Israel has boycotted the UN human rights forum over fears of scrutiny of its treatment of residents of the occupied territories. Israel is now the first state in history to win a deferment of the periodical review of its human rights record.
Tel Aviv has refused to send a delegation on Tuesday to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva for the Universal Periodic Review procedure where UN member states have their human rights record evaluated every four years.
Israel’s cooperation with the council stopped last March after the UN set up a committee to inspect the effects of the Israeli settlements on Palestinians.
Israel which earlier accused the United Nations of anti-Israel bias reiterated its stance, recalling that the council has passed more resolutions against Israel than all other countries combined.
“After a series of votes and statements and incidents we have decided to suspend our working relations with that body,” Yigal Palmor, Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, told the Financial Times. “I can confirm that there is no change in that policy.”
“There have been more resolutions condemning Israel than the rest of the world put together,” an Israeli government official said on Tuesday. “It’s not a fair game – it’s not even a game.”
Following the Israeli decision, the council has decided to postpone its review until no later than November.
The Council president has also called on the body to adopt a draft response to an unprecedented move by Israel.
Egypt’s representative meanwhile has warned that a “soft” approach would create a dangerous precedent and leave “a wide-open door for more cases of non-cooperation,” the AFP quoted.
Activist groups have lashed out against Israel’s disregard for international law.
“By not participating in its own review, Israel is setting a dangerous precedent,” Eilis Ni Chaithnia, an advocacy officer with al-Haq, a human rights organisation based in Ramallah has told the FT. “This is the first time any country has made a determined effort not to attend.”
Others thought that the council’s decision to delay gives Tel Aviv the opportunity to make amends. Eight Israeli human rights organizations issued a statement saying, “Israel now has a golden opportunity to reverse its decision not to participate,” adding “it is legitimate for Israel to express criticism of the work of the Council and its recommendations, but Israel should do so through engagement with the Universal Periodic Review, as it has done in previous sessions,” JTA quotes.
The investigation into Israel’s Human Rights record began in 2007, but last year the UN started to pay particular attention to Israel’s activities in the West Bank.
The probe at the time prompted an angry response from the country’s leader.
“This is a hypocritical council with an automatic majority against Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Senior Israeli officials announced last month that Israel does not intend to cancel plans to accelerate settlement construction.
Netanyahu himself said in an interview with Israeli Channel 2 last month that the … area “is not occupied territory” and that he “does not care” what the UN thinks about it.
Around 500,000 Israelis and 2.4 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, areas that, along with Gaza, the Palestinians want for a future state.
The United Nations regards all Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal. Tel Aviv last attended the human rights review in 2008. Israel is not a member of the Council, which is comprised of 47 UN member states.
- Israel plans boycott of UN human rights review (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Israel planned on boycotting a routine review of its human rights situation by the United Nations Tuesday, despite threats of “unspecified action” by the UN Human Rights Council if it did not cooperate.
According to Israeli media, Israel would be the only UN member state to ever boycott the yearly UNHRC Universal Periodic Review since the process’ inception in 2006.
Israel unilaterally severed ties with UNHRC in March 2012 over a planned fact-finding mission over illegal West Bank settlements.
According to news website The Times of Israel, Israel has participated in the first round of reviews in October 2011, before asking the council to postpone Israel’s review with no justification.
Israel later accused the Human Rights Council of “anti-Israel moves.”
“We are under an ongoing policy of suspension of all our contacts with the Human Rights Council in Geneva and all its branches after their sequence of systematically anti-Israel moves, which have come to contradict the mission statement of the organizations and sheer common sense” Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told The Times of Israel Sunday.
Israel’s review is still scheduled to take place Tuesday afternoon, and it remains unclear as to whether a representative of the Jewish state will actually attend the meeting.
If Israel follows through with its boycott, it could set a negative precedent for other countries unwilling to respond to accusations of human rights violations.
The website for the UPR specifies that in case of “persistent non-cooperation,” “the Human Rights Council will decide on the measures it would need to take” against the offending state.
UNHRC spokesman Rolando Gomez warned that “if a delegation from the country was not to attend then action, as yet unspecified, would be taken.”
The UNHRC review of Israel is overseen by the Maldives, Sierra Leone and Venezuela.
Israel has fought back and criticized many investigations into its treatment of Palestinians, including on illegal settlements and the use of drones.
Its relationship with the Human Rights Council has been tense for years, most notably since 2007, when the council made Israel’s actions in Occupied Palestine a permanent item on the agenda.
