Friday, September 02, 2011

Arlene Kushner On Durban III Developments

From Arlene Kushner:

September 2, 2011

"UN Issues"

I want to concentrate today on the UN, and the up-coming Durban III.  What's encouraging here is the enormous response against Durban III that is being mounted.  While there is much ugliness in the world, there seems to be far less passivity with regard to it. This is a hopeful sign.


Eye on the UN, the organization headed by Anne Bayefsky, has put out a short new video regarding "Durban III and the Perils of Global Intolerance":  On this same page you can find backgrounders regarding Durban I and II.

See: The United Nations and Durban III


The date for Durban III at the UN is September 22.  At the same time, there will be a counter-conference sponsored by The Hudson Institute -- with which Bayefsky is associated -- and Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust at the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel.

What a line-up of speakers they will have, including: John Bolton, Mike Hukabee, Dore Gold, Ruth Wisse, Wafa Sultan, Khaled Abu Toameh, and Simon Deng.

There will be a live conference webcast and at the durbanwatch site above you can secure information for logging into that.


Perhaps even more important is "We Have a Dream: Global Summit Against Discrimination and Persecution.," sponsored by an international coalition of NGOs.  This will be "a parallel summit to place urgent situations of discrimination and persecution on the international agenda, promote human rights and democracy, and give a voice to the voiceless."

The goal, quite simply, is to focus public attention on the genuine human rights atrocities taking place in the world, as counterpoint to the obscene and libelous UN charge that Israel is the greatest violator of human rights.  At one and the same time it will put the lie to the Durban III charges and, as its PR indicates, "give a voice to the voiceless."  It will call attention to genuine human suffering that is too often ignored. 

The Summit will take place on September 21 and 22 on the UN Plaza across the street from the UN.  And it will feature people such as a survivor of Tiananmen Square and president of Initiatives for China; one of the "lost boys of Sudan," as well as people connected to and fighting against human rights abuses in places such as Vietnam, Cuba, Burma, Rwanda, Sudan and Iran.  There will be, for example, a spokesperson for the Uyghur people, a Chinese ethnic people that endures suffering at the hands of the Chinese government.  

There will be a webcast of these proceedings as well, which you should be able to access at:


Lastly, and very significantly, there is this:

Chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) -- who is a wise and forthright woman, and a great friend of Israel -- on August 30 introduced House Resolution 2829, which is now in committee. It is intended to promote transparency, accountability, and reform within the United Nations system, and would have an effect on how US donations to the UN are directed and when they may be withheld.  Under this bill, the US -- instead of giving across the board funding -- would decide which programs to support. Funds to the ant-Israel Human Rights Council, for example, would stop immediately.

Significantly, the bill proposes immediately cutting America's financial contribution to any program or agency of the UN that supports Palestinian bid for recognition and membership.


The bill currently has 57 co-sponsors.  I ask you most urgently to write to your Congresspersons and encourage them to sign on as co-sponsors, if they have not already done so.  

The US currently provides 22% of the UN's budget ($7.7 billion in 2010!!).  Much of what is funded with this US donation works against US values and goals and is a waste of US tax dollars.  It is on this basis that your Congresspersons should be urged to support House Resolution 2829.  The US can ill-afford to waste money in this fashion.

Other arguments (with a nod to UCI):

- UN agencies are filled with representatives of the most tyrannical nations in the world, some of the worst abusers of human rights.  Yet these nations continue to pass multiple resolutions condemning Israel while ignoring their own inhumanity.

- Financial corruption is rampant and investigation has documented billions of dollars funneled into private accounts of U.N. officials.

- Hamas is not listed as a terrorist entity by the UN. Via a process involving UNRWA, Hamas ends up as a beneficiary of UN largesse.

- The Palestinian refugees have been maintained by UNRWA for more than 60 years.  They languish in deplorable conditions in "refugee camps" where they are indoctrinated in terrorism and hatred of Israel.

Additionally, please! write letters to the editor and op-eds regarding this issue.

Here is a place to make a difference.  Please, don't put this off. 


© Arlene KushnerThis material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.
see my website Arlene From Israel

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Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the only co-sponsors for House Resolution 2829 are Republicans. That no Democrats signed on makes me worry that this will be used as a wedge issue -- always bad for Israel.

Daled Amos said...


Especially when there has been bi-partisan support recently.