Netanyahu: The U.N. Is a Global ‘Moral Farce’

netanyahu-unWashington Free Beacon, by Jack Heretic, Sept.22, 2016:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu castigated the United Nations on Thursday in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, calling the organization a “moral farce.”

After stating that he believes Israel has a bright future with the U.N., Netanyahu gave a scathing indictment of the international institution for having a bias against the Jewish state.

“Year after year, I’ve stood at this very podium and slammed the U.N. for its obsessive bias against Israel and the U.N. deserved every scathing word,” Netanyahu said. “For the disgrace of the General Assembly, that last year passed 20 resolutions against the democratic state of Israel and a grand total of three resolutions against all the other countries on the planet. Israel: 20, rest of the world: three.”

Netanyahu then lambasted two other U.N. entities, the Human Rights Council and the Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“And what about the joke called the U.N. Human Rights Council, which each year condemns Israel more than all the other countries of the world combined. As women are being systematically raped, murdered, sold into slavery across the world, which is the only country that the U.N.’s Commission on Women chose to condemn this year? Yep, you guessed it, Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Israel, where women fly fighter jets, lead major corporations, head universities, preside, twice, over the Supreme Court, and have served as speaker of the Knesset and prime minister.”

“And this circus continues at UNESCO. UNESCO, the U.N. body charged with preserving world heritage,” he continued. “Now, this is hard to believe, but UNESCO just denied the 4,000-year connection between the Jewish people and its holiest site, the Temple Mount. That’s just as absurd as denying the connection between the Great Wall of China and China.”

Before addressing why he believes Israel has an optimistic future, citing in part the country’s robust technology sector and growing diplomatic ties around the world, Netanyahu delivered another scathing line against the international body.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the U.N., begun as a moral force, has become a moral farce.”

***

READ: Full text of Netanyahu’s speech to UN General Assembly (jpost.com)

John Bolton on Obama’s Internet Handover: ‘Within Ten Years, the Internet as We Know It Will End’

icann-tim-halesassociated-press-640x480Breitbart, by John Hayward, Sept 22, 2016:

On Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton predicted that the impending transfer of Internet domain control from American supervision to an international body will mean the end of the Internet “as we know it.”

Speaking to Breitbart Editor-in-Chief and SiriusXM host Alex Marlow, Bolton explained that we should be “very concerned” about the transfer from “a national-security perspective.”

“What we’ve gotten out of the Internet, under the shelter of a private American organization that contracts with the Commerce Department, [is] one of the few cases that I can think of in our history where we’ve had that kind of government involvement without regulation and interference,” said Bolton.

He continued:

But because it’s entirely a U.S. government proposition with U.S. people involved, the Internet has been free and open. If, as the Administration wants to do, it’s transferred to an international body, I will predict right here: within 10 years it will come under the control of the United Nations, and the Internet as we know it will end because there are governments around the world that are already doing everything they can to prevent a free and open Internet in their countries, and it will extend to ours in due course.

Bolton called the Internet handover “a mistake of such colossal proportions that you would have thought we’d have a huge debate about it in this country.”

LISTEN:

“Ted Cruz has been leading the charge in the Senate to prevent this from happening,” he said. “There may be legislation passed in these last days of this Congress, as they try and wrap the budget up. But really, people need to wake up to this. This is something from Obama I have feared for eight years, his tendencies toward global governance. I’ve been surprised to have to say he hasn’t done more, but in his last days in office, we may see the full flowering of it, and this transfer of control of the Internet is perhaps the worst example right at the moment.”

Bolton elaborated on what he meant by the Internet as we know it dying within 10 years:

What they’re talking about is succumbing to the demands of foreign governments and foreign interests who say, in what is effectively a global means of communication, it’s just wrong to have the United States in charge of it.

But the fact is, under American control, it’s had remarkable growth. It’s been kept free. It’s been able to withstand a lot of pressure to try and set rules that favor one side or another. And in an international environment, I can tell you from my own experience, when you get all kinds of governments from all over the world setting standards and making decisions, it will be far less free than it is now.

And I don’t think the particular kind of transfer we’re talking about now is the end of the game. This is a black-and-white, binary choice: it’s either under American control, or it’s not. And once we let go of it, we are never getting it back.

Marlow turned the conversation to Barack Obama’s final speech to the U.N. General Assembly, describing it as a “toned-down Obama” with a few condescending lines, but not as much “fiery rhetoric” as he anticipated.

“I think he wanted this to be his swan song,” said Bolton. “It was a very pedestrian speech, so I think he certainly failed in that effort. A lot of was just domestic American politics, which personally I think is unseemly in a speech to the U.N. or an international forum. I think the President, especially a lame duck President, should be above that.”

“I think it shows that, really, Barack Obama is not a statesman. He is a political hack, when it comes right down to it,” Bolton judged. “He was unsparing in his criticism of many countries — criticism I agree with, in the case of Russia, North Korea, and so on — but he couldn’t withstand the temptation to criticize America. Thank God he’s the smartest man in the country, and he can tell us what we’re doing wrong.”

Bolton said he was “utterly struck” by “the reaction in the hall — which was essentially no reaction.” He noted there was “very perfunctory applause by the international community, after years where they’ve repeatedly interrupted him.”

“My sense was, they understand he’s a lame duck now. Maybe they’re just as tired as many Americans of being lectured by this morally superior being, and they’re happy to see the back of him.”

Marlow asked for Bolton’s take on the state of the United Nations and if there was still anything productive emerging from its meetings. Bolton replied that “things are happening, but not because it’s the U.N.”

He explained:

This week in September is just a very convenient point, where a lot of leaders come to New York. You can do a lot of business in a short period of time without having to travel all over the world, although traffic in New York makes it feel like it takes forever to get from one place to another. But it’s less about the U.N. than it is about other forms of diplomatic business.

That said, I believe that if Hillary Clinton wins, she will do what I expected Obama to do, which is try to transfer more and more American sovereignty into international organizations across the range of issues — whether it’s climate change or the conduct of international affairs. I think Obama didn’t do as much as I expected in that vein because he really just doesn’t care about international affairs as much as he cares about ‘fundamentally transforming’ our country.

I think Hillary does have even grander ambitions, and so that’s why what we started off, the end of ICANN or the effective control of ICANN over the Internet, is an excellent example of global governance replacing American sovereignty in effect. And I think she’ll be much more on that. I hope that’s something Trump emphasizes in the upcoming debate.

Turning to last weekend’s terrorist attacks, Bolton said they were “evidence that the terrorist threat continues to increase, as senior intelligence officials of the Obama Administration itself have testified in an open session of Congress.”

“It’s a demonstration of the diversity of the sources of terrorism and the kinds of terrorism that we see,” he continued, referencing the Chelsea bomber’s evident affinity for al-Qaeda, rather than ISIS, and the Somali origins of the Minnesota mall stabber. “It doesn’t all come from Syria or Iraq in the Middle East. It comes from as far away as Somali or Afghanistan.”

“And I think it’s also a measure of the kind of terrorism, that some people want to call it ‘lone wolf’ terrorism because they’re trying to downplay its significance. But it’s not lone wolf terrorism,” Bolton argued. “We’re seeing increasingly the networks, the connections of these two terrorists. ISIS has claimed credit for the one in Minnesota. We see how the terrorist arrested in New Jersey was in communication with terrorists in Afghanistan.”

“Terrorism doesn’t look like a corporate organization chart. That doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, or any easier to prevent,” he warned. “I think it’s one reason what that issue is so important in the 2016 campaign, and it should be.”

Marlow brought up the nuclear threat from North Korea, saying that “half the time, I feel like this is a joke, and half the time I feel like this is one of the scariest things happening on Planet Earth.”

“Unfortunately, it’s the latter,” Bolton said, explaining that the Communist dictatorship in Pyongyang presents a real danger to the United States and its allies:

The regime has always struck most Americans as a joke. Who can believe these people who talk and look the way the Kim family dictatorship has over the years?

