Archive for April, 2013

Israeli professor a victim of political correctness — updated

Monday, April 29th, 2013
Scene at Claremont McKenna College, near Los Angeles

Scene at Claremont McKenna College, near Los Angeles

Here is a little story: Claremont McKenna College is a private institution near Los Angeles. On March 4, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) held a “West Bank checkpoint simulation,” for which they had written permission from the Dean of Students, Mary Spellman.

The simulation consisted of blocking the entrance to the college dining hall and rudely demanding that students show their IDs in order to enter. One wonders what went through the mind of the dean — did she see educational value in this activity?

In any event, a student was distressed by the event and called an Israeli Economics professor, Yaron Raviv, who went to the dining hall.

He reported he arrived to find students blocking the entrance, so he asked the dining hall manager to move them away from the door.

Soon after, the verbal altercation took place, as reports indicate [SJP member Najib] Hamideh – upset [that] Raviv aimed to move them – said, “Oh, you are faculty? I will hunt you down!” The professor responded: “What? You will hunt me down? You’re a fucking little cockroach.”

Exactly what was said remains unclear, but campus officials’ probe into the incident – during which nearly a dozen witnesses were interviewed – indicates that’s roughly the exchange between the two.

Raviv told administrators the “hunt you down” comment was particularly offensive because of his Jewish heritage, according to the review. Hamideh, for his part, denies saying it.

Students for Justice in Palestine also filed a bias complaint against the professor, stating “the term ‘cockroach’ must be taken in its specific historical context as hateful, racist, enemy imagery.”

The first thing that I want to say about this is that when I went to college in the early 1960’s, such a demonstration would not have been permitted, because the administrators would quite correctly assume that it would have turned into a brawl. Jewish students would have found it offensive enough to push back physically, right away.

The second thing is that it is interesting how the incident immediately became a contest about who made the most ethnically offensive remark. Is it worse to tell a Jew that you will ‘hunt him down’ or to call a Palestinian a ‘cockroach’? In his defense, Raviv argued that Israelis don’t call Palestinians ‘cockroaches’, and anyway he had no way of knowing Hamideh was Palestinian (he had grown up in the US and had no accent). On the other hand, said Raviv, it was obvious that he was Israeli and likely Jewish.

Everyone involved knew that there is no greater sin in their world than making an ethnic/racial slur. Even a physical threat.

Hamideh filed an ‘informal written grievance’ against Raviv, and the administration performed a ‘review’ of the incident, which involved the dean, the president of the college, etc. I’m sure that quite a bit of very expensive administrative time was consumed.

Note that nobody seems to have objected to the fact that the ‘street theater’ was essentially mendacious, since it portrayed an Israeli ‘checkpoint’ without including the Arab terrorism that makes such checkpoints necessary. There is also the unspoken fact that this kind of ‘theater’ is intended to intimidate the other side. Neither the ‘actors’ nor pro-Israel students will admit it (for different reasons) but the objective is that the ‘audience’ will become afraid of confronting the ‘actors’ in other contexts.

Raviv may or may not have escaped from the confrontation unscathed, at least from the standpoint of disciplinary action. From the college’s review:

The faculty member’s statements to the student were not in compliance with the expectations set forth in the College’s Statement on Professional Ethics, but these statements, when viewed in context, were not sufficiently severe or pervasive as to constitute a violation of the College’s Harassment Policy. The faculty member has acknowledged that his statements were inappropriate and unprofessional, and has apologized for his statements. Any additional personnel-related actions that may be appropriate will be confidentially addressed by the Dean of the Faculty’s Office.

Although Hamideh denied threatening Raviv, another student reported that Hamideh later used the expression again, saying that he would ‘hunt down’ the faculty member. The review of the incident does not mention that any action is contemplated against Hamideh, but it seems to me that he may have committed the crime of “making a criminal threat” (CA Penal Code 422 – 422.4). One hopes that a police report was made.

Raviv gave an interview to the Claremont Independent, which is worth reading. It describes the incident from his point of view, including mentioning that Hamideh said “now I’ve got you” after the professor’s intemperate remark! Compare this to Arab/leftist demonstrations at Israel’s security barrier, where they deliberately try to provoke IDF soldiers.

It also includes some examples of hate mail he received afterwards:

Raviv: So, this is an email, for example, from “Juice2”: “Hitler had the right idea, he was just an underachiever. I thought you might enjoy that since you seem to be such a huge supporter of genocide. Cheers.”

