Nikki Haley withdraws US from U.N. Human Rights Council. Blasts it as ‘cesspool of political bias’ against Israel

FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2018, file photo, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters. Haley says the U.S. is withdrawing from UN Human Rights Council, calling it 'not worthy of its name.' (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
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The Washington Times  June 19, 2018

The Trump administration has pulled the U.S. out of the United Nations‘ main human rights body because of long-standing complaints that the panel is biased against Israel, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Tuesday.

“For too long, [the U.N. Human Rights Council] has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias,” Mrs. Haley said. “Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded.”

The U.S. made the move a day after U.N. officials sharply criticized President Trump’s handling of refugee families at the Mexico border.

The withdrawal is unprecedented in the council’s 12-year history. Libya was ousted seven years ago, but no other country has ever departed voluntarily. U.N. observers said they had seen it coming since the Trump administration’s start.

Last year, during her first address to the council, Mrs. Haley threatened the withdrawal. She cited Washington’s long-standing complaints that the 47-member Geneva-based council was biased against the Jewish state and warned members that the U.S. would leave if the panel failed to end its systematic scrutiny of alleged Israeli rights abuses against Palestinians.

“It is essential that this council address its chronic anti-Israel bias if it is to have any credibility,” she said

She noted that resolutions had been passed against Israel but none had been considered for Venezuela, where protesters were being killed amid political turmoil.

During a joint appearance with Mr. Pompeo on Tuesday, Ms. Haley said the United States “would be happy to rejoin” if the council undergoes reform.

Mr. Pompeo ratcheted up the rhetoric by indicating that such a development could be far down the road.

“We have no doubt there was once a noble vision for this council,” he said. “But today we need to be honest. The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights. Worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy, with many of the world’s worst human rights abuses going ignored and some of the world’s most serious offenders sitting on the council itself.”

Last week, reports speculated that the failure of frenzied behind-the-scenes negotiations to reform the body would trigger the Trump administration’s move. A major point of contention: Washington’s objection to Israel being the only country in the world whose rights record arose every council session as “Item 7” on the agenda.

Minutes after Tuesday’s announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his thanks to the U.S.: “Israel thanks President Trump, Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Haley for their courageous decision against the hypocrisy and the lies of the so-called UN Human Rights Council.”

Some observers noted that the move reinforces the perception that Mr. Trump is seeking to advance Israel’s agenda on the world stage ahead of a long-awaited White House peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is visiting the Middle East this week as the White House prepares to announce its plan.

Human rights advocates denounced the administration’s action.

“The Trump administration’s withdrawal is a sad reflection of its one-dimensional human rights policy,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “Defending Israeli abuses from criticism takes precedence above all else.”

Democrats on Capitol Hill slammed the administration for stepping back from another international agreement, after withdrawals from the Paris climate accord, the U.N. educational and cultural organization and the Iran nuclear deal.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Christopher A. Coons, Delaware Democrat, said in a statement that the U.N. Human Rights Council is not perfect but the withdrawal sends a clear message that the administration “does not intend to lead the world when it comes to human rights.”

Rep. Nita M. Lowey, New York, called the move “another isolationist maneuver in its foreign policy strategy that is weakening U.S. global leadership.”

But some leading allies, including the United Kingdom, indicted they were firmly on board.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson joined Washington on Monday in criticizing Item 7 and urging the council to reform. Other European nations and Australia have also sided with the Jewish state, noting that countries with worse human rights records, including Syria, were spared such intense scrutiny.

A key question is where a continued U.S. retreat in the U.N. would leave a beleaguered Israel.

The U.N. Human Rights Council was created in 2006 to replace the U.N. Human Rights Commission, which was widely discredited for electing member states with questionable track records on human rights.

The year it was created, the George W. Bush administration decided against seeking membership. The U.S. joined in 2009 under President Obama.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.
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Why the Democrats are turning against Israel

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Redacted from a more inclusive article by Caroline Glick

Originally published at Breitbart.com.

July 9, 2018

Since President Donald Trump entered the White House, hardly a day has gone by without Israel receiving a warning from a Democratic politician or a liberal American Jewish leader that it had better curb its enthusiasm and be reticent in its support for Trump and his policies.

The partisan split is clear. A Pew survey of American support for Israel in January noted a great and growing gap in partisan support for the Jewish state. 79 percent of Republicans support Israel against the Palestinians. Only 27 percent of Democrats do.

The latest warning came this week. Ambassador Dennis Ross, the former U.S. mediator for the peace talks between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), told the Jerusalem Post that Israel needs to watch out.

“Given the strong opposition by Democrats to Trump,” Ross warned, “Israel risks getting caught up in that conflict,” he told the Post.

