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March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘UN Human Rights Council’

Schabas Replaced — With Goldstone Investigator

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Just a day after William Schabas quit as head of the UN’s anti-Israel Gaza investigation, the UN Human Rights Council has quickly managed to replace him, and they didn’t have to search very far to find exactly who they needed.

Mary McGowan Davis, a member of the Goldstone Report team, the previous anti-Israel UN report, has been appointed to succeed Schabas.

Schabas’s anti-Israel bias was open for anyone to hear, though it was a surprise to many when Schabas revealed in his resignation letter that he had worked as a consultant for the PLO in the past. Apparently Israel had discovered and exposed that fascinating tidbit, forcing Schabas to step down.

Mary McGowan Davis is a former New York Supreme Court Judge.

Her former investigative partner Richard Goldstone, after whom the Goldstone Report was named, retracted the main accusations of his own anti-Israel report, after it was published.

McGowan Davis on the other hand, continued with her separate report based on the assumption that the report was factual, despite it’s primary author’s retraction.

McGowan Davis said, “Our mandate was to take his report as given and start from there.” – don’t confuse her with the facts.

Obviously if you begin with a false premise you’re going to likely reach false conclusions.

It will be interesting to learn what else Israel digs up on these UN “investigators”.

Schabas’s ‘Goldstone 2′ Investigation Team Denied Entry Into Israel

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The three members of William Schabas’s UN team, mandated to investigate Israel for daring to defend itself against Hamas terrorism this past summer have not been allowed into Israel. Their entry visas have been denied, and they are currently sitting on their thumbs in Jordan since the beginning of the week.

Furthermore, Israel has declared it will not cooperate with their openly hostile UN investigation against Israel.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry officials believe the conclusions of the report have already been decided.

Schabas’s investigative committee is being likened to its predecessor, the Goldstone report, which resulted in such a skewed, factually incorrect, and anti-Israel report that even Richard Goldstone, the fact-finding mission’s head eventually renounced it, and admitted the “original mandate [for the investigation] adopted by the Human Rights Council… was skewed against Israel”.

The Schabas team needs to enter Israel if it is to get into Gaza.

Due to Hamas and Gaza’s alleged connections to the string of Sinai terror attacks against Egypt, Egypt has shut down all passage into Gaza from the Sinai.

Perhaps they’ll blame that on Israel too.

Netanyahu Labels UN Views on Israel ‘Disproportional’

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday that the international organization has “disproportionate” view of Israel.

The statement was a polite dig at the United Nations’ constant accusation that Israel always retaliates disproportionately to Hamas rocket and missile attacks.

The Prime Minister also reiterated that Israel’s ”red lines” for accepting the Palestinian Authority as a country are that it be demilitarized and that the PA recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

The Prime Minister also reminded Ban of Israel’s need to act freely to defend the country from a;; threats.

“There is no justice in the fact that the standard applied to Israel is different than that applied to other countries. Israel did not direct its attacks against civilians, and the UN’s conduct toward Israel is disproportionate, Prime Minister Netanyahu, accompanied by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, told Ban.

“Netanyahu complained that the U.N. Human Rights Council is not focusing its inquiry on Hamas, which used U.N. facilities in order to fire at Israel, and asserted that Israel would struggle against this. He added that the Council was biased against Israel and defends Hamas,” according to a statement from Netanyahu’s office.

He “declared that there was no justice in the fact that the standard applied to Israel was different than that applied to other countries and pointed out that 200,000 civilians have been slaughtered in Syria.”

Netanyahu added that the UN’s conduct toward Israel was disproportionate and stressed that Israel did not direct its attacks against civilians.”

The total inability of the United Nations even to carry out the terms of cease-fire agreements with Israel can be seen in the 2006 agreement, to which Netanyahu referred when he pointed out to Ban that Hezbollah was in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 by continuing to build up its arsenals.

Netanyahu told Ban that Iran is continuing to work towards achieving the ability to arm itself with nuclear weapons.