Are they STILL pushing this absurd line? The Jewish Chronicle is propagandising again. In its recent article “Britain’s anger with Israel over 1982 Lebanon War,” the JC states the attempted assassination of the Israeli Ambassador to the UK in June 1982 “provided the spark for Ariel Sharon to spearhead Israel’s incursion into Lebanon.” The JC states that the ambassador was “shot in the head by Palestinian terrorists,” and that the “invasion of southern Lebanon” demonstrated “Israel’s determination to stamp out terrorism from its northern border.” NOT BY A LONG SHOT, GUYS.
In case you missed it, the ambassador was shot by a Jordanian who was working within the Abu Nidal Organisation (ANO)—which in turn was run by a Palestinian who had been based in Jordan, Syria, Sudan and Iraq . . . but not in Lebanon. The ANO was characterised by its international, mercenary approach. The Jordanian gunman was accompanied by a cousin of Abu Nidal. . . and an Iraqi intelligence operative.
At best, the JC is being disingenuous. The 1982 military invasion of Lebanon was simply an escalation of Israeli aggression dating back decades—the aim of which was to eradicate the Palestinian resistance. The 82 invasion targeted the PLO, with whom the ANO were enemies. Thus the attempted assassination has long been widely acknowledged to have been a thin pretext. Yet the JC laments that, when the ambassador was shot, Israel had had to defend itself by running over Lebanon—a tired and feeble excuse.
As stated at the 7th emergency special session of the UN General Assembly (16 August 1982):
“For more than two months now the international community, as a whole, has focused its attention on Lebanon, where one of the most lethal wars of aggression the Middle East has ever known throughout its history is going on. The capital of a member nation of the United Nations [Beirut] has been besieged by the armed forces of a neighbor State [Israel].
This premeditated operation, which has already resulted in thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian civilian victims, was planned well in advance, designed to bring about a final solution to the Palestinian problem. At the same time, acts of intimidation and terrorism towards the Palestinians on the West Bank of the Jordan and in the Gaza Strip are increasing, leaving the victims convinced that the only way, to survive is to submit to domination.
Thus the military operations conducted by Israel in Lebanon replicate the political war against the PLO . . . . the Israeli leaders continue to flout the fundamental principles contained in the Charter and to violate numerous resolutions of the United Nations which, however, presided over the creation of the State of Israel. The most recent and most flagrant example of this attitude was Israel’s rejection of resolutions 508 (1982), 509 (1982), 512 (1982), 513 (1932) and 516 (1982) of the Security Council, and resolution ES-7/5 of the General Assembly, which all required Israel to put an end to the hostilities and to withdraw its forces behind the internationally recognized frontiers of Lebanon. The diplomatic efforts which have been undertaken here and there have always been met by the same Israeli reaction. That is, an escalation of violence.” 
The platitudes of the JC are routine. This article does serve, however, to draw attention to one disheartening reality. The attitude of far too many—not just Israelis, but also Americans, Arabs and Europeans—has been to view the Palestinians as nothing more a problem. Send them here, send them there, blast them into oblivion, just sort it. But the Palestinians are not a problem, they are a people. They deserve neither scorn nor pity; they deserve simple human equality. Was Britain “angry” with Israel for stampeding Lebanon in its attempt to eliminate the Palestinian “problem” and to pave the way toward a greater Israel? In retrospect, it seems they were not angry enough.
 For further reading, the British National Archives documents referred to in the JC article: http://filestore.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/prem-19-824-1.pdf ; CAB 128/74/7 (08 July 1982); CAB 128/74/5 (24 June 1982)
 Massamba Sarre (Senegal) Chairman, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People: UNGA A/ES-7/PV.25 (16 August 1982) http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/6DC9C76A00B3E8E085256A16006D4056. See also further international statements UNGA A/ES-7/PV.27 (17 August 1982) http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/0C46FBC69F3D95F685256A260072FE9E.
- Israel forces Jordan Valley Palestinians from homes ahead of war drill (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Almost 4,000 Palestinians were detained by Israel in 2012 (arabworld360.blogspot.com)
The US State Department issued a statement this week that included a rare criticism of Israeli policy, calling the ongoing construction of settlements on Palestinian land a “pattern of provocative action” that prevented the renewal of peace talks. Despite this critique, the Israeli government announced plans to move ahead with 6,000 new settlement units, mainly in the Jerusalem area.
