Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Anti-Semitism Update

Jewish leaders are reporting a significant rise in anti-Semitic activity in Canada and Australia (the latter reaching record highs since data began to be compiled in 1945), in addition to the aforementioned spike in Great Britain.

Speaking of Britain, Arab Anglicans are apparently furious that the Anglican Church has decided to enter into a dialogue with the Jewish community. Not Israel, but the Jewish community.
"Senior people of the Church of England informed me that the whole event came to appease Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Israel and the Jewish lobby because of what happened at the Synod of the Church of England regarding the issue of divestment," Bishop Riah [Abu al-Assal of Jerusalem] said. "My personal opinion is that it is not the right time - given the events in Palestine and the Middle East at large."

That nasty Jewish lobby turns its head once more. Is nobody safe?

Meanwhile, via Opinio Juris, UN Watch has released a report on the first three months of the new UN Human Rights Council. Though the council was created, in part, as a reaction to the obsessive anti-Israel fixation possessed by its predecessor, it appears the new one is little better:
The imposition of public scrutiny to the election process led to some improvements: former Commission members Sudan and Zimbabwe did not seek Council membership this year, and Iran was not elected. However, the Council nevertheless remains significantly non-democratic, with a membership that includes such serial human rights abusers as China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Non-democracies control the Council's two largest regional groups, Africa and Asia, which together hold a majority of Council seats. The UN's Islamic group, the Organization of the Islamic Conference ("OIC"), dominates these two groups as well, in addition to holding more than one-third of Council seats overall and thereby the absolute power to convene the body in special session.

Regrettably, its OIC members have been more interested in using the Council to promote their anti-Israel political agenda than to promote human rights--and to the fledgling body's great detriment, they have been able to do so. They have been aided in this endeavor not only by repressive regimes like China, Cuba, and Russia but also by some of the Council's free, democratic members--Argentina, Brazil, India, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, and Uruguay--from whom one would expect better. Only a minority of eleven Council members--Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom-- have consistently defended the values and principles that the Council is supposed to promote.

The result? In its three sessions to date, the Council has ignored the vast majority of the world's human rights violations. Even the dire situation in Darfur merited only passing mention by a few members, and resulted in no statement or action by the Council against Sudan. Instead, the OIC-dominated Council devoted most of its debate, 100% of its country-specific resolutions, two special sessions, one "fact-finding" mission, and a "high-level commission of inquiry" to one-sided, politically motivated condemnations of Israel. It said nothing when its subsidiary body,the Sub-Commission, broke its own most basic rules in order to one-sidedly condemn Israel as well. It also enacted a resolution on another OIC cause celebre, condemning "incitement to religious hatred" and "defamation of religions"--an attempt to legitimize last year's violent reaction to Danish cartoons and to silence Middle Eastern dissidents by equating democracy with blasphemy.

Ah, progress.

I'm leaving for college tommorow, so most of today and tommorow will be spent packing/traveling. Full time blogging will resume once I settle in Northfield.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i like the approach of whoever wrote the report you quote: the presence of countries like china and iran makes the council un-democratic, full stop. no matter what the regulations of the council are.

unfortunately, this applies to the whole of the UN. the only hope for survival of the UN is to rid itself of such countries