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Posted at 9:20 AM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Time to pull the plug on UN Human Rights Council

By Jennifer Rubin

A friend passes on this e-mail regarding the United Nations Human Rights Council, which is both an oxymoron and a travesty, touting a recent accomplishment of the monitoring organization UN Watch:

I just learned great news: German law professor Christian Tomuschat, the anti-Israel and anti-American official heading the U.N. committee to enforce the Goldstone Report, has resigned. The biased U.N. probe now has no leader, and is in disarray.

This unprecedented resignation follows a global campaign by UN Watch that exposed Professor Tomuschat's egregious bias and breach of his obligation under international law to be objective and impartial:

• UN Watch's team of researchers tracked down and translated Professor Tomuschat's German academic writings. We published a 30-page report revealing how he had frequently compared Israeli actions with the "barbarism" and "inferno" of World War II; how he performed legal work for PLO leader Yasser Arafat; and how he repeatedly accused Israel of "state terrorism." This was reported worldwide.

• When Tomuschat delivered his report to the U.N. Human Rights Council in September -- calling for the investigation of Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni for alleged war crimes in Gaza -- UN Watch was the only group to take the floor and directly challenge Tomuschat for his bias, stirring reactions from Tomuschat as well as the council president himself.

• When Tomuschat then appeared at a U.N. press conference, journalists followed up on UN Watch's campaign and challenged Tomuschat to defend himself.Finally, thousands of UN Watch supporters worldwide have been taking action on our website every day to demand from the U.N. that Tomuschat resign. In the end, he gave in.

It's one more UN Watch victory for the genuine principles of human rights, international law, and Middle East peace and security.

Now, here's a meaningful move the House Republican leadership could make in the foreign policy realm: Urge the administration to pull out of the UNHRC and prevent U.S. taxpayer dollars from being used to support it. Such as shift has been on the radar screen of Republican foreign policy gurus like Rep. Peter King, but alas the House Democrats have been unwilling to challenge the president on this issue. Now, however, we have nearly two years of experience. Would House and Senate Democrats actually vote against a measure to pull the plug on this consistently anti-Israel outfit? We should find out.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 2, 2010; 9:20 AM ET
Categories:  foreign policy  
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There is a campaign of disruption taking place against your blog.

It is important to realize that this liberal cabal may be paid bloggers attempting to disrupt the discussions which start on your blog.

Please note - much of the discussion so far has been bellicose liberals coming to battle. When they can't find a Conservative to fight with, they stage fights amongst themselves in order to make the blog appear to lack serious discussion.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 2, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

You Zionists reflexively dump on the Goldstone Report, as if it were axiomatic that it's full of lies. I've read very little to suggest that it's an unjust indictment.

I'd certainly rather have lunch with Goldstone than with Dershowitz.

Posted by: GrumpyOldMan | December 2, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

It's long been time for the US to pull out of the UN entirely and let it collapse without its American funding and political clout. The UN does much more in the way of legitimizing the oppressive govts of the world than it does in serving American interests or promoting liberty and freedom.

A League Of Democracies of sorts would be a much better venue for the US to promote its agenda and aid those in the rest of the world who must now live under the thumb of oppressive and murderous dictatorships and the like. For all the genuine humanitarian programs that the UN provides, the LOD can provide instead. And probably better.

Posted by: RitchieEmmons | December 2, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I've been saying to friends for years that we should pull out of the UN entirely and ship it off to Geneva or wherever they want. It has long outlived its usefulness.

The UNHRC is a joke and congrats to UN Watch for all their great work.

Posted by: Grantman | December 2, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Grumpy, just curious. How do you define "Zionists" and/or "Zionism?" I'd be curious to read your answer. It's an honest question.


Posted by: Grantman | December 2, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Ding! First post involving Israel today, two more to go.

Jennifer, you don't have to answer the question I posed yesterday about whether you hold dual Israeli citizenship like Krauthammer.

I've got my answer.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 2, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

It's like the good old days when Contentions took comments! Grumpy Old Man is here! Lester, are you out there?

RainForest Rising: could you explain how you distinguish between a campaign of disruption and normal leftist behavior?

Posted by: adam62 | December 2, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I personally enjoy reading the screeds, poison pen letters, and usually idiotically vicious anti Jewish commentary that the stupid Jew haters produce. Some of them accuse us of being clever, smart, cunning, and able to manipulate what are presumably a bunch of semi retarded or simply stupid non Jewish American legislators. Other Jew haters characterize us as baby killing, mother raping, and society destroying knuckle dragging cretins who couldn't find our heads with both hands. But the most common Jew haters attribute to us an almost uncanny business ability to fleece and defraud presumably stupid and incompetent non Jewish business people. I won't even try to enter the arena of the anti Semites who attempt to cloak their unholy hatred as some sort of policy dispute with the government of Israel because they are just so transparent. I can't even work up a good and hot anger at them, most of them seem to have and IQ lower than a small dress size. And regarding having lunch with either Goldstone or Dershowitz I find them both about equally distasteful, for their own sweet reasons of course, and given the choice I would prefer to dine alone.

