Mere Goldstone

Tonight’s debate: Did Goldstone admit UN colleague Chinkin was biased?

By Hillel Neuer

In tonight’s Brandeis University debate with former Israeli ambassador Dore Gold, Judge Richard Goldstone, author of the UN report on Gaza that bears his name, conceded that, had his UN inquiry been considered “judicial,” the prior statement of his colleague Christine Chinkin concerning Israel would have been sufficiently problematic as to disqualify her.

Recall that in a joint statement published on January 11, 2009 in the Letters section of London’s Sunday Times, entitled “Israel’s Bombardment of Gaza is Not Self-Defense — It’s a War Crime,” Chinkin declared that Israel was guilty of committing acts during Operation Cast Lead that were “contrary to international humanitarian and human rights law,” and of committing “prima facie war crimes.”

Goldstone’s concession on this point echoes what he told South Africa’s Business Day in an August 2nd interview: “If it had been a judicial inquiry, that letter she’d signed would have been a ground for disqualification.”

However, in the same breath as he effectively admitted the obvious—that her impartiality was irreparably compromised—Goldstone contradicted himself by defending Chinkin’s letter as being entirely irrelevant.

First, argued Goldstone, her letter was signed also by a number of eminent international law scholars.

Second, as he argued to Congress in his failed attempt to block this week’s House denunciation of the Goldstone Report, he said that Chinkin’s letter only dealt with the “technical” issue of whether Israel enjoyed the right to self-defense under international law, and not with the specific issues bearing on the inquiry.

Third, argued Goldstone tonight, Chinkin also condemned Hamas.

All of these arguments he has made before, several of which are documented in our legal brief. (See more at www.unwatch.org/goldstone.) Yet each is specious, misleading and without any basis in law. I believe that the jurist Goldstone knows this full well, but apparently believes that the ends (his desire to save Israel from itself) justify the means (accepting a biased colleague on his inquiry panel, just as he accepted to work under the UN Human Rights Council’s biased S/9-1 mandate that was never changed as a matter of law).

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Nyt fra De forenede Nationer

Ingen kommentarer…

U.N. Denies Status to Christian Charity After China Objects

GENEVA, July 27, 2009 — UN Watch, the Geneva-based human rights monitoring group, condemned the U.N.’s decision today to reject an international Christian charity as a non-governmental organization (NGO), a form of observer status, after it refused Beijing demands to disclose the addresses of its Chinese members, and “concerns” by Russia, Egypt, Cuba, Pakistan, and Sudan about its “ability to contribute” to the world body.

Despite a U.S. initiative to keep the application open, the Dynamic Christian World Mission Foundation—a group registered in Korea and California that promotes Christianity through educational projects in Russia, Japan and Kyrgyzstan—lost today by a vote of 23 to 22 at the Economic and Social Coucil (ECOSOC), the U.N. organ that oversees NGO participation at the UN Human Rights Council, in the last week of a month-long session in Geneva.

Today’s vote is a setback for religious freedom, and could set a dangerous precedent at the U.N. for repressive regimes to launch frivolous objections, or demand sensitive information, in order to subvert and obstruct the important work of civil society organizations in the areas of religion, education, and human rights.

Earlier in the year, the Christian group particularly angered China when it cited the lack of religious freedom in that country as the reason it would not divulge names and addresses of its Chinese members.

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Durban II’s slutdokument blev formelt godkendt i dag

Fra UN Watch:

The final outcome document (PDF) of the Durban Review Conference was formally adopted at the U.N. today.

In general debate at the close of the conference, countries took the floor to congratulate one another for reaching Tuesday’s “consensus” on the text. A few states, though, had clarifications regarding their acceptance of it.

The United Kingdom said it could affirm the document only because it is “generic and does not single out any country.” Referring to paragraphs relating to freedom of speech and incitement to hatred, it said, “we have a long tradition of free speech and offensive opinions may be expressed,” as long as they are non-violent. The UK also stated that discrimination based on sexual orientation is no less important than discrimination on racial grounds.

Pakistan called on U.N. officials to “maintain balance” and “not judge any heads of state.” It also decried Islamophobia as a new form of racism. In closing, it chastised those who boycotted the conference or only participated at a low level.

