Jewish Right To Israel

Jewish Right To Israel
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Liberal Jews Still Cannot Tear Themselves Away From Obama

By actively using our voice and vote in organizations such as the UNHRC and UNESCO, we are better able to support Israel -- and achieve other important goals -- in the international community.
Howard Berman, chairman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee

So just how desperate are liberal Jews to defend Obama?

From May 12:
Berman defends Obama on U.N.
The Jewish chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee urged colleagues to reassess negative impressions of the Obama administration's U.N. outreach.
"I wanted to bring to your attention to two recent hard-fought victories by the United States at these institutions, which highlight how sustained engagement with international organizations by the Obama Administration has reaped important dividends for both the U.S. and Israel," U.S. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) said in a May 11 letter sent to every member of the House. "By actively using our voice and vote in organizations such as the UNHRC and UNESCO, we are better able to support Israel -- and achieve other important goals -- in the international community."
The U.N. Human Rights Council is a body dominated by anti-Israel nations and which devotes the bulk of its attention to Israel. UNESCO is the U.N.'s cultural and scientific arm.
Berman noted the successful U.S.-led effort to keep Iran from assuming a seat on the UNHRC, and a letter from Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman thanking U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for successfully pushing back against anti-Israel resolutions at UNESCO.[Emphasis added]
"The lesson from these critical victories is clear: U.S. engagement works," Berman said. "Without a strong presence at international organizations, we risk leaving our ally Israel to battle alone against countries seeking to de-legitimize the Jewish state."
So the US is responsible for Iran not getting a seat on the UN Human Rights Council--let's add some perspective to that, shall we?

Anne Bayefsky writes:
[Ambassador Susan] Rice was also asked to defend last month’s deal, made with the help of the Obama administration, which saw Iran withdraw its candidacy for the Council in exchange for a seat on the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). With no apparent sign of embarrassment, she responded that Iran had been on the CSW before, so it “was not something new.”
Not an embarrassment, because Iran and women's rights are such a good fit?

We can get a better measure of the cowardice of the US by looking at who did get into the UN Human Rights Council:
On Thursday, the General Assembly elected 14 members to its top human-rights body, the U.N. Human Rights Council. U.N. human-rights policymakers now include Libya, Angola, Malaysia, Qatar, and Uganda. On a secret ballot, a whopping 155 countries, or 80 percent of U.N. members, thought Libya would be a great addition.

Obama’s diplomats, sitting in the General Assembly Hall throughout the election, made no attempt to prevent the farce or even to object. On the contrary, Ambassador Susan Rice left the hall before the results were announced in order to hightail it to the microphone. Attempting to spin what was a foregone conclusion, she refused to divulge those states which the U.S. supported. When pressed, she said only that the Obama administration regretted some states on the ballot, but “I am not going to name names. I don’t think that it’s particularly constructive at this point.”

Not constructive because, Rice suggested, it was no big deal. She described the countries on the Council — which include human-rights experts Saudi Arabia, China, and Cuba in addition to the incoming freshman class — as just “countries whose orientation and perspectives we don’t agree with.” And later on she described the election as one which “yielded an outcome that we think is a good reflection on the potential of the Human Rights Council.” [emphasis added]
One can only hope that the last comment was made tongue-in-cheek, but I have my doubts.

Going back to what Berman said:
By actively using our voice and vote in organizations such as the UNHRC and UNESCO, we are better able to support Israel -- and achieve other important goals -- in the international community...The lesson from these critical victories is clear: U.S. engagement works.
You have got to be kidding.

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