Mr. President, I am speaking to you on behalf of UN Watch.
Standing before you is Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Christian citizen from Nazareth, the city in which Christ was raised and where he proselytized.
Dear Sirs, while I stand before you today, the earth of the Middle East is soaked with the blood of Christians being killed daily.
Do you know that at the start of the 20th century, Christians comprised 20% of the population of the Middle East? Continue reading ‘Christian priest to UN: “Israel only Mideast country not persecuting Christians”’
Neuer: “Like making a pyromaniac into the fire chief”
U.N. representatives for Venezuela, including Foreign Minister
Rafael Ramirez, right, celebrate after being elected to a two year
term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
GENEVA, October 16, 2014 – Despite Venezuela’s record of human rights abuses against judges, students and peaceful protesters, and its backing of Syria’s Assad regime, a majority of EU member states today were among the 181 states that voted Venezuela onto the UN Security Council, drawing the ire of human rights activists.
“It’s an outrage that at least 16 of 28 EU states today empowered and legitimized a repressive government that openly sides with the murderous Syrian regime,” said Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, an independent human rights group which recently brought Venezuelan human rights victims to testify before the world body.
“Electing Venezuela to the UN Security Council is like making a pyromaniac into the fire chief,” said Neuer. Continue reading ‘UN Watch condemns EU majority for backing Venezuela’s Security Council bid’
In an important development, the European Union has stopped participating in the UN Human Rights Council’s agenda item against Israel. This has the Arab and Islamic states up in arms. Below from the recent debate on September 23, 2014, under Agenda Item 7, “The Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.”
The State of Palestine expressed its disappointment at Israel’s decision not to participate in this agenda item of the Council. The occupation and numerous human rights violations by Israel for the last 47 years made Israel the world’s biggest violator of human rights.
United Arab Emirates for the Arab Group expressed extreme discontent about the European Union’s decision to boycott this agenda item.
Iran for the Non-Aligned Movement condemned in the strongest terms the violations of human rights as a result of Israel’s military aggression against Palestine. The Non-Aligned Movement was deeply disappointed by the decision of certain s Continue reading ‘Arab states outraged as EU walks out on anti-Israel UN debate’
Condemnatory Country-Specific Resolutions
The continuing grave deterioration in the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic (A/HRC/27/L.5/Rev.1)
Sponsors: France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UK, USA
Vote result: 32 in favor, 5 against (China, Cuba, Russia), 10 abstentions
Non-Condemnatory Country-Specific Resolutions
Technical assistance and capacity building to further improve human rights in the Sudan (A/HRC/27/L.30/Rev.1)
Sponsors: Ethiopia on behalf of the African Group
Result: Adopted without a vote.
Technical assistance and capacity-building for Yemen in the field of human rights (A/HRC/27/L.9/Rev.1)
Sponsors: Netherlands, Yemen
Result: Adopted without a vote.
Assistance technique et renforcement des capacités en matière des droits de l’homme en République démocratique du Congo (A/HRC/27/L.32)
Sponsors: Ethiopia on behalf of the African group
Result: Adopted without a vote.
Continue reading ‘Resolutions and Voting Results of 27th HRC Session’
The United Nations has airbrushed George Clooney’s wife out of its history books, as a new report by the world body eliminates all mention of its ill-fated appointment of Ms. Amal Alamuddin last month as a member of its commission of inquiry on the Gaza conflict.
The U.N.’s August 11th announcement that the Hollywood star’s then-fiancee would serve on the probe made world headlines. Only hours later, however — possibly due to the immediate controversy that erupted over the the inquiry’s chair, William Schabas — Alamuddin abruptly withdrew.
UN Watch was the first to question the impartiality of Schabas due to his many prior statements calling to indict Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for alleged war crimes.
Alamuddin’s withdrawal was a significant embarrassment for the UN, which quickly replaced her with another woman, as the Palestinian ambassador said would happen.
In a new UN report summarizing the history of the probe, Alamuddin’s appointment and withdrawal are completely absent:
On 11 and 25 August 2014, the President of the Human Rights Council appointed William Schabas (Canada) as Chair, Doudou Diène (Senegal) and Mary McGowan Davis (United States of America) to serve as members on the Commission of Inquiry.