After the Palestinian Authority pursued, and succeeded in obtaining, a vote for non-member statehood status at the United Nations last month, the Israeli government undertook a number of punitive measures against the Palestinians. These including illegally confiscating Palestinian Authority funds that would pay the salaries of teachers, doctors, pensioners and the disabled, as well as announcing a plan to increase settlement construction in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Israeli forces have militarily occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967, and have illegally seized large swaths of Palestinian land in order to transfer Israeli civilians onto this land, in direct violation of its obligations as an Occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Since a peace agreement known as the ‘Oslo Accords’ was signed in 1993, hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers have poured into the West Bank and established colonies. In 2005, around 5,000 settlers were paid by the Israeli government to move out of settlements in the Gaza Strip, although many of them ended up moving to other settlements in the West Bank.
In this week’s statement to the press, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters, “Israel’s leaders continually say that they support a path towards a two-state solution yet these actions put that goal further at risk.”
Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon responded defiantly, “ We will continue to build in accordance with Israel’s strategic interests.”
1,500 units were approved on Monday by Israel’s Interior Ministry, and discussion is continuing throughout this week on the plans for 4,500 additional units, which are expected to receive final approval by the Israeli Interior Ministry early next week.
All Israeli settlements in the West Bank are considered to be violations of international law.
Russia has opposed any possible deployment of United Nations peacekeepers in Syria.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov has been cited as saying, “There is neither peace [in Syria] for peacekeepers to keep, nor truce for them to monitor.”
The UN has been reportedly planning to deploy 10,000 peacekeepers inside Syria.
The Russian official has stated that “there is no clear separation line between the conflicting sides” in Syria.
Gatilov has also said Moscow would veto any UN Security Council resolution aimed at military intervention in Syria and criticized previous Security Council resolutions passed on the situations in Iraq and Libya, saying that those resolutions were misused to allow unilateral military interventions.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of Army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
Several international human rights organizations have accused the foreign-sponsored militants of committing war crimes.
- Obama’s War on Syria and its Implications (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- UN contingency plan to deploy up to 10,000 peacekeepers in Syria – reports (rt.com)
In 2008/2009 Gaza was bombed by Israeli Apache helicopters and F16 and V58 fighter planes for 22 days, ultimately causing the deaths of more than 1400 Palestinians, predominately civilians. Israel, with all the impunity it has enjoyed since its establishment on the ruins of Palestinian society, returned to Gaza two weeks ago and repeated some of the same crimes in 8 days, launching 1800 aerial strikes, killing more than 175 Palestinians — including 34 children, 11 women, 19 elderly — and injuring 1399 people, including 465 children, 254 women, and 91 elderly, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.
Israel’s academic institutions have played a key role in the planning, development, implementation and justification of this and many other Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people. Tel Aviv University, for instance, takes pride in playing the central role in the development of the Israeli military doctrine of “disproportionate force” against Palestinian and Lebanese civilians. Technion, Israel’s institute of technology, takes credit for developing many of the deadly weapon systems used against civilians in Gaza and elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territory. And the list goes on. This entrenched and fatal academic complicity in the commission of crimes against civilians has made PACBI and its partners around the world intensify their campaign for a comprehensive academic boycott of Israel in light of the latest massacre in Gaza.
Israel’s belligerent and entirely disproportionate air, land and sea bombardment of the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip always damages vital infrastructure and terrifies the civilian population and is therefore considered a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people. Such war crimes are forbidden under international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prescribes the manner in which armies must treat civilians during times of conflict.
But Israel has been getting away with these war crimes and crimes against humanity. The “international community,” under U.S. hegemony, seems apathetic to the plight of the Palestinian people. In fact, from diplomatic support to intricate military, academic and economic relations, the US-European establishment has been deeply complicit in prolonging and strengthening Israel’s system of occupation, colonialism and apartheid, as well as in justifying and whitewashing it.
The U.S. president, followed by a chorus of European leaders, duly jumped to Israel’s defense, upholding its “right to defend itself,” ignoring the fact that international law unequivocally stipulates that any injustice or unlawful act cannot give rise to a legal right or entitlement. Missing in such mantras is the right of the Palestinian people, the occupied, ethnically cleansed and oppressed, to self-determination and to defend itself against foreign occupation, a right that is granted by international law, within specific parameters. The British FM William Hague performed skillful acrobatics to spin the blame from the aggressor to the victim of aggression, claiming that “Hamas bears the greatest responsibility for the current crisis, as well as the ability to bring it most swiftly to an end!”
