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December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Ban Ki-Moon’

UNESCO Passes Second Resolution Erasing Judaism from Jerusalem

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee passed a second resolution Wednesday morning erasing the historic ancient ties between Judaism, Jerusalem and the holy sites in the eternal Israeli capital.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon called the vote “a piece of rubbish.”

The measure was proposed by Tunisia and Lebanon on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, neither of whom are members of the World Heritage Committee. That did not stop either of the two from threatening the voting members with an ultimatum, however, if they were to decide to vote against the resolution.

Entitled ‘Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls,’ the measure refers to the holy sites in the ancient city – including the site of the two Jewish Holy Temples – exclusively by their Arabic names and solely in terms of their Islamic status.

But of the 21 member states who were eligible to vote on the measure, just 10 voted in favor of the resolution. Eight abstained, and two opposed it. Jamaica was simply absent from the room. Eight others turned in entirely blank voting forms.

Last week the Executive Board of the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted a similar resolution, this one entitled “Occupied Palestine.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response that the vote was a “continuation of the theater of the absurd. Radical Islamic forces destroy mosques, churches and archaeological sites, while Israel is the only state in the region that preserves them and allows freedom of worship for all religions.

“UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee deserves to be condemned, not Israel,” Netanyahu said.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites has also spoken out against the UNESCO Jerusalem resolutions, which are part of a campaign by the Palestinian Authority to reclassify all holy sites in the Israeli capital as solely Islamic in order to strengthen Muslim claims to Jerusalem. Last year’s texts, in addition to the previous resolution, referred to Israel as the “occupying power” and condemned the Jewish State for its alleged “activities” at holy sites in the city.

“There should be a clear distinction between political controversies and scientific facts and that political disputes … and political views cannot justify statements which erase basic and well known and proven historical facts,” said Council Vice President Gideon Koren, an Israeli attorney. The Council, an independent advisory body on manmade World Heritage Sites, decided to speak out after a board meeting in Istanbul.

UNESCO secretary-general Irina Bokova herself also condemned the resolutions, as did outgoing United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and tens of thousands of others who signed a petition submitted to Bokova earlier this week.

Hana Levi Julian

Mexico’s Ambassador to UNESCO Fired Over Infamous Jerusalem Resolution

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Andrés Isaac Roemer Slomianski, Mexico’s 52-year-old Jewish ambassador to UNESCO in Paris, was fired over his reluctance to cast a ballot in favor of a resolution that denied the basic reality of his ancestry and that of his countrymen.

“For not having informed diligently and with meticulousness of the context in which the voting process occurred, for reporting to representatives of countries other than Mexico about the sense of his vote, and for making public documents and official correspondence subject to secrecy,” said an official statement released Monday (Oct. 17).

Jewish Mexican news site Enlace Judio took a philosophical tone over the news: “Andrés Roemer lost his job, but the vote of Mexico changed from “for” to “abstain” from the infamous resolution of UNESCO, which ignored the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall.

“For the first time since 2010, Mexico has changed its consistent line of voting in favor of the Palestinian Arab bloc in UNESCO,” the site continued.

“Sadly, the Ambassador to UNESCO was sacrificed, but [he] managed to change a perennial tradition of sticking the Latin American bloc that eventually passed by a majority, an absurd and biased resolution.”

Roemer was poised Tuesday morning to trigger a special clause that would have forced a new vote on the Palestinian Authority’s proposed resolution entitled, “Occupied Palestine.” Mexico eventually settled simply for a statement on its wish to change its vote from “support” to “abstain.” Brazil did the same.

The UNESCO Executive Board went ahead and adopted the resolution, which erases for the world body, at least, the historic link between Jews, Jerusalem and the most sacred sites in Judaism: the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. For Christians, it does the same, erasing the root from which their faith grew.

According to UN Watch, the Mexican envoy had received a clear instruction to vote “for the Palestinians,” despite the assurance from Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto that his nation would not support such a resolution.

But Israeli ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen said, “As a Jew his conscience would not allow him to vote for ignoring the historic and religious connection with the Temple Mount and the Western Wall…. It’s possible that his conscience-based decision will result in his being sent home and fired,” Shama-Hacohen added.

On Friday, as Roemer visited with his Israeli counterpart in the sukkah of the embassy in Paris, he told him he was thinking of quitting. Shama-Hacohen advised him to wait, and in a formal letter publicly thanked him for his bravery and his courage. Roemer had just arrived in Paris this summer.

The Mexican envoy is the grandson of a Viennese conductor who escaped from the Nazis and a man of many talents. He is a political analyst, an author and playwright, and has served as a consul general for Mexico in San Francisco. Distantly related to the humorist Art Buchwald, Roemer is also an attorney, an economist and the founder of a think tank. Many refer to him as a “Renaissance man.”

The resolution “runs counter to the reasons that justified [Jerusalem’s] inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list,” as the agency’s director-general, Irina Bokova herself pointed out in a statement last week. Bokova is now under double security in the wake of death threats that came in response to her remarks.