An extraordinary event took place at the Human Rights Council on September 16, when the Palestinian representative took the floor to attack countries for attacking Israel.
The incident took place while the HRC was discussing human rights situations around the world, under Agenda Item 4.
What angered the Palestinians is that European and other Western countries — such as Denmark, Italy, Spain, Germany and Japan — decided to raise their criticisms of Israel under the normal agenda item for criticizing countries, rather than under Agenda Item 7, which is the council’s special agenda item targeting Israel, entitled “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.”
Israel is the only country singled out by a special agenda item. Not even Syria, Sudan or North Korea have their own agenda item. Under that biased framework, Israel is attacked by venomous accusations, and targeted under more than half of the HRC’s country resolutions. Even UN chief Ban Ki-moon has condemned the institution of this agenda item.
In the past year, the EU has refused to take the floor under Agenda Item 7, denying it legitimacy. Instead, they speak about Israel, when they feel the need, under Item 4. Gradually, Item 7 threatens to become a dead letter.
This triggered an angry response from the Palestinian representative who criticized these democracies — and also challenged Israel’s right to self-defense against Hamas terrorism. Of course, the Palestinians did not object to Iran criticizing Israel under item 4, or other authoritarian countries who are willing to do so at every opportunity.
Continue reading ‘True story: Palestinian UN rep criticized states for criticizing Israel’
Irina Dovgan, a Ukrainian woman who recently made international headlines after she was publicly abused by Russian-backed militants in eastern Ukraine, testified today before the UN Human Rights Council.
Invited by UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group accredited with the United Nations, Ms. Dovgan testified before the world forum about the arbitrary arrest, illegal detention, torture and public humiliation she suffered.
She discussed the situation of human rights in eastern Ukraine, one week before the council will hear a new report and debate the subject.
Continue reading ‘“I was tortured by Russian-sponsored militants,” Ukrainian woman tells UN’
Although William Schabas has mocked calls by eminent jurists for him to step down from the UN’s Gaza inquiry on account of bias — refusing to provide any legal response, instead telling an Arab newspaper that “even if Spider-Man were appointed to head the commission they would attack him — when he himself was once in the dock, Schabas tried to evade conviction by accusing all members of the tribunal with bias.
In 1974, when Schabas was a Ph.D. student in history at the University of Toronto, and a leader in the radical SDS group, he was charged and convicted with violating human rights and freedoms by physically obstructing a visiting Harvard professor from speaking on campus.
Schabas was found guilty on four charges and suspended from the university for four years, later reduced to two.
Interviewed about the episode in 2003, Schabas was “unrepentant about the incident,” reported Toronto Star literary critic Philip Marchand (“Monsters deserve to have their say, too,” Toronto Star, Feb. 1, 2003.)
“Human rights takes the view that speech that promotes hate should be prohibited by law,” said Schabas. “My view hasn’t changed one iota on that.”
Schabas’ actions marked a turning point in Canadian academic culture, according to Marchand, setting a negative precedent for “political correctness and ideological bullying,” and putting an end to “a genuinely adventurous spirit on university campuses.” The episode paved the way to “a pervasive culture of belligerent complaint allied to whining self-righteousness.”
Continue reading ‘When William Schabas was convicted in 1974, he tried to disqualify the judges for bias’
In his maiden speech to the Human Rights Council, the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein mentioned several human rights situations, with varying degrees of emergency, ranging from Syria and Iraq to Greece, Australia and Cyprus.
The references to Iraq and Syria were extensive. The reference to Russia was only in passing, about their role “to protect civilians” in relation to the conflict in Ukraine that has already left 3000 people dead. On Greece, the new High Commissioner was concerned “by the shooting of Bangladeshi strawberry pickers in Greece after they had asked for months of back pay, and the acquittal of several of the farmers involved.” Continue reading ‘Why it matters when UN rights chief fails to call out worst abusers’
Inaugural speech by Jordanian Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, the new U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, before the U.N. Human Rights Council, September 8, 2014
Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Human Rights Council, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Mr. President, I thank you for your warm welcome for which I am truly grateful. Twenty years ago, I was exposed to a cruel, pointless, war. I was serving with the UN Protection Force in the former Yugoslavia, and learnt then a number of simple lessons. Violence at the extreme is so callous, so sickening and beyond the absurd, the human mind can barely edit into comprehensible thoughts what it sees. No war is worse than another in this regard; all wars, big and small, reveal factories spewing the same wickedness. And yet, astonishingly, the authors of the crimes themselves, and their supporting communities, will always believe their actions were somehow necessary, even if they knew they were also wrong. Indeed, every individual, political party, association, ethnic, sectarian, or national group, or government discriminating and inflicting violence on others, believes that when doing so they are excused, or absolved, by circumstance or history. Continue reading ‘Jordanian Prince Zeid’s inaugural speech as the UN’s new High Commissioner for Human Rights’
The UN Human Rights Council has appointed the three Commissioners for the CoI on Gaza. Yet, a similar one established on Eritrea a month before is stalled for at least six more months.
