Posts Tagged ‘Samantha Power’
At the United Nations Security Council “consultations” held Monday, March 14, at the urging of the U.S., the Russians did something that seemed to surprise – and annoy – the U.S. The Russians argued that the language inserted by the U.S. into the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 means what it says.
In a tag team effort that pro-Israel folks have been hankering for of late, both Israel and the U.S. called on the United Nations to take action against Iran for having launched several missiles last week.
But, as already reported by the JewishPress.com, the concessions made by the U.S. to Iran in the wild and wooly days at the end of the Nuclear Iran Deal negotiations, the U.S. and its partners substituted unambiguous and prohibitory language from a 2010 UNSC resolution “Iran shall not” to the flaccid phrase “Iran is called upon not to” engage in activity involving ballistic missiles.
So when Iran launched those missiles from within its own boundaries, it took the position that it had not violated any of its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the Nuclear Iran Deal.
And so did Russia. Russia’s Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin said on Monday that Iran should not face new sanctions over its recent ballistic missile launches because doing so did not violate any U.N. resolution.
Russian holds veto power in the Security Council.
Despite the clear-sounding meaning of the new language in the latest UNSCR, the U.S. is still clinging to its position that what Iran did is wrong.
A painful exchange between State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby and Matt Lee of the Associated Press during Monday’s State Dept. press briefing is a public display of the exchanges that likely took place on Monday behind the closed doors of the U.N. meeting regarding the missile launches.
The exchange is long, and you may feel as though you are lost either in Wonderland or Who’s on First, but at least take a glance at what the U.S. and its partners are having to do to try and make the claim (with or without a straight face), that the language they permitted as a concession to Iran in order to get the Nuclear Iran Deal approved has had dire consequences. All bolds are for ease of reading, and decided upon by the JewishPress.com.
MR.LEE: Can we move to Iran?
MR KIRBY: Iran.
MR. LEE: Yeah. So today the – or the Security Council began discussions about what to do about the Iranian ballistic missile tests, and it looks like you guys are not going to be able to get to anything, not even a council statement saying that Iran is in violation, much less a resolution that might impose more sanctions on them, at least international sanctions – the reason being, at least as explained by opponents, is that Iran didn’t actually violate 2231 because 2231 calls on Iran not to do this instead of says that they can’t or says “shall not.”
MR KIRBY: Yeah.
MR. LEE: What’s your take on that?
MR KIRBY: So it’s a good question, and I think you might be referring to comments I think the —
MR. LEE: Ambassador Churkin.
MR KIRBY: — Russians said, yeah. So look, I’m – I don’t know that it’s fruitful to get into a back-and-forth over the technical meaning of “violation,” but as you might have noticed, Ambassador Power addressed this very issue this morning, and we are very much associating ourselves with what she had to say, that – one, that we’re in the process of preparing a report on these missile test launches to the Security Council, and we’re going to raise the matter directly at the council on Monday. We believe the council is the right forum to have this discussion and we still remain deeply concerned about their recent ballistic missile test launches, which we continue to believe are provocative and destabilizing.
They are also, at the very least, inconsistent with but more practically in defiance of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which of course codified the Iran deal. So we could have an interesting discussion about the degree to which it’s technically a violation. It doesn’t mean, though, that it’s okay, and it doesn’t mean that the council should look the other way, and it doesn’t mean that it isn’t – that their actions are still not inconsistent with the obligations in that resolution, which calls on them to refrain from that activity. So we’re still going to bring it up with the council and we still believe we have a strong case on that.
MR. LEE: Well, that – I mean, really?
MR KIRBY: Yeah.
MR. LEE: Because, I mean, look – I went back and I looked. 1929, which is what replaced – sorry, which was – 2231 replaced, at least in terms of the missile technology – UNSCR 1929, number nine, and it says “decides” – this is quote – “decides that Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology.” 2231, which replaced it and enshrined the Iran deal, says, “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.” How is it that you’re – that you can have any kind of a logical disagreement with what Ambassador Churkin said? You have “shall not” and then “is called upon.” And as Ambassador Churkin said, you can’t violate a call. You can ignore it, but it’s not a violation.
