The Washington Post reports on the latest actions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), a body create as a "reform" for the abysmal UN Commission on Human Rights:
Members of the United Nations' new human rights watchdog panel formally agreed Tuesday to continue their scrutiny of Israel while halting investigations into Cuba and Belarus -- a move that immediately drew fire from Canada and the United States.
The Human Rights Council, formed last year to replace the discredited U.N. Human Rights Commission, passed the compromise package despite objections from Canada over plans to continue singling out Israel for scrutiny.
Well gosh, I'd hate for the most brutal dictatorship in Europe and communist tyranny to distract you from your real work. Carry on--and let the accusations of anti-Semitism roll off your back. They're probably all from Jews anyway.
Still in the Post, there was a very revealing editorial by senior Hamas leader Ahmed Yousef. He makes the case for the US to engage with Hamas. Honestly, it's a position I'm coming around to, for no other reason that I don't see an alternative. But editorials like Yousef's make me want to run away screaming. Here were the most indicative parts:
Some critics raise the red flag of "al-Qaeda" and say that Hamas and parliament are a stalking horse for Salafi jihadists. I defy them to demonstrate one instance in which Hamas's military structure has struck against any force outside the theater of the occupation. The struggle has always been against the Israeli agenda of ethnic cleansing and conquest. Hamas is a movement of Palestinian liberation and nationalism -- Islamist, yes, but in the sea of contending faiths that is the homeland, where is the sin in loving one's creed?
Yet it remains that Hamas has a world in common with Fatah and other parties, and they all share the same goals -- the end of occupation; the release of political prisoners; the right of return for all Palestinians; and freedom to be a nation equal among nations, secure in its own borders and at peace. For more than 60 years, Palestinians have resisted walls and checkpoints intended to divide them. Now they must resist the poisonous inducements to fight one another and resume a unified front against the occupation.
Hamas has never launched a military strike "against any force outside the theater of the occupation"? Are they serious? Yes, actually--because, it bears reminding, they see all of Israel as being an occupation, and all Israelis (indeed, all Jews) as a "force" which constitutes military targets. Ditto for the "60 years" reference. Israel only acquired the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, 40 years ago. But Israel the state was founded about 60 years ago. Yousef can't hide what he won't say directly--his party and his government want to see an end to Israel--all of it. And they consider attacks on anyone, anywhere within Israel's to be legitimate military action (actually, I'll caveat that--does Hamas consider Israeli-Arabs to be legitimate targets, or only Jews?). This is supposed to persuade us to deal? This persuades me of nothing more than of Yousef's inhumanity.
Finally, the BBC, whose coverage is seen by many to be excessively hostile to Israel, came out with a "correction" from one of its reports:
The BBC apologized this week for referring to Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and promised not to repeat "the mistake," following a complaint by four British organizations.
Arab Media Watch, Muslim Public Affairs Committee, Friends of Al-Aksa and the Institute of Islamic Political Thought sent a joint complaint to the BBC after a presenter on its Football Focus program on March 24 mentioned that Jerusalem was Israel's capital and "historic soul."
The BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit posted a response on its Web site: "The reference was a passing one in a context where the focus was on sport, not politics. While recognizing the sensitivity of the issue of the status of Jerusalem, the ECU took the view that the program-makers had taken sufficient action by acknowledging the error and rectifying the Web site.
Israel's capital is, in fact, Jerusalem. There is really no getting around that. It is where the government is seated and where the Knesset is. Some countries refuse to recognize that fact. That's insulting, but it does not change reality. What's most asinine about this whole thing is that the part of Jerusalem in which Israel's capital is, the Western half, is not "occupied" or a product of post-1967 borders. It has been Israeli since the nation was born. There is no reasonable ground for objecting to Israel's capital being placed there, or labeling the spade a spade. That is, unless you think that Israel is not legitimately in control of any of its territory. In this, the BBC and Hamas seem to be of one mind.
As I said, very revealing.