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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘U.N.’

UN Watch: Secretary Ban Ki-Moon’s Reaction to Terror Attack on Israelis ‘Weak’

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

After a bus carrying Israeli tourists at Bulgaria’s Burgas airport exploded on Wednesday, killing seven and wounding at least 30 more, a U.N. spokesperson said that secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon condemned the attack “in the strongest possible terms.”

In fact, the U.N. chief’s choice of terms was weak in comparison to his statement two weeks ago on the bombing of churches in Kenya. In that case, Mr. Ban rightly spoke of “terrorist” attacks, “reprehensible and criminal,” saying the perpetrators “must be held to account.”

Today he referred only to the deadly “bombing” of Israelis – noticeably declining to describe it as an act of terrorism – and he made no call for holding the perpetrators to account. UN Watch today urged Mr. Ban to clarify his position and to truly use the strongest possible terms to condemn today’s terrorist attack.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has remained silent on today’s attack. By contrast, hours after the Gaza Flotilla incident of 2010, Ms. Pillay expresed her “shock” and condemned Israel. The top story on her office website instead criticizes Western states for how they combat terrorism, with America accused of having “dangerous” laws that violate due process.

Supported by a Facebook campaign now going viral, UN Watch called on the High Commissioner to speak out for victims of terrorism, condemn today’s gruesome murders in Bulgaria, and instruct her staff to investigate the perpetrators and hold them fully accountable for the crimes.

The U.N.’s 47-nation Human Rights Council has also stayed silent. By contrast, in 2004 it wasted no time in convening an emergency session to eulogize Hamas terrorist leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, and to condemn Israel. Currently, the council is busy with yet another “fact-finding mission” into alleged Israeli human rights violations. The council has never mandated an inquiry into terrorism or rocket attacks targeting Israelis.

Jeane Kirkpatrick

Friday, July 6th, 2012

“I think the Holocaust is possible again. I didn’t think so before I came to the United Nations, but I think so now.”

“Diplomacy regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict at the U.N. has nothing to do with peace, but is quite simply a continuation of war against Israel by other means.”

Do we remember who uttered these famous words? What does the name Jeane Kirkpatrick mean to us?

United States Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick was the most dedicated champion of Israel to serve in the U.N. From the moment she was appointed in 1981 by then-President Ronald Reagan as America’s permanent representative, her chief objective became to fight against “the obsessive vilification of Israel” at the U.N. She found that hatred of Israel affected all aspects of U.N. operations. She was appalled by the blatant effort to turn the narrative of the Holocaust against Israel through the rebranding of the Palestinians as “the victimized Jews” and the Israelis as “Nazis.” She pointed out that “by claiming that Israel was guilty of genocide, any attack against the state and the people of Israel was justified,” including terrorism. Ambassador Kirkpatrick believed that “to defend Israel was to defend America and western civilization itself.”

What made Jeane Kirkpartick tick? What was the source of her brilliant assessment of the U.N. and her remarkable championship of Israel?

Born Jeane Duane Jordan in Oklahoma on the 19th day of November in 1926, she was the daughter of an unsuccessful oil prospector. In spite of the family’s strained circumstances, Jean’s quick intelligence advanced her steadily. By the age of twenty-four she had acquired an MA in political science from Columbia University and joined the State Department as an intelligence research analyst, then opted for a postgraduate fellowship at the Institut de Science Politique in Paris.

She returned from Europe to continue her research work in Washington and, in 1955, married a fellow academic, Evron Maurice Kirkpatrick, a highly respected scholar.

In 1985, Ambassador Kirkpatrick returned to teaching at Georgetown University. She also became a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank, and a contributor to the American Freedom Journal. In 1993, she co-founded Empower America, a public-policy organization. She was also on the advisory board of the National Association of Scholars, a group that works against what it regards as a liberal bias in academia, with its emphasis on multicultural education and affirmative action. Dr. Kirkpatrick also wrote a nationally syndicated column that appeared in The Jewish Press for many years.