“There will be a post-Trump U.S. … Israel risks a backlash because the Trump administration has caused such deep alienation among Democrats, so it’s very important that there is outreach by Israel to Democrats.”

Ross also had advice for what Israelis should talk about when they talk to Americans. Israelis, he said, should avoid talking about shared values and visions of the world. Instead, they should focus their discussions with Americans on both sides of the aisle on security issues and regional Middle East topics.

Ross’s warning that Israelis should avoid speaking to Americans about shared values points to the core of Israel’s problem with Democrats — and, increasingly, with the American Jewish community which splits two-to-one in support for Democrats over Republicans.

(Dennis Ross is for Dennis Ross and does not give a damn about Israel. He does and says only what will help his political career. He still has great ambitions to be back calling the shots in the American State Dept. Ross was an anti-Israel force in the Senior Bush and Bill Clinton’s State Department along with other self-hating Jews –  Martin Indyk, Aaron Miller, Richard Haase and of course,  Madeleine Albright. Their  supposed “assistance” all  but brought Israel to its knees with their various “peace plans” that continue to this very day. 

Ross was described as a “Jewish Arabist” in an article in Moment magazine (April 1991) by former Near East Report editor Eric Rozenman.   He wrote that Ross was responsible for shaping the Bush-Baker policy that was “indifferent to what Israel claimed as vital interests and undiplomatically hostile to Israel’s prime minister” and had made it “the least sympathetic American government toward Israel in that country’s 43 years.”

 Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir has said in his dealings with Ross, that Ross was consistently more sympathetic to Arab positions than Israel’s positions. )  Jerome S. Kaufman  

Why the concern for UNRWA?

On Monday, seven former US ambassadors to the UN sent a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisting that the administration restore full funding to UNRWA, the UN agency that funds so-called Palestinian refugees.

Since UNRWA was established in 1949, the US has given nearly $5 billion to the agency tasked with perpetuating refugee status among descendants of Arabs who left Israel in the 1948-1949 pan-Arab invasion.

In January, then-secretary of state Rex Tillerson informed the UN that the US was slashing its assistance to UNRWA by 50%, from $260 million to $130 million. At the time, citing UNRWA’s support for terrorism and economic corruption, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley recommended ending US financial assistance for the agency outright.

Both Israel and the U.S. are states based on ideals and ideas rooted in the Bible. Jewish identity and attachment to the land of Israel, like Jewish survival through two thousand years of exile and homelessness, owe entirely to the faithfulness of Jewish people scattered throughout the world to the laws of Moses and to their national identity as the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This enduring attachment to Jewish law and heritage, and to national identity, is what brought millions of Jews to settle in the land of Israel both before and after the State of Israel was founded 70 years ago.

The Jews who have come to Israel from the four corners of the globe were not entering a foreign land as economic migrants. They were exiles returning home. Israel is not a nation of immigrants so much as a state populated by ingathered Jewish exiles.

The civic religion that emerged in the U.S. was inclusive to those who accepted its basic values and principles. Given that the social compacts of both Israel and the U.S. were forged by settlers informed by the Bible, it is little wonder that the two nations have always had a natural affinity for one another.

Which brings us back to Ross’s warning.

The problem that Israel now faces with the Democrats is that whereas Israelis have by and large remained faithful to their identity — and consequently, their nationalism, or Zionism — Democrats are increasingly becoming post-nationalist.

Consider the situation along Israel’s border with Syria.

For the past two weeks, as the Russian-Syrian-Iranian advance against rebel-held southwestern Syria has proceeded, some 270,000 Syrians have fled their homes in Deraa and Quneitra provinces. While the bulk of the displaced have fled to the Syrian-Jordanian border, several thousand have situated themselves along Syria’s border with Israel.

In Israel, there is all but consensual support for the government’s position, stated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday. Netanyahu said, “Regarding southern Syria, we will continue to defend our borders. We will extend humanitarian assistance to the extent of our abilities. We will not allow entry into our territory.” That is, Israelis are committed to being good neighbors to the Syrians.

Meretz, the Israeli far Left newspaper,  represents only some 4 percent of the electorate, opposes the very notion of Jewish nationalism, or Zionism. It believes that Israel should open its doors – as a Jewish state – to refugees and others, including illegal economic migrants from Africa.

Meretz’s leader, Tamar Zandberg, knows that her party has no significant support domestically. And so she has focused a great deal of effort on building strong ties to Democrats and to progressive, anti-nationalist American Jewish groups to increase her party’s power and leverage in Israel.

