Posts Tagged ‘UN’
The United Nations issued a stern warning on Wednesday to both sides in the fierce fight for control of the Iraqi city of Falluja, currently under the thumb of Da’esh (ISIS).
UNICEF expressed deep concern for an estimated 20,000 children who are still trapped in the city, located west of Baghdad.
Very few families managed to flee before Da’esh blocked their escape, holding them hostage as human shields when Iraq launched its offensive to retake the city.
UNICEF also warned the children face possible forced recruitment by Da’esh as well. The UN children’s agency called on both sides to “provide safe passage to those wishing to leave the city” but the plea is likely to be more wishful thinking on the part of the agency.
Da’esh has repeatedly proved its cynical use of children with indoctrination of the young at all ages, and forced recruitment when necessary.Hana Levi Julian
Over 1500 Anti-BDS activists bridged political, geographic, religious and generational divides to pack the UN General Assembly Hall for an anti-BDS summit hosted on Tuesday by Israel’s Mission to the UN. The event kicked off a larger initiative aimed at consolidating efforts to contend with the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, fittingly entitled “Build Bridges, Not Boycotts”.
The day-long event grew out of a dawning realization that the State of Israel, world Jewish communities, and the numerous groups attempting to mount a response to BDS on their own, must join forces if inroads are to be made against the organization that has been attempting to pressure businesses, artists, and academics to blackball Israel for eleven years.
“YOU are the Iron Dome of the State of Israel,” Danon announced from the podium. “If we stand together, we can do this. One day you will tell your children – I was there when they stopped BDS.”
The call for unity was echoed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a pre-recorded message and reiterated by a roster of keynote and workshop speakers that included Israeli Supreme Court VP Justice Elyakim Rubenstein; World Jewish Congress president Ronald S. Lauder; ACLJ chief counsel Jay Sekulow; Son of Hamas author Mosab Hassan Yousef; CEO and vice president of World Jewish Congress Robert Singer and Soda Stream’s Daniel Birnbaum, as well as Frank Luntz; David Suissa; Emily Neilson-Winkler; David Sable; Alan Johnson of Bicom UK; actress Noa Tishby, and founder of Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, Bassam Eid.
“I’m here today to get informed”, said Flo, president of student government at Brooklyn College, “we’ve had some issues on campus”. The 22 year old related the divisive effect that BDS can have on university life, “We have students who get riled up, and students who feel unsafe”.
For many of the students present the highlight – and the hero – of the day was reggae artist Matisyahu. The Jewish American singer had his own run-in with BDS last summer when was abruptly uninvited from Spain’s Sun Splash music festival following his refusal to discuss his views on Israel. After an ensuing uproar where the World Jewish Congress reached out to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the festival apologized, reinstated Matisyahu, and revealed that BDS strong-arming had been behind the decision to drop him.
When Matisyahu finally took the stage in Spain in front of a decidedly unwelcoming crowd, he belted out the song Jerusalem. The performer, who did an encore of Jerusalem at the UN on Tuesday, has since become a vocal anti-BDS activist.
“When you see someone like Matisyahu, who is so much bigger than you, and he’s standing up for what you believe in, it makes you feel like there’s someone behind you. You’re not alone”, said Rambam Mesifta student Naftali, at the UN for the day with friends from his Lawrence, New York high school.
Although so far the teens have so only encountered anti-Semitism on social media, they say are preparing for the day it will become face-to-face, which they consider all but inevitable. The boys are also fans of their host for the day. “I admire Ambassador Danon because he uses his power to take a stand and make a difference, instead of just having power for the sake of it”, explained Eli, another Rambam Mesifta student. Along with the rest of the participants, each of the friends left with a copy of A Guide for Combating Modern Day Anti-Semitism.
After a moving speech by Justice Rubenstein, who closed his remarks by proclaiming Am Yisroel Chai, several attendees were overheard expressing doubt that the BDS situation would ever improve. 62 year old New Yorker Sol was more optimistic. “Don’t give up, even miracles can happen,” he reminded those nearby.
As if to help Sol make his point, not 10 minutes later in the UN General Assembly – not normally the most embracing environment for Israel – 1500 voices could be heard singing the Israeli national anthem, HaTikva.Stephanie Granot
Venezuelan Ambassador to the UN Rafael Ramirez expressed his apology to Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon following his comments last week at the UN Security Council where he asked if “Israel wants a final solution to the Palestinians?”
On Wednesday, Ramirez met with Edmund Mulet, the UN Secretary General’s chief of staff, and said he regretted his language and apologized to Danny Danon personally.
“What is Israel planning to do with the Palestinians?” asked Venezuela’s UN Ambassador Rafael Ramirez. “Do the Israelis want the Palestinians to disappear? Is Israel preparing a ‘final solution’ for the Palestinians similar to that which was perpetrated against them?”when he asked “Israel wants a final solution to the Palestinians?”Shalom Bear
While the Lebanon-based Iranian proxy Hezbollah terror organization is growing in its worldwide influence, it is slowly being squeezed into isolation in the Arab world.
Both the Beirut Arab satellite operator “Nilesat” and “Arabsat” have cut their transmissions of the Al-Manar television channel.
Al Manar is the official media outlet of Hezbollah.
For the time being, Hezbollah is carrying on its media activities via the Russian satellite, broadcasting on RT Arabic (Russia Today), according to telecommuncations expert Tony Hayek, who was quoted by A-Sharq Al-Awsat, owned by Saudi Arabia.
The group itself has also been squeezed out of Arab brotherhood organizations, largely through the efforts of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which withdrew a significant sum for military aid from Lebanon this year.