It is crucial to contextualize Israel’s latest war of aggression as part of an ongoing strategy of depriving Palestinians, especially in Gaza, of means of sustenance in order to “sear into their conscience” Israel’s upper hand and the futility of resistance. The hermetic siege imposed on Gaza for more than 5 years, epitomized by Israel’s use of a ‘calorie count’ to limit the flow of food into Gaza, is the most deadly dimension of this patently criminal strategy .
This strategy, characterized by a former editor of Haaretz, a leading Israeli daily, as one of “expulsion” as well as “territorial seizure and apartheid” has shaped Israel’s policy for a long time. As far back as 1992, the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin wished Gaza“would just sink into the sea” . The overwhelming majority of Gaza is made up of refugees ethnically cleansed by Zionist militias and later the state of Israel during the 1948 Nakba. The fact that Gazans are not born to Jewish mothers – the criterion used by Israel to determine who is Jewish — is enough reason to deprive them of their UN-stipulated right to return to their homes and lands from which they were uprooted and exiled. The deeply colonial and racist Israeli logic views Palestinians, like the Afrikaner establishment viewed the Black natives of South Africa, as an inferior, hostile group of people that must be isolated in Bantustans, in accordance with the Oslo Accords’ terms, without calling them so; and if they show any resistance to this plan, they must get punished severely by transforming these Bantustans into “open-air prisons” or walled ghettos.
As a result of Israel’s blockade on most imports and exports and its other policies designed to punish Gazans, about 40% of Gaza’s workforce is now unemployed or without pay, and about 60% of its residents live in grinding poverty, according to various United Nations agencies’ reports. About 1.2 million of them are now dependent for their day-to-day survival on food handouts from U.N. or international agencies; an increasing number of Palestinian families in Gaza are unable to offer their children more than one meager meal a day, often little more than rice and boiled lentils. Fresh fruit and vegetables are beyond the reach of many families. Meat and chicken are impossibly expensive. And fish is unavailable in its markets because the Israeli navy has curtailed the movements of Gaza’s fishermen.
The UN, EU and the “international community,” by and large, have remained silent in the face of atrocities committed by Israel. Hundreds of dead Palestinians have failed to convince them to act. We are, therefore, left with one option; an option that does not wait for the United Nations Security Council, namely: people’s power. This remains the only power capable of counteracting the massive imbalance between the oppressed Palestinians and their Israeli oppressors.
The horror of the racist apartheid regime in South Africa was challenged with a sustained campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions initiated in 1958 and given new urgency in the wake of the 1976 Soweto Uprising. This campaign led ultimately to the collapse of white rule in 1994 and the establishment of a multi-racial, democratic state.
Similarly, the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) has been gathering momentum since 2005. Gaza 2012, like Soweto 1976, cannot be ignored: it demands a response from all who believe in a common humanity. Now is the time to boycott the apartheid Israeli state, to divest and to impose sanctions against it. A crucial dimension of BDS that is more urgent than ever is an academic boycott of Israel’s universities, which have once again been shown to be full partners in crime.
- Only boycotts will work (morningstaronline.co.uk)
- Stevie Wonder cancels performance for the Friends of the Israel “Defense” Forces following international outcry (alethonews.wordpress.com)
TEHRAN – In a statement read out at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday, Iran and other members of the Non-Aligned Movement called on the UN Security Council to act and demand that Israel immediately stop violating international law.
The statement was read out by the Iranian ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaee, on behalf of the NAM member states, during an open debate about the situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine.
Iran assumed the rotating presidency of NAM for a three-year term on August 30.
Following are excerpts of the text of Khazaee’s speech:
The Non-Aligned Movement remains firm in its conviction of the urgent need for the international community to act resolutely and collectively to fulfill its longstanding commitment to, and responsibility for, the realization of a just solution to the question of Palestine in all its aspects on the basis of international law and the terms of reference of the peace process, including the resolutions of the council.
The movement remains resolute to continue assisting the Palestinian people in their legitimate quest for dignity, justice, and their inalienable right to self-determination in their independent state of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This issue is long overdue and its continued postponement will only put that goal further out of reach.
The movement supports fully the application submitted by Palestine on 23 September 2011, for membership in the United Nations and considers it to be consistent with the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence.
The movement remains concerned about the ongoing and intensifying acts of violence, terrorism, and racist hate crimes, demolition of houses, revocation of residency, attacks on towns and villages across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, excavations under Al-Aqsa Mosque and storming the Mosque compound, firing stun grenades at Palestinian worshipers, the latest of which took place on Friday 5 October 2012 causing many injuries among Palestinian worshipers as well as the uprooting of olive and other trees by illegal Israeli settlers.
