According to the Irish Times’ article on the controversial comments recently made by Col. Desmond Travers, the Irish member of the UN’s Goldstone Gaza inquiry, “he implied that British foreign policy interests in the Middle East seemed to be strongly influenced by Jewish lobbyists.”
Only “implied”? Here is the actual quote from Travers’ rabidly anti-Israel interview with Middle East Monitor: “Britain’s foreign policy interests in the Middle East seem to be influenced strongly by Jewish lobbyists.” For some reason, the Irish Times took pains to make Travers sound less strident and more reasonable.
In the same interview, Travers also dismissed British Col. Tim Collins’s BBC-broadcast findings—about weapons hidden in Gaza mosques—as “drivel.” This co-author of the Goldstone Report equally dismissed “all” Israeli photographic evidence of such weapons caches as “spurious in the extreme!”
It is bad enough when yet another of the Goldstone investigators, supposed to be impartial, reveals himself to be irredeemably biased against Israel.
It’s worse when this bias is covered up. Just like its coverage of last summer’s controversy over Obama’s award to Mary Robinson—the former Irish president and UN organizer of the 2001 Durban hatefest—the Irish Times once again rallies in knee-jerk fashion to the side of any Irish citizen applying an imbalanced approach to the Israeli-Arab conflict.
As reported by the JTA, Annette Lantos, widow of the late congressman Tom Lantos, is “deeply disappointed by the decision to honor former [U.N. Human Rights High] Commissioner [Mary] Robinson” but also feels that “this provides a good opportunity to reflect on the failures of Durban.” Her full statement:
Continue reading ‘Lantos widow on Robinson medal and Durban lessons’
Following is an open letter by UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer to Mrs. Mary Robinson, former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and Secretary-General of the 2001 Durban conference, who is set to receive the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom this week.
Letter to Mrs. Mary Robinson
Dear Mrs. Robinson,
Recent statements by you and your defenders, amid the growing opposition to your receipt this Wednesday of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, require a response.
According to the organization Physicians for Human Rights — for whom you recently worked on a report together with one of its board members, Richard Goldstone — you are being “vilified” by “false accusations.”
In your own words, “certain elements” of the Jewish community — those opposed to your selection — are subjecting you to “bullying.”
Mrs. Robinson, let’s be honest: no one has bullied you, and you are not being vilified by false accusations. Continue reading ‘What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson?’
Jean Ziegler, Qadaffi’s man at the U.N. Human Rights Council — and a legacy hire of Mary Robinson — was reelected this week as Vice-Chair of its Advisory Committee. Ziegler is a former Socialist politician in Switzerland, the author of numerous books accusing America, capitalism, and the West of being responsible for the world’s ills, and a long-time supporter of dictators such as Fidel Castro, Robert Mugabe, and Moammar Qaddafi. Continue reading ‘Qaddafi’s man at the U.N., Mary Robinson’s legacy-hire, reelected as VP’
Amid the controversy surrounding Mary Robinson’s selection for a presidential award, our previous posting documented her 1997-2002 record as UN rights chief as monitored over time by UN Watch.
The evidence is clear. As described by the late Tom Lantos, throughout the lead-up to the 2001 Durban conference Mary Robinson was part of the problem, not the solution. At preparatory sessions in Tehran and Geneva she consistently justified and encouraged a selective focus on Israel. While she did make statements against anti-Semitic manifestations at the conference itself, these were too little and too late. Robinson may not have been the chief culprit of the Durban debacle, but she is its preeminent symbol.
The problem was not just Durban. UN Watch interacted with Robinson when she was U.N. rights chief in Geneva from 1997 to 2002 and closely monitored her tenure. Though she did speak out aptly in various instances, Robinson consistently displayed one-sided criticism of Israel matched with indifference to Palestinian terrorism.
The U.S. government rightly stood up for principle in April when it opposed any reaffirmation of the flawed 2001 Durban declaration. Whatever her other accomplishments, Robinson’s actions in the Durban process and the bias she displayed throughout her tenure as UN human rights chief were not worthy of this award.
Mary Robinson and the Mark of Durban
Should Mary Robinson be awarded the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom for being an “agent of change”?
In March 2004, we noted that, “Whatever her accomplishments, Mary Robinson’s legacy will be forever entwined with Durban’s racism-turned-racist conference that disgraced the UN.”
Continue reading ‘Something About Mary: Durban, and 10 More’
With hearings to be held in Geneva next week by the UN Human Rights Council inquiry into the Israel-Gaza war, headed by Judge Richard Goldstone, it is interesting to recall that former UN rights chief Mary Robinson, as well as former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, were among the many international personalities that refused U.N. offers to head the mission. Continue reading ‘Why Mary Robinson rejected the mandate accepted by Judge Goldstone’