The Gulf Cooperation Council and then the Arab League as well both officially declared Hezbollah to be a terrorist entity. The declaration carries severe implications financially as well as socially for members of the group when they travel abroad and in terms of their banking affairs.
Hezbollah is listed as a terrorist organization in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and Israel. However, the EU and UK make a distinction between the group’s military and “political” wings.
The terror group’s Lebanese parliamentarian, Nawwaf Moussawi accused Lebanese authorities of not taking effective measures against the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
The Saudi-owned newspaper, which is based in London, carried a satiric cartoon about the Iranian proxy group earlier in the month. According to a report by the newspaper its Beirut offices were targeted by a gang of unnamed attackers.
The vandals broke into the offices of the newspaper in Lebanon, and wrecked the premises. Seven of the attackers are currently being held by authorities; an eighth is still at large. Trial of the detainees set to begin Monday, A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported.
Even as its star may be fading in the Middle East, however, Hezbollah is growing new tentacles elsewhere in the world.
A Hezbollah terrorist cell in Europe was recently arrested by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for drug trafficking and money laundering.
The terrorist organization has established business relationships with a number of drug cartels in South America, according to DEA acting deputy administrator Jack Riley.
Hezbollah has been known for years to be running operations through Mexico as well.Hana Levi Julian
Once again, Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group is making sure its population will be unable to rebuild their homes and infrastructure.
After all, rebuilding its military infrastructure is much more important, right? Even when it means stealing from your own people.
Only this time, Hamas has been caught red-handed with its hand in the honey pot.
Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) monitors the flow of building supplies – among other goods – into Gaza.
In particular, COGAT tracks the flow of cement deliveries into Gaza to make sure Hamas is not using it to build terror tunnels to attack Israel.
Last Friday, the COGAT Arabic Facebook page carried a notice that cement deliveries into the region were being suspended.
Some of the deliveries had been “diverted” by Hamas Economic Office deputy director-general Imad Elbaz.
When deliveries don’t reach their proper destination, one has to ask where they’re going instead. But in any case, diversion of supplies intended for reconstruction of residential units and infrastructure is unacceptable.
“This is a blatant violation of agreements on the rehabilitation mechanism,” the Facebook statement said, adding that COGAT head Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai suspended the deliveries until an investigation into the matter is completed.
The statement said COGAT regretted that Hamas “continues to pursue its own agenda at the expense of the residents of Gaza.”
Unlike other individuals who have served in the position in past years, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nicolay Mladenov immediately responded with a statement noting the theft and its impact.
“Those who seek to gain through the deviation of materials are stealing from their own people and adding to the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza,” Mladenov said. “The reconstruction of Gaza remains critical to ensuring its stability and I urge a rapid resolution of this matter.”
He added that according to Israeli records, “a substantial amount [of cement bound for the private sector] had been diverted from its intended legitimate beneficiaries.
“The people of Gaza depend on the entry of construction material to repair and reconstruct their damaged and destroyed houses following the 2014 conflict and to enable much needed infrastructure and development projects,” Mladenov added.
He noted the United Nations was working with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resolve the issue.
This past January, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon responded to statements by the Hamas leadership announcing its intention to continue building tunnels and firing rockets at Israel.
Ban warned that such remarks and actions do a “serious disservice” to Gaza’s long-suffering people and “put at risk reconstruction, humanitarian and development efforts by the international community and Palestinian and Israeli authorities.”
Clearly Hamas has not taken Ban’s advice to heart, however.
A long terrorist tunnel was discovered last month beneath the Gaza border leading from the southern town of Rafah, directly into an apartment building in Egypt.
In addition to its conflict with Israel, Hamas has also been providing technical, medical and material support to Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.
The group is comprised of former members of Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis. They are aligned with Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood which is locked in an all-out war against the Cairo government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, 20,064 tons of goods in 611 trucks entered Gaza from Israel via the Kerem Shalom land crossing. There were 1,608 crossings by foreign nationals, local merchants and others in and out of the region via the Erez Crossing with Israel, in addition to seven ambulances who also entered and left Gaza.
In many ways this area operates more like a standard foreign border crossing than it does the “blockade” that far-left agitators and anti-Israel detractors keep bleating about.Hana Levi Julian
The United Nations has censored as “inappropriate” three out of 13 displays in an exhibition organized by Israel’s permanent mission to the United States.
The exhibit, “Israel Matters” was created together with the StandWithUs organization. It opens today (Monday, April 4) at UN headquarters in New York City.
A poster presenting Jerusalem as the spiritual and physical capital of the Jewish People was disqualified by the UN.
Written on the poster among photos of holy sites were the words, “The Jewish People are indigenous to Israel and have maintained a continuous presence in the land since 1000 BC. Jerusalem has been the center and focus of Jewish life and religion for more than three millennia and is holy to Christians and Muslims as well.”
A second display, which focused on Israeli Arabs noted the population is the “largest minority in Israel, making up 20 percent of Israel’s population.” The display described Israeli Arabs as “equal citizens under the law in Israel.”
The third display is one which explains Zionism, the driving force behind the establishment of the reborn Jewish State. Zionism is defined in this display as “the liberation movement of the Jewish People, who sought to overcome 1,900 years of oppression and regain self-determination in their indigenous homeland.”
Israeli Ambassador to the United States demanded Sunday that UN Secretary-General reverse the “scandalous” censorship of the posters. He accused the UN of trying to undermine “the very existence of the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people,” with the move. “We will not allow the UN to censor the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital,” Danon said in a statement.
“The UN must reverse this outrageous decision and apologize to the Jewish People. Zionism and Jerusalem are the foundation stones and the moral basis upon which the State of Israel was founded.”Hana Levi Julian