I got several like this: “I am one of your students. What right do you have to call one of my colleagues a ‘cockroach,’ you filthy Israeli cunt? Please, could I ask you to leave the U.S. and return to the land of Zion-Nazis where you can slaughter innocent cockroaches at whim? See you in class you wasted inbred.”

Raviv’s account is apologetic, and he is clearly hurt and worried:

Raviv: I poorly chose my words. I regret using bad language. We should all aspire to higher standards and not chaos. That’s not appropriate, so I’m sorry for that. But we need to understand what provoked this kind of language. What the student did to me, there’s no equivalence. Worst case scenario, I curse at somebody. But he has caused me real damage.  …

[Student newspapers that published his name] really damaged my reputation. I have some Arab students in the class, I have some Palestinian students in the class, and they accused me of being a racist.

This has never happened in the college, this kind of persecution just because of political views. And you try to ask yourself, if I was an Irish-American, would they accuse me of being a racist? Or are they accusing me only because I’m an Israeli-Jew? So now, I ask you, where is the bias-related behavior? If I was an American and I said, “Fucking little cockroach,” would they accuse me of being racist?

Update [30 Apr 1255 PDT]: The Campus Safety Officer, Mario Trinidad, who overheard the conversation “corroborated certain aspects of each individual’s description of this interaction, but did not fully corroborate either individual’s description,” according to Dean Spellman. A March 15 article in a student newspaper includes this quotation from the report:

I arrived at 1738 hours and noticed the performers standing near the doorway of Collins Dinning [sic] … As I walked towards the group a male adult approached me and stated he did not want the demonstrators blocking the entrance to the dining hall,” Trinidad wrote in the incident report. “At this time a white male, a member of the performance group, approached the male adult and asked him for identification and who he was. The male identified himself as a professor and told the white male to ‘fuck off.’ The performer replied[,] ‘[W]hat did you say?’ and followed up by asking, ‘Do you have permission to be on campus?’ The professor quickly flashed his CMC identification card and told the white male that he was a cockroach and to mind his own business. The professor then left the area. The performer was angry but in control of his emotions.

Now compare this to Raviv’s account of the interaction:

The [Campus Safety] officer arrived and he parked his car 30-40 feet south of the entrance in front of Story House. I saw the guy and wanted to go talk to him to explain what was going on. I started to walk toward his direction, and a [student from the demonstration approached me] and told me to my face, “Who are you? Show me your ID! Are you faculty or a visitor? If you are a visitor, you cannot be on campus after 5:00 p.m. Show me your campus pass!” I told him, “I will never show you my ID. It’s not your business who I am. I can be a faculty or a visitor; it’s not your business.” I kept walking toward the officer and this guy is in my face, you know, like overly aggressively. I started to talk with the [Campus Safety] officer and I said, “Listen, this student event has been approved for this demonstration, but they cannot block the entrance, you need to move them 10 feet aside.” To give [the Campus Safety officer] some validity to what I was saying, I pulled out my faculty ID. The [student] who was in my face basically said, “Oh, you are faculty! I will hunt you down!” And I said, “What? You will hunt me down? You’re a fucking, little cockroach.”

So [the student] heard that and said, “Oh! Now I’ve got you!” The moment he said that, I was really concerned—not because of the “cockroach,” I was concerned because of the f-word. I immediately disentangled because I didn’t want there to be a physical [altercation], so I went back to the Pitzer student who had asked for my help. I told him, “Listen, campus safety is here. They will take it from there.” And I left.

Do we have Trinidad’s complete report? Keep in mind that it is in the interest of the college to make this whole thing go away. They would prefer not to discipline Raviv — not that I think he deserves disciplining — and even more, not to have a student arrested for threatening a professor.

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Christians in the crosshairs

Monday, April 29th, 2013
A church burns in Cairo surrounded by angry Muslims, May 2011

A church burns in Cairo surrounded by angry Muslims, May 2011

Yesterday I wrote about the centuries-long project of Islam to dominate the world, and how it has expressed itself in violent struggle. One of the first enemies of Islam, going back to Mohammed’s day, was the Jewish people, and Mohammed slaughtered them mercilessly and forced many to convert to Islam, or to submit to Muslim rule as dhimmis.