MR KIRBY: Again, I’m not going to get into a rhetorical debate about “violate” or “not violate.”
MR. LEE: Well, you’re going to have to, because if you’re going to push this at the Security Council, you’re going to have to convince people – like the Russians and the Chinese ––Lori Lowenthal Marcus
This U.S. administration’s desperation to conclude the Iran Nuclear Deal – whatever its actual terms or deterrence power – led to the likelihood that Iran’s latest militaristic provocations are immune from censure. That is so, despite America’s stated horror at Iran’s actions and even despite the Obama administration’s claim that Iran’s actions are a breach of its international law duties.
On March 8 and 9, Iran conducted missile tests from several different locations within its borders. The missiles were launched by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps with the express intent “to demonstrate Iran’s deterrent power and the Islamic Republic’s ability to confront any threat” against it, according to an official statement.
A Revolutionary Guard commander was quoted as saying that the missiles were designed to hit Israel, “our enemy the Zionist regime,” from a safe distance. The missiles were reportedly stamped with the words, in Hebrew: “Israel should be wiped from the pages of history.”
Obviously what Iran did was belligerent, but did it violate any agreements to which it should believe itself to be bound, and which would provide for international censure?
The answer seems to be that while Iran’s firing those missiles would have been prohibited before the U.S. and its international partners entered into the Iran Nuclear Deal, as the result of concessions made in order to induce Iran to sign the deal, we no longer have a supportable basis for complaint. Before the deal, yes, after the deal – which was touted by its proponents as making us all safer, no.
Nicely done you guys.
In fact, the Iran Nuclear Deal did not, until the very late stages, address ballistic missiles at all. At least one good reason why it did not is that there already was a United Nations Security Council Resolution in place that explicitly dealt with this problem.
UNSCR 1929, passed in 2010, prohibited Iran from engaging in any activity relating to ballistic missiles: “Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles.” The “shall not” language is crystal clear, and allows no wiggle room, ballistic missile activity by Iran is verboten.
But late in the game during the recent negotiations, when the U.S. became desperate to close the deal, Iran not only held firm on its initial conditions, but began making new demands. That was when the issue of ballistic missiles came into play.
And the U.S., so desperate for a deal, gave Iran two enormous missile-sized gifts.
First, it crossed its own red line of not including anything in the Nuclear Iran Deal that was not about Iran’s nuclear program. It did this by inserting into the deal a provision which put an end date on Iran’s ballistic missiles ban. Eight years after the signing of the Nuclear Iran Deal, Iran, with the official blessing of the international community, will no longer be subject to a ballistic missiles embargo.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry considered that a win. Why? Because Iran wanted it lifted immediately.
This missile gift was recognized and heavily criticized by the few critics of the Nuclear Iran Deal, most of whom were ignored.
The second Iran Missile Gift was far more serious, and, incredibly, received far less attention.
This gift applied to Iranian ballistic missile activity during the eight years until the ban was lifted. And it removed every last tooth in that provision, at least domestic ballistic missile testing, production and launches.
Recall the language quoted from UNSCR 1929? It was a blanket prohibition: “Iran shall not” engage in any ballistic missile activity.
During the final drunken haze of granting concessions to achieve a “deal,” the U.S. changed the impregnable “Iran shall not,” by endorsing the full Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and incorporating various implementation schemes, to instead read “Iran is called upon not to” develop ballistic missiles. That’s in Annex B, Para. 3, of UNSCR 2231, which was adopted by the full Security Council on July 20.Lori Lowenthal Marcus
The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2270 imposing sweeping sanctions on North Korea, on Wed. March 2.
This resolution “contains the toughest set of sanctions imposed by the Security Council in more than two decades,” according to the statement issued by the U.S. State Dept. The resolution is the fifth thus far imposed against North Korea for its belligerent actions in pursuing its development of nuclear weapons.
UNSC Resolution 2270 includes mandatory comprehensive inspections of all cargo leaving and heading for North Korea. It also bans all weapons trade with North Korea and increased the number of people and entities blacklisted for trade with Pyongyang.
There are also restrictions on non-weapons trade with North Korea, including a ban on the import of luxury watches, Jet Skis and snowmobiles valued at greater than $2,000. No comment.