But serious military officials, both American and South Korea, have repeatedly ramped up their judgment of what the North is capable of, and they’ve been saying for some time now that it’s only a very short period of time before North Korea is able to take their nuclear devices — and they’ve now tested five — and miniaturize them, and put them under the nose cone of their increasingly sophisticated ballistic missiles, and hit targets on the U.S. West Coast.

So the need for missile defense, at an absolute minimum — national missile defense for the United States, a program the Obama Administration gutted when they came into office, with the full support of Hillary Clinton. Dealing more effectively with North Korea, and I think trying to get more intelligence on whether and to what extent there is a connection between the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea — because these may seem like very different threats, but we know that for 20 years, if not more, they’ve cooperated on their missile programs, and I personally think there’s every reason to believe they’re cooperating on the nuclear programs as well.

We just don’t have enough information, and people don’t take this threat of the ‘Axis of Evil’ seriously enough. But if either or both of them get the capability to deliver nuclear by ballistic missile, we’ll take it seriously then.

Bolton concluded with his thoughts on the situation in Syria, where he sees the Russians and Iranians as having a “very distinct interest,” namely keeping Bashar Assad in power, while Obama’s goals and strategies remain vague and ineffective:

The ISIS threat is something that could have been dealt with a year, year and a half ago, if the Obama Administration had had a coherent foreign policy, but it doesn’t. And I think now we’re seeing continued chaos in Syria. ISIS may have lost some territory, but it’s still there, still recruiting terrorists. The Assad regime is still in place. Russian influence has increased, Iranian has increased, American influence has decreased. Really, how could it get much worse?

Malkin: Hey, UN corruptocrats: Spare us refugee sanctimony

Sadik Gulec | Shutterstock

Sadik Gulec | Shutterstock

Conservative Review, by Michelle Malkin, Sept. 21, 2016:

Another United Nations summit in New York. Another finger-wagging extravaganza. Another useless “historic declaration” (nonbinding, of course) to save the world (by holding another summit … in two years).

As America reels from the latest terrorist attacks by Muslim refugees and immigrants in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota, the world’s global do-gooders filled the Big Apple with their humanitarian hot air. U.N. officials convened in NYC this week to push for “collective action” to “protect the rights of refugees and migrants, to save lives and share responsibility for large movements on a global scale.”

Let me put this as politely as possible: Bug off, U.N. nitwits.

Islamic jihadists are lopping off infidels’ heads; kidnapping young African girls, Christian missionaries and Western tourists; incinerating Afghan schoolgirls; imposing mass genital mutilation on Muslim girls and marrying them off to lecherous brutes while they’re still in grade school; pushing gays off of rooftops; mob-raping European women; casting fatwas on cartoonists, filmmakers and authors; and stabbing, shooting and bombing Jews, Christians and ex-Muslim apostates all over the world.

For starters.

But the real problem, the U.N. elites tell us, is “rising xenophobia” in countries whose citizens are sick and tired of open borders. If only we uneducated heathens who oppose unfettered mass immigration to America from America-hating breeding grounds learned to appreciate “diversity” more, a Skittles-colored rainbow of peace and harmony would reign.

And yes, I know, “Skittles” is now a trigger word after Donald Trump Jr. used the treats in a completely innocuous homeland security meme on Twitter to illustrate America’s inability to separate murder-minded refujihadis from legitimate refugees escaping persecution.

To which I say: Suck it up, snowflakes. Terrorists are teaching their kids to slice throats and you’re whimpering over candy analogies? Talk about candy-asses.

Not to be outdone in the international sanctimony Olympics, President Obama used center stage at the U.N. General Assembly to rail against self-preservationism in favor of “global integration.” Instead of a full-frontal fusillade against al-Qaida, the Islamic State and all the other homicidal spreaders of Allahu Akbar-it is, Obama aimed his sharpest barbs at American supporters of Donald Trump and U.K. voters who voted to withdraw from the European Union.

“A nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself,” he lectured.

(Pay no attention to the brand-new fence at the White House now nearly 14-feet high to protect Obama from unwanted outside “integration.”)

This week’s U.N. production of Caring Theater is just the latest attempt by the world’s most feckless social engineers to compensate for their own abject, chronic failures.

The U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, bloviated against “race-baiting bigots, who seek to gain, or retain, power by wielding prejudice and deceit, at the expense of those most vulnerable.”

What he didn’t talk about: the decades-old corruption, fraud, and abuse perpetrated by the U.N. itself and its vast refugee bureaucracy.

In Malaysia, U.N. refugee officials have been implicated in black market schemes to sell United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees cards and false identity papers in order to get resettled in the United States, Australia and Canada.

In Lebanon, Arabic-language newspaper Al Monitor reported this year that “Aid organizations have become fountains of corruption, while ‘humanitarian mafias’ accrue massive sums” through U.N. funding.

Last year, fiscal watchdogs blew the whistle on systemic management of the U.N. refugee agency’s nearly billion-dollar budget over the last two years. An internal audit deemed every measure of financial controls over refugee relief funds “unsatisfactory.” The report came just two years after another internal assessment raised red flags over “the lack of adequate managerial control” by U.N. officials contracting with third parties purportedly helping refugees.

All that came in the wake of the latest U.N. rape epidemic earlier this spring involving peacekeepers in the Central African Republican who sexually abused civilians, including more than 100 girls in one prefecture.

That outbreak follows years of brutal exploitation by U.N. staff members in Nairobi who shook down African refugees seeking resettlement in North America, Europe and Australia while the U.N. looked the other way. And that scandal ran parallel to another widespread U.N. peacekeepers’ sexual predator ring involving refugees that stretched from the Congo to Bosnia and Eastern Europe.

U.N. brass downplayed the barbaric treatment of refugees in its care as the result of a few rogues. But rape rooms and internet pedophile video productions were run by senior U.N. officials and other civilian personnel, untold numbers of whom fathered babies with young girls and teens held as prostitutes and sex slaves. Nothing has changed.

Before the world’s policemen barge in on us again to denigrate our efforts to protect our home, they should spare us the refugee sanctimony and clean up their own.

Also see:

Amidst Terror, New York Welcomes Terror-Supporting Regimes to UN

John Moore / Getty

John Moore / Getty

Breitbart, by Anne Bayefsky, Sept. 19, 2016:

The leaders of terror-sponsoring states are currently descending on Manhattan for the annual opening of the UN General Assembly and their words are guaranteed to be blasted across the global airwaves. It is about time we made the connection between the terror-enablers in Turtle Bay and the terrorism in the streets beyond.

Monday brought new meaning to the phrase “upstairs, downstairs.” Above ground, the limousines glided in and out of UN Headquarters – recently renovated with more than half a billion dollars from U.S. taxpayers alone. Below ground, millions of New York straphangers were held up in subway and train stations until police gave the all-clear.

The contrasts get even starker. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is being protected by New York’s finest, while he is endangering American sailors and pilots in the Persian Gulf.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is paying “martyrs” that kill Americans and Israelis, while Americans are paying to take good care of his health and welfare when he is in town.

Then there are the other so-called “world leaders” that New Yorkers are hosting. All have immunity to travel to and from the UN in the name of “world peace.” And yet they include despots and dictators from terror hotspots like Lebanon, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen.

There is something seriously wrong with this picture.

From inside the UN there will be plenty of speeches condemning terrorism – albeit with a cynical wink-wink. Given the UN has no definition of terrorism, this bandwagon is open to all comers. Even an ISIS rep could jump on board.

And from inside New York taxis Mayor de Blasio is treating riders to an advertisement on the glories of the UN. Big-hearted New Yorkers, it says, are rolling out the welcome mat.

More accurately, short-sighted New York officials are putting “cha-ching” before safety and a moral compass. Anti-Americanism and non-stop Israel-bashing by way of the United Nations is actually not welcome by the vast majority of Americans, or would not be if they knew what was going on at their expense.

We need to connect the dots between incitement to terror and terrorism. Instead of watching pundits scratching their heads over how the latest naturalized American was radicalized, try tuning into a UN webcast. And then put an end to your contribution.

