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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Danny Danon’

A Little Closure on an Unspeakable Tragedy

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

On the anniversary of an event chilling even by Holocaust standards, the notorious Babyn Yar (“Babi Yar”) massacre that left an entire Jewish community dead or dying in a forest outside one of Ukraine’s largest cities – and under the noses of its remaining residents – a memorial ceremony was held at UN Headquarters, jointly hosted by Ukrainian Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko, US Ambassador Samantha Power, and Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon.

Ambassador Power shared eye-witness accounts. She described how victims, after being told to dress warmly and gather belongings, were marched beyond city limits to a nearby forest where they were instructed to leave their possessions in a pile and undress.

“The German soldiers then formed a gauntlet through which the Jews had to pass,” she told an audience made up mostly of members of the diplomatic community. Power described how naked men, women and children were whipped and beaten with sticks as they barreled through the human corridor, trying to fend off the blows with their hands.

“When they finally emerged they found themselves beside a deep ravine. Other groups of soldiers instructed them to either stand on the edge of the ravine, where they awaited their moment to be shot and tumble into the abyss, or to climb down and lay on top of already dead bodies, where they waited to be shot as bodies and dirt fell around them.”

Although the Nazis, and their collaborators, worked diligently and systematically from 10am to 6pm, they were not able to get through the tens of thousands of Jews in one day. “And so,” explained Power, “thousands more were locked in a warehouse overnight, left to contemplate their fate while the soldiers got a good night sleep, in order to be well rested for the job ahead tomorrow.”

Ambassador Danon thanked all who came to pay tribute, and conveyed the significance of the massacre. “The Jews of Kiev woke up in their homes on September 28, 1941. By the next day – Erev Yom Kippur of 1941 – 33,771 of them were dead or buried alive.” The events at Babyn Yar represented the first stage of the Holocaust explained Danon, “the deliberate, organized mass murder of six million Jews. Genocide.”

He invoked the words of a former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau. “Rabbi Lau believed that Babyn Yar was a test conducted by Hitler to see how the civilized world would react to such an event,” said Danon. “After all,” he continued, “it didn’t take place hidden away in a concentration camp.”

Ukrainian Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko also spoke at the ceremony, describing Babyn Yar as a dark point for Ukraine and for humanity.

In videotaped testimony, Babyn Yar survivor Raisa Dashekevich described how she ran naked through the gauntlet as fast as she could, clutching her baby in an attempt to shield him from being cut by a whip, all the while frantically looking for her own mother, who she’d become separated from in the chaos. She passed the last soldier in time to see her mother shot, then fall into the pit on top of other writhing bodies. Raisa held her baby jumped.

“People kept landing on us,” she recalled, “it became so dark and cold, there was so much weight on us. There was screaming, and dirt thrown over us, and terrible smells.” She remembers going in and out of consciousness, then at one point during the night, realizing her baby had gone cold. But Raisa couldn’t find any bullet holes. She realized that he hadn’t been shot, he had been crushed to death, most likely by herself. She left him there and climbed up through the layers of bodies out into the moonlight. She found her way, filthy and bloody, to a nearby farmhouse where she was saved by the kindness and bravery of the farmer’s wife.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addressed the assembly through a recorded video message, saying that although Babyn Yar was primarily a tragedy for the Jews, it was a catastrophe for all mankind. “It remains one of the hardest memories and deepest wounds for our country,” said Poroshenko, “a reminder of the terrible price that can be paid for political shortsightedness.” In what may have been a veiled reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin, he added, “It is a reminder what can happen when you condone the aggression of paranoiac dictators.”

As the ceremony drew to a close with a short and somber chamber music concert, the audience was reminded that Jews weren’t the only victims of the infamous ravine. In all, over 150,000 people were murdered at Babyn Yar.

The evening dedicated to remembering ended with a final reminder by its hosts: Please. Don’t forget.

Stephanie Granot

Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon Welcomes New UN Secy-Gen Guterres

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon welcomed UN Secretary-General -elect Antonio Guterres to his new position, which he will assume in January 2017.

Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal and the former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, was unanimously chosen on Wednesday to succeed Ban Ki-moon, who steps down at the end of December this year.