A substantial source of North Korean revenue is derived from mineral exports, and there will be restrictions or outright bans on those as well, including on gold, iron ore and titanium.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power explained the development of the sanctions contained in the resolution:
North Korea generates a significant share of the money it uses to fuel its nuclear and ballistic missile programs by mining natural resources – often exploiting workers in slave-like conditions – and selling those resources abroad. For example, it is estimated that the DPRK brings in approximately a billion dollars a year in coal exports, roughly a third of the revenue it earns from exports, and it brings in at least 200 million dollars a year in iron ore exports. That is why the resolution we have adopted today limits, and in some instances bans outright, North Korea’s exports of specific natural resources, making it tougher for the government to get the money it needs to keep funding its illicit weapons programs.
Until today, in many countries around the world, inspectors required information providing reasonable grounds to inspect cargo coming into and going out of North Korea. So the DPRK and its suppliers took the ballistic missile parts, nuclear technology, and other illicit items they needed to build weapons of mass destruction, and they buried them deep in otherwise unsuspicious loads on airplanes, ships, and trucks coming into the country. The DPRK used similar tactics to hide the illegal items it was exporting – such as weapons, drugs, and counterfeit goods – which it used to generate a significant amount of additional income. That is why, under this resolution, cargo going into and coming out of North Korea will be treated as suspicious, and countries will be required to inspect it, whether it goes by air, land, or sea. This is hugely significant.
U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed the passage of the resolution, calling it a “firm, united, and appropriate response by the international community to the DPRK’s recent provocations that flagrantly violated multiple Security Council resolutions. Today, the international community, speaking with one voice, has sent Pyongyang a simple message: North Korea must abandon these dangerous programs and choose a better path for its people.”
Obama reminded North Korea’s leadership that he has “consistently said that the DPRK would face consequences for its actions.”Lori Lowenthal Marcus
And everyone thought it couldn’t be worse than having Richard Falk as the official tattletale to the United Nations about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian Arabs.
But Falk’s replacement is quitting after he completes only two years of his six year term. The reason he gave for quitting is Israel’s refusal to grant him access to the “occupied Palestinian Territory.”
Not realizing the irony of his resignation statement, the latest UN special tattletale explained that “my efforts to help improve the lives of Palestinian victims of violations under the Israeli occupation have been frustrated every step of the way.” Sound impartial?
Falk served for six years in the position officially known as the “UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” No joke. That is the full title.
There are no other such “special rapporteurs” who are appointed permanent positions to look into the dire human rights conditions in which a particular people live anywhere else in the world. Not in Saudi Arabia, not in South Sudan, not in China, not in Eritrea. The position was created to catalogue abuses described by the Palestinian Arabs to demonize Israel. Falk was the fifth such Special Rapporteur.
Falk fulfilled his job perfectly – never missing an opportunity to disparage Israel, whether or not the facts fit the situation. Falk, a Princteon professor, favored a boycott of Israelis living and breathing in the disputed territories, claimed Israel had “genocidal tendencies” towards the Paelstinians, and embraced 9/11 conspiracy theories.
In May of 2014, Makarim Wibisono, a diplomat from Indonesia with a long public history of anti-Israel animus, replaced Falk.
Indonesia has no diplomatic relations with Israel.
Wibisono has spent nearly all of his professional life working for the U.N., in various positions.
How biased is the UN Special (and Permanent) Tattletale on Israel?
This past fall there were nearly daily rammings, stabbings and shootings of Israelis by Palestinian- or Israeli-Arabs. So how did the special UN snoop report this? An 11 paragraph report issued on Nov. 16 treated the several months period of virtual open warfare on Israeli Jews as a completely equal uptick in “continuing violence.”
It pointed out that in the preceding six weeks, “over 80 Palestinians and around 15 Israelis have reportedly been killed. In addition, thousands of Palestinians and more than 100 Israelis have been injured.”
So far, it sounds like the Arabs had the worst of it. But then the report focuses in on a specific case. Ah, but it’s the case of an Arab killed by Israeli forces “during an undercover arrest operation in a Hebron hospital on Thursday last week. Further fatalities, Israeli and Palestinian, were reported last Friday and over the weekend.” Now it is clear which side the Special Rapporteur sees as the clear victim.