At a July 23 special session on Gaza–its seventh against the Jewish state, more than any other country in the world–it was decided to establish “an independent, international commission of inquiry … to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014.”
On August 11, the three Commissioners were named, and after one declined, a third one was appointed on August 25.
Yet, a similar Commission of Inquiry, established a month before on June 23, seems to have dropped as a UN priority. It focuses on Eritrea, “one of the most closed countries in the world,” with a mandate “to investigate all alleged violations of human rights.”
The Commissioners have yet to be named. In addition, the President of the Human Rights Council revealed in a meeting with NGOs yesterday, that in his meetings with UN officials from the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) as well as its ACABQ (Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions), the budget has still not been approved. This will happen around October 2014 with the CoI to begin its work in January 2015.
The UN Human Rights Council has again showed how Israel-bashing is on top of its priorities, and overrides all other issues. It is another example of the well-known fact that resolutions against Israel serve to keep dictatorial regimes safe from UN scrutiny. Please explain that to the millions suffering of human rights abuses around the world.
Whatever their differences, the Sunni Islamist terrorists in Iraq and Gaza share a great deal in common: they believe in and perpetrate the killing of civilians in the name of Jihad, they despise the West and its culture of freedom and democracy, and they seek to dominate their subject populations by theocratic, fascist, misogynistic, and homophobic regimes. ISIS has been far more successful than Hamas, but not for the latter’s lack of effort.
At the UN Human Rights Council, however, they are treated very differently. The Islamic terrorists fighting Israel get preferred treatment.
Consider today’s resolution on Iraq in comparison with the council’s recently-adopted resolution on Gaza.
Treatment of Islamic terrorists:
- Today’s UNHRC resolution on Iraq condemned ISIS 10 times.
- The July UNHRC resolution on Gaza mentioned Hamas 0 times.
Treatment of governments responding to Islamic terrorists:
- Today’s UNHRC resolution on Iraq condemned the Baghdad government 0 times — even though Baghdad’s troops dropped barrel bombs on civilians, carried out summary executions of Sunnis, and perpetrated indiscriminate airstrikes on populated areas and other war crimes.
- The UNHRC’s July resolution on Gaza condemned the Israeli government 18 times, even though Jerusalem took unprecedented measures to avoid harming civilians, including warnings with phone calls, text messages, leaflets, and roof knocking; and also aborting aerial strikes seconds before they were to be carried out, due to civilians being present at the site of the target.
Not only did today’s resolution fail to criticize Iraq’s Shiite government in any way, but the UNHRC actually praised the Sunni-killing Baghdad regime’s purported “efforts to foster religious freedom and pluralism.”
Just like , in 2009, the 47-nation council praised Sri Lanka — after it murdered 40,000 Tamils — for “promoting and protecting human rights.”
GENEVA, September 1, 2014 – A 21-year-old Iraqi Christian woman made an impassioned appeal today before a UN meeting on ISIS atrocities, speaking on behalf of the Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch, which spearheaded this month’s campaign by rights activists, MPs and Iraqi minority leaders calling for the emergency session, with a rally, press conference and diplomatic marathon featuring Iraqi Christian and Yazidi leaders. (See Maryam Wahida’s testimony below.)
