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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Israel may bar Tutu mission to 'investigate' Beit Hanoun

The Jerusalem Post is reporting tonight that Israel is considering denying visas to Desmond Tutu and the 'investigators' who are to accompany him on his mission to 'investigate' the accidental killing of 'civilians' that took place in Beit Hanoun last month. The 'investigation' was ordered by the United Nations' 'Human Rights' Council.

The 'mission' was supposed to start this weekend, but Israel has not yet decided whether or not to grant visas.
"A decision on visas is pending," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said. "[The decision] is not about [Tutu] the person but the process is extremely problematic, because it singles out Israel for special treatment, and uses a human rights agenda to bash Israel."

Israeli government officials said last week that they would not cooperate with the mission, but would not bar entry into the country of Tutu, a longtime critic of Israel. They said that Tutu, who won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his anti-apartheid efforts, was by no means "persona non-grata" in Israel.

Three different officials connected to the talks between the council and Israel said they had yet to receive any indication from Israel that the mission would take place at all.


Diplomatic officials said the council had proven itself to be stridently anti-Israeli. The council passed an eighth resolution criticizing Israel on Friday, this time for failing to act on recommendations the body made in July, urging an end to military operations in the PA. Since it was founded in June, the council has condemned only Israel.

"Even UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has condemned the council for being biased against Israel so we don't need to again voice our dissatisfaction with their completely biased way of presenting issues," an Israeli government official said.

The council noted with regret that Israel has failed to release a group of Palestinian cabinet ministers it arrested earlier this year.

"Violations of the fundamental rights of the Palestinians continue unabated," said Pakistani diplomat Tehmina Janjua on behalf of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, which proposed the resolution. "The Palestinian ministers, officials and civilians have not been set free."
Janjua demanded that UN human rights expert John Dugard be allowed to conduct an "urgent" fact-finding mission in the region, which the council ordered at an emergency session only one month after it was called into existence to replace the discredited Human Rights Commission.

Criticism by the council brings no penalties beyond international attention. Countries, however, lobby hard to avoid having their rights records scrutinized.

Dugard, a former anti-apartheid civil rights lawyer from South Africa, has frequently clashed with Israel, which notes that he has been mandated only with investigating violations by the Israeli side. The United States - which along with Israel is only an observer at the rights body - also has dismissed Dugard's reports as one-sided.

Only Canada voted against Friday's resolution. Cameroon and Japan joined the 10 European members of the council in abstaining. The rest of Africa and Asia, along with all of Latin America, voted in favor.
More proof that the Europeans are a bunch of dhimmis. There's no other explanation for them not voting no.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged the watchdog last month to deal with the Mideast conflict in an impartial manner, and said it was time to focus attention on "graver" crises such as Darfur.

Despite his plea, the council has passed only a watered-down resolution on the western Sudanese region proposed by African countries, which urged all parties to the conflict to end human rights violations.
When will the civilized nations of the world put an end to this?


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