The problem is that over the past twenty years or so, the American left has undergone a profound shift in values, from liberal nationalism to radical post-nationalism. This process, facilitated and accelerated during Barack Obama’s presidency, and expressed most emblematically in Democratic support for open borders, has made post-nationalism the sine qua non of the Democrats since Trump’s electoral triumph in 2016.

But the fact is that the Democrats’ shift in values from nationalist to post-nationalist, rather than any action Israel has taken in its domestic or foreign policy, is what has caused the rupture in Israel’s ties to the American left.

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Half of all Americans now live in ‘sanctuaries’ protecting illegal immigrants!

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Study finds great surge in criminal activity in those jurisdictions

By Stephen Dinan 

The Washington Times 

About half of all Americans now live under sanctuary policies that shield illegal immigrants from law enforcement, according to the latest tally of jurisdictions that the Federation for American Immigration Reform is releasing Thursday.

FAIR calculates there were 564 states and municipalities that refuse some level of cooperation with federal immigration authorities as of April 1, up more than 200 since President Trump took office and up more than 500 compared with a decade ago. There were just 40 sanctuaries when President Obama took office.

Entire states such as California, Illinois and New York are now sanctuaries, as well as major cities and counties such as Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and the District of Columbia in the capital region, according to the list.

Combined, the sanctuaries on FAIR’s list cover 49 percent of the country’s population, The Washington Times calculated.

“This is just an astounding and a dramatic surge of sanctuary jurisdictions,” said Bob Dane, executive director at FAIR. “They’ve doubled in just two years, and if you game that out, if the exponential growth continues, it’s not going to be long before it’s accurate to say the U.S. is a sanctuary country.”

While there is no official definition of sanctuaries, FAIR counted any jurisdiction that bans police or other officials from asking about immigration status, forbids communication with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or refuses to hold likely deportees for pickup by ICE.

The organization scoured local government policies, looked at press reports and used ICE’s own set of reports last year listing jurisdictions that refused to honor “detainer” requests to hold illegal immigrants.

FAIR’s numbers are higher than other counts, such as the Ohio Jobs and Justice Political Action Committee, which has been tracking sanctuaries for years, or the ICE detainer list, which was started then quickly discontinued last year.

The surge in sanctuaries began under Mr. Obama, with an average of three sanctuaries per month added during his two terms, according to FAIR statistics. Mr. Trump, meanwhile, is seeing an average of 16 new sanctuaries each month.

California looms large on the list. More than 130 of the sanctuaries are in the state — including more than 80 that are new additions to the list, reflecting the anti-Trump sentiment of the West Coast.

Some jurisdictions embrace the sanctuary label, such as the District of Columbia. Mayor Muriel Bowser says the city is proud of the work it does to shield illegal immigrants.

Others object to the label.

“Fairfax County is not a sanctuary county or sanctuary city,” Virginia’s largest jurisdiction says on its website.

Fairfax says its officials try to comply with federal laws regarding information sharing, so that makes it a “welcoming community” but not a sanctuary.

FAIR says the county is a sanctuary because it tells police not to ask about immigration status even during an arrest. The group says Fairfax also refuses to hold immigrants for pickup by ICE — a courtesy most police give to other police departments, but increasingly refuse to give to federal immigration authorities.

Fairfax officials also bowed to complaints from immigrant rights activists last month and blocked ICE representatives from speaking at a public committee meeting last month where the county’s cooperation limits were being reviewed.

Mr. Dane said that while it’s generally Democratic politicians who have defended sanctuaries, it’s up to Mr. Trump to find a way to stop them.

That means continuing to harangue Congress to pass legislation punishing sanctuaries and sending even more deportation officers into sanctuaries to go after illegal immigrants, Mr. Dane said.

Trump owns this problem. The buck stops on the president’s desk, even though it’s not his fault,” he said.

The House last year passed a bill to crack down on sanctuary cities, but the Senate was unable to clear a Democrat filibuster when the issue came to the upper chamber this year. Just four Democrats joined Republicans in voting to crack down on sanctuaries — leaving them six votes shy of the 60-vote threshold to end the filibuster.

Sanctuary city defenders say communities of immigrants — including those in the U.S. legally — feel more comfortable knowing their local officials refuse to cooperate with the federal government. They say immigrants are less likely to report crimes if they fear they themselves will be turned over for deportation.

In the first months after Mr. Trump took office, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said there was a marked drop in reports of rape or spousal abuse among Hispanics.

As controversial as they are, sanctuary cities have also been remarkably effective in their goal of keeping people out of the hands of ICE.

(Maybe you should check if your area is a sanctuary one?  Is that what you want?  I would think obviously not and you should, right now, lean on politicians to change this se]f- destructive state of affairs.) jsk

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