“Today’s urgent session on the Islamic State’s butchering of Iraq’s Christians, Yazidis and other minorities is long overdue, but it’s better late than never,” said UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer. Continue reading ‘Rights group criticizes UN resolution for giving free pass to Baghdad abuses, sending low-level mission on ISIS’
Left to right: Iraqi Christians Ramzi Wahida and Maryam Wahida, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, Yazidi spokesman Breen Tahseen
Statement by Breen Tahseen, on behalf of Prince Tahseen, Leader of the Yazidi People
GENEVA, Aug. 20 - Today I conducted valuable meetings in Geneva, , on behalf of the Yazidi people, with UN representatives of the United States and the European Union, and with the UN human rights office.
We are grateful for the extensive, in-depth and productive discussions concerning the desperate plight of the Yazidi people.
We reached important consensus about the need for the international community to act. We appreciate their efforts and trust that concrete and effective action will follow.
On behalf of Prince Tahseen and the Yazidi people, we appeal to High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to lead the call for the UN Human Rights Council to hold an emergency session to focus world attention on the desperate plight of the Yazidi people. The outcome of the session should be focused on the following key objectives:
- Release of the approximately 5,000 Yazidi people kidnapped by ISIS.
- Resettlement of Yazidi refugees in Europe, the U.S., Canada, and Australia, with priority to the victims of genocide and their families.
- Creation of a safe zone in Iraq for displaced persons, supervised by the UN and administered by Christians and Yazidis.
- Compensation to victims for material and moral damages, and an allocation to them under the Iraqi budget.
We request that negotiations by the international community with Iraq should also include consultation with the Yazidi people.
Finally, we wish to express our gratitude to the human rights group UN Watch for successfully organizing my visit to Geneva, along with an inspiring solidarity rally, UN press conference and diplomatic meetings.
Hillel Neuer, Executive Director, UN Watch
Pierre Weiss, Member of Geneva Parliament
Breen Tahseen, son of head of Yazidi community
Ramzi Wahida, member of the Christian Iraqi community
Maryam Wahida, member of the Christian Iraqi community
GENEVA, August 18, 2014 – Breen Tahseen (photo above), an Iraqi diplomat whose father, Prince Tahseen Saeed Bek, is the leader of the Yazidi people, will join together with leaders from the Iraqi Christian community at a rally tomorrow in Geneva calling for the UN Human Rights Council to meet urgently on the destruction of minorities in Iraq.
Organized by the Geneva-based non-governmental human rights group UN Watch, the rally will call on UN rights chief Navi Pillay to take action to convene an urgent session of the 47-nation council on the ISIS atrocities in Iraq against minorities, echoing a recent appeal by more than 20 MPs and human rights activists.
UN Watch has also arranged for the Yazidi and Christian leaders to meet with key diplomatic figures in the UNHRC system.
Diplomats in Geneva have quietly discussed a special session, with the Vatican also pressing for action, but some prefer waiting several weeks until the regular session opens in the second week of September.
What: Demonstration in support of Christians and Yazidis in Iraq
When: Tuesday, August 19, 2014, at 1:00 pm
Where: Place des Nations, in front of the UN European headquarters in Geneva
With so many worldwide seeking to justify Hamas aggression, the following Israeli response to the myth of the “siege” in Gaza is a must-read.
The Myth of an Israeli Siege on Gaza
There is no Israeli “siege” on the Gaza Strip. First of all, Gaza shares borders not only with Israel, but with Egypt as well. There is a 13 kilometer (8 mile) frontier between Gaza and Egypt. That country, and not Israel, controls the Rafah crossing into Gaza which has been used primarily by people travelling to and from Egypt, and from there to the rest of the world.
Most importantly, for the past four years all goods are allowed to enter Gaza from Israel, except for weapons and a short list of dual-use items which can be exploited by terrorists. The ban on weapons and the restrictions on dual-use items stem from the fact that since 2007, Gaza has been ruled by a terrorist organization, namely Hamas, whose declared aim is the destruction of Israel. They are in place solely to protect Israel’s citizens from Hamas’ ongoing terrorist attacks. Continue reading ‘“End the siege in Gaza!” – But there is no siege’
AL JAZEERA HOST (Adrian Finighan): Some findings in his report, Richard Goldstone said that new information showed that Israel did not deliberately target civilians. Let’s bring in our guests today: from Ramallah we’re joined by Diana Buttu, former Palestinian peace negotiator and human rights lawyer. In Geneva we have Hillel Neuer, Executive Director at UN Watch and an international lawyer. And also from Ramallah we’re joined by Bill van Esveld, the Israel and Palestine researcher at Human Rights Watch. Bill, we’ll start with you first. As far as Human Rights Watch is concerned, could war crimes have been committed by either side in this current conflict? Continue reading ‘Transcript of Neuer-Buttu Al Jazeera Debate’
This may go down as one of the all-time worst TV interviews by a UN figure. Asked by Israeli TV’s Channel 2 why he called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu his “favorite” to indict in the International Criminal Court — instead of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad or Hamas leader Khaled Mashal — Schabas explained that he merely “echoed” the Goldstone Report. Except that Netanyahu wasn’t in power then — and, in fact, isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Goldstone Report. Schabas fumbled for a defense, and miserably failed.
