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Obama-backed UN ‘Human Rights’ Council Facilitates U.S.-bashing Meet

There is nothing spontaneous about the violence now erupting in the Muslim world.

by
Anne Bayefsky

Bio

September 13, 2012 - 3:42 pm

While the calamitous consequences of President Obama’s foreign policy are being played out on the Arab street, the Obama-backed UN Human Rights Council is fueling the hatred behind such violence. Today in Geneva during its current session, the council advertised and facilitated a “parallel” event designed to condemn American troops for human rights atrocities.

Legitimization of the Human Rights Council has been a cornerstone of the president’s so-called engagement policy, and his administration is currently seeking a second term as a council member, with elections scheduled for November 12, 2012.  And yet in the council’s bulletin of parallel meetings today was an event organized by two UN-accredited non-governmental organizations, one of which had close ties to the regime of Mouammar Kadhafi. The other is a devotee of Saddam Hussein.

The title of the session was “Roundtable on Human Rights Issues that Require the Council’s Attention: Iraq.” Here’s a sample of what organizers meant by “human rights.” Daniela Valencia: “U.S. troops are perpetrators of rape, torture and abuse.” Karen Parker:  “The U.S. engaged in terrorism. … It terrorized the civilian population.” The third speaker, Christopher Busby, said his research suggested the U.S. dropped “bombs made of uranium in Fallujah,” and finished with “thank goodness the Koran has such enormous power.”

The UN-accredited organizations behind the event included the International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD) and the Union of Arab Jurists. EAFORD, established thirty years ago in Libya, has told UN audiences in the past that “the anthrax letters … were mailed in the United States by a well-known American Zionist.” Speeches at the Human Rights Council from the Union of Arab Jurists include rants about Saddam Hussein as “the legitimate president of Iraq.”

The UN attempts to give itself deniability when it comes to anti-Western and anti-Israeli side-events by claiming in its bulletin that the advertised events do “not imply any opinion or endorsement by the [UN] Secretariat.”  The claim is bogus.

One cannot get into the UN building without a check of credentials and purpose, and subsequently being provided a UN entrance pass.  The room is located on UN premises. It is reserved by UN staff who have vetted the sponsoring organization and the purpose of its proposed event. And after receiving a UN green light, the event is advertised in a UN document, with the UN Human Rights Council’s name across the top.  All involved are fully aware that the point of holding meetings on the side of the council’s session is to influence council participants.

Furthermore, there is a pattern to this madness. Advocates of violence were welcomed into similar events at the last two Human Rights Council sessions.  On March 19, 2012, a parallel event featured Ismail al-Ashqar, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and on June 22, 2012, another featured a representative of one of Hamas’ central operating agencies in the United Kingdom.

There is nothing spontaneous about the violence now erupting in the Muslim world and directed at the United States. Only now murder goes by the name “human rights.” By cultivating the nomenclature and the contrived sense of grievance, the UN Human Rights Council and its supporters make matters inexorably worse.

Anne Bayefsky is director of the Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust at Touro College. She is the author or editor of 12 books and numerous articles in the field of human rights, and a frequent contributor to newspapers in the U.S., Europe, Israel and Canada.
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