South Africa expressed its concern about “the manner in which some expressed their opposition to a head of state.” Referring implicitly to the students in clown wigs who yelled at Iranian President Ahmadinejad, it decried the endangering of the “security of high dignitaries.”

Russia specifically thanked the Palestinian delegation, implicitly for its “flexibility” in permitting the text to exclude the singling out of the Palestinian cause, as did the 2001 Durban text.

Switzerland commended the text for mentioning freedom of expression, democracy, the Holocaust, the slave trade, women’s rights, and various forms of discrimination. (It neglected to mention that freedom of expression, the Holocaust and women’s rights were downplayed throughout the negotiation process and in the final text, as well as the document’s failure to mention discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.)

Sudan grilles af UNWatch

UN Human Rights Council, March 13, 2008. In reply to speech by UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer on atrocities in Darfur, Sudan says that UN Watch “lives in a world of media exaggeration on the subject of Darfur.

Krise i Darfour - rødt er nedbrændte landsbyer

Krise i Darfour - rødt er nedbrændte landsbyer

Hvilke medier overreagerer? Google Earth?

Jean Ziegler

Må jeg præsentere en af de nominerede kandidater til UNHRC (UN Human Rights Council), Jean Ziegler.

denne adresse kan man sende en protest mod nomineringen til de schweitziske ambassader.

UNHRC: Fulde af løgn

UNWatch skriver i en mail:

New Report: U.N. Accusations of “Israeli Attack on School” Were False

At last month’s emergency session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, ambassadors from the world’s dictatorships — and even some democracies — lined up to attack Israel for “targeting a U.N. school.” Canada alone voted in opposition to the grossly one-sided text. (To join the thousands who thanked Canadian Prime Minister Harper for defending basic principles, click here.)

Now a new report by Patrick Martin of Canada’s Globe and Mail reveals that, contrary to what was reported worldwide, (1) No Israeli shells landed in the UNRWA school compound; (2) No one taking refuge in the U.N. schoolyard was killed; and (3) None of these facts prevented a U.N. agency from falsely reporting that “Israeli shelling directly hit two UNRWA schools …”

Klik her for at læse Patrick Martins artikel

Will the Human Rights Council now apologize for having falsely condemned Israel for the “targeting of facilities of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in Gaza, including schools”?

As usual when it comes to Israel, the Council was little concerned with actual facts. Egyptian representative Hisham Badr, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, said that “Israel did not distinguish between combatants and civilians, targeting United Nations schools.” According to Yemen, “The attacks against schools. . . were grave crimes against humanity.” Sudan spoke of the “the mad attacks by Israel in Gaza, including against United Nations schools.” Syria said “UN schools have turned into mass graves.“ Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Djibouti joined the fray — as did even several Western countries. Argentina demanded an “independent international investigation” on “the attacks on UNRWA schools.” Slovenia condemned “Israeli attacks on schools.” Switzerland said that “at least 46 civilians seeking shelter in UNRWA school were killed.”

Will any of these countries issue an apology, or seek to correct the resolution’s false assertions and faulty premises? Don’t bet on it.

Nyheder fra UN Watch

Om “misforholdet” mellem antallet af dræbte i Israel-Hamas-krigen:

The misconception is that in the current war between Hamas and Israel, culpability is to be determined by simply comparing the amount of deaths and casualties on each side, and then reaching a verdict.
Israel must be the guilty party, goes the logic, because the numbers are so much higher on the Hamas side.

En kommentar fra en beboer i Sderot, umiddelbart øst for Gaza-striben:


Are human rights for some, but not others?

UN og “racismen”

Pressure group urges scrapping of UN racism declaration

GENEVA — A Geneva-based pressure group called Monday on United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN human rights chief Navi Pillay to throw out a proposed declaration on racism planned for April.
The declaration “restricts free speech, prohibits expression deemed offensive to Islamic sensitivies, and portrays counter-terrorism efforts by the United States, Western states and Israel as essentially ‘racist’,” UN Watch said.