A recently published book by Peter Collier celebrates this amazing lady’s life. Its title: Political Woman: The Big Little Life of Jeane Kirkpatrick (Encounter Books, 2012).

The heroine of the book died on December 7th, 2006. She was survived by three sons, John E. of Miami; Stuart A. of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Douglas J. of Bethesda; two daughters, Mary E. Evans of Austin, Texas and Anna of Aix-en-Provence, France and six grandchildren.

Anti-Defamation League President Abraham Foxman issued a press release upon her death saying “She will be fondly remembered for her unwavering and valiant support of the State of Israel and her unequivocal opposition to anti-Semitism, especially during her tenure at the United Nations. She was always a true friend of the Jewish people.”

Strong Marketing Drives Success at UC Santa Cruz

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Visit http://israelcampusbeat.org for the latest Israel trends and events on campus.

You might not expect it, but the pro-Israel group at the University of California, Santa Cruz — a school with a decidedly liberal reputation — drew impressive numbers of attendees to its events throughout the past academic year. Approximately 150 people attended the Santa Cruz Israel Action Committee’s (SCIAC) big fall quarter event, a screening of the documentary film, U.N. Me. and the numbers remained impressive all the way through spring quarter.

SCIAC employed a strategy of publicizing its events widely. One of its final events of the year, a talk by the American-born Israeli entrepreneur Jonathan Medved, who was featured in the 2009 book Start-up Nation, drew 80 people. The event was cosponsored by the engineering department.

These numbers are impressive on their own, but SCIAC’s history casts them in a different light. The group’s events have not always been so popular.

“When I first joined, no one came to events,” said Lauren Kasner, a senior at UCSC and SCIAC vice president of programming who also serves as a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow.

During the summer of 2011, SCIAC members formed their first independent and fully functional student board, empowered by a unifying democratized decision-making process. Fortunately, this new SCIAC leadership realized the importance of good marketing, and the group focused on recruitment and event promotion, carefully strategizing to spread the word in ways that garner campus-wide attention.

“We realized that our outreach wasn’t very strong,” said senior Guy Herschmann, who is the StandWithUs Northern California campus coordinator. “So we decided to take a more proactive, visible approach.”

The shift in marketing has been no easy feat.

“We’ve had a lot of trouble publicizing SCIAC,” UCSC junior and SCIAC board chair Prescott Watson said. “We’re not a big group; our board is seven people, and we don’t have that many invested people coming to our general meetings. We’re dealing with a small group of people who are dedicated, and the rest of the campus is pretty apathetic.”

But this small group has poured tremendous thought and energy into tailoring their marketing tactics to the UCSC community.

“Our campus is really decentralized, so we have a hard time flyering,” Watson said.

To SCIAC members, this apparent roadblock is merely a logistical barrier that can be bypassed with thoughtful and innovative advertising tactics.

“We put a lot of effort into regular flyers and any means of advertising we can think of,” Kasner said. “We print big posters. We’re adamant about flyering bus stops multiple times a week. We put flyers all over libraries and classrooms and we make classroom announcements. We take a very ‘in-your-face,’ approach; you can’t really miss us.”

Herschmann also finds it helpful to take interest in individual underclassmen with high potential for interest and involvement in campus pro-Israel activities.

“I take them to coffee or lunch,” Herschmann said. “I don’t hesitate to call or text them. I don’t ask ‘if’,’ I ask ‘when.’”

To bolster attendance and support for the Medved lecture, SCIAC leaders turned to academic departments on their campus. After contacting various economics professors, the economics department, computer science professors and heads of development, SCIAC enlisted the Department of Engineering as event cosponsor.

“Cosponsoring the event with campus departments allowed us to draw out audiences that we never had before,” Herschmann said, “making the event all the more successful.”

Professors encouraged their students to attend the event, and some economics professors even offered extra credit, according to Herschmann.

