaration that he was pleased to see had been reaffirmed.
The remnants of the European Union which remained inside the conference – in particular France and the United Kingdom – entirely ignored their many promises not to accept anything which singled out the Jewish state. Though these Europeans undoubtedly enabled the hatemongering, their excuses in the coming days are predictable.
The rest of the week has been set aside for speechifying. Europeans can be expected to point to the miniscule mentions of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust and pretend anti-Semitism is unrelated to the demonization of Israel in the very same text.
Their behavior is as chilling as the behavior of the UN itself. UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay issued a press release following Ahmadinejad’s speech in which she complained: “I condemn the use of a UN forum for political grandstanding. I find this totally objectionable. Much of his speech was clearly beyond the scope of the Conference.”
Ahmadinejad’s speech was not political grandstanding. It was anti-Semitism. The problem with Holocaust denial is not the scope of the conference. The problem is that it is a form of anti-Semitism. A Durban II Declaration which continues to demonize Israel – and therefore fosters the murder of Jews in the here and now – is not legitimate because it feigns concern over Jews murdered in the past.
April 21st was Holocaust Remembrance Day. Its message, however, was totally lost on the United Nations.
You give him a soapbox. You invite him to make a speech after speech. You provide him an audience after adoring audience. Everybody knew what Mahmoud-the-mad is going to say today – his speeches are all the same for years.
And while the UN demonstrates its increasing irrelevancy, I don’t think that boycott or walkout are the best that can be done against prima hatemonger and his regime.
We will remember those who still invite him and do business with Iran.
And we will remember those who applauded him today.
With the UNHRC fiasco and now Durban II preparations, the UN seems to go down the way of its predecessor, the League of Nations – into obscurity. It is a shame the US chose to take part in this balagan.
Kicking Israel Around by Anne Bayefsky
Watching the U.N. conduct the business of human rights is revealing. It teaches us how negotiations between fascists and democrats proceed. Democrats “show restraint,” while fascists don’t care who they offend or what they say. And more often than not, Jews and the Jewish state are the political football. The farthest thing from this playing field is true concern over the protection of human rights.
Also: Obama Joins Human-Rights Charade by Anne Bayefsky
How lovely. Guess who finances this: you and me.
Hamas won all 11 seats in elections for the teachers union at UNRWA schools in Gaza held Wednesday. Hamas has controlled the teachers union for the past 16 years.
In 2004, former UNRWA commissioner-General Peter Hansen revealed to the Canadian Broadcasting Company that UNRWA may very well employ Hamas members. “I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don’t see that as crime,” Hansen infamously stated. He further added, that “We do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another.”
UNRWA has employed several high profile terrorists which include top Islamic Jihad rocket maker, Awad Al-Qiq who was killed in an Israeli air strike last May 2008. Al-Qiq was the headmaster and science instructor at an UNRWA school in Rafah, Gaza. Another terrorist, Hamas’s interior minister and head of the Executive Force, Said Siyam, was a teacher for over two decades in UNRWA schools.
As if we needed another proof of the absurdity theater that the UN (and especially UN HRC) have become.
GENEVA (AP) — The U.N.’s top human rights body has approved a proposal by Muslim nations urging the passage of laws protecting religion from criticism. Members of the Human Rights Council voted 23 in favor of a resolution Thursday to combat “defamation of religion.” Eleven nations, mostly from the West, opposed the resolution and 13 countries abstained. The resolution was proposed by Pakistan. Muslim countries have cited the inflammatory effect of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad as an example of unacceptable free speech. Critics say the resolution, while not binding, will have a chilling effect on free speech and may worsen relations between faiths.
“The World Jewish Congress, long a leader in the effort to champion human rights and freedom of religion, has for many years defended the rights of the members of all faiths, including the Muslim faith,” said Ronald S. Lauder, president of the WJC. “However, we strongly oppose the issue of “defamation of religions” being cast as a human rights violation at the United Nations. We see it as weakening the rights of individuals to express their views and criticize other religions, and, in the case of this specific resolution, particularly Islam.” Lauder added,” This resolution is an attempt to bring to the international body the blasphemy laws prevalent in some Muslim countries. In accordance with human rights laws, the rights of individuals to express their views should be protected and not restricted or punished by the state. Today’s vote is unfortunately only a harbinger for what may yet transpire in Geneva at the upcoming Durban Review Conference as proposals such as this one keep coming to the fore,” he said.
I always thought that the key to resolving the conflict is education:
STANDWITHUS LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN AGAINST US TAXES FUNDING UN HATE EDUCATION
UNRWA has provided an internationally-funded system of schools and social services for the 1948 Palestinian refugees and their descendants for the past 60 years. But its humanitarian mission has been compromised, according to
accumulating evidence. Too often, its social services and schools
incite hatred for Israel and Jews and glorify terrorists. Many refugee
camps are terrorism centers. Confirmed terrorists are on UNRWA’s
payroll. US taxpayers have funded over one-fourth of UNRWA’s budget
since its founding in 1949.
Roz Rothstein, International Director of StandWithUs:
“UNRWA has been a major obstacle to resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. Since UNRWA runs refugee schools, it could have been teaching peace all these years.
Just the reverse has been true. We have been paying for hate education.
Rep. Rothman has been a leader in the effort to reform the Agency, and
his bill is one vital step in ending this misuse of our taxpayer money,
abuse of Palestinian children, and perversion of American values,”
UPDATE: Action Alert