The Non-Aligned Movement expresses grave concern regarding the deteriorating situation and deplorable conditions of thousands of Palestinian prisoners and detainees unlawfully held in Israeli jails and detention centers, including at least 300 children as well as women and elected officials, and calls for their immediate release.
The Non-Aligned Movement reiterates its call for the Security Council to act and demand that Israel, the occupying power, immediately ceases all such violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, and fully abides by its legal obligations, including those under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel’s blatant impunity and disregard for the law cannot be tolerated.
Turning to Lebanon, the Movement condemns Israel’s ongoing violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty and calls on all parties concerned to fully implement resolution 1701 (2006), in order to end the current fragility and avoid the resurgence of hostilities.
- NAM demands that Israel join the NPT without further delay (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Iran’s Strategic Diplomatic Victory over the Washington-Israeli Axis: Its Larger Political Consequences (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- NAM calls for total nuclear disarmament (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israel should end settler impunity for violence (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
In a recent article, The New American’s foreign correspondent Alex Newman reported on the United Nations’ plot to invade the West African nation of Mali. Wrote Newman:
After having recently left thousands dead from overthrowing the governments ruling Libya and the Ivory Coast, the United Nations is already plotting its next invasion to deal with the fallout. This time, Mali is in the UN’s crosshairs.
Mali attracted UN attention when the northern part of the country was taken over by Islamists and nomadic rebels amid a military coup d’état that ousted the government in the South. The UN Security Council is currently considering two resolutions related to the country, a former colony of France. The first one calls for negotiations between armed rebels in the North and the supposed “interim” government operating in the capital. That measure is expected to be approved soon, according to officials involved in the negotiations.
The second resolution would purport to authorize international military intervention, a move being sought by the coalition of regimes making up the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the struggling “interim” government in Southern Mali. The French government is circulating a draft of the resolution this week.
Supporting Newman’s report is the “crisis alert” issued by the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP). The notice says: “The humanitarian situation in northern Mali has worsened considerably since a coup in late March, with reports of human rights violations including murder, rape, robbery and forced displacement.”
After rehearsing the calls for intervention made by various human rights groups and other “civil society organizations,” ICRtoP closes its memo with a demand that the UN’s Responsibility to Protect doctrine be applied to the “rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation” in Mali.
A key to understanding the cause of the crescendo of clamors for international intervention in Mali is a familiarity with the Right to Protect doctrine as defined by the United Nations.
In an address given in September, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reaffirmed the commitment of the global shadow government’s ultimate goal of eradicating national sovereignty. The preferred weapon in this war on self-determination is the principle known as Responsibility to Protect (R2P).
Agreed to by the UN General Assembly at a summit of world leaders in 2005, R2P purports to grant the global government power to decide whether individual nations are properly exercising their sovereignty.
UN literature describes R2P as the concept that holds “States responsible for shielding their own populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and related crimes against humanity and requires the international community to step in if this obligation is not met.”
That is to say, if the UN determines that a national government is not voluntarily conforming to the UN’s idea of safety, then the “international community” will impose its will by force, all for the protection of that nation’s citizens.
Lest anyone believe that the globalists at the UN are simply pacifists whose desire is to meekly encourage regimes to treat their people kindly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took a more forceful posture at the conference held at the UN headquarters in New York.
“We all agree that sovereignty must not be a shield behind which States commit grave crimes against their people. But achieving prevention and protection can be difficult,” said Ban. “In recent years, we have shown how good offices, preventive diplomacy, mediation, commissions of inquiry and other peaceful means can help pull countries back from the brink of mass violence.”
“However, when non-coercive measures fail or are considered inadequate, enforcement under Chapter VII will need to be considered by the appropriate intergovernmental bodies,” he added. “This includes carefully crafted sanctions and, in extreme circumstances, the use of force.”
Chapter VII of the UN Charter authorizes the Security Council to use force in the face of a threat to peace or aggression, taking “such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.” As there is currently no UN military, all such interventions are carried out by the national armed forces of member nations.
Faithfully, the United States, as the chief financial engine of the international body, has not only signed on to promote the Responsibility to Protect scheme, but President Obama has created a federal agency to ensure that it is executed effectively.
The bureau is called the White House Atrocities Prevention Board (APB) and it will be headed by President Obama’s National Security Advisor, Samantha Power.