“They want their students to learn from experts around the world—including Israel,” Herschmann said. “When you look at a country and how it’s transformed the world—you look at Israel, Israel is as good as it gets.”

In addition to aggressive marketing and cosponsorships, the SCIAC board members tap into a marketing aspect that no college student can resist: free food.

“We’ve been really lucky this year,” Kasner said. “We’ve been able to cater a lot of our events.”

SCIAC’s food-marketing strategy was especially effective in drawing attention to and bolstering attendance at the U.N. Me screening during fall quarter.

“I made sure that no one got falafel unless we got their name and email address and educated them about Israel, which we did with Israel pocket facts and StandWithUs brochures about Israel and the U.N.,” Herschmann said.

Lieberman Severs Ties with UN Human Rights Council, Blocks Entry of Investigating Team

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has announced that Israel had severed all working relations with the United Nations Human Rights Council as of Monday this week, and will block a U.N. fact finding team from entering Israel or Judea and Samaria to investigate Jewish settlements.

According to the Israeli government, the council has shown a clear anti-Israel bias, both in the content of its references to it, and its disproportionate attention to Israel’s Palestinian policy, as compared to all the other human rights issues on the planet.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said this “means that we’re not going to work with them. We’re not going to let them carry out any kind of mission for the Human Rights Council, including this probe.”

Speaking in Copenhagen, after a meeting with the Danish foreign minister, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said “Israel never cooperated with all fact finding missions that were sent and established by the U.N. to investigate the Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians.”

The PLO ambassador at the United Nations on Wednesday condemned Israeli settlement activity in a series of letters to senior UN officials.

“There have been confirmations by the UN Security Council and General Assembly, Human Rights Council and the Social and Economic Council on the illegality of all settlement activity in a number of resolutions which are still available, and we are still calling on Israel to respect and implement the resolutions,” Mansour said.

The UN ambassador sent letters to the President of the Security Council and head of the General Assembly, criticizing ongoing settlement building.

Israel is obligated under the Road Map to freeze all settlement activity, Mansour said.

“Israel, however continues directly to neglect and violate all international commitments,” he added.

The ambassador added that settlements are proof that Israel rejects a two state solution based on 1967 borders.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week has legalized three Jewish outpost communities which were erected in the 1990s.

At a meeting late Monday, a ministerial committee legalized Bruchin (home to 350 residents) and Rechelim (home to 240 residents) in Samaria, and Sansana (home to 240 residents) in Judea.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland reacted by saying, “We don’t think this is helpful to the process. We don’t accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity.”

Palestinians and Israeli anti-settlement organization Peace Now slammed the government, saying the government is hereby creating new settlements for the first time since 1990.

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said that the legalizing ” sends a clear message to both the international community and to the Palestinians that Israel is more committed to land theft than peacemaking.”

Obama Seeks Continued Funding of UNESCO, Despite Recognition of ‘Palestine’

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The Obama administration formally announced its intention to ask Congress to waive a ban on funding UNESCO over its recognition of Palestinian statehood.

“The Department of State intends to work with Congress to seek legislation that would provide authority to waive restrictions on paying the U.S. assessed contributions to UNESCO,” says a footnote in the budget that the White House submitted to Congress this month.

The footnote was quoted in a press release issued Wednesday by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, who says she plans to oppose such a waiver.

U.S. funding for UNESCO, the United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organization, was stopped late last year because of laws banning U.S. funding of any international organization that recognizes Palestinian statehood in the absence of a peace agreement with Israel.

The Palestinians launched a bid last year to achieve statehood recognition through the U.N. and its affiliates.

The bid’s virtually only success was with UNESCO, which granted the Palestinians membership. But after the U.S. stopped funding for the body, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned against Palestinian efforts to push for recognition in other U.N. bodies.

At the time, State Department officials had suggested they would seek a waiver on the funding ban.

Ros-Lehtinen said that waiving the provision could start the statehood ball rolling again.