Report: United Nations-Backed Orgs Promoting Terrorism, Anti-Semitism, Violence

Flags of member states fly outside United Nations headquarters / AP

Flags of member states fly outside United Nations headquarters / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Sept. 1, 2016:

“Bigots, anti-Semites, and terrorist advocates” are “spreading hatred and inciting violence” from within the halls of the United Nations with full backing of the international organization, according to a report that shines new light on the lack of proper administrative oversight at Turtle Bay.

Accredited advocacy groups permitted to operate at the U.N. have been using the international organization as a platform to legitimize anti-Semitism, hatred of the Jewish state, and support for terrorism, according a new report issued by Human Rights Voices, a group that monitors bias at the U.N. and the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust.

“Most striking for an organization founded on the ashes of the Holocaust, the UN enables its accredited NGOs [non-governmental organizations] to play a central role in promoting modern anti-Semitism,” the report states. “Although the preamble of the UN Charter promises the equal rights of nations large and small, UN-accredited NGOs foster the destruction of the UN member state of Israel.”

The report provides evidence showing how a range of U.N.-backed groups use the institution to promote hatred and violence, a claim long made by supporters of the Jewish state.

“There are numerous examples of UN-accredited NGOs engaging in anti-Semitism, promoting violence and terror, demonizing the UN member state of Israel, and advocating its destruction,” according to the report, which provides screenshots and images of this behavior.

Many of the materials are still publicly accessible and continue to be distributed by these organizations, according to the report.

The report notes that many of the U.N. member states responsible for granting accreditation to these anti-Israel and anti-Western groups have questionable human rights records.

“The states running the UN accreditation processes are frequently countries that inhibit free speech and curtail the freedom of association in their own backyards, and deliberately use their UN powers to protect themselves in the international sphere,” the report noted. “Current members of the most prolific UN NGO accreditation operation include such NGO-abusing states as China, Cuba, Iran, Russia, and Sudan. Iran is currently a Vice-Chair.”

Accredited status gives these advocacy groups special access at the U.N.’s New York headquarters, permitting them to serve as observers at meetings, participate in official conferences, and consult with top U.N. officials, among other benefits.

U.N. accredited organizations flagged in the report have compared Israelis to Nazis and have claimed that Israel commits acts of genocide. Other international organizations in the report portray Israel as Nazi Germany and promulgate age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jewish people.

Read more

Enjoy the Internet, Before Obama Abandons It to the UN

shutterstock_437778610.sized-770x415xcPJ MEDIA, BY CLAUDIA ROSETT, AUGUST 29, 2016:

In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, columnist Gordon Crovitz sounds an urgent warning about President Obama’s plans, during his final months in office, to fundamentally transform the internet. It’s an intricate tale, but the bottom line is that unless Congress acts fast, the World Wide Web looks likely to end up under control of the UN.

That would be the same UN that serves as a global clubhouse for despotic regimes that like to wield censorship as a basic tool of power. Russia and China occupy two of the five veto-wielding permanent seats on the UN Security Council. Iran since 2012 has presided over one of the largest voting blocs in the 193-member General Assembly, the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement. Among the current members of the Human Rights Council are Venezuela, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia — where blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced in 2014 to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, for blog posts the Saudi government considered insulting to Islam.

We’re talking here about the same UN which for generations has proven incorrigibly corrupt, opaque and inept at managing almost anything except its own apparently endless expansion and self-serving overreach. This is the UN of the Oil-for-Food worldwide web of kickbacks; the UN of the evidently chronic problem of peacekeepers raping minors they are sent to protect; the UN that can’t manage to adequately audit its own books, and offers its top officials an “ethics” program of financial disclosure under which they are entitled to opt out of disclosing anything whatsoever to the public.

This is the UN where a recent president of the General Assembly, John Ashe, died this June in an accident that reportedly entailed a barbell falling on his neck, while he was awaiting trial on fraud charges in the Southern District of New York — accused by federal authorities of having turned his UN position into a “platform for profit.”

So, how might this entrancing organization, the UN, end up controlling the internet? Crovitz in his Journal column explains that Obama’s administration is about to give up the U.S. government’s longstanding contract with Icann, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which, as a monopoly, operates “the entire World Wide Web root zone.”

If that sounds like a good idea, think again. This is not a case of Obama having some 11th-hour 180-degree conversion to the virtues of minimalist government. It works out to the very opposite. Here’s a link, again, to Crovitz’s column on “An Internet Giveaway to the UN.” Crovtz explains that as a contractor under government control, Icann enjoys an exemption from antitrust rules. When the contract expires, the exemption goes away, unless Icann can hook up with another “governmental group” so as to “keep its antitrust exemption.” What “governmental group” might that be? Well, some of the worst elements of the UN have already reached out. Crovitz writes:

Authoritarian regimes have already proposed Icann become part of the U.N. to make it easier for them to censor the internet globally. So much for the Obama pledge that the U.S. would never be replaced by a “government-led or an inter-governmental organization solution.”

This is far from the first time the UN has cast a covetous eye at the internet. For years, there have been UN proposals, shindigs and summits looking for ways to regulate and tax the Web. Recall, as one example among many, the 2012 UN jamboree in Dubai. Or 2007 in Rio. Or the 2009 Internet Governance Forum gathering in Egypt, inspired by the 2005 conference of wannabe-be web commissars in Tunis.

All that hoopla pales next to the alarming reality of Obama’s plan to cut loose Icann this fall, and let the economic and political currents carry it straight into the waiting clutches of the United Nations. Crovitz notes that the Obama administration, while preparing to drop Icann’s contract, has already “stopped actively overseeing the group,” with dismal results inside Icann itself. Crovitz concludes, “The only thing worse than a monopoly overseen by the U.S. government is a monopoly overseen by no one — or by a Web-censoring U.N.”

Lest that sound hopeless, Crovitz adds: “Congress still has time to extend its ban on the Obama administration giving up protection of the internet.” But not a lot of time. The deadline is Sept. 30th.

***

Secure Freedom Radio with Jim Hanson, Aug. 30, 2016:

KEVIN FREEMAN, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy, Creator of GlobalEconomicWarfare.com:

Podcast : Play in new window | Download

  • Open society foundation attempted to block dissenters on the Internet
  • Why ICANN must be stopped

Egyptian Ambassador Takes Aim at Top Muslim Brotherhood Jurist

ISLAMIC SCHOLAR AL-QARADAWI POSES IN LONDON. REUTERS/Toby Melville

ISLAMIC SCHOLAR AL-QARADAWI POSES IN LONDON.
REUTERS/Toby Melville

CounterJihad, by Kyle Shideler, Aug. 30, 2016:

Last week the Egyptian Ambassador to the United States Yasser Reda used the opportunity of a Wall Street Journal op-ed to focus attention on the ideologues who promote and support terrorist violence, and called for United Nations efforts to curb terroristic speech with international policy instruments in a manner similar to terror financing. For the subject of their piece, Egypt’s Ambassador focused not on Islamic State’s Al-Baghdadi, or Al Qaeda’s Al-Zawahiri, but rather a man he identified as “the pontiff of terror,” Muslim Brotherhood leading cleric and sharia jurist Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.

The Egyptians have good reason to fear Qaradawi, a long-accomplished jurist with “more than a hundred tomes on theological and jurisprudential issues” to his name, who in 2013 called for those who overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohammed Morsi to be killed.

Qaradawi’s proclamations played a substantial role in the Arab Spring, particular legitimizing jihad in Libya against Qaddafi and in Syria against Hezbollah and the Assad regime. Qaradawi’s pronouncements also played a role in massive and highly anti-Semitic protests in opposition to Israel Operation Protective Edge against Hamas throughout the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

Prior to the Arab Spring, Qaradawi was perhaps best known for providing fatwas authorizing suicide bombings for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, and calling for the death of Americans during the occupation in Iraq in 2004.

Unfortunately Reda’s rebuttals falls into some common rhetorical pitfalls. In particular, Reda attempts to contrast Qaradawi’s support for suicide bombings with a prohibition against suicide found in Islamic law. While it’s admirable for the Egyptian diplomat to admit that Qaradawi deals in questions of Islamic jurisprudence and not an artificial “extremism” unrelated to questions of Islamic jurisprudence, Reda’s argument against Qaradawi’s positions lack a solid basis.