Exercising the powers he created for himself in Executive Order 13606, President Barack Obama demonstrated his support for the R2P program when he established the Atrocities Prevention Board.
The stated goal of the APB is to first formally recognize that genocide and other mass atrocities committed by foreign powers are a “core national security interest and core moral responsibility.”
Apart from the unconstitutionality of this use of the executive order, there is something sinister in the selection of Samantha Power to spearhead the search for atrocities.
One source claims that the very existence of the APB is due to Power’s own persistence in convincing the White House that discovering atrocities should be a “core national-security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States.” The statement released at the time of the signing of the executive order demonstrates Power’s remarkable power of persuasion.
Samantha Power rose to prominence in government circles as part of her campaign to promote the Responsibility to Protect scheme.
Responsibility to Protect is predicated on the proposition that sovereignty is a privilege not a right and that if any regime in any nation violates the UN-approved code of conduct, then the international community is morally obligated to revoke that nation’s sovereignty and assume command and control of the offending country.
The three pillars of this UN sovereignty grab explain the provenance of this presumed prerogative:
1. A state has a responsibility to protect its population from mass atrocities
2. The international community has a responsibility to assist the state if it is unable to protect its population on its own, and
3. If the state fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities and peaceful measures have failed, the international community has the responsibility to intervene through coercive measures such as economic sanctions. Military intervention is considered the last resort.
It is the habitual recourse to this purported “last resort” that has cost countless American lives and has propelled our Republic closer to becoming a mere regional administrative unit of the global government of the United Nations. As Alex Newman wrote in his article on the situation in Mali:
As history shows, armed UN intervention often leads to mass slaughter and complete chaos that is later used to justify more international military intervention — Libya and the Ivory Coast being just two recent examples among many. There is little reason to suspect that invading Mali would turn out any better.
Indeed it won’t. But using history as a guide, Americans know that the pseudo-pacifists running the United Nations believe that if the social contract fails, there’s always the option of deploying blue-helmeted soldiers to impose “peace” at the point of a gun.
To that end, the newly appointed Special Advisor of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, recommended delegates work in their individual governments to contribute to an armed UN force under the command of the global government. Reciting the third point of R2P, Dieng pushed for more powerful tools to carry out the third pillar.
“It is our collective responsibility to study the implications of the use of each of them, and to understand the conditions under which the potential of each tool can be maximized,” Dieng said. “It is also our responsibility to establish and strengthen the structures that will make third-pillar tools actionable and effective.”
No matter the frequency or ferocity of the moral outrage spewed by internationalists, the government of the United States does not have a constitutional responsibility to protect the citizens of the world from atrocities.
And nowhere in the Constitution is the president or Congress authorized to place the armed forces of the United States under the command of international bodies, regardless of treaty obligations or sovereignty-stealing “responsibilities” to the contrary.
TEHRAN – During a speech at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday, Iran and other members of the Non-Aligned Movement that are parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention called for the total eradication of all chemical weapons throughout the world.
The speech was delivered by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on behalf of the state members of NAM that are parties to the CWC during the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) High-Level Meeting on “Fifteen Years of the Chemical Weapons Convention: Celebrating Success, Committing to the Future.”
Iran assumed the rotating presidency of NAM for a three-year term on August 30.
Following is the text of Salehi’s speech:
1. I am honored to speak on behalf of the state members of the Non-Aligned Movement that are parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). This important meeting represents an opportunity to further support the long-term objectives of the convention.
2. NAM states parties to the CWC recognize the important role the CWC has played over the last 15 years in the prevention of proliferation and total destruction of all chemical weapons, which is a significant contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security.
3. NAM states parties to the CWC reaffirm the Final Document of the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Governments of NAM held from 26-31 August 2012 in Tehran, which contains their principled positions on various important issues in relation to the CWC.
4. Mindful of the threat posed to humankind by the existing weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons and underlining the need for the total elimination of such weapons, we reaffirm the need to prevent the emergence of new types of weapons of mass destruction, and therefore supports the necessity of monitoring the situation and triggering international action as required.
5. In our view, CWC is one of the very few disarmament multilateral treaties banning a whole category of weapons of mass destruction. Consequently, we believe that the effective contribution of the convention to international and regional peace and security would be enhanced through universal adherence to the convention. In this context, NAM states parties to the CWC invite all non-parties, in particular those states whose non-adherence has given rise to serious concerns, to accede to the convention as soon as possible with a view to achieve its universality.