Danon told Guterres, “The State of Israel hopes and expects that the UN under your leadership will act in the spirit of its founding principles as a fair body able to differentiate between good and evil, and will end its obsession with Israel.

“I hope that this change in leadership will bring an end to the organization’s hostility towards the Jewish State,” Danon said.

In addition, Danon urged Guterres to accept on behalf of the United Nations responsibility for ensuring return of the remains of IDF Lt. Hadar Goldin and IDF Sgt. Oron Shaul from Gaza. The bodies of both officers were snatched by members of the Hamas terrorist organization during the 2014 counter terror war, Operation Protective Edge.

Danon also suggested Guterres appoint a special UN envoy to combat anti-Semitism.

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

Israeli Envoy to UN Danny Danon Says Abbas’ UN Speech is ‘Ticking Time Bomb’

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon criticized the speech by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.

Danon slammed claims by Abbas in which he spouted accusations about “Israeli extrajudicial killings” of Palestinians and “Israeli aggression against our Muslim and Christian holy sites.” Israel’s Ambassador to the UN responded with a statement in which he said, “Abbas chose to use the UN pulpit to represent Palestinian terror. His dangerous words are sure to lead to even more terror attacks against Israel. The Palestinian youth listening to his speech today, will be the terrorists of tomorrow.” Danon pointed out that there is a direct link between Abbas’s hateful words, and the increase in terror attacks in Israel.

“Abbas’s words are like a ticking time-bomb,” Danon added.

Since the start of the UN General Assembly, there has been a noticeable uptick in the number and intensity of Arab terror attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces. The same phenomenon has occurred at the same time each year.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Envoy: Anti-Israel UN Seminar Was Led by BDS Activists

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

The UN Dept. of Public Information held a three-day media seminar in Pretoria, South Africa, earlier this month, on peace in the Middle East, with the stated goal of bringing together “politicians, academics and other experts exploring new ways to narrate the complex and evolving story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” relates a press release from Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon, but “no official Israeli representatives were invited to participate.” Instead, “the current Palestinian representative to the UN and their former representative to the European Union both took part in the seminar,” the Danon statement said.

“Moreover, most of the speakers at the event are known for their anti-Israel views including Professor Steven Friedman from the University of Johannesburg who attacked Israel and defended the BDS movement,” Danon complained, adding that “other officials affiliated with the BDS movement took part in the seminar and were quoted on the official UN website.”

Ambassador Danon wrote a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon harshly criticizing the fact that the UN sponsored an anti-Israel event: “The UN has a moral obligation to act in accordance with the values and purposes of its charter, and events like this undermine the integrity and impartiality of the UN,” he wrote, saying “it is unfortunate that approximately 6.5 million dollars annually are diverted from those in dire need of humanitarian assistance to bodies whose only function is to serve as public relations departments for the Palestinian cause.”

Ambassador Danon also noted that “BDS is a notorious anti-Israel movement, which is conducting a global campaign of misinformation and outright slander against my country. Such activity against a member state ought not to be promoted by the UN.”

David Israel

Netanyahu Responds to UN Special Envoy’s Statement on the “Illegality” of Settlements

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

By Ilana Messika/TPS

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Tuesday to the statements made by United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov that the Israeli presence in Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem constitutes an impediment to peace.

“The UN envoy to the Middle East’s remarks to the Security Council distort history and international law and drive peace even further away,” Netanyahu claimed in a statement.

“Jews have been in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria for thousands of years and their presence there is not an obstacle to peace,” the prime minister stated. “The obstacle to peace is the unending attempt to deny the Jewish people’s connection to parts of their historic land and the obdurate refusal to recognize that they are not foreigners there,”

“The claim that Jewish construction in Jerusalem is illegal is as absurd as the claim that American construction in Washington or French construction in Paris is illegal,” Netanyahu continued. “The Palestinian demand that a future Palestinian state be ethnically cleansed of Jews is outrageous, and the UN must condemn it instead of adopting it.”

Mladenov had called upon Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Monday in a video briefing to the United Nations Security Council from his office in Jerusalem to “reverse the negative trajectory” of the peace process.