But the Jews are small potatoes today, perhaps 14 million souls out of a world population of about 7 billion. True, Israel is a particular problem because of its strategic location, but the general opinion among Muslims seems to be that it is just a matter of time before the battle of Khaybar will be re-fought on a larger scale, and the Jews dispossessed from their toehold in Dar al Islam.

The real obstacle is the Christians, who possess the richest and most powerful nations of the world. Islam is rapidly overrunning post-Christian Europe by demographic warfare and low-level violence, and has struck painfully at the United States, a nation with a Christian majority. But it is fascinating and instructive about the nature of Islam to observe its fanatic intolerance of even the small Christian minority that has managed to persist in Muslim-controlled lands.

Physical facts on the ground are hugely important in a cultural struggle, which is why the rubber hits the road in Israel — on both sides of the Green Line — as a question of who has the right to build, to plant, even to travel, where. So too Islam has always waged a war against the physical manifestation of Christianity, churches, as Raymond Ibrahim explains:

Sharia law is draconian if not hostile to Christian worship. Consider the words of some of Islam’s most authoritative and classic jurists, the same ones revered today by Egypt’s Salafis. According to Ibn Qayyim author of the multivolume Rules for the Dhimmis, it is “obligatory” to destroy or convert into a mosque “every church” both old and new that exists on lands that were taken by Muslims through force, for they “breed corruption.” Even if Muslims are not sure whether one of “these things [churches] is old [pre-conquest] or new, it is better to err on the side of caution, treat it as new, and demolition it.”

Likewise, Ibn Taymiyya confirms that “the ulema of the Muslims from all four schools of law—Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanbali, and others, including al-Thawri, al-Layth, all the way back to the companions and the followers—are all agreed that if the imam destroys every church in lands taken by force, such as Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, Syria … this would not be deemed unjust of him,” adding that, if Christians resist, “they forfeit their covenant, their lives, and their possessions.” Elsewhere he writes, “Wherever Muslims live and have mosques, it is impermissible for any sign of infidelity to be present, churches or otherwise.”

To no one’s surprise, in addition to the “tens of thousands” of churches throughout Muslim lands that have been destroyed since the advent of Islam, the regime in Egypt  — which envisions it as a 7th century Islamic state with F16’s and Abrams tanks — is continuing the tradition:

The story of St. George Coptic Church in Edfu is especially instructive of the plight of churches in Egypt. Built nearly a century ago, during the Christian “Golden Age,” St. George was so dilapidated that the local council and governor approved its renovation and signed off on the design. Soon local Muslims began complaining, making various demands, including that the church be devoid of crosses and bells—as stipulated by the Conditions of Omar—because they were “irritating Muslims and their children.” Leaders later insisted that the very dome of the church be removed. Arguing that removal of the dome would likely collapse the church, the bishop refused. The foreboding cries of “Allahu Akbar!” began; Muslims threatened to raze the church and build a mosque in its place; Copts were “forbidden to leave their homes or buy food until they remove the dome of St. George’s Church”; many starved for weeks.

Then, after Friday prayers on September 30, 2011, some 3,000 Muslims rampaged the church, torched it, and demolished the dome; flames from the wreckage burned nearby Christian homes, which were further ransacked by rioting Muslims. Security, which was present, just “stood there watching,” according to Christian eyewitnesses. Edfu’s Intelligence Unit chief was seen directing the mob destroying the church. Even the governor of Aswan appeared on State TV and “denied any church being torched,” calling it a “guest home.” He even justified the incident by arguing that the church contractor made the building three meters higher than he had permitted: “Copts made a mistake and had to be punished, and Muslims did nothing but set things right, end of story,” he proclaimed on TV.

Now you are probably thinking, “American Christians should be up in arms about this.” Some are, of course, but there is a shocking lack of understanding in other circles. Let’s look at a document published in 2010 by the Presbyterian Church of the USA called “Toward an Understanding of Christian-Muslim Relations“. It begins by decrying “stereotypes” about Islam and Muslims, and then suggests that Islamic beliefs are not responsible for the violence that is endemic in the vicinity of Muslims, “social and economic” factors and outside interventions are:

Sadly, economic, political, and social factors have led toviolent conflicts in many parts of the world in which Muslims live. In a few  countries, radical groups that use violence in the name of Islam are active politically. At the same time, large-scale military interventions (from within or from outside) and other governmental actions often inflame and exacerbate local conflicts. Though the root issues of many conflicts are economic or social rather than religious in nature, religion is often used to express and manipulate emotions and to legitimate a wide variety of political and social agendas.

