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Friday, April 03, 2009

Is the State Department ashamed?

There are people in Israel who believe that the Obama-Clinton-Rice (Susan) State Department is ashamed of its decision to join the UN 'Human Rights Council.' Just because they ought to be ashamed of it, doesn't mean that we should assume that they are. Please allow me to explain.

What I'm referring to is the headline of this story ("US defends rejoining anti-Israel UN human rights body"). Here's what they mean by it:
The U.S. State Department was forced Wednesday to defend the Obama administration's decision to rejoin the United Nations Human Rights Council. The move was met with criticism from Jewish groups and conservative American leaders, who called for maintaining the Bush-era boycott of what they see as a biased, anti-Israel body.

At a press conference on Wednesday, State Department Deputy Spokesman Gordon Duguid explained that the U.S. will be "going into the Human Rights Council... with no illusions about its past practice, with no illusions about some of the flaws that were there. But our intent is to work to improve the council and to work to help that council improve the status of human rights around the world."
I'm not happy with that headline because it pulls the wool over our eyes about the Obama administration's real intentions. The State Department was not 'forced to defend' anything. They are simply trying to explain what anyone who knows anything about the Council would define as an outrageous decision.

Two of the biggest experts on the workings of the 'Human Rights Council' weighed in on Thursday about the American decision to rejoin it. They are Claudia Rosett and Anne Bayefsky. Here's Rosett.
In a teleconference press briefing on Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said that, while the Council's trajectory has been "disturbing," the U.S. aim is to "stand up and lead." The aim now is to work "aggressively" from "within" to make the Council "a more effective body" and "a key forum for advancing human rights."

Given the Council's rotten record and structural flaws, that's an agenda akin to headquartering Alcoholics Anonymous on a bar stool in a busy saloon. Like most U.N. bodies, the Human Rights Council allocates membership seats not on the basis of merit (such as democratic credentials) but on the basis of regional blocs. Western states currently get seven of the 47 seats, while African and Asian states between them get a controlling majority of 26.
By the way, Israel, which is not part of any of the UN's 'regional' groupings (the Arabs have blocked our entry into Asia and the Europeans aren't going to add another country to Europe to make up for it), is the only country in the United Nations that is not eligible for membership on the 'Human Rights Council.'

Bayefsky, who may have spent more time observing the Council's 'deliberations' than any other American, is even more blunt in her criticism:
This is a surrender of American values unlike any other. The spectacle of this particular president legitimizing a lethal weapon for the defeat of human rights will haunt him until the end of his term.
Indeed. Why would a minority President and a female minority UN ambassador want to join a body like the 'Human Rights Council'? The answer is in a post that Melanie Phillips wrote earlier this week in which she quotes none other than the UN ambassador whose trademark was refusing to join the 'Human Rights Council': John Bolton.
As London locks down in feverish anticipation of the arrival of The One, Commentary publishes an important essay by John Bolton on an academic paper articulating what he correctly perceives to be the underlying rationale for Obama’s foreign policy – nothing less than the ending of American sovereignty.

The progressive classes in Britain and Europe have signed up to this idea for years. Dubbed ‘transnational progressivism’, it is based on the belief that the nation state is in and of itself the cause of all the ills of the world, from prejudice to war. Nations cause nationalism; nationalism causes conflict; abolish nations and you abolish conflict and usher in the brotherhood of man. War is replaced by diplomacy, and transnational institutions and values trump national ones. It’s the rationale behind the European Union; it accounts for the near religious veneration of the UN as the supreme global arbiter of international legitimacy and ethics; it explains the enthusiasm for supra-national institutions such as the International Criminal Court, the obeisance to ‘international law’ and the supremacy of ‘universal’ human rights law.
What Israelis may not understand - and why that headline bothers me so much - is that the Obama administration feels no need to defend its decision to join the 'Human Rights Council.' Yes, they feel they have to explain it to the American people, or they may be stuck with a Republican Congress two years from now. But that's not because they are ashamed that the Council has become an anti-Israel forum like no other. It's not because they're ashamed that the Council has provided cover for the World's worst human rights abusers. The decision to join the Council is part of a pernicious program that's aimed at 'universal sovereignty' to which - for example - the notion of a Jewish state is anathema. The Obama administration and the State Department don't feel any need to defend their attempt to move the US into giving up its sovereignty. They're explaining the program - or at least as much of it as they believe the proletariat (yes, I chose that word intentionally) is capable of understanding.

Phillips goes on to explain what else Obama would throw out the window with the Jewish state: A lot of freedoms that are held dear by many throughout the West.
Unfortunately, this latest formula for Utopia is wholly inimical to democracy, actively undermines or prevents countries from acting in their own national self-interest to defend their own citizens, institutionalises deliberately mediated injustice and even terror through appeasement policies instead of ‘just wars’ against tyranny and aggression, and is a recipe for more conflict rather than less as the people progressively rise up against this erosion of their powers of representative self-government.

A large part of Obama’s appeal to the intelligentsia in Britain and Europe is precisely the understanding that he stands for the repudiation of American exceptionalism and the so-much resented swaggering imposition of American values (aka freedom and democracy) through military might abroad in favour of a Europeanised, multilateral diplomacy-based approach.
We have seen the enemy. If we want to defeat him, we must keep him in focus and not fool ourselves as to his nature. Israelis have to recognize that we are of no concern to this administration. If it succeeds in implementing its program of 'transnational progressivism,' we are on the chopping block. As the Purim story says, "רווח והצלה יעמוד ליהודים ממקום אחר," we must seek our salvation elsewhere and not rely on this administration.

3 Comments:

At 9:51 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

That's also the lesson of Pesach next week. Freedom means not being subject to any authority but G-d. Without Him, it does not exist, period. For those who worship the state, it of little concern. To those who believe the dignity and the freedom of Man come from G-d, it matters a lot. Israel cannot sign onto such a program without ceasing to exist. Jews did not struggle for the rebirth of their nation only to find themselves subjected again to the dictate of others. And yet that is what behind the drive to impose a Palestinian state upon Israel. For Jewish freedom to mean anything, Jews need to say "no" today to those who would tell them to relinquish it just as they told Pharaoh "no" to his efforts to keep them enslaved in Egypt. The US/EU agenda is not being pursued with the welfare of Israel in mind and the adverse international climate is exactly why it is imperative to resist it.

 
At 10:06 AM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

"Ahkahti Avdei D'Achashverosh Ahnan" - "We are still servants to Achashverosh"

 

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