“Any effort to walk back this funding cutoff will pave the way for the Palestinian leadership’s unilateral statehood scheme to drive on, and sends a disastrous message that the U.S. will fund UN bodies no matter what irresponsible decisions they make,” she said in a statement.

Are We Better Off With Iraq in Turmoil?

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

With the U.S. troops gone, the power struggle in Iraq is reaching new levels. Various sources are reporting that the Shi’ite-led government in Iraq has issued an arrest warrant for the Sunni vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi.

If you need a reminder, the Shia are aligned with Iran.

For the record, the Iraq war was the right war at the right time. I know,  these days it’s fashionable to think of it as a waste, so let’s briefly review why it was imperative that Saddam Hussein was removed from power in the aftermath of 9/11.

9/11 was the final attack in a series of escalating attacks on U.S. interests around the world by al-Qaeda. It put an end to the illusion that the U.S. homeland was safe from major destructive attacks. It had the potential of creating a worldwide economic and security crisis. Great leadership in New York City by mayor Rudy Giuliani prevented the city from falling apart at the seams (compare that to what happened last year with when a blizzard hit New York City with Bloomberg at the helm). And, swift reaction by President Bush in Afghanistan was the first step in showing the world that people who intend to do the U.S. harm and who harbor them had no safe haven.

A lot of people, mostly Democrat politicians and members of the liberal media, wanted to turn the reaction into a simple police investigation to track down Osama bin Laden. That would have been a risky enterprise, fraught with the danger of making the U.S. look impotent. The longer it took for the U.S. to capture bin Laden, the stronger would be his reputation. If I close my eyes, I can almost hear people say Osama is a great leader. Look, the U.S. with all its might cannot capture him. He would have attained the status of legend. Instead, he had to run and hide. His eventual capture revealed how much he had been marginalized in the intervening years.

After the victory in Afghanistan, it was important to send a credible message to various tyrannical regimes in the world that they were personally in danger if they gave safe haven to, organized or sponsored any organizations that intended the U.S. harm. Surely, there was no shortage of people who’d been oppressing and torturing their people while thumbing their noses at the U.S. for decades. There was, however, one dictator, who had credibly built a reputation for having weapons of mass destruction andwho had been flaunting U.N. resolution after U.N. resolution that he had to allow inspectors free access to suspected sites.

Once the vulnerability of the U.S. homeland was exposed, it would have been suicidal to allow Saddam to keep his status as a tyrant who had access to corrupt financial networks and diplomatic channels which could have been used to organize further attacks. Regime change in Iraq, which had been the stated goal of U.S. policy during the Clinton Administration, had to be realized. Eliminating Saddam would have sent (and did send) a clear signal to all other tyrannical regimes that they were going to be personally targeted if they threatened the U.S.

Such tyrants do not waste a second thinking about the well-being of anyone but themselves. Years of suffering of Iraqi people could not convince Saddam Hussein to comply with U.N. sanctions. In fact, the sanctions themselves had provided further avenues for his personal enrichment. Changing the regime in Iraq was essential to removing a major threat against the U.S. and stability in the Middle East.

Operation Iraqi Freedom was successful in achieving this goal.

Major errors, stemming sometimes from good intentions, were made in handling the aftermath. Anyone familiar with the Middle East would have appreciated the value of the immediate establishment of martial law across the country and strict enforcement of curfews. Instead, a period of confusion reigned for a while following the fall of Baghdad.

Things got worse when the U.S. media and Democrat politicians started undermining the administration. By declaring the war lost, they signaled to Iran and Syria and anyone else who cared to listen that the U.S. could not handle a tough struggle and that they would back away from a fight. To his credit, President Bush refused to cut and run, and went ahead with the surge. Tellingly, the current president was one of the people who stood firmly against the surge. Liberal organizations published ads and stories intended to undermine the administration’s war effort.

Finally, at a time the U.S. needed to signal continued resolve, a chicken was elected president.