Posted by: Beniyyar | December 2, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

It's time to pull the plug on pro-Zionist propaganda like the Washington Post. Israel has violated international law with impunity for decades. Israel refuses to join the IAEA, sign the NPT and allow inspections of their nuclear facilities. Israel illegally occupies Palestinian territories, employs apartheid policies and is guilty of numerous war crimes. We went into Bosnia for far less. It is time for the U.S. to join the BDS campaign and isolate Israel as the rogue country it is.

Posted by: johnz52 | December 2, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The pro-zionist thought police strike again. Why can one never question what israel does?

Posted by: Thoughtful-Ted | December 2, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, if we ever want to round up the anti-semites, we certainly know how to flush them out into the open.

Posted by: adam62 | December 2, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse


It's pretty amazing. Conservative commentators will say the nastiest, vilest, most reprehensible things about Obama all day every day. Yet, if you ever even hint that racism might somehow be involved, they scream in agony at the sheer affrontery of such a charge.

HOWEVER if you say anything at all negative about any aspect of Israeli policy, those same commentators come screaming out of the woods yelling Nazi, anti-semite and Jew hater.

I'm sure you don't see any connection.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 2, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"Hey, Grumpy, just curious. How do you define "Zionists" and/or "Zionism?" I'd be curious to read your answer. It's an honest question." --Grantman

Like most political movement, Zionism comes in many varieties. In broadest terms, it's support for the creation/preservation of an ethnically Jewish-dominated state in Palestine, with little or no regard for the claims of the existing population, usually based upon a historic/religious rationale.

In many cases, the same people support multiculturalism, equal rights for ethnic and religious minorities, secularism, and liberal immigration policies--but in the United States, not in Israel. Many Zionists believe that it's incumbent on Jews to support the policies of the Israeli government, and US aid to and support of that government, regardless of other considerations. To such people, anything but limited and occasional criticism of Israel is anathema--a sign of antisemitism, self-hatred, or both.

Posted by: GrumpyOldMan | December 2, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse


There is no connection between saying nasty things about the worst President we have ever had and, not criticizing Israel, but demonizations of Israel like one finds in the Goldstone Report and charges that American Jews ("Zionists") are supporting Israel at the expense of the U.S.

Posted by: adam62 | December 2, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Oops, sorry 54465446--I got your name wrong!

Posted by: adam62 | December 2, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse


Who are these Conservative commentators you're referring to? Are they known people or just anonymous people commenting on some blogs? I've seen several criticisms of Obama (including from myself) on many blogs, but I don't think I can recall a single one of them that mentioned his race. Why do you assume that those critical of Obama must be doing so because of racism? It's a low and baseless charge.

As for your comment "if you say anything at all negative about any aspect of Israeli policy, those same commentators come screaming out of the woods yelling Nazi, anti-semite and Jew hater," that is a preposterous exaggeration. The complaints of the pro-Israel crowd are that there's no context or there are outrageous double standards when critcisms are directed towards Israel. For example, that there are way more UN resolutions condemning tiny democratic Israel than of terror sponsoring dictatorships.

If you were to criticize Israeli policy ABC because of XYZ in a sane and rational way, you would almost certainly get a tempered and reasonable response - not one of vile and outrageous insults.

Posted by: RitchieEmmons | December 2, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

adam wrote:

"There is no connection between saying nasty things about the worst President we have ever had and, not criticizing Israel,"

Thanks for the reply. I knew you wouldn't see any connection. That's why you characterize the president as the worst we have ever had, but don't call that demonizing him. I dislike and disagree with many of the things he's done but to call him the above is ridiculous on it's face.

There are many posters who ARE reflexively anti-Israel and ARE in fact anti-semitic. However the proportion judging by many comments I read is similar to those who ARE anti-Obama, and who ARE racist.

I'm not saying that is you. I don't know your work. The type of charges against this president, particularly against his wife, are exactly the type of criticsm you abhor when it comes to Israel, vile baseless stuff rooted in prejudicial hatred and not in fact.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 2, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

So, were the lefties infected with Bush Derangement Syndrome also racists?

Criticism of the President is valid. To automatically assume any criticism of Obama as President is based solely on racism is the worst kind of identity-politics victimology.