It is quite a stretch to blame the church-burnings, terrorism against Israel, or for that matter 9/11 on these things!

After a long discussion of theological differences (Christians believe in a Trinity; Muslims do not), the document asserts that both groups share a commitment to ‘justice’:

As part of their lives of faith, both Muslims and Christians are also deeply concerned that the societies in which they live should be just. For Christians, concerns regarding justice are rooted in the teaching and example of Jesus, as well as in the prophetic tradition which clearly shaped his understanding and announcement of the kingdom of God. In the Qur’an, God’s concern for justice as well as compassion is stated repeatedly (cf. Qur’an 7:85, 5:8). Although inspired by different religious traditions, Christians and Muslims share many concerns for social justice. Poverty, homelessness, environmental degradation, and violence in media and society are all problems that Muslims and Christians can address together.

What it fails to note, unfortunately, is that ‘justice’ to a Muslim means ‘conformance to Shari’a’, Islamic law, in which women, Christians and Jews, and ‘polytheists’ like Hindus or Buddhists have an inferior legal (and social) status to Muslim males. This massive equivocation makes nonsense of the suggestion that Christians and Muslims have similar concerns about justice.

In a particularly dishonest paragraph, the document implies that Islam values religious freedom as we understand it:

Human rights and the rights of communities are among the concerns that Christians and Muslims share. In the light of global discussions of such rights, and the difficult situations in many countries, these issues are often sensitive, and entangled with particular historical and political struggles, or culturally specific claims. Christians and Muslims can make an important contribution by “affirming that the principles of human rights and religious freedom are indivisible…. Religious freedom does not only imply freedom of conscience but also the right to live in accord with religious values and the recognition of cultural and religious diversity as basic to human reality.”

Well, sure. Muslims certainly could “make an important contribution” in this area — but they won’t, because the Qur’an calls for apostates from Islam to be killed, and the rights of non-Muslims to be limited.

Another apologetic passage relates to the treatment of women:

Historically and still in our own time, many women face difficult struggles in both traditions. It is important to note, however, that Christians often fault Islam about the treatment of women in ways that demonize Islam[.] A Muslim woman’s covering of her head is assumed to be a sign of oppression, even when the situation of that woman is not known. Western Christian reactions may prevent our recognition of the power women may have in particular Muslim contexts.

There is a lot more to the treatment of women in Muslim societies than head coverings. As mentioned, Shari’a grants women fewer legal rights than men. Some truly barbaric practices common in many (but not all) Muslim cultures, like genital mutilation and honor killings, while not dictated by Islam, are nevertheless condoned by religious authorities. There are Islamic fatwas permitting wife-beating and rape.

Finally, the document admits that there might be some historical bad blood between Christians and Muslims:

In such conversations [between Christians and Muslims], issues of history require attention. Many Muslims link Christianity and Christians with recent experiences of colonial power and control in various parts of the world, and these associations carry echoes of the Crusades for some. On the other hand, Christians often recall specific instances of violence against, or oppression of Christians in parts of the world in which Muslims are in the majority. Such wounds are a living factor in Christian-Muslim relations today.

The Crusades, which were after all a reaction to Islamic imperialism, may not have been nice, but they did happen in the Middle Ages. And Muslims are quick to see colonialism in any behavior that they don’t like, for example, even in the legitimate self-defense of the Jewish state.

But there is no way to deny that Islamic terrorism and aggression right now, today, have increased in proportion to the increase in the power at the disposal of Muslims; and that — as the example of Egypt shows — Christians are in the cross-hairs.

Wake up, people!

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Decentralized Jihad

Sunday, April 28th, 2013


If you gain mastery over them in battle, inflict such a defeat as would terrorize them, so that they would learn a lesson and be warned. — Qur’an 8:57

Allah made the Jews leave their homes by terrorizing them so that you killed some and made many captive. And He made you inherit their lands, their homes, and their wealth. He gave you a country you had not traversed before. — Qur’an 33:26

It’s been said that the Cold War was a conflict of civilizations, between opposing ideological views of the world. But it can also be seen as a simple geopolitical struggle between blocs. From the end of WWII until the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was common to find local disputes turned into proxy wars by the opposing powers. There were also conflicts that were primarily instigated by the powers, as they tried to find an advantage in the struggle to protect or extend their spheres of influence. While there were exceptions, I think it is correct to say that there was a degree of centralized control, or at least strong influence, over much of the mischief in the world, and it was located in Moscow (or, if you prefer, Washington — my point is the same).