No mention of drug-addled Arabs deliberately ramming their cars into groups of Israeli civilians, then jumping out of their cars and knifing old men to death with machetes. That happened, but that didn’t make it into the report. Nor did any of the other Arab-on-Israeli attacks.
Instead, what Wibisono did include in his report was a focus on cases of “excessive use of force by Israeli forces against Palestinians, including some which appear to amount to summary executions.” Yes, summary executions is U.N. speak for killing a terrorist who refuses to stop trying to stab or shoot or use their cars to ram Israelis to death.
THIS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR WAS A LAST-MINUTE REPLACEMENT FOR AN IMPARTIAL NOMINEE
Wibisono was a last minute and surprise successor to Falk. The original choice, an American lawyer from Georgetown who received a unanimous recommendation from the UN Human Rights Council’s vetting committee, Christina Cerna, was nixed at the last minute by a show of force from the Arab League.Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Roger Waters, former frontman for the 70’s rock band Pink Floyd and current number one international Israel-hater and aggressive advocate for boycotts of all things Israel, showed up at the New York City conference put together by Israeli newspaper Haaretz in coordination with the far-left New Israel Fund. Waters was treated like a…well, a celebrity.
Why Waters would show up at a conference put on by an Israeli newspaper is only confusing if you think of Haaretz as a newspaper which is anything but also aggressively focused, like Waters, on revealing and repeatedly emphasizing the most egregious accusations aimed against Israel.
First, a reminder of how much Waters hates Israel. A constant refrain of his is to compare Israel to Apartheid South Africa, facts – like Arab members of the Knesset, an Arab member of the Supreme Court – be damned.
In 2012, Waters spoke at the United Nations, condemning Israel as an Apartheid state, and blaming Israel for denying the “Palestinian” people their “inalienable right” to “self-determination.” That same year he was a leader of the effort to get Carnegie Hall to cancel the scheduled appearance by the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, and he helped convince Stevie Wonder not to appear at a benefit in Los Angeles for the Friends of the IDF.
Roger Waters assailed actress Scarlett Johansson for working with SodaStream and musician Neil Young for his planned performance in Israel in 2014. In an open letter to Johannson, Waters called her choice to continue representing SodaStream and stepping down as a representative of Oxfam “an act of intellectual, political, and civil about face, that we, all those of us who care about the downtrodden, the oppressed, the occupied, the second class, will find it hard to rationalize.”
For years Waters has been bullying other celebrities, seeking to intimidate them into canceling any planned visits to Israel. This past fall, Waters went after Jon Bon Jovi who was scheduled to perform with his band in Israel. Bon Jovi snubbed Waters and performed in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on Oct. 3. The lead singer even told Israelis, to great applause, they should adopt his song, “We Don’t Run.”
The Haaretz/NIF conference was described in its promotional literature as “an opportunity for our community – those of us who care about Israel and about democratic values – to get together, to ask the hard questions, and to drive our movement forward.”
At the Haartz/New Israel Fund conference, dozens of hard-left Israeli Israel-bashers appeared, alongside such luminaries as Saeb Erekat, perennial spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority, Peter Beinart, an American Jewish pro-BDS advocate, Jeremy Ben-Ami, head of the faux pro-Israel J Street, newly-appointed by President Obama ISIS czar Rob Malley, and many, many others who share a goal to publicly humiliate Israel through the pages of such media handmaidens as Haaretz.
Others were also slated as speakers at the conference, such as Israel’s president Ruvi Rivlin and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.
But what was Waters doing there? He had on an official name tag, but he wasn’t a speaker (or singer). Maybe he had simply signed up to attend. For this he was willing to put aside his hatred and refusal to be associated with, or allow anyone else to be associated with, anything Israeli, if the Israeli item is just as virulently anti-Israel as is he.