6. NAM states parties to the CWC reaffirm that the effective contribution of the convention to international and regional peace and security can be enhanced through its full implementation, and in this context encourage all states parties that have not yet done so to engage with the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on the steps that need to be undertaken for the national implementation of the convention.
7. NAM states parties to the CWC reaffirm the importance of international cooperation in the field of chemical activities for purposes not prohibited under the convention, and in this connection call on the developed countries to promote international cooperation for the benefit of states parties through the transfer of technology, material, and equipment for peaceful purposes in the chemical field and the removal of all and to prevent any discriminatory restrictions as they are contrary to the letter and spirit of the convention. They further reiterate their conviction that facilitation of and participation in the fullest possible exchanges and enhanced international cooperation in the field of peaceful chemical activities, aimed at facilitating economic and social development, is a vital element in strengthening implementation of the convention.
8. In the view of the NAM states parties to the CWC, 15 years of operation of the convention has demonstrated that developing countries who are states parties to the CWC have implemented their obligations in good faith. They reiterate their strong call to developed countries to promote international cooperation and to fulfill the solemn undertakings given at the time of the convention’s adoption for removal of unwarranted restrictions in the field of trade in chemicals, equipment, and related technologies for peaceful purposes.
9. NAM states parties to the CWC express serious concern that certain possessor states parties could not comply with their obligations regarding the total destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles within the final extended deadline of 29 April 2012. While stressing that such cases of non-compliance endanger the credibility and integrity of the convention, they urge all possessor state parties to take every necessary measure with a view to achieving, under verification by (the) OPCW, complete destruction of their chemical weapons in the shortest time possible in order to (ensure) their compliance with the convention thus upholding its credibility and integrity. They further express disappointment that, to date, the obligation of total destruction of all chemical weapons has not been met, and reaffirm that verification of the destruction of all the remaining chemical weapons stockpiles as well as old chemical weapons and abandoned chemical weapons shall continue to be the top priorities of the OPCW.
10. NAM states parties to the CWC reaffirm that the implementation of Article X of the CWC on assistance and protection against chemical weapons make a significant contribution to countering the threats of use of chemical weapons. They stress the importance of achieving and maintaining a high level of readiness of the OPCW to provide timely and needed assistance and protection against use or threat of use of chemical weapons, including assistance to the victims of chemical weapons.
11. NAM states parties to the CWC welcome the decision on components of an agreed framework for the full implementation of Article XI adopted at the 16th Conference of the States Parties of the CWC and consider it a positive step towards achieving the goal of the full, effective, and non-discriminatory implementation of Article XI.
12. NAM states parties to the CWC declare their firm conviction that international support to provide special care and assistance to all victims suffering the effects of exposure to chemical weapons is an immediate humanitarian need that requires urgent attention, and in this context, they welcome the establishment of an International Support Network for Victims of Chemical Weapons and a voluntary Trust Fund for this purpose. They call upon the Technical Secretariat to expeditiously operationalize the network, and in this context encourage the states parties to contribute to the voluntary trust fund of the network.
13. In closing, NAM states parties to the CWC express their strong commitment to continue their efforts on the universalization and effective implementation of the CWC. Let us all join hands and work together to help realize peace and well-being everywhere.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
- Chemical weapons remain serious global concern (bikyamasr.com)
- FM: Iran supports campaign for total eradication of chemical weapons (en.trend.az)
- NAM demands that Israel join the NPT without further delay (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Nazareth – In the shadow of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s theatrics at the United Nations last week, armed with his cartoon Iranian bomb, Israeli officials launched a quieter, but equally combative, initiative to extinguish whatever hopes have survived of reviving the peace process.
For the first time in its history, Israel is seeking to equate millions of Palestinians in refugee camps across the Middle East with millions of Israeli citizens descended from Jews who, before Israel’s establishment in 1948, lived in Arab countries.
According to Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, whose parents were originally from Iraq and who has been leading the government campaign, nearly a million Jews fled countries such as Iraq, Egypt, Morocco and Yemen. That figure exceeds the generally accepted number of 750,000 Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war.
Israel’s goal is transparent: it hopes the international community can be persuaded that the suffering of Palestinian refugees is effectively cancelled out by the experiences of “Jewish refugees”. If nothing can be done for Arab Jews all these years later, then Palestinians should expect no restitution either.