Ban certainly heard the Prime Minister. It not certain he was listening.

 

Text of Rachel Frenkel’s Speech to the UN Human Rights Council

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

On behalf of UN Watch, my name is Rachel Frenkel, and I live in Israel. I’ve come here today as a mother. Twelve days ago, my son Naftali, and two other teenage students, Eyal Yifrah and Gilad Shaer — whose mothers are sitting behind me — were kidnapped on their way home from school. Since then, we’ve heard nothing — no news, no sign of life.

With your permission, I’d like to tell you about the boys. My son Naftali is 16. He loves to play guitar and basketball. He’s a good student and a good boy — a combination of serious and fun. Eyal loves to play sports and cook. Gilad is an amateur pastry chef, and loves movies.

My son texted me — said he’s on his way home — and then he’s gone. Every mother’s nightmare is waiting and waiting endlessly for her child to come home.

We wish to express our profound gratitude for the waves of prayers, support and positive energy, pouring in from around the world.

Being in this assembly, I wish to thank the UN Secretary-General for condemning the abduction of our boys, expressing his solidarity with the families, and calling for their immediate release.

And I thank the International Red Cross for stating clearly that international humanitarian law prohibits the taking of hostages, and for demanding the immediate and unconditional release of our boys.

At the same time, I believe much more can be done — and should be done — by so many. That is why we three mothers have come here today — before the United Nations, and before the world —  to ask everyone to do whatever they can, to bring back our boys.

Mr. President, it is wrong to take children, innocent boys or girls, and use them as instruments of any struggle. It is cruel. This council is charged with protecting human rights. I wish to ask: Doesn’t every child have the right to come home safely from school?

We just want them back in our homes, in their beds. We just want to hug them again.  Thank you, Mr. President.

Frenkel’s Mother to Implore UN HRC: Please Help Find Our Boys

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Rachel Frenkel  will address the United Nations Human Rights Council tomorrow, June 24.

Frenkel is the mother of 16 year old Israeli-American Naftali Frenkel, one of the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped on June 12.

UN Watch, a human rights non-governmental organization, invited Frenkel to come to Geneva from Israel, and to use the NGO’s allotted slot to address the HRC. She will use her time to implore the global human rights body and the entire “international community do everything it can to help find the boys and bring them home safely,” according to a statement released by UN Watch.

Frenkel will address the HRC at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow, which is 5:00 a.m. in New York, and 12:00 noon in Israel.

Hillel Neuer is the executive director of UN Watch.

“UN Watch condemns the kidnapping of the three boys, which the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross] rightly described as a war crime, and calls for their immediate, unconditional and safe return,” Neuer said.

“This heinous act violates international humanitarian law, which prohibits targeting civilians and the taking of hostages. We are in awe of Mrs. Frenkel’s strength of spirit, and are grateful for the opportunity to offer her an international platform to appeal for the safe release of her son and the other two boys. We hope the international community will collectively heed her call,” he continued.

Frenkel will also be meeting with senior international officials while she is in Geneva, in an effort to enlist their assistance. UN Watch is helping to facilitate those meetings.

Naftali Frenkel, along with Gilad Shaar and Eyal Nifrach, are believed to have been kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. They were abducted Thursday evening, June 12. One of the boys was able to leave a brief telephone message with a police hotline, explaining that they had been kidnapped. The Israel Defense Force and other security organizations have been searching ceaselessly to recover the boys.

Lesser of Two Evils May Replace Falk on Anti-Israel UN Council

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will be deciding at its annual spring session in Geneva this month on a replacement for Richard Falk, the body’s special rapporteur on Palestinian human rights who has a history of anti-Israel bias.

U.N. watchdog groups, the United States, and Israel are closely monitoring the selection process.