Today we are in the midst of a real conflict of civilizations, one which has been under way for much longer than the duration of the Cold War. It has gone up and down in intensity, sometimes remaining on simmer for hundreds of years, sometimes erupting into large-scale conflict, taking the form of traditional war, economic struggle, demographic competition, or all of those.

Unlike the cold war, this war is not directed from the capitals of the great powers. And unlike the cold war, in which ideology was wielded as a tool of the combatants, this war is in essence a war between ideologies. And at least on one side, it has become a truly grass-roots struggle.

Of course I am talking about the religion-ideology of Islam, whose endeavor to overpower the West has been going on for hundreds of years.

And not just the West. Most people are familiar with the rapid Muslim conquest of the Middle East and North Africa, and Islam’s advance into Europe until it was stopped at Tours in 732, but not the conquest of India which primarily took place during the 12th century, with Muslim rule dominating until the 1700’s.  Indonesia, today the most populous Muslim nation in the world probably obtained its Muslim majority around 1600, with Islam gradually driving out minority Christian, Hindu and animist beliefs since then. In Africa, Islam moved southward and inland from the coasts, more or less continuously until the present day, when bloody fighting continues.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that one of the most important ‘commandments’ of Muslim doctrine is to spread Islam throughout the world, by any means necessary. To do Jihad.

The struggle with the West was on hold for several centuries, as the Christian nations of Europe made comparatively rapid scientific, technological and economic progress, in some cases actually turning history (and Islamic doctrine) on its head by colonizing or at least controlling Muslim lands. Militarily, it was no contest, with traditional Muslim fighters on horseback facing machine guns, tanks and air forces.

But something has changed. Europe has to a great extent abandoned its Christian faith, and even seems to have abandoned its desire to reproduce, with birth rates below the replacement level. It has no stomach for warfare, or even to confront small-scale attrition by terrorism and ‘crime’ by Muslim immigrants (whose birthrate is much higher than that of the natives). The question is not ‘will Europe fall?’ but when it will happen.

Why did I mention Christianity? Because when individuals believe that the world ends with their own death, why should they care about the future of their culture as a whole? This is why religious belief is critical to cultural survival. Worse, what replaced Christianity is a secular humanism which is hostile to nationalism or peoplehood. What does a European have to fight for?

Muslims have learned to use modern weapons, and in places where the terrain and home field advantage is favorable enough, have managed to hold off Western armies, if not defeat them. The crown jewel of Western military technology, the nuclear bomb, is now in Muslim hands, although it is yet to be used. And the degree of commitment to Islam and Islamic ideology is growing and deepening among Muslims everywhere, thanks in part to modern technology.

The United States is today the country with the greatest number of Christians in the world (about 246 million), many of whom are more than nominal believers. Its fertility rate hovers around 2.1 children per woman, which is close to the replacement rate for developed nations (by contrast, fertility in the European Union is a shockingly low 1.59). It has (although this is changing) the greatest ability of any nation in the world to deploy military force. With Europe lost, the US is the greatest obstacle to worldwide Islamic hegemony.

And now we have to come to grips with something remarkable: the reaction by the elites in the US to a vicious blow struck at the economic center of American, indeed, Western civilization — a blow struck in the clearest possible way in the name of Islam — has been to pretend that there is no civilizational conflict, to pretend that Islam is not the problem.

No, the problem is described as ‘terrorism’, or as one particular Islamist group or another. Twelve years after 9/11 and a series of murderous attacks on Americans by Muslims in the name of Islam, it is absolutely forbidden to see this as part of a struggle that has been going on since the Seventh Century, a jihad to establish Islamic rule everywhere.

Because we refuse to face this admittedly uncomfortable fact, we don’t understand events like the Boston bombing. We don’t understand that this is not a struggle between the US and a particular group, but a decentralized jihad by Muslims against the West. The Tsarnayevs, the Ft. Hood shooter, the Times Square bomber, the shoe-bomber, the underwear bomber, the Seattle Jewish Federation shooter, etc. are not crazy people, nor simple criminals, nor fighters belonging to a particular terrorist group. They are jihadists — a word Homeland Security employees are forbidden to use — who are following Mohammed’s injunction to “terrorize” the infidels.