The very statement Reda quotes to condemn itself invokes Qaradawi’s defense against the charge. Reda quotes Qaradawi on Al Jazeera suggesting that suicide operations must be undertaken as part of a military effort by a Jamma (party or group) and not by a single individual. But Qaradawi’s formulation eliminates the possibility that a person has taken their own life only out of their own personal despair, and not in order that “they fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed.” (Sura: 9:39)

Even while making an effort to minimize Qaradawi’s juridical authority, Reda ultimately seems to accept that Qaradawi’s interpretation carries serious weight among his audience, and that those who hear his appeals to violence on the basis of sharia may act upon it.

Far too many western analysts cannot bring themselves to make even this reasonable concession to reality.

Reda also dispatches with the nonsense notion that Qaradawi’s views, which uphold suicide bombings, jihad and revolution are, in any way, the views of a “moderate.”

Qaradawi has been a bugbear for several Arab States, including Egypt, but also the United Arab Emirates, which designated Qaradawi’s International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) as a terrorist group.

Reda’s proposed solution raises some questions and some concerns. Reda proposes a United Nations apparatus to designate ideologues like Qaradawi, in the same manner as designating terror financiers, and to sanction them accordingly.

To begin with Qaradawi is already the head of a U.S. and Israeli-designated terrorist finance organization, the Union of the Good, as being designated by the United Arab Emirates.  Despite this no sanctions have ever been placed directly on Qaradawi or business associated with him.

Qaradawi, who has been banned from entry to numerous countries including the United States, France, and Ireland, faces an Interpol “red notice” seeking his arrest and return to Egypt to stand trial on charges of incitement to murder.

In other words, if the nations of the world were so inclined, the ability to take action against Qaradawi exists.

Yet Qaradawi continues to enjoy the patronage of Qatar and Turkey, nations that have sought to expand their prestige and position in the Muslim world through a mutually beneficial alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. As a result, it’s unlikely to see international consensus regarding an effort to sanction him for his calls to violence.

The other problem, of course is Egypt’s own history of seeking to utilize international forums to silence opponents have not always been focused on Muslim Brotherhood and other jihadist ideologues.

Instead Egypt (with the support of the United States), sponsored a 2009 resolution targeting freedom of speech under the rubric of protecting against religious discrimination. As Anne Bayesfky noted at the time:

…Ambassador Hisham Badr, was equally pleased–for all the wrong reasons. He praised the development by telling the Council that “freedom of expression . . . has been sometimes misused,” insisting on limits consistent with the “true nature of this right” and demanding that the “the media must . . . conduct . . . itself in a professional and ethical manner.”

The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that “the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . .” which include taking action against anything meeting the description of “negative racial and religious stereotyping.” It also purports to “recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media” and supports “the media’s elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct” in relation to “combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”

This is particularly worrisome since the U.N.-based effort is modeled on using “incitement to violence” to trigger legal penalties, which seems similar to the sort of trigger for sanctions proposed by Reda.

While it’s possible that the current proposal by Ambassador Reda is intended only to narrowly focus on the kinds of jihadist ideology promoted by clerics like Qaradawi, it pays to be cautious.

Still Reda’s editorial displays a rare level-headedness about the depth of the problem, and a willingness to call out not just jihadists but Islamic scholars and clerics who provide legitimacy to jihadist terror.

At a minimum however cooperation between U.S. and western countries and Arab states looking to crack down on Muslim Brotherhood ideologues and their networks would be a key turning point towards responding to the current threat, and one that the U.S. has largely turned a blind eye to. Certainly expanding current terrorism laws to include those, like Qaradawi, who provide ideological and material support to terror, along with including the Muslim Brotherhood as a designated terrorist group, would be a good first step towards “countering the pontiff of terror.”

Leaked Soros Memo: Refugee Crisis ‘New Normal,’ Gives ‘New Opportunities’ For Global Influence

Billionaire investor George Soros of Soros Fund Management attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener

Billionaire investor George Soros of Soros Fund Management attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener

Daily Caller, by Peter Hasson, Aug. 15, 2016:

A leaked memo from left-wing financier George Soros’s Open Society Foundations argues that Europe’s refugee crisis should be accepted as a “new normal,” and that the refugee crisis means “new opportunities” for Soros’ organization to influence immigration policies on a global scale.

OSF program officer Anna Crowley and program specialist Katin Rosin co-authored the May 12 memo, titled “Migration Governance and Enforcement Portfolio Review.”

The nine-page review makes three key points: OSF — which doles out millions to left-wing causes — has been successful at influencing global immigration policy; Europe’s refugee crisis presents “new opportunities” for the organization to influence global immigration policy; and the refugee crisis is the “new normal.”

Open Society Foundations is successfully influencing global immigration policy

One of the purposes of the review, Crowley and Rosin write in the introduction, is to “consider the effectiveness of the approaches we have used to achieve change at the international level.”

A section of the review titled “Our Work” describes how America’s least transparent think tank has worked with “leaders in the field” to “shape migration policymaking and influence regional and global processes affecting the way migration is governed and enforced.”

In a section titled, “Our Ambitions,” the authors explain: “Our premise for engaging in work related to governance was that, in addition to mitigating the negative effects of enforcement, we should also be supporting actors in the field proactively seeking to change the policies, rules, and regulations that govern migration.”

“We also believed that advances at the regional or international levels could create impetus for policy change or implementation of existing norms at the national level. We deliberately avoided the term ‘global governance’ because there is no single system at the global level for managing migration.”

The same section later states that IMI “has had to be selective and opportunistic, particularly at the global level, in supporting leaders in the field to push thinking on migration and better coordinate advocacy and reform efforts. We have supported initiatives, organizations, and networks whose work ties directly to our aims in the corridors.”

“Early on, IMI identified a handful of organizations able to engage on migration globally and transnationally, elevating IMI’s corridor work beyond the national level,” reads another section of the memo, entitled “Our Place.”

“These included key think tanks such as the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and advocacy networks such as the International Detention Coalition (IDC).” (The authors later note that MPI, a strong advocate of amnesty for illegal immigrants in America, “is sometimes criticized for its closeness to governments, [but] flexible funding from OSF has allowed it to maintain some independence from the governments it advises.”)

The memo also notes that “IMI played a central role in establishing and influencing the goals of two new [European Programme for Integration and Migration] sub-funds on the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and immigration detention.”

Europe’s refugee crisis presents “new opportunities” for OSF

The memo explains how Europe’s refugee crisis is opening doors for Soros’ organization to further influence global immigration policy.

The authors note that “the current refugee crisis is creating space to reconsider the governance of migration and the international refugee regime.”

One reason for this is that the developing countries that make up the Group of 77 at the United Nations were motivated by the refugee crisis to keep immigration issues on the “global agenda,” the memo states.

“The refugee crisis and the fear that the interests of migrants fleeing poverty, climate change, generalized violence, or natural disaster would be overlooked at these fora have generated a push from G77 countries to ensure other migration issues remain on the global agenda.”

They later explain that the current crisis provides “new opportunities” for influencing immigration policy on a global scale.

“The current climate presents new opportunities for reforming migration governance at the global level, whether through the existing multi-lateral system, or by bringing together a range of actors to think more innovatively. Our long-standing interest and investment in global work means we have many of the right partners and are positioned to help others navigate this space.”

Additionally, the review states, “The refugee crisis is opening new opportunities” for “coordination and collaboration” with other wealthy donors.

Europe’s refugee crisis: the new normal

According to the review, immigration policy-makers need to accept the refugee crisis as a “new normal.”

One of the conclusions listed in the memo is, “Accepting the current crisis as the new normal and moving beyond the need to react.”

SorosNewNormal-768x143

“Observing our partners as they respond and adjust to the new reality in light of the crisis in Europe and the Mediterranean, we see little attention given to long-term planning or fundamentally new approaches to advocacy.” The conclusion also stresses the need to fight back against “growing intolerance toward migrants.”