The applicant list has recently been reduced by the vetting committee from 10 to three, with the candidates perceived as being the most biased against Israel now out of the running, according to UN Watch. The council president, currently Baudelaire Ndong Ella of the Gabonese Republic, will select one of the candidates to be put for a vote in front of the entire council later this month.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based UN Watch, told JNS.org that usually, the president follows the vetting committee’s recommendation and picks the leading candidate, although he has no obligation to do so. The president may even choose a candidate already eliminated in the vetting process.

Appointed by the council to a six-year non-renewable term in 2008, Falk, a professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University who endorsed boycotts against the Jewish state, has been a perennial thorn in the side of Israel supporters, current U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Before becoming the special rapporteur, Falk was a member of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Inquiry Commission for the Palestinian territories.

The three remaining candidates for the job include Christina Cerna, adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School; John Cerone, professor at Boston’s New England Law School; and Christine Chinkin, professor of international law at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Of the three, both UN Watch and the Israel-based NGO Monitor regard Chinkin’s record as the most biased against Israel.

“Chinkin was in our ‘rogues’ gallery,” said Neuer, referring to a list his organization compiled to expose anti-Israel sentiments among the original group of candidates. “She co-wrote the Goldstone Report, so she has a record of being enormously biased, someone who’s so biased that she doesn’t even know when she has disqualified herself for a fact finding mission.”

Neuer was referring to Chinkin’s participation in the U.N. Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict in 2009, also known as the Goldstone Report for its chairman, South African jurist Richard Goldstone. She also signed a January 2009 letter in the British Sunday Times newspaper that condemned Israel for war crimes and declared it to be the aggressor in its conflict with the Palestinians.

“It was ridiculous that she continued to serve on the Goldstone commission [without recusing herself],” argued Neuer in referencing the letter.

“Goldstone had the courage and the moral backbone to renounce his own report and Chinkin was one of the main people who denounced Goldstone for that process,” added Gerald Steinberg, founder and president of NGO Monitor and a political science professor at Tel Aviv’s Bar Ilan University. “Goldstone acknowledged that they didn’t have the information, the evidence they presented was not convincing regarding Israel and Chinkin denounced him for that.”

The top two candidates currently do not rank on UN Watch’s “rogues list” nor do they have dossiers at NGO Monitor. But David Michaels, B’nai B’rith International’s director of intercommunal affairs, argued that on a certain level, it didn’t matter who occupies Falk’s position.

“The post itself, by its nature, is explicitly discriminatory against Israel. It’s meant to focus only on alleged violations of Palestinian rights with no consideration at all of violation of Israeli rights or of Palestinian misdeeds,” explained Michaels. “Whereas all other 192 member states of the U.N., including Iran, North Korea, Syria, China [and] Russia are all addressed under one item… Israel has its own permanent agenda item.”

Michaels said that there are NGOs and Human Rights Council members worried about the credibility that is lost within the organization when it appears as systemically against Israel as it currently does.

“It’s an offense against the only democracy in the Middle East, the only Jewish state, but also it just shows in a very stark way that the [U.N.] bodies neglect the most severe and heinous areas of human rights violations in the world,” he said.

At his position, Falk has made public statements against Israel and the United States, positions that Steinberg feels borders on anti-Semitism.

“I’ve been in meetings with him and he uses the ‘I’m Jewish, therefore I can’t be accused of being anti-Israel or anti-Semitic’” defense, said Steinberg, adding, “He uses that defense a lot and my challenge to him was, ‘In what other way are you Jewish other than in this hostility towards Israel and your Jewish connections?’”

Without taking a position on who should succeed Falk, the U.S. State Department seemed to welcome the end of the special rapporteur’s tenure.

“As we have stated before, we oppose his deeply flawed and one-sided mandate, as well as Agenda Item 7 under which it was created, the only HRC agenda item to focus on one specific country,” a State Department official told JNS.org. “Falk has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments, including his most recent outrageous comments [accusing Israel of genocide] in an interview with Russia Today. His reports and rhetoric have done nothing to advance a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The UNHRC regular session in Geneva is expected to handle most of the Israel-related issues on its agenda on March 21. Despite advocacy from organizations like B’nai B’rith, UN Watch, and NGO Monitor, among others, few expect the UNHRC and its anti-Israel majority to take the Palestinian issue off its permanent agenda anytime soon.