Over the past few weeks that has been the message implicit in a social media campaign called “I am a refugee”, which includes YouTube videos in which Jews tell of being terrorised while living in Arab states after 1948. Ayalon has even announced plans for a new day of national commemoration, Jewish Refugee Day.
This month, the Israeli foreign ministry and US Jewish organisations formally launched the initiative, staging a conference in New York a few days before the opening sessions of the General Assembly.
Israel’s choice of arena – the UN – is not accidental. The campaign is chiefly designed to stifle the move announced by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his General Assembly speech last week to begin seeking UN status for Palestine as a non-member state.
After opposition from the US forced the Palestinians to abort their bid for statehood at the UN Security Council last year, Abbas is expected to delay making his new request until November, after the US presidential election campaign to avoid embarrassing President Barack Obama.
Abbas’s move has spurred Israel to take the offensive.
Anyone who doubts that the Israeli government’s concern for Arab Jews is entirely cynical only has to trace the campaign’s provenance. It was considered for the first time in 2009, when Netanyahu was forced – under pressure from Obama – to deliver a speech backing Palestinian statehood.
Immediately afterwards, Netanyahu asked the National Security Council, whose role includes assessing strategic threats posed by the Palestinians, to weigh the merits of championing the Arab Jews’ case in international forums.
The NSC’s advice is that Arab Jews, known in Israel as Mizrahim and comprising a small majority of the total Jewish population, should be made a core issue in the peace process. As Israel knows, that creates a permanent stumbling block to an agreement.
The NSC has proposed impossible demands: contrition from all Arab states before a peace deal with the Palestinians can be reached; a decoupling of refugee status and the right of return; and the right of Arab Jews to greater compensation than Palestinian refugees, based on their superior wealth.
Israel is working on other fronts too to undermine the case for Palestinian refugees. Its US lobbyists are demanding that UNRWA, the UN agency for the refugees, be dismantled.
Bipartisan pressure is mounting in the US Congress to count as refugees only Palestinians personally displaced from their homes in 1948, stripping millions of descendants of their status. While another – and seemingly contradictory – legislative move would insist on Arab Jews being granted the same refugee status as Palestinians.
The Palestinians are deeply opposed to any linkage between Arab Jews and Palestinian refugees. Not least, they argue, they cannot be held responsible for what took place in other countries. Justice for Palestinian refugees is entirely separate from justice for Arab Jews.
Moreover, many, if not most, Arab Jews left their homelands voluntarily, unlike Palestinians, to begin a new life in Israel. Even where tensions forced Jews to flee, such as in Iraq, it is hard to know who was always behind the ethnic strife. There is strong evidence that Israel’s Mossad spy agency waged false-flag operations in Arab states to fuel the fear and hostility needed to drive Arab Jews towards Israel.
Likewise, Israel’s claim that it has a right to represent Arab Jews collectively and lay claim to compensation on their behalf ignores the reality that Israel was compensated handsomely for absorbing Jews, both through massive post-war reparations from countries such as Germany and through billions of dollars in annual handouts from the United States.
But there is a more fundamental reason to be sceptical of this campaign. Classifying Arab Jews as “refugees” skewers the central justification used by Zionists for Israel’s creation: that it is the natural homeland for all Jews, and the only place where they can be safe. As a former Israeli MP, Ran Hacohen, once observed: “I came at the behest of Zionism, due to the pull that this land exerts, and due to the idea of redemption. Nobody is going to define me as a refugee.”
Netanyahu’s government is making a deeply anti-Zionist argument, one it has been forced to adopt because of its own intransigence in the peace process.
Its refusal to countenance a small Palestinian state in the 1967 borders means the global community feels compelled to reassess the events of 1948. For most Arab Jews, that period is now a closed chapter. For most Palestinian refugees, it is still an open wound.
TEHRAN – The Iranian foreign minister says a potential Israeli strike on its facilities would be “nuclear terrorism” and called on the United Nations to take action against those countries that have been carrying out acts of sabotage at Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Ali Akbar Salehi made the remarks in a speech during the United Nations High-level Meeting on Countering Nuclear Terrorism, which was held at the UN Headquarters in New York on Friday.
Salehi said the UN “should stick to its charter-based responsibilities and utilize its authority to act against those states undertaking cyber attacks and sabotage in the peaceful nuclear facilities, and (who) kill nuclear scientists of other countries.”
He added, “As a country (where) not only (its) nationals have been targeted by terrorist groups, but also its nuclear facilities have been subject to cyber attacks and foreign-backed sabotage, we attach special importance to the need to prevent nuclear terrorism.”