OSF has not yet returned The Daily Caller’s request for comment.

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

***

Also see:

U.S. Transfers 9 Yemeni Detainees from Guantánamo to Saudi Arabia

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, April 19, 2016:

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The Pentagon has announced the transfer of nine Yemeni detainees out of Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to Saudi Arabia as President Barack Obama prepares to visit the Gulf kingdom and continues his efforts to shut down the U.S. military prison.

The Pentagon made the announcement of Saturday’s transfers in a statement.

All nine prisoners are from Saudi Arabia’s next-door neighbor, Yemen, home to a war that has been raging since March 2015 between a Saudi-led coalition, backed by the United States, and Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels.

The Saudi alliance, primarily made up of Sunni-led nations, has also been trying to restore the internationally backed government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power.

Overall, the majority of the 80 detainees who still remain at Guantánamo are from Yemen, which borders Saudi Arabia, and finds itself in the middle of a fragile United Nations-brokered ceasefire between warring sides. Peace negotiations were expected to resume Monday, but were delayed.

“Saudi Arabia runs a rehabilitation program to help former jihadists re-enter society. It has only taken in one other Yemeni prisoner, in 2007, and has mostly repatriated its own citizens from the facility,” reports The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). “The nine prisoners involved in the latest transfer had been in the Guantánamo detention center since 2002, and none had been charged with a crime.”

All nine prisoners arrived in Saudi Arabia Saturday evening, the kingdom has reportedly confirmed. A Pentagon statement announcing the transfer indicated that at least one of the individuals will be released without restrictions.

The Pentagon reveals:

On April 17, 2015, the Periodic Review Board consisting of representatives from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and State; the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence determined continued law of war detention of [Mashur Abdullah Muqbil Ahmed] Al-Sabri does not remain necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, Al-Sabri was recommended for transfer by consensus of the six departments and agencies comprising the Periodic Review Board.

Of the 80 detainees held at Guantánamo, 26 have been cleared for transfer.

Citing unnamed U.S. officials, the WSJ reports that the Obama administration expects to release all prisoners approved for transfer by the end of the summer.

“Many of the prisoners remaining at the facility are Yemeni and are difficult to relocate because the U.S. must find third countries to accept them because of unrest in Yemen,” notes the WSJ. “Saturday’s transfer comes ahead of President Barack Obama’s trip to Saudi Arabia in coming days and is the largest single movement of prisoners in 2016.”

In a statement, the Pentagon expressed gratitude, thanking the Saudis for taking the prisoners:

The United States is grateful to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure these transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.

Saudi Arabia confirmed that the nine detainees arrived in the kingdom Saturday evening.

The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reports that the Saudi ministry of interior said Yemeni President Hadi requested the transfer, which was approved by Saudi King Salman.

Data compiled by The New York Times (NYT) provides background information on the detainees:

  1. Ahmed Umar Abdullah al Hikimi is a 43-or 44-year-old citizen of Yemen. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.
  2. Abdul Rahman Mohamed Saleh Naser is a 35-or 36-year-old citizen of Yemen. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.
  3. Ali Yahya Mahdi al Raimi is a 32-or 33-year-old citizen of Yemen. As of January 2010, the Guantánamo Review Task Force had recommended him for transfer. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.
  4. Tarek Ali Abdullah Ahmed Baada is a 37-or 38-year-old citizen of Yemen. He was transferred to an undetermined country on April 16, 2016.
  5. Mohammed Abdullah al Hamiri is a 33-or 34-year-old citizen of Yemen. As of January 2010, the Guantánamo Review Task Force had recommended him for transfer. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.
  6. Ahmed Yaslam Said Kuman is a 35-year-old citizen of Yemen. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.
  7. Abdul Rahman Umir al Qyati is a 39-or 40-year-old citizen of Yemen. As of January 2010, the Guantánamo Review Task Force had recommended him for transfer. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.
  8. Mansoor Muhammed Ali Qattaa is a 33-or 34-year-old citizen of Yemen. As of January 2010, the Guantánamo Review Task Force had recommended him for transfer. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.
  9. Mashur Abdallah Muqbil Ahmed al Sabri is a 37-or 38-year-old citizen of Yemen. He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2016.

Soon after assuming the highest office of the land in 2009, President Obama, through executive order, established an interagency Guantánamo Review Task Force to review all cases and release those deemed eligible based on various factors, including security issues.

As required by law, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter informed the Republican-controlled Congress of the Obama administration’s intent to release the prisoners Saturday to Saudi Arabia.

President Obama has pledged to shut down the Guantánamo prison, but has met resistance from a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

Nevertheless, the Pentagon has submitted a proposal to Congress to close down the facility, which includes a provision to transfer prisoners deemed too dangerous for release to U.S. soil.

Transferring Guantánamo prisoners to the U.S. is prohibited by law.

Also see:

Obama Admin Open to U.N. Measures Focused on Israel

AP

AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, April  14, 2016:

The Obama administration says it “will carefully consider” what are expected to be a series of United Nations Security Council Resolutions aimed at Israel in the coming months, generating accusations in Congress that Washington is preparing to abandon Israel at the U.N., according to State Department officials and congressional sources apprised of the measure.

U.S. officials told the Washington Free Beacon that no decisions have been made yet about several draft resolutions being informally circulated in Turtle Bay, but that the administration is open to considering future drafts.

“We will carefully consider our future engagement and determine how to most effectively advance the objective we all share in achieving a negotiated two-state solution,” a State Department official not authorized to speak on record told the Free Beacon.

The administration has struggled this week to publicly articulate a consistent position on the issue.

State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Monday that the administration is open to U.N. action on Israeli settlements, but on Tuesday declared that the administration is flatly “opposed” to such action and would likely veto an Israel-focused measure.

Anne Patterson, an assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, testified to Congress on Wednesday that the administration has not yet committed to opposing future resolutions.

Asked by the Free Beacon to clarify the administration’s stance late Wednesday, a State Department official said that while the administration remains opposed to any “one-sided” action targeting Israel, it would not commit to vetoing all resolutions focused on Israel.

“Our position has not changed with regard to action at the U.N.,” the official said. “We continue to oppose one-sided resolutions that delegitimize Israel or undermine its security, but we are not going to speculate on hypothetical resolutions or other actions by the Security Council at this time.”

There are at least two drafts being circulated at the U.N. Security Council centered on the Jewish state, and more are expected in the months ahead.

One measure, led by the Palestinian Authority, seeks to formally condemn Israeli settlement activity, while a second measure, spearheaded by France, seeks to define the parameters for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian impasse.

A second U.S. official familiar with the U.N. action emphasized that the administration does not yet have a stance on those specific resolutions or future resolutions.

“There’s not much new here. This and other drafts have been floating around for some time,” the official told the Free Beacon. “Nothing has been formally introduced or circulated in the [Security] Council. We have no position on the informal draft.”

Meanwhile, Patterson’s testimony has generated frustration among lawmakers, who fear that the administration is planning to stand down when the U.N. Security Council takes up action focused on Israel.

Patterson also had difficulty explaining how the administration will react to the new U.N. resolutions aimed at Israel.

“Will the administration state unequivocally that we will not introduce, we will not support, that we will block, that we will veto any resolution at the U.N. Security Council that seeks to impose a two-state solution on Israel or that offers some artificial timeline for negotiations,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.) asked Patterson during a hearing.

“I can’t say without seeing a resolution,” Patterson responded.

Pressed by Ros-Lehtinen, Patterson continued to dodge the question.

“A draft exists and I haven’t personally seen it,” Patterson said.

“Do you think perhaps this lack of clarity to say, ‘We vetoed it before, we’re going to veto it again’ [is causing confusion]?” Ros-Lehtinen asked, describing the situation as “worrisome.”

“All I can say is that I think the administration’s record on this is pretty clear,” Patterson said, referring to the administration’s veto of past resolutions centered on Israel.

One senior congressional source working on the issue told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration appears to be setting the stage to endorse new U.N. action on Israel.