They are volunteers in the decentralized conflict of civilizations.

But anyone who says this is accused of bigotry and hatred on the level of the Ku Klux Klan or the Nazi party, by our government, the academic establishment and liberal Christian and Jewish organizations! They are not allowed to speak, because we are supposedly so worried about feeding a (practically nonexistent) ‘backlash’ against Muslims that we are not allowed to talk about the real danger from Islamic jihad.

I hate and reject conspiracy theories. But I can’t understand what is wrong with us.

I haven’t mentioned Israel yet, because Israel and the Jews are only a tiny part — a remnant of themselves, actually — of the world that Islam wants for itself. But today the line of conflict runs exactly through Israel, through Jerusalem in fact. A great deal of the Qur’an deals with Jews, because Jews gave Mohammed a lot of trouble. Today they are again a bone in the throat of Islam, an actual sovereign state in the heart of the land of which Muslims claim exclusive ownership. Does it make sense that our administration would favor weakening Israel rather than supporting her in her struggle?

This isn’t rocket science — just look at history!

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When is enough enough?

Friday, April 26th, 2013
UN diplomat takes break from budget meeting

UN diplomat takes break from budget meeting

With regard to the UN, when is enough enough?

The UN is supposed to promote peace and human rights. But since the Six-Day War, it has systematically abetted the efforts of the Arab nations to destroy the Jewish state.

Most people have heard of resolution 3379, passed in 1975, which equated Zionism with racism (and which was finally repealed in 1991). But look at resolution 3236 (1974) which asserts that the PLO — a terrorist organization which had not even pretended to renounce violence — is the “representative of the Palestinian people,” and which, among other things,

Reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return;

Then there is 3376 (1975) which

2. Expresses its grave concern that no progress has been achieved towards:

(a) The exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights in Palestine, including the right to self-determination without external interference and the right to national independence and sovereignty;

(b) The exercise by Palestinians of their inalienable right to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted;

3. Decides to establish a Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) composed of twenty member States to be appointed by the General Assembly at the current session;

Similar resolutions calling for ‘return’ of ‘refugees’ and Palestinian sovereignty have been passed on an annual basis.

In addition to the CEIRPP, the UN has established several other bodies to prosecute its diplomatic war against the Jewish state. In 1968, UNGA resolution 2443 established the “Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People” (SCIIHRP), and In 1977, resolution 32/40 created yet another UN body dedicated to the Palestinian cause, the Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR).

So what do these agencies do, besides soak up huge amounts of money and scarce parking spaces in New York and Geneva? Here is one explanation (2005):

CEIRPP and SCIIHRP are committees of the General Assembly but it is DPR that does the work. Lodged within the UN Department of Political Affairs, which is headed by an Under Secretary General and two Assistant Secretaries General, the DPR is on the same level as regional bureaus which, in theory, track major developments all over the world. The DPR is equivalent to two regional bureaus for Africa, one for the Americas and Europe, and one for Asia Pacific. One might have difficulty understanding how the DPR merits the same status, staff and budget as the aforementioned regional offices.

The DPR’s website explains its functions: The Division provides support and services to CEIRPP, planning and organizing its programs, including a round-robin of international conferences such as those discussed below. It maintains relations with a network of “more than 1000 NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) from all regions active on the question of Palestine.” It organizes the annual “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” mourning the UN resolution of November 29, 1947, which called for the Palestinian Mandate to be divided between a Jewish and an Arab state. (At this annual event, Israel is routinely denounced and the Palestinian “right of return” is highlighted as a sacred principle.) The DPR prepares reports and publications “on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian People” and, in cooperation with the UN’s Department of Public Information, promotes their worldwide distribution. The DPR also develops and maintains the Web-based United Nations Information System on “the question of Palestine,” UNISPAL, which, in collaboration with the UN Department of Public Information, sends out anti-Israel press releases, funnels television footage to international broadcasters friendly to the Palestinians and hostile to the Israelis, and circulates news stories favorable to the Palestinians via email to 27,000 subscribers.