Haaretz writer and U.S. editor Chemi Shalev was apparently thrilled to be shown in a picture with Israel-hater Waters. He tweeted a picture of the two of them with the (untrue) caption, “Boycott/shmoycott, no Pink Floyd addict can resist the thrill of meeting Roger Waters at #HaaretzQ.”Lori Lowenthal Marcus
The expression of “what is a Kohen doing in a cemetery,” where he is prohibited, may apply to President Reuven Rivlin and today’s New Israel Fund-Haaretz conference in New York City.
Dozens of IDF Reserve officers are conducting a protest outside the President’s official residence in an effort to pressure President Rivlin to cancel his appearance at the conference because the anti-IDF Breaking the Silence is participating.
The officers said that President Rivlin, as a representative of Israel, must boycott the event organized by the New Israel Fund (NIF), coordinated with the Haaretz newspaper, to make clear his non-acceptance of groups such as Breaking the Silence that try to make Israel look illegitimate.
But Breaking the Silence is only the tip of the iceberg. The list of speakers and panelist reads like a “Who’s Who of the radical Left.
The office of the President stated:
The President will deliver his remarks during the conference of the Haaretz newspaper as he does in a variety of conferences organized by media from time to time.
Concerning the facts, it is important to note that in this case, we are speaking about the participation of one of dozens of participants during the day. It will take part in a panel that does not take place in the presence of the president, so there is no connection between them,
As for facts,, today’s event is not a media conference. It is a New Israel Fund conference that Haaretz is promoting and in which it is participating with its finest Israel bashers, such as Gideon Levy and Amira Hass.
Perhaps President Rivlin will not be present when Breaking the Silence speaks, but what about other speakers and panelists, some of whose names read like a Who’s Who of the radical Left?
And the question remains why is President Rivlin appearing and what will he say?
Yes, he will have the opportunity to show his face to the extreme left-wing of American Jews and non-Jews, as well as officials from the Obama administration such as Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and PLO executive Saeb Erekat.
Public appearances are one of the President’s most important functions, but why did he choose such a group, unless he stuns them with a Zionist speech instead of patronizing them?
Here are some of the “Zionists” at the conference:
Arik Wade Ascherman. the Rabbis for Human Rights activist who single-handedly led leftists and Arabs to uproot more than 1,500 saplings in front of shocked elementary school students on Tu B’Shvat several years ago because they planted on land in Judea and Samaria.
The promotional material for today’s conference omits that little detail and states that he “is internationally recognized as a leading advocate for human rights and social justice as religious, Jewish and Zionist obligations,” such as rights for “the Negev Bedouin.”
Other speakers are:
Suhad Babaa, the executive director of Just Vision, ‘an organization dedicated to increasing media coverage and support for Palestinian and Israeli grassroots leaders working to end the occupation and build a future of freedom, equality, dignity and human security for all through unarmed means.’
Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder and president of J Street.
Uri Blau, an investigative journalist for Haaretz, specializing in military and political affairs, corruption and transparency….Blau became the first Israeli journalist to be convicted for possession of classified military documents.
Hagai El-Ad, an Israeli human rights activist, is the executive director of B’Tselem.
Avner Gvaryahu, who joined Breaking the Silence as a researcher and tour guide.
Another speaker is Arab Knesset Member Ayman Odeh, who last week refused to attend a meeting with Jewish leaders because it was to take place in the same building that is home to the offices of the Jewish Agency?
Other panelists and speakers are:
‘Rabbi’ Jill Jacobs, the Executive Director of T’ruah. [For information on T’ruah and President Rivlin’s joint appearance at the White House, click here.]
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Daniel J. Sokatch, chief executive officer of the New Israel Fund.
Dr. Husam S. Zomlot, ambassador-at-large for Palestine [sic] and the executive deputy commissioner of the Fatah Foreign Relations Commission.
Haaretz editor Aluf Benn and a host of his writers will speak and appear on the panels, whose subjects include:
Beyond negotiations: Can the peace process be unfrozen to achieve more than ‘conflict management’?
What’s left: Is there a future for the progressive movement in Israel?
‘Droves of Arab voters:’ Is the struggle of Israel’s Arab citizens to equality the new focal point of the conflict?
Jerusalem burning: Is religion the solution or the problem?
Synagogue and state: Who defines the Jewishness of Israel?