“It’s pretty clear the administration has been shifting the goal posts on this even though it should be a simple question to answer: Will the administration keep with longstanding U.S. policy and veto any resolution at the UNSC that would impose a resolution on Israel?” the source said.

“It’s worrisome because everyone keeps focusing on this ‘one-sided’ phrase that keeps getting thrown out, but who decides what a one-sided resolution is?” the source said. “If it’s the same people who decided what ‘consulting’ Congress meant during the [Iran] negotiations or the shift in Cuba policy, then there should be real cause for concern there. The president is still legacy shopping and I don’t think it would be a stretch to imagine him once again upending established U.S. policy and undermining what is supposed to be the bedrock of our policy of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Also see:

Iran Missile Tests Possible Violation of U.S. Sanctions, U.N. Resolutions

REUTERS/FARSNEWS.COM/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

REUTERS/FARSNEWS.COM/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

Breitbart, by John  Hayward,  March 9, 2016:

Iran conducted another round of illegal ballistic missile tests on Tuesday, and they may prove to be an even more egregious violation of sanctions than the launch in October. Iran openly defied the United Nations and United States — which an Iranian general described as “our main enemy” — and threatened to walk away from President Obama’s nuclear deal.

“State media announced that short-, medium- and long-range precision guided missiles were fired from several sites to show the country’s ‘all-out readiness to confront threats’ against its territorial integrity,” AFP reported. The Iranian broadcasts included pictures of the launches, which included ballistic missiles with ranges of up to 2,000 kilometers.

AFP notes these missile exercises were dubbed “The Power of Velayat” by Iran, a “reference to the religious doctrine of the Islamic republic’s leadership.” More specifically, it apparently refers to a book by the revolutionary Ayatollah Khomeini, in which he argued that Islamic sharia law should rule over secular government, administered by clerical “guardians” — the essence of “hardline” political thought in Iran.

The launches were conducted by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is under the command of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not President Hassan Rouhani. This leads to suspicions the missile tests were a demonstration of internal power and international defiance by the Iranian “hardliners,” after big “moderate” victories in the recent Iranian parliamentary elections.

“Our main enemies, the Americans, who mutter about plans, have activated new missile sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran and are seeking to weaken the country’s missile capability,” said IRGC Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh in a TV interview. “The Guards and other armed forces are defenders of the revolution and the country will not pay a toll to anyone… and will stand against their excessive demands.”

For all his alleged “moderation,” AFP notes that President Rouhani said in response to the prospect of fresh sanctions against Iran over missile violations: “Any action will be met by a reaction.”

Those reactions include a threat to walk away from Obama’s nuclear deal, if the U.S. insists on holding Iran to parts of the deal it doesn’t like.

“If our interests are not met under the nuclear deal, there will be no reason for us to continue. What makes us remain committed to the deal is our national interests,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said on Tuesday, during an address to an Iranian legal council. He implied that it would be America that nullified the deal, by imposing any further sanctions against Iran.

CNN quotes U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner saying on Tuesday that if the Iranian missile launches were confirmed as violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions, the U.S. would ask the United Nations to take an “appropriate response,” without specifying what that response might be.

“There are strong indications (this) test is inconsistent with U.N. Security Council 2231,” said Toner, referring to the relevant United Nations resolution. “If confirmed, we intend to raise the matter in the U.N. Security Council. We will also encourage a serious review of the incident and press for an appropriate response.”

There is some question about precisely what Iran launched last night, as Reuters notes images broadcast on Iranian TV of the most advanced missile Iran claimed to test, the Emad, appeared to come from the October test. The administration will want to confirm illegal missile tests before taking any further action.

In addition to the belligerent statements of defiance quoted above, the Iranian government argues that these missile tests were not violations of the Security Council resolution Toner cited, because the missiles cannot carry nuclear warheads.

On Tuesday afternoon, the White House said the Iranian missile launch was not a violation of the nuclear agreement, although the question of whether they violated U.N. Security Council resolutions remains:

***

Iranian State Television Flaunts Anti-Israel Ballistic Missile Launches

For the second day in a row, Iranian state television has broadcast propaganda videos that show the launch of several ballistic missiles with anti-Israel intent.

A video released Tuesday shows the inside of an underground tunnel used for launching the missiles. It features an Israeli flag painted on the ground which Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, members are meant to walk over on their way to launch.

Wednesday’s video shows another two missiles labeled with “Israel must be wiped off the Earth” in Hebrew. Persian-language media headlines included the Hebrew message in order to emphasize the IRGC’s anti-Israel intentions. The missiles were reportedly precision-guided Qadr missiles that put Israel within striking range.

Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC aerospace division, said that the tests were meant to intimidate Israel.

“The reason we designed our missiles with a range of 2,000 km (1,200 miles) is to be able to hit our enemy the Zionist regime from a safe distance,” Hajizadeh said. “Israel is surrounded by Islamic countries and it will not last long in a war. It will collapse even before being hit by these missiles.”

Iranian officials have brushed off the launches as part of their national defense capabilities, arguing that they are not in violation of the nuclear agreement implemented in January. The nuclear deal will free Iran from ballistic missile restrictions in eight years.

However, the tests do stand in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which states that Iran should not partake in “any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Speaking in Jerusalem Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden said that the U.S. would “act” if Iran violated the nuclear deal and would keep an eye on threatening conventional military activity.

“There is no need to doubt that the United States has Israel’s back,” Biden said.

Also see:

The UN’s ‘violent extremism’ scam: What to say when ‘radical Islamic terror’ is too scary

FILE -- Sept. 21, 2009: The United Nations headquarters in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

FILE — Sept. 21, 2009: The United Nations headquarters in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Fox News, by Anne Bayefsky, Feb. 11, 2016:

There is a dangerous scam gaining traction at the United Nations, backstopped by the White House. It’s called “violent extremism.”  Given the U.N.’s long and undistinguished history of being unable to define terrorism, and an American president who chokes on the words “radical Islamic terrorism,” pledges to combat “violent extremism” have become all the rage.

It turns out that the terminological fast one is a lethal diplomatic dance that needs to be deconstructed, and quickly.

In 1999, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) adopted an “anti-terrorism” treaty stating that “armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination…shall not be considered a terrorist crime.”

In practice, that means it is open season on all Israelis, as well as Americans and Europeans who get in the way.  Each of the 56 Islamic states, and what the UN labels the “State of Palestine,” is a party to this treaty.

The September 11 terror attacks then launched a growth industry in U.N. counter-terrorism chit-chat and paraphernalia.

Year-after-year, Islamic states have prevented the adoption of a UN Comprehensive Convention Against Terrorism by refusing to abandon their claim that certain targets are exempt.

In 2001 the U.N. Security Council created the Counter-Terrorism Committee. But it is unable to name a state sponsor of terrorism. In fact, from 2002 to 2003, Syria, a state sponsor of terrorism, was a member.

In 2005 the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, once chaired by Colonel Qaddafi’s Libya, created the U.N. expert on “the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism” – as if countering terror is not about protecting human rights.

In 2006 the General Assembly adopted a Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  It manages to cast terrorists as victims.  “Pillar Number One” starts by worrying about “conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.” “Youth unemployment,” for instance, purportedly results in “the subsequent sense of victimization that propels extremism and the recruitment of terrorists.”

In 2011 the UN established the Counter-Terrorism Center – at the initiative of Saudi Arabia.  The Saudis threw $100 million at the venture and became chair of the “Advisory Board.”  Saudi financing of radical charities and “academic” exercises around the world are somehow left out of Center events on investigating and prosecuting terror financing.

Integral to the-best-defense-is-a-good-offence routine, has been the constant unsubstantiated allegation of an “Islamophobia” pandemic.

For the first decade of the 21st century, the Islamophobia charge was hurled in UN resolutions on the “defamation” of Islam or the “defamation of religion.” Defamation meant the freedoms of human beings should be trumped by the “rights” of “religion.”