UN Watch [is] a non-governmental organization whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter. (see link in the blogroll, AL)

The UN plans to hold a five day conference on racism in Geneva from April 20 to 24, known as Durban II, seven years after an acrimonious meeting in Durban in South Africa which ended with charges of anti-semitism.

“With Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya chairing the planning committee, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iran as vice-chair, it’s heart-wrenching though not surprising that Durban II is hijacking the noble cause of human rights and anti-racism, with the aim of legitimizing an agenda of hate and extremism that targets innocents in Mumbai, Madrid, Israel, and elsewhere,” said UN Watch…

“Just like in 2001, the proposed declaration veers off its mandate in order to single out Israel for opprobrium, and more generally indicts Western democracies,” said the group’s executive director Hillel Neuer.

“But it’s actually worse than 2001, because now Islamic states have inserted language seeking to delegitimize counter-terrorism efforts as racist, and to censor free speech in order to prevent what they call the ‘defamation of Islam’.

“As the most vocal defender of the Durban II process … UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has a moral obligation now to protest and push back,” said Neuer.

UN og Darfour

darfur-in-activism-2-scream-copy

Letter to members of the UN Security Council

Your Excellency,

On December 3, 2008, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Luis Moreno-Ocampo will present his report to the United Nations Security Council on the ICC’s work on the situation in Darfur. The Justice for Darfur campaign, including 48 organizations from around the world, urges you to take this opportunity to express your government’s support for the ICC’s vital work in Darfur.

Over the last five years in Darfur, millions of civilians have suffered the effects of widespread human rights violations, some of which amount to crimes under international law. Indiscriminate attacks against civilians by Sudanese armed forces, supported by allied militia, and by armed opposition groups continue, leaving more than 300,000 people displaced since January 2008. Provision of aid has been increasingly affected by violent attacks against relief workers and growing insecurity. The United Nations (UN) African Union peacekeeping mission sent to protect the people of Darfur continues to be hampered by both government obstruction and ongoing insecurity.

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Racismediskussion, NGO’er og UNHCR (DurbanII)

NGO Committe on Racism Goes Rogue, Until Stopped by UN Watch

NGO council on Racism

In addition to the vitriolic draft produced by the prep session’s governmental conference, a motley crew of radical left-wing, anti-Western, and anti-Israel non-governmental organizations—including Libyan front organization “North South 21”—assembled on the sidelines of the preparatory session, to demand that the final Durban II conference in April include a “NGO Forum,” the most noxious element of the 2001 Durban fiasco. Their efforts appear to be coordinated with the Libyan regime of Colonel Qaddafi, chair of the UN conference.

The 2001 NGO Forum, which gathered thousands of activists, degenerated into an anti-Semitic hatefest, and was condemned even by sympathetic participants such as UN human rights chief Mary Robinson, Human Rights Watch, and South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad. (See list of quotes at bottom.)

Though it sounds lovely to have a broad gathering of non-governmental organizations for the world’s unheard voices, this is hardly what the organizers have in mind.

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Der må ikke diskuteres sharia i UNHRC

Så ved man, hvad man kan forvente af Durban II – det skal være forbudt at kritisere islam.

Fra UN Watch:

Speaking before a United Nations audience, French secretary of state for human rights Rama Yade voiced the strongest international backing yet for Geneva activist David Littman, who was silenced by the Human Rights Council this past June for daring to mention the role of Islamic Sharia law in certain violations of women’s rights. Showing more courage and candor than any other European official, Yade said that

…[H]uman rights is all about being very alert. There may be attempts to deny their universal nature but there is also European action to be taken within the French presidency. Certain governments would like certain forms of slander to be acknowledged as criminal law offences which run counter to the principle of universality upon which human rights are predicated.

And along the same line, it is very saddening that within the UN Human Rights Council, last June, a speaker of an NGO was censored because he was talking about the stoning of women in countries applying Sharia law. We have to be very determined as to maintaining the universal nature of human rights even if they are mistreated by States who defend a view of things that they themselves describe as cultural.

Rama Yade

The Senegalese-born Yade addressed the opening of the UN’s annual conference of non-governmental organizations, held for the first time in Paris to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing there of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer headed the conference’s NGO expert panel on the UN Human Rights Council.

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