There are other doozies: Continue reading ‘UN’s Schabas digs deeper hole, won’t say if he’ll investigate Hamas or if it’s a terror group’
Aug. 12 Update: Clooney fiancee pulls out
of Gaza probe after protests over its bias
Click here to see new Schabas TV interview
justifying his call to indict Netanyahu
GENEVA, Aug. 11 — A Geneva-based human rights group called on William Schabas to recuse himself from the UN’s new Gaza inquiry, saying that he is legally disqualified by prior statements expressing his wish to see Prime Minister Netanyahu and former President Shimon Peres indicted before the International Criminal Court.
“Under international law, William Schabas is obliged to recuse himself because his repeated calls to indict Israeli leaders obviously gives rise to actual bias or the appearance thereof,” said Hillel Neuer, an international lawyer and executive director of UN Watch, accredited to the United Nations as a non-governmental organization mandated to monitor the world’s body’s adherence to the UN Charter.
“You can’t spend several years calling for the prosecution of someone, and then suddenly act as his judge,” said Neuer. “It’s absurd — and a violation of the minimal rules of due process applicable to UN fact-finding missions.”
Egg on its face: Clooney fiancee contradicts UN story, denies being on probe
Contradicting the announcement of UN rights chief Navi Pillay’s office, Hollywood star George Clooney’s fiancee Amal Alamuddin denied ever accepting to be on the inquiry. UN Watch urged Pillay to explain the unprecedented situation, an embarrassment that has never happened before on any UNHRC inquiry. Continue reading ‘NGO: William Schabas must recuse himself from UN Gaza inquiry’
MPs and Human Rights Activists Urge UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to Call Emergency Session for Iraqi Minorities Threatened by ISIS Slaughter
Faced with shocking reports of mass slaughter threatened by the Islamic State in Iraq (ISIS) against numerous minority groups, possibly amounting to genocide, we, an international coalition of parliamentarians, dissidents, and human rights activists, urge you—in the name of humanity—to call for and take immediate action to convene an emergency special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, to protect the right to life of these vulnerable populations who are now in very grave danger. Continue reading ‘Urgent Appeal to UN: Stop Genocide in Iraq’
JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST HAMAS APOLOGISTS:
CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT UN WATCH
Now more than ever, we need to stand with democratic Israel.
The U.N. just launched a one-sided Commission of Inquiry against the Jewish state—another Goldstone Report—that encourages Hamas to continue killing Israelis with deadly rockets and terror tunnels.
But UN Watch is fighting back. During the latest U.N. emergency session, Iran, Syria, and the Palestinians desperately tried to shut us down.
Instead, UN Watch turned the tables on the dictatorships and exposed their hypocrisy in a dramatic confrontation heard around the world.
Let’s stop the U.N.’s anti-Israel bigotry
and support for Hamas terrorism:
JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST HAMAS APOLOGISTS: CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT UN WATCH
JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST HAMAS APOLOGISTS:
CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT UN WATCH
Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary-General’s remarks to International Conference on the Palestinian Economy and Gaza Reconstruction, 02.03.2009
“Construction materials and spare parts are needed to repair damaged water and sanitation systems. There is no concrete or steel to build homes or shelters…”
Secretary-General’s remarks to the Ministerial Meeting of the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, 11.05.2009
“I call on Israel to respond positively to repeated calls to allow glass, cement and building materials into Gaza. ”
http://www.un.org/sg/statements/?nid=3838 Continue reading ‘UN refuses to apologize for advocating cement used for terror tunnels’
Testimony delivered today, 23 July 2014, by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, at the UN Human Rights Council Emergency Session on Gaza
Mr. President, I have just returned here from visiting Israel to tell this assembly, and the world, about the grave situation that I witnessed and experienced.