Dmitriy Shapiro wrote this article for JNS.org.

Israel Caves on its UN Human Rights Council Boycott

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

It took less than a year and a half, but Israel has backed down from its position of refusing to submit its neck for the certain sharpened knife to fall: the Jewish State announced through its prime minister that it will appear before the United Nations Human Rights Council and will allow that much- and justly-maligned body pronounce on its human rights record as part of the Universal Periodic Review for all member nations.

The UPR was created by the same UN General Assembly resolution in March, 2006, which created the Human Rights Council. Through the UPR, each member state declares what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their own countries, and how they fulfil their human rights obligations. Of course, as far as the UN HRC and most of its member states is concerned, the process is designed to “ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed.”

Except, of course, when it comes to Israel.

In March, 2012, Israel withdrew its participation from the UN Human Rights Council’s periodic review of human rights records of member states because it had habitually been singled out for unfair and utterly unbalanced review of its behavior, while its enemies have been treated with kid gloves despite years of relentless state-sponsored and state-supported terrorism against the Jewish State.

But after repeated public and relentless behind the scenes pressure, the boycott has ended.

That pressure included haranguing, vengeful floor statements at a meeting of the HRC on June 7, 2013, by representatives of many members states, including that of the United States, that Israel must cooperate with the Universal Periodic Review mechanism. There have also been reports of extra-body communications, such as a strongly worded communique directly from Germany warning of a dire diplomatic backlash unless Israel return to the fold.

And so, Israel indeed folded.

The statements by members at that June 7 meeting were remarkable given the human rights violators who had the temerity to insist that Israel bow its head before the HRC.

First, in an official statement, “Palestine” said it appreciated the efforts of the president of the HRC to “protect the Universal Periodic Review mechanism and the integrity of the Human Rights Council in the face of the unprecedented non-cooperation and non-compliance of Israel.” Palestine urged Israel to cooperate with the Human Rights Council and said that an exchange of letters was not sufficient to count as engagement. Palestine said it regarded the Universal Periodic Review deadline set by the President as final and binding.

And that universal supporter of human rights and all things good and fair, Cuba, condemned Israel for boycotting the Universal Periodic Review, and said that “the attitude of Israel was deplorable and unacceptable.”

Tunisia, as was the case with most of the Arab and Muslim groups, could not even bring itself to mention the name of the Jewish State, and instead merely “regretted the continuing attitude of the country under review,” referring to that state as engaging in “persistent non-cooperation.”  As far as Tunisia was concerned, the HRC should no longer even negotiate with the recalcitrant state.

Speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, Algeria claimed that its group was committed to the Universal Periodic Review’s “transparency, objectivity, equal treatment and non-selectivity.” The Arab Group also stated that the (unnamed) non-cooperating entity’s behavior was unacceptable, and stressed the importance of protecting the credibility of the HRC.

Pakistan, representing the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, charged Israel’s “persistent non-compliance” as a “serious breach of United Nations system expectations” and it too suggested that the UPR should go ahead as planned whether or not Israel chose to be present.

Israel’s announcement that it would participate in its review at the seventeenth session of the Working Group of the Universal Periodic Review, came less than 48 hours before that process is to begin, on Tuesday, October 29, in Geneva.

Israel is still prevented from joining the Human Rights Council because it is denied a place in any regional group of nations, and the geographic groups are the entities from which HRC members are selected.  Given its location, Israel should be a part of the Asian Nations Group, as are its neighboring states. But Israel is barred from belonging to that group because the Arab nations within that bloc oppose Israel’s membership.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel-caves-on-its-un-human-rights-council-boycott/2013/10/29/

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