“The outstanding universal value of the City, and the reason why it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, lies in this synthesis, which is an appeal for dialogue, not confrontation,” she said. “We have a collective responsibility to strengthen this cultural and religious coexistence, by the power of acts and also by the power of words. This requirement is stronger than ever, to bridge the divisions that harm the multi-faith character of the Old City.

“When these divisions carry over into UNESCO, an Organization dedicated to dialogue and peace, they prevent us from carrying out our mission,” she added.

Even outgoing United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon stepped back from the precipice on this one, saying in a statement via his spokesperson last Friday, “ The Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram al Sharif, the sacred shrine of Muslims, is also the Har HaBayit — or Temple Mount — whose Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism, a few steps away from the Saint Sepulchre church and the Mount of Olives, which is revered by Christians… any perceived undertaking to repudiate the undeniable common reverence for these sites does not serve the interests of peace and will only feed violence and radicalism.”

His spokesperson reiterated in response to a question from a reporter, “The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls have an undeniable link to three religions: Christian, Jewish, Muslim. It includes holy sites that are revered by the followers of these three religions. Anything that is perceived as an undertaking to repudiate that fact does not serve the cause of peace.”

Hana Levi Julian

Mexico’s Jewish Envoy Saving the Day at UNESCO

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Mexico’s new ambassador to UNESCO in Paris Andrés Roemer Slomianski, 52, the grandson of Ernesto Roemer, a Viennese conductor who escaped from the Nazis, walked out of the hall on Friday because he couldn’t bring himself to obey his government’s instructions to support the blatantly anti-Semitic, Arab-drafted resolution denying Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the Western Wall, UN Watch reported Monday. Mexico was one of 24 states that supported the resolution, casting its vote via one of Roemer Slomianski’s deputies.

It looked bad for a while, as Mexico’s foreign ministry ordered Roemer Slomianski home “for consultations,” after appointing him only last May. According to Israeli ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-HaCohen, the Mexican diplomat, political analyst, attorney, economist, think tank founder, and author of 16 books and two award-winning plays was at risk of being “sent home and fired.” Roemer Slomianski said he thought about quitting, but after consultation with ambassadors from other countries decided to stay in office.

Now Mexico has decided to change its vote and triggered a special clause allowing it to demand a recast vote in order to change its decision. This turnaround has come amidst mounting pressure from the sane countries making up the agency, as well as a rebuke from UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who said she intends “to fight intolerance and contemporary forms of anti-Semitism, including those which seek to delegitimize the State of Israel,” and criticism from departing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who reaffirmed “the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions” and stressed “the importance of the religious and historical link of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian peoples to the holy site.” As a result of all of the above, UNESCO’s executive board will revisit the resolution at 11 AM Tuesday.

A senior official in Jerusalem told Haaretz that Mexico’s changed position was the result of strong protests from Mexico’s Jewish community. Apparently the vote in favor came despite an explicit promise from Mexican President Ennrique Pena Nieto to Mexican Jews and to Israeli officials that Mexico would not support the UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem.

Even though the new vote is probably going to resemble the Friday version, it will give non-Arab countries an opportunity to change their vote, leaving the anti-Israel countries isolated. Regardless of the outcome, opposition voices in Israel, such as former PM Ehud Barak, who blamed Netanyahu’s government for the failure Friday will have to praise it now for its competence as it quickly turned world opinion around on the resolution and actually forced a new vote.

JNi.Media

Antonio Guterres, Former UNHCR, Unanimous Pick for New UN Secy-Gen [video]

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was chosen unanimously Wednesday by the United Nations Security Council to be the next UN Secretary-General.

The unanimous vote in New York by the UN Security Council was not vetoed by the five permanent members of the group. The decision now goes for ratification to the UN General Assembly.

Guterres, 66, was one of 13 candidates for the post; his service as UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) placed him head and shoulders above the other candidates. Until Wednesday morning, 10 candidates remained for final review; of those, five were female.

The new secretary-general will begin his new post in January, succeeding Ban Ki-moon as he steps down from a 10-year term.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel’s Ambassador to UN Campaigns for Kosher Food

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon has launched a campaign to advocate for the inclusion of kosher food at the cafeteria and in at least one of the restaurants at the United Nations.

Danon wrote in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “For many Jews around the world, eating kosher food is a fundamental aspect of religious practice… We believe that all citizens of the world should feel welcome in the UN.”

Many employees at the UN observe the kosher dietary laws, he noted, as do a number of diplomats from around the world. There are no kosher options at any of the eating establishments at the UN.

Hana Levi Julian

Kerry’s Last Ditch Effort to Get Netanyahu to Commit Political Suicide

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

According to a report in Haaretz Sunday, we have no idea what was said in the Friday meeting in New York between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry. This is important to note, because both versions of the report, Hebrew and English, have zero information regarding the “hastily organized” meeting, and yet the headline and the story are presented as if Kerry had said really mean things to Netanyahu’s face. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, no one knows.