An entire nation—towns, villages and cities, from the Negev Desert up to the Galilee, from the Judean hills of Jerusalem to the Tel Aviv seashore—has been under brutal and relentless attack, from more than two thousand mortars, rockets and long-range missiles, fired from Gaza toward civilians in every part of the Holy Land.
Continue reading ‘UN Watch testimony at UNHRC urgent session on Gaza’
GENEVA, July 23, 2014 - From its inception in 2006 until and including today’s urgent meeting to condemn Israel, the UN Human Rights Council has held 21 special sessions. Of the 17 sessions that criticize countries, more than 30 percent have been on Israel. They are examined below.
In addition, in the middle of regular sessions, the HRC has three times convened an “Urgent Debate”: the first one against Israel over the flotilla incident of June 2010, for which the council created the entire urgent debate mechanism itself, and in which a fact-finding mission was created that produced a one-sided report whose conclusions were later refuted by the UN Secretary-General’s own Palmer Commission; and two on Syria, in February 2012 and May 2013. No other country has been subjected to an urgent debate. Continue reading ‘Today: 7th UNHRC special session against Israel (N. Korea only had 1…)’
Photo: Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird receiving
UN Watch human rights award, September 2013
BAIRD APPALLED BY REPORTS OF UN AGENCY
HANDING OVER WEAPONS TO HAMAS
July 22, 2014
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement;
“I was appalled to hear reports, one as recent as today, of stockpiles of rockets in a school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza.”
“Even more alarming were reports that in the first case, officials with the United Nations returned these weapons to Hamas, a listed terrorist organization, once Israeli officials discovered their location.
“Canada unequivocally calls on the United Nations to launch an immediate independent investigation to determine the facts surrounding these reports. Canada also calls on the United Nations to ensure that in the second case, no rockets are returned to Hamas. Anything less than an independent investigation would be absolutely unacceptable.
“If proven true, this would fly in the face of all that the United Nations should stand for as an institution committed to the peace and security of its members.”
Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations states that the UN’s purpose is to:
“…maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace.”
Hamas’ Human Shield Tactic as Reported by Foreign Journalists
1. The Gaza correspondent of Canada’s Globe and Mail, Patrick Martin, wrote in his article from 20 July: “The presence of militant fighters in Shejaia became clear Sunday afternoon when, under the cover of a humanitarian truce intended to allow both sides to remove the dead and wounded, several armed Palestinians scurried from the scene.Some bore their weapons openly, slung over their shoulder, but at least two, disguised as women, were seen walking off with weapons partly concealed under their robes. Another had his weapon wrapped in a baby blanket and held on his chest as if it were an infant.”
2. Canadian TV correspondent Janis Mackey Frayer tweeted the following on 20 July:
Continue reading ‘Hamas’ Human Shield Tactic as Reported by Foreign Journalists’
From July 21-25, the UN in Geneva is holding a meeting of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the activities of private military and security companies (PMSCs) This goal of this session, called for by a resolution tabled by Cuba and the African Group, is “to consider the possibility of elaborating an international regulatory framework” for the oversight of private military and security companies. In addition, the agenda also includes another Cuban anti-Western favorite, “the use of mercenaries as a mean of violating human rights.”
During the discussion, the U.S., UK, and EU expressed their opposition to the idea, stating their concern with the lack of effectiveness and appropriateness of an intergovernmental regulatory system for this issue. They were also disappointed with the absence of representation from the business sector at these discussions. The US, though focusing mainly on PSCs rather than on both PSCs and PMCs, gave several other suggestions that they deemed more practical, such as methods for closer scrutiny, oversight, and approval of such companies on a national level and the promotion of appropriate prosecution for those who breach existing laws.
Several others including the African group, South Africa, Pakistan, Cuba, and Senegal argued the opposing view, stating the importance of international governance on this issue. Their reasoning followed that the transnational nature of PMSCs makes that self-regulation and domestic laws alone inefficient as monitors. Additionally, the state of impunity and lack of accountability in which the contractors of PMSCs live make the perpetration of human rights violations all the more possible, speaking again to the need for an internally binding instrument on this issue.