In 2009 “defamation” was repackaged by the General Assembly as “human rights and cultural diversity.”  Ever since, the over 100 countries of the “Non-aligned movement” vote against Western states and demand the freedoms of human beings be trumped by “cultural diversity.” And that’s cultural diversity Iran-style. In December 2015, the UN resolution praised Tehran’s Centre for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity – the brainchild of former Iranian President and well-known human rights aficionado Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In the last six weeks alone, Islamic states have staged two UN meetings focusing on “Islamophobia and inclusive societies,” and “countering xenophobia.”  Two weeks ago, the servile Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon couldn’t mention “antisemitism” on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz without connecting it to “anti-Muslim bigotry.”

Of course, the Islamophobia drumbeat skips right over the xenophobia, antisemitism, and exclusivity that is endemic – and officially-sanctioned – in Islamic states.

This is the substrate from which Ban Ki-moon has now manufactured a “Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.”  Introduced in January, the General Assembly is meeting on February 12, 2016 to push the plan forward.

After one mention of “ISIL, Al-Qaida and Boko Haram,” the Plan insists that violent extremism “does not arise in a vacuum. Narratives of grievance, actual or perceived injustice…become attractive.” “It is critical that in responding to this threat,” stresses the Plan, that states be stopped from “overreacting.”  Topping “conditions conducive to violent extremism” is “lack of socioeconomic opportunities.”

Here we go again. The bigots, fanatics and killers are allegedly driven by our annoying insistence on fighting back – which the Plan astonishingly calls “the cycle of insecurity and armed conflict.”

As per usual in U.N. negotiations, the Obama administration has jumped on board while Islamic states are holding out for greater elaboration of their grievances and even more “nothing to do with religion or Islam” clauses.

The U.N.’s idea of a win-win is an illusory “global partnership to confront this menace” that allows states to define violent extremism any which way they want:  “This Plan of Action pursues a practical approach to preventing violent extremism, without venturing to address questions of definition.”

Only U.N. con-artists could present refusing to identify a problem as the most practical way to solve it.

More practically speaking, the latest Palestinian terror wave began by pumping bullets into a young mom and dad in front of their little kids for the crime of being Jews living and breathing on Arab-claimed land. In U.N. terminology, Eitam and Naama Henkin were “extremist settlers.”

So to all you extremist lovers of liberty: beware the violent extremists in U.N. clothing, and the morally-challenged commanders in chief bringing up the rear.

Anne Bayefsky is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. Follow her on Twitter @AnneBayefsky.

World Powers Agree to ‘Cessation of Hostilities’ as Assad Vows to ‘Retake All of Syria’

Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Feb. 12, 2016:

The Washington Post’s report on the big announcement immediately cast doubt upon just how much “cessation” we can expect. Secretary of State John Kerry said the declaration was “unanimous,” but hedged by saying it was merely unanimous “words on paper,” and “What we need to see in the next few days are actions on the ground.”

Those actions on the ground will apparently still involve Russian bombs detonating, just not quite as many of them:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the projected date for ending at least some of his country’s airstrikes in Syria is a week from Friday, but he emphasized that “terrorist” groups would continue to be targeted, including the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria that is involved in the fight against President Bashar al-Assad. The group in some instances fights alongside rebel forces supported by the United States and its allies.

The determination of eligible targets and geographic areas is to be left up to a task force of nations, headed by Russia and the United States, that will adjudicate differences of opinion. It is expected but by no means guaranteed that signatories to the agreement will be able to persuade their proxies and allies on the ground, including Assad and the hundreds of opposition groups fighting against him, to honor the terms.

Kerry and Lavrov emphasized that the agreement is not perfect and will require the goodwill and determination of all involved.

Not much “goodwill” could be detected in the interview with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad posted by AFP shortly after Kerry’s announcement. He vowed that his armed forces would “retake all of Syria,” acting against “terrorist” forces “without any hesitation.”

Assad then complained that due to the involvement of outside parties – i.e. the diplomats currently bubbling about a cessation of hostilities – his “solution” to the Syrian civil war “will take a long time, and incur a heavy price.”

The Syrian dictator also rejected United Nations allegations of war crimes perpetrated by his military and allied forces, and gave Europe a veiled warning that more refugees, with more terrorist mixed in, would be coming their way, if Western nations did not withdraw their support from opposition groups and let Assad finish them off.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov spoke of a “qualitative” change in U.S. policy, moving away from calls to ramp down Russian airstrikes to a process of active U.S.-Russian cooperation, which would mean the United States was helping Russia take out Assad’s opposition. Kerry, of course, acted like he had no idea what Lavrov was talking about.

The U.S. also seemed taken aback by Russian allegations that American planes were responsible for the recent bombing of two hospitals in Aleppo.

The best anyone seems to be realistically hoping for is reducing the bloodbath around the Syrian city of Aleppo, and making it safer for humanitarian aid to reach besieged civilians. The Washington Post speculates that if Assad’s patrons in Russia and Iran do consider a reduction of hostilities, or actual cease-fire, it will be because they have largely accomplished their objectives, making it possible for the Syrian military to recapture Aleppo.

With a little more bloodshed, Russia, Iran, and Syria can hope to break the back of Assad’s effective military opposition, bringing more amenable rebel factions to the table for a negotiated settlement that will fall well short of ejecting the Assad regime from power, and isolating the Islamic State as a final enemy, which the international coalition will destroy on Assad’s behalf.

While U.S. Secretary of State Kerry was talking about working toward a cease-fire and negotiated settlement of the Syrian civil war, Russia left no doubts about what it expects the ultimate resolution to look like.

“Just look at what happened in Afghanistan and many other countries,” said Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev. “The Americans and our Arab partners must think well: do they want a permanent war? It would be impossible to win such a war quickly, especially in the Arab world, where everybody is fighting against everybody. All sides must be compelled to sit at the negotiating table, instead of unleashing a new world war.”

“You have no one power that can act alone,” Medvedev added. “You have Assad and his troops on one side and some grouping, which is fighting against the government on the other side. It is all very complicated. It could last years or even decades. What’s the point of this?”

On Thursday, one U.N. diplomatic source told Reuters the Russians were “stringing Kerry along” with talk about cease-fires and humanitarian issues, while they finished the business of arranging a battlefield victory for Assad: “It’s clear to everyone now that Russia really doesn’t want a negotiated solution but for Assad to win.”

Another diplomatic source summed up the Syrian endgame by saying, “It’ll be easy to get a ceasefire soon, because the opposition will all be dead. That’s a very effective ceasefire.”

 

UN Plan to Prevent “Violent Extremism” Ignores its Primary Cause

cx

Frontpage, by Joseph Klein, Jan. 19, 2016:

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is operating from the same playbook as President Obama when it comes to addressing the threat of global jihad. They both deny that such a religiously-based threat exists. Just like Obama, Ban Ki-moon uses the euphemism “violent extremism,” without linking it to its primary ideological source – Islam.

The global terrorist scourge is driven by Islamic supremacy and the jihadist war against the “infidels” that are embedded in sharia law. That is not to say that the jihadists are the only terrorists in the world. However, to diffuse responsibility by contending that violent extremism is found in all faiths ignores the fact that the only global terrorist network threatening our way of life today is bound together by the teachings of Islam.

In the Secretary General’s remarks to the UN General Assembly on January 15th introducing his “Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism,” he said that “the vast majority of victims worldwide are Muslims.” Obama said essentially the same thing last February at his Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, lamenting that it is “especially Muslims, who are the ones most likely to be killed.”

Both Ban Ki-moon and President Obama omitted to say that the killers are also primarily Muslims. Moreover, they left out entirely any mention of the ongoing genocide being conducted by Muslims in the name of Allah against Christians and Yazidis in the Middle East.

When I asked the spokesperson for the Secretary General why the Secretary General did not acknowledge the fact that the vast majority of global terrorists today are Islamists, the spokesperson responded that “the Secretary‑General’s focus is not on targeting or pointing finger at one ethnic group, one religious group, or people who claim to act in the name of a particular religion.”

This begs the question as to why the Secretary General took pains to assert that Muslims constitute the majority of terrorists’ victims but refused to acknowledge that the vast majority of perpetrators are also Muslims.

The Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism describes what it calls the “drivers of violent extremism.”  These drivers include, according to the UN document, lack of socioeconomic opportunities, marginalization and discrimination, poor governance and violations of human rights, prolonged and unresolved conflicts, radicalization in prisons, collective grievances, and exploitation of social media.

Obama offered essentially the same explanation for the growth of violent extremism put forth by Ban Ki-moon. A key problem, he said, was lack of economic opportunity that trapped people –especially young people – “in impoverished communities.”

Obama added: “When people are oppressed, and human rights are denied — particularly along sectarian lines or ethnic lines — when dissent is silenced, it feeds violent extremism.”

Ban Ki-moon and President Obama both have argued that Islam itself is blameless. It is, in Ban Ki-moon’s words, the “distortion and misuse of beliefs” that are to blame. At his February 2015 Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, President Obama called out what he described as “the warped ideologies espoused by terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIL, especially their attempt to use Islam to justify their violence.”

However, the truth is that Islam itself contains the seeds for the violence that is such a prominent part of jihad. Jihadists using violence as a tactic to impose Islam as the world’s only “legitimate” belief system are following the path laid down by Prophet Muhammed himself and his early followers, according to their literal words and acts.

The proposed actions to address the problem of “violent extremism,” both Ban Ki-moon and Obama agree, include better education, more opportunities for women, better governance, and respect for human rights including freedom of expression and freedom of religious belief.  The UN Secretary General and President Obama base their common strategy on their shared utopian belief that peoples from every country and culture embrace a common set of “universal” human rights, as expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration’s preamble states:  “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

However, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, despite its enlightened vision of the inherent dignity and fundamental rights of all human beings, is far from being a truly universally accepted creed. Muslims reject it to the extent that it conflicts with sharia law.

While Muslim member states of the United Nations, with the notable exception of Saudi Arabia, signed the Universal Declaration, they disavow its Western, secular-based principles. Islamists refuse to be ruled by any human rights document that deviates from what they regard as the divinely-inspired sharia law.

As the Islamic response to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation foreign ministers adopted The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam in 1990. After reciting a litany of human rights that it pledges to protect, the Cairo Declaration subjects all of its protections to the requirements of sharia law. “The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification to any of the articles of this Declaration.” (Article 25)

By making Islamic law the sole authority for defining the scope of human rights, the Muslims’ Cairo Declaration sanctions limits on freedom of expression, discrimination against non-Muslims and women, and a prohibition against a Muslim’s conversion from Islam. Such restrictions on freedoms directly contradict the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Saudi Arabia and Iran, the leading Muslim majority countries today representing the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam respectively, may be at odds with one another regarding certain sectarian and geopolitical issues. However, they both purport to govern according to sharia law, which is used to justify their religious intolerance, brutal suppression of dissent, misogyny and capital punishment for blasphemy, apostasy, adultery and homosexuality. It is Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabism which has helped fuel the jihadists inside and outside of Saudi Arabia seeking to forcibly purify Islam from the influence of “infidels.” And Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, as it seeks to fulfill the vision of Ayatollah Khomeini, the late founder of the Iranian Islamic revolution, to kill the infidels and ensure “that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world.”

Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has rejected the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which he claims is reflective of a “culture of dominance.” Instead, he said “the answer is return to Islam, and recourse to Divine revelation.” He called for the use of “Islamic sources (the Quran and the Sunnah) in legal matters.” Presumably, what the Supreme Leader described as the “Islamic mode of thinking in society” would explain the Islamic Republic of Iran’s arbitrary imprisonment, torture and the killing of political dissidents and members of minority groups. The “Islamic sources in legal matters” evidently serve as the basis for the regime’s discriminatory laws against women, among other repressive laws.

In 2013, Iran was rewarded by the UN for its vows of global conquest with a seat on the General Assembly’s disarmament committee. Last year Iran was rewarded for its horrendous record of abuses against women with membership on the executive board of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. And as of January 16, 2016, Iran has been welcomed back into the international community with the lifting of sanctions and the unfreezing of assets worth approximately $150 billion.

The Saudi Sheikh Saleh Al-Lehadan, head of the Supreme Judiciary Council, expressed back in 2008 the religious intolerance that lies at the heart of the leading Sunni country’s practice of Islam: “After getting rid of the Jews in our Arab land, we must turn to the Christians. They have three options: either they convert to Islam, or leave, or pay Jizia (protection taxes).” With the help of the Islamic State and al Qaeda that receive funding from Saudi Arabia, this ambition is on its way to being realized, and even expanded to reach throughout the Middle East and beyond.

The same Saudi sheikh and head of the Supreme Judiciary Council also said: “Women who are raped by men are themselves to blame. They provoke men by the way they dress or walk.”

Last year Saudi Arabia was rewarded for its horrendous human rights record with a seat and leadership position on the UN Human Rights Council.

Coddling the leading jihad exporting countries and pretending that sharia law can ever be reconciled with so-called “universal” human rights values will render all plans of action to prevent “violent extremism” an utter failure.

Planned UN ‘hub’ in Washington aims to influence US counterterrorism strategy

A view of the entrance to Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland, headquarters of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). (Credit: UN)

A view of the entrance to Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland, headquarters of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). (Credit: UN)

Fox News, by George Russell, Nov. 19, 2015:

EXCLUSIVE:  The chief United Nations human rights agency, with the Obama administration’s apparent blessing, is creating a new “regional hub” for itself in Washington, to use as a center for organizing against the death penalty, among other things, and for affecting the legal frameworks, policies, and strategies of American counterterrorism.

In a management plan covering its activities through 2017, the agency, known as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, or OHCHR, puts the U.S. in the same category for that counterterrorism “alignment” effort as countries like Iraq and Uganda.

The fast-tracked human rights “hub” also has a number of more nebulous “thematic” objectives for the U.S., which include, according to an OHCHR information document, “the establishment of national participatory bodies for reporting and implementing recommendations of human rights mechanisms” and the aim of “widening the democratic space” with the aid of undefined “National Human Rights Institutions.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE INFORMATION DOCUMENT

It may also involve, as OHCHR notes in its management plan, “increasing advocacy for ratification of human rights treaties and withdrawal of treaty reservations” — meaning exceptional carve-outs that nations — including those like the U.S., with a federal division of power — can make to limit their acceptance of international agreements.

In the case of the death penalty, for example, U.S. refusal to join in a U.N- sponsored global moratorium is based on the fact that such criminal justice measures also are the responsibilities of individual states.

Nonetheless, as OHCHR’s management plan notes, “in addition to global efforts to abolish the death penalty by 2017, OHCHR expects to have contributed to a moratorium on the application of the death penalty or pending a moratorium, increased compliance with relevant international human rights obligations in countries such as Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, South Sudan, the United States of America and other countries in Asia and the Americas.”

The OHCHR puts the U.S. in the same category for its counterterrorism “alignment” effort as countries like Iraq and Uganda.

All of those themes, along with OHCHR’s view of itself as  “the principal advocate for human rights within the U.N. system,” seem likely to bring the U.S. into closer proximity to the U.N.’s tangled, proliferating and often sweepingly contradictory notions of international human rights law — and also, perhaps, to the notoriously dictatorship-riddled, 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council.

Among other things, the Council, which has been far more enthusiastic about condemning alleged human rights transgressions in Israel than in any other nation, creates mandates for OHCHR, which also serves as the Council’s bureaucratic support.

The Obama administration reversed the policies of George W. Bush to join the Council in 2009, and served consecutive three-year terms that ended last month, claiming victories during that time in focusing the Council on gay rights and criticism of human rights practices in North Korea and Iran.

While no longer on the Council, the administration now seems comfortable with bringing the U.N.’s human rights approach into closer contact with U.S. legislators, lobbyists, human rights activists and, perhaps most importantly, financial appropriators, before it leaves office at the end of next year.

Indeed, the OHCHR “hub” — which will cover not just the U.S. but “North America and the English-speaking Caribbean” — already has a warm advance welcome from the administration that also seems aimed at letting the new U.N. outpost arrive smoothly under Washington’s political radar.

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