Kerry is in the midst of his final attempt to shape the Israel-PA conflict resolution in his image, and he has been going at it with everything he has including the kitchen sink. Haaretz, which cites Kerry’s leaked comments in a Monday, Sept. 19 meeting of the PA donor states, is implying that the Secretary of State, who was “extremely agitated” at last Monday’s meeting, on Friday told Netanyahu that Israel is bound to end up as a binational state, unless it capitulates to the PA’s demands. Could be.

The Kerry-Netanyahu meeting took place following a meeting of the foreign ministers of the “Middle East Quartet” — the US, Russia, the UN, the EU, as well as the foreign ministers of France and Egypt. They all hated the idea of Jews living in Judea and Samaria, and said so in a statement that attacked those pesky Jewish communities who “are steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution. The Quartet stressed the growing urgency of taking affirmative steps to reverse these trends in order to prevent entrenching a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict.”

As usual, no one considered the possibility of those Jewish communities remaining as part of a new Palestinian State. Just as Netanyahu had noted in his much vilified video a week or so ago, that new Palestinian State must be cleansed of its Jews.

The Ha’aretz report relied heavily on leaked portions from Kerry’s agitated speech before the PA’s donor countries, where he cited the ailing former president Shimon Peres who had warned that continued Jewish life in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, in Kerry’s words, “will bring one war, not one state. Make no mistake about it, I believe that is the risk if we continue on the current course.”

It’s almost bizarre to hear Secretary of State Kerry, whose country is mired in an endless war across the entire Middle East, threatening the one country in the region who wins its wars. Save for the Iranian nuclear threat, securing which Kerry was responsible for more than anyone else, Israel has no real enemies in the region, and those who are crazy enough to do war with the Jewish State would not lay down their arms and rockets because it signed a deal with Mahmoud Abbas.

Kerry asked the assembled foreign ministers last Monday: “How does increasing the number of settlers indicate an attempt to create a Palestinian state? The status quo is not sustainable. So either we mean it and we act on it, or we should shut up.”

In his famous recent video, Netanyahu asked (in mock innocence) how can the fact that a few thousand Jews build homes and work the land impede a Palestinian State. It can only do so if the envisioned state must be free from Jews (try Google translating it into German). Israel has a sizeable Muslim minority, close to 20%, why can’t the PA have a sizeable Jewish minority? The argument didn’t catch on, especially not by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who called the Netanyahu idea “absurd.”

Kerry was livid at Israel for not keeping its promises to him 100 percent, and said bitterly, “I was told the Allenby Bridge [between the West Bank and Jordan] would open 24/7. It never did. I was told that the 3G [PA cellular service] agreement signed nearly a year ago would take place within months. It still is not fully implemented.” He also stated that in order to hurry the process towards the two-state solution, “we need to fundamentally change the dynamic by resuming the transition to greater Palestinian civil authority in Area C, which was called for in prior agreements.”

Here’s what happened in Area C: under the 1998 Wye River Memorandum, Israel was going to withdraw from 13% From Area C (full Israeli control), turning it into Area B (PA administration, IDF security). Israel withdrew from 2%, and then, a suicide bombing at the Park Hotel in Netanya during the 2002 Passover seder killed 30 civilians and injured 140. So Israel took back those 2% and launched a campaign to destroy the terror infrastructure across Judea and Samaria.

In the end, the Secretary of State along with the rest of the civilized world want Israel to go back to a situation where those mass bombings are once again possible. Which is what the two-state solution was all about in the first place, from the PLO’s point of view.

JNi.Media

UN Security Council Meets in Fiery Session on Syria

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council with a speech that scolded all member states, saying the humanitarian crisis in Syria “shames us all.”

The sluggish response of the international body and its inability to resolve the five year-long crisis that has left nearly half a million Syrians dead “should haunt every member of this Council,” he said. Ban finished off the tongue-lashing by saying, “We are at a make-or-break moment.”

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, chairing the session in his final month as rotating president of the Security Council, also wasn’t gentle with his words, calling the Syrian civil war the “most devastating conflict of the 21st century” and saying the nation had become a “byword for failure.”

In particular, Key said, UN member states had failed “to put peace, and the lives of innocent people ahead of self-interest and zero-sum politics,” according to Stuff.

At the end of the day, he said, “Syrians must reach agreement on their future government. But at this point it is clear that Syrians by themselves cannot end this war.” He added that a UN resolution had already set out the required steps and established a timeline but that it had never been implemented.

“The next few days will be critical in restoring the cessation of hostilities and getting humanitarian aid flowing. We urge the Syrian parties to abide by the arrangement. This Council should unite to back those efforts… And it must provide more than just cosmetic change with regard to the central question of President [Bashar] Assad’s future.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/un-security-council-meets-in-fiery-session-on-syria/2016/09/21/

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