Mladenov also claimed that the recent recommendations by the Middle East Quartet report in July, 2016 had been grossly ignored. The report had listed continued violence, terrorist attacks against civilians, incitement to violence, settlement construction and expansion, and the Palestinian Authority’s lack of control in Gaza as the main threats at present to a negotiated peace.

The UN envoy declared that according to UN Resolution 446 of March, 1979, Israeli settlements in occupied territory have no legal validity and have since then constituted an obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East.

“No legal acrobatics can change the fact that all outposts, whether ‘legalized’ under Israeli law or not, whether located on state land, absentee land, or private land, just like all settlements in Area C and in East Jerusalem, remain illegal under international law,” Mladenov insisted.

Mladenov reported that since July 1, Israel has moved plans forward for over 1,000 housing units in eastern Jerusalem—in Pisgat Ze’ev, Ramot, Har Homa, and Gilo—as well as 735 units in Ma’ale Adumim and other settlements in the West Bank, while allocating funding for more.

The terse exchange of statements between the UN envoy and the Israeli prime minister follows a recent diplomatic crisis faced by the UN and Israel last month when Waheed Borsh, an engineer employed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Gaza, was indicted on August 9 for using his position to funnel resources to the Hamas terrorist organization.

According to Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, Mladenov’s remarks hindered the peace process while further validating the UN’s hypocritical attitude towards Israel.

“His words are in complete isolation from the facts on the ground,” said Danon. “Israel will continue to build the eternal capital of Jerusalem, just as the nations of the world will continue to build capitals without checking in with the United Nations.”

“The UN should concentrate on solving the main obstacle in the area, which is the Palestinian refusal to condemn terrorism and to return to the negotiating table,” he concluded.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

UN Demanding Diplomatic Immunity for Hamas Agent

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon revealed that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), whose employee Wahid Abdullah Borsch, 38, has confessed to working for Hamas, using the international agency’s budget to promote terrorism against Israel, on Wednesday sought Borsch’s release on the grounds that he had diplomatic immunity. Nachshon said the claim had been examined by jurists who determined it is “unsubstantiated.”

Borsch, a resident of Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip, was arrested in July on suspicion of using his employment by the UNDP to carry out missions for Hamas. UNDP is engaged in housing and development projects for the Gaza population, including renovating homes damaged in the military conflicts with Israel. In his interrogation Borsch revealed that he diverted UNDP resources to building a clandestine marina in the northern Gaza Strip in 2015, to be used by the Hamas military arm. Borsch also confessed to influencing his superiors at UNDP to prioritize the rehabilitation in areas where Hamas seniors lived — following instructions he had received from Hamas.

Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon was contacted by the UN legal office which claimed that UN employees are entitled to diplomatic immunity from prosecution by local authorities and that Borsch should receive UNDP visitors until he is released.

Danon, for his part, contacted the international aid organizations in Gaza with the message that “any dollar spent, and any local hire by an international organization, must be monitored [to] ensure they fulfill the purpose of aiding the residents of Gaza and not funding terror activities.”

The 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, and 1947 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies, contain privileges and immunities for three categories of persons crucial for the work of the Organization: 1) representatives of Member States; 2) United Nations officials; and 3) experts on missions for the United Nations.

While Member State representatives enjoy modified diplomatic privileges and immunities, United Nations officials, i.e. permanently employed staff members, enjoy “functional” immunity which is defined as immunity “from legal process in respect of words spoken or written and all acts performed by them in their official capacity.”Article V, section 20, stresses that “…privileges and immunities are granted to officials in the interests of the United Nations and not for the personal benefit of the individuals themselves” and that the Secretary-General has to waive the immunity of United Nations officials where it would “impede the course of justice and can be waived without prejudice to the interests of the United Nations.”

The UNDP demand in Borsch’s behalf might be a case of providing immunity post facinus, literally: after the crime has been committed, because, as opposed to United Nations officials, experts on missions for the United Nations, or members of United Nations peacekeeping operations, serve under a temporary and specific mandate and enjoy only certain functionally limited privileges and immunities pursuant to article VI of the General Convention. They are most likely not immune from criminal prosecution.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/un-demanding-diplomatic-immunity-for-hamas-agent/2016/08/26/

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