In the past three years, the DPR has arranged and staffed 10 international conferences – officially sponsored by CEIRPP – at which “information” about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is disseminated to an audience of diplomats, NGO’s and representatives of other UN agencies. These conferences are sponsored and paid for by the UN. The most recent meeting, held at UNESCO in Paris on July 11-12, 2005, called for a campaign of divestment, boycotts and sanctions against Israel, consciously modeled on the effort to end the system of apartheid in South Africa. The previous session in Geneva on March 8-9, 2005, was devoted to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice denouncing Israel’s security barrier. As might be expected, no one on the program questioned the legality of the ICJ opinion or provided information about revisions in the fence’s route ordered by Israel’s High Court.

It is almost impossible to determine the amount of money that goes into these activities. Ami Isseroff wrote this in 2005:

Together, [DPR, CEIRPP and SCIIHRP] receive an annual budget of about $5.5 Million. In addition, over half a million dollars are spent on “Information Activities on the Question of Palestine,” which has been in the budget of the UN Department of Public Information since 1977, separate from the budget of the DPR. There is also a Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. That function was created in 1993, apparently to torpedo the Oslo accords signed in the same year.  The special rapporteur on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is its only expert mandate with no year of expiry. The post was renewed even after the UN  Human Rights Council was reorganized because of absurdities such as election of Libya as chairperson. However,  it is impossible to trace all the money spent on anti-Israel propaganda, because the funding is hidden in bodies such as the UN Human Rights Council [today called ‘commission’], which spends an inordinate effort on “Palestine” and in UNRWA, which diverts funds that are supposed to be spent on supporting Palestinian refugees.

I presume the amount is much greater today. And what about UNRWA itself, the agency set up to provide ’emergency’ aid for refugees, which has since morphed into a huge enterprise with a budget of $1.2 billion (2011), and whose function is to pay ‘Palestinian refugees’ to have children and to prevent their resettlement anywhere except Israel?

Believe it or not, there’s more: the UN Development Programme provides UN funds and coordinates the delivery of aid from international donors for projects in both the PLO and Hamas-controlled areas.

The mention of the “Special Rapporteur” brings up the most recent outrage of UN anti-Zionism, which is the statement by said official, Richard Falk, who recently published a commentary on the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon, containing such gems as these:

…as long as Tel Aviv [!] has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy. …

Should we not all be meditating on W.H. Auden’s haunting line: “Those to whom evil is done/do evil in return”?

The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world. In some respects, the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks, and these may yet happen, especially if there is no disposition to rethink US relations to others in the world, starting with the Middle East. …

Now at the start of his second presidential term, it seems that Obama has given up altogether, succumbing to the Beltway ethos of Israel First.

Despite multiple strong US objections to Falk, who once displayed an antisemitic cartoon on his website, he remains employed by the UN.

The wasteful and immoral nature of the UN is beyond dispute. It is almost never successful in its intended purpose of resolving disputes or peacekeeping — in Lebanon, UN peacekeepers allowed Hizballah to rearm under their noses, in Africa they committed rapes and in Haiti introduced cholera — and its only benefits are provided by specialized non-political agencies like the World Health Organization or International Telecommunications Union, which could be spun off as independent organizations.

The United States pays about 22% of the UN’s budget, which contribution amounted to almost than $8 billion in 2010. Some of this went to specialized agencies, but most paid for the UN’s bloated — and drunken — bureaucracy and worthless or anti-US and anti-Israel political activity.

Time to end it. If the US stopped paying for it, the UN would collapse of its own weight, and very, very good riddance it would be.

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Take his toys away before someone else does

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

The administration has officially announced that it is possible after all that the Syrian regime could have used chemical weapons against rebels “on a small scale,” but the “chain of custody” isn’t clear, so — get ready — the US is calling for…

A comprehensive UN investigation.

Assad, no doubt, is trembling in his boots.

As Barry Rubin explains, there is little chance of a good outcome in Syria. Assad may hold on for a time, but he will almost certainly be replaced by a regime or — if Syria splits into ethnic enclaves — regimes mostly dominated by radical Sunni Islamists. They will be more ideological and less pragmatic than Assad, and therefore more dangerous.

There is also Hizballah, Iran’s Lebanon-based terrorist proxy, now fighting alongside Assad. If any of these groups get control of Assad’s huge arsenal of chemical weapons — one of the biggest in the world — they are much more likely to use them against Israel or in terrorist operations against Western nations.

With all due respect, we don’t need a UN investigation, which will simply delay action. What has to happen now is that the US, Israel, NATO or some responsible adult must take Assad’s toys away before elements even more barbarous than he is succeed in doing so.

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