People will point out that Osama bin Laden was killed under President Obama, proving that he is strong. But the real and present danger of the day is not posed by Osama bin Laden. It is posed by Iran, whose rulers, just like Saddam Hussein did, seek to possess weapons of mass destruction to project power well beyond the actual strength of their regime. They needed to see a United States of America with resolve, the kind of resolve that kept Western Europe safe from the Soviet Union since 1946—make no mistake, the spirit of the USSR is still alive and well even if the name is not.

Campus Calumnies

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2002

Note to readers: In 1999 and again in 2001 the Monitor compiled an “Enemies List”of those media types deemed most hostile to Israel. Readers were encouraged to make their feelings known, and the feedback was such that additional columns were needed to accommodate all the nominations and comments.

This year we take a different tack: As per the suggestions of a number of readers, the Monitor for the next few weeks will be compiling a “Friends List” of pro-Israel media people. The list and its inevitable follow-ups will be published in July.

In the meantime, let us know who you think should be included. Nominees can be reporters, columnists, talk-show hosts or television pundits, and they don’t have to be nationally known; if you live outside a major metropolitan area and there’s a pro-Israel columnist or radio personality in your neck of the woods who deserves wider recognition, please let us know.

This week the Monitor lends its platform to HonestReporting.com, a website that does an excellent job of keeping tabs on anti-Israel bias in the media. As college students across the country pack away their books (we speak, of course, of those students who actually read) and head home for the summer, it seems fitting to focus on the phenomenon of rising anti-Israel sentiment that characterized the past year in academia.

What follows is a condensed version of an article that HonestReporting posted on its site a few weeks back:

“College campuses across America have been heating up with pro-Palestinian rallies, and an increasing number of verbal and physical attacks on Jewish and pro-Israel students have been reported.

“The New York Times reported that ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’ has joined forces with other campus movements, including sweatshop opponents, affirmative action supporters, environmental groups, and supporters of a living wage.

“At the University of California at Berkeley, a brick was thrown through the Hillel windows, Hillel property was spray-painted ‘Hate Jews,’ and a rabbi’s son was beaten up, requiring stitches to his head. On Holocaust Remembrance Day, anti-Israel groups held a large demonstration in the center of the Berkeley campus. One Jewish student took the microphone and proceeded to recite the kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, for Palestinians killed by ‘Israeli terror.’

“College newspapers may help foment this atmosphere. The following are some of the worst examples of recent college coverage:

“RUTGERS’ DAILY TARGUM: ‘Students Rally Behind Palestinian Cause,’ by Chris Lang (April 5). The Rutgers paper quotes an Arab student claiming that the Israeli government went into an all-female hospital and randomly selected 30 women, called them terrorists and executed them.’

“Though this represents pure fabrication, and the Rutgers Daily Targum allowed the claim to stand unchallenged..

“UCLA’S DAILY BRUIN: ‘U.S. foreign policy unfairly holds Iraq, Israel to different standards, policies. Bush should view both Hussein, Sharon in similar light,’ by Hakam Al-Samarrai (April15). Al-Samarrai claimed that Israel and Iraq have violated U.N. laws, ignored U.N. resolutions, and been accused of violating international laws, humanitarian and otherwise…. Both Israel and Iraq have leaders, Prime Minister Sharon and President Hussein respectively, who have been accused of ordering the deaths of thousands of innocent people.’

“DAILY FREE PRESS, BOSTON UNIVERSITY: In April, a group of student organizations at Boston University used the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day to publicize what they considered to be Israeli aggression against its Arab population.

“These students labeled Israel an oppressive apartheid state and even went so far as to justify the recent spate of suicide bombings.

“One of the student protesters was quoted in the school paper as follows: ?What’s the difference between civilian terrorists and soldier terrorists? One side is using conventional weapons against civilians, and the other side is having to use themselves as bombs.’”

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/media-monitor-46/2002/07/03/

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