As to whether the U.S. should withdraw and defund the UNHRC, that is one of J-Ru's pet projects. Now that we know via Wikileaks that the U.S. delegation to the UN is engaged in spycraft, perhaps it is worth staying on the UNHRC so that Susan Rice can continue to pick the pockets in order to get all those credit card numbers and passwords :)

GrumpyOldMan: your vision of an "ethnically Jewish-dominated state in Palestine" fails to note that Israeli Jews come from every race and ethnicity. The Falasha from Ethiopia. The Mizrahi Jews expelled or airlifted from Muslim countries such as Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan, Iran, and Egypt at various times since 1949. Jews from India, China, Venezuela, and the former Soviet Union (those would be the blondes you see at the Olympics) who willingly made aliyah.

The dilemma of the GrumpyOldMan is the refusal to be liberal when it comes to Jews living in Israel. No history or persuasion gets through the truly IL-liberal brains of the far left who can only see the present world as post-colonial detritus with all of their focus on Israel and none for the plight of the true victims of colonialism, the Kurds of Greater Kurdistan.

I do wish J-Ru had stayed with Contentions. Really a waste of her talents to serve as a magnet for the Jew-haters of the left.

Posted by: K2K2 | December 2, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, he's an awful President--I suppose I would have to admit that I haven't engaged in a detailed comparison with, say, James Buchanan or Franklin Pierce. I will acknowledge that I've borrowed the rhetoric from Left attacks on Bush--it seems to me that's the political coin of the realm these days, and I believe in fighting fire with fire. Of course, if I didn't believe he was an awful President causing enormous damage I wouldn't resort to the (slight) hyperbole. Either way, where's the demonization, much less the racism? Why can't we embrace all the progress we have made, where we not only have a black President, but one subject to the full range of attacks undergone by every other President--and without the slightest mention of race, in the vast majority of cases? I really don't know who you think the racist critics of Obama are--from your description, it sounds like you are inferring their racism and therefore don't have any real evidence. Of course, there may be an exception here or there--but certainly no one of any prominence.

You seem more interested in the (anti)Obama question than the (anti)Israel one, but I'll lay down my criteria: when criticism of Israel acknowledges the free will and responsible action of other actors, it isn't anti-semitic; when Israel (and their supporters) is the only actor, with everyone else their victims or dupes, then we have anti-semitism. It's very easy to see which category both Walt-Mearshimer and the Goldstone Report fall into. I think it's easy to tell with the above commenters as well.

Posted by: adam62 | December 2, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Thank heaven that WaPo has Jennifer on board, adding another rare voice of intelligent reason, insight,judgment and criticism. You go, girl!

Posted by: d5547k | December 2, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Poor, israel, always the victim. Everybody else always does bad things to israel, and israel never does anything bad to anyone.

Posted by: Thoughtful-Ted | December 2, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Poor haters of Israel--they can never say anything, they're always being shut down by the pro-Zionist police, they never criticize Israel unjustly.

Posted by: adam62 | December 2, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse


I'm enjoying the discourse.

Obama isn't even the worst president of your lifetime, as Nixon is that hands down with Carter running second among the honest ones. That's why I say you are demonizing him without objective distance.

I am an inveterate poster, so I could cite chapter and verse among the awful and untrue things said about the President, but that's not even necessary. Read Dinesh D'Souza's piece a while back in Forbes. Not only is it factually inaccurate, but he himself is a long standing race baiter and racist, as a perusal of his writings can be Googled ad inifinitum.

I have personally never seen criticism of Israeli actions where at least some critics did not immediately move to the anti-Semitic charge which really ends all reasonable debate doesn't it?

You are perhaps not aware of the public beating that Bush Sr. took over his sometime failure to follow Israel's line in foreign relations. Bush's relationships with the Saudis made him intensely villified in much of the press, regardless of whether his actions were ultimately judged in the best interests of the US.

If I got rated in voting percentages like they rate Senators and Congressmen, I would probably get about 60% from AIPAC. Truth be told I don't even favor a two state solution, thinking the idea of a Palestinian state wildly impractical. I also applaud the brilliant work they have done to the Iranian nuclear program with stuxnext and killing off Iranian nuclear scientists one by one. They have certainly staved off a wider conflagration so far.

However I find it horrible that posters on most threads who criticize Israeli policies get hit with the automatic labels, time after time.

Let's do this again some time.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 2, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse


I think Obama is worse than both Carter and Nixon, but how do we argue the point? What is most important to me is that he seems genuinely hostile to the place in the world the U.S. has carved out since WWII--he is friendlier to enemies of America than friends. He also seems to me hostile to free market economics. His politics are those of a leftist graduate student (in the humanities!) in the 1980s, and he doesn't seem to have gotten a new idea since then, except perhaps for Global Warming. All this is new in an American President--only Carter as a former President comes close.

We probably have a different sense of what counts as race baiting, and I'm familiar with D'Souza's piece. I don't remember it very well, and I don't know what you consider inaccurate. But if you are saying that contending that Obama's politics are essentially anti-colonial is "racist," then we have very different definitions of the term (even though I don't agree with D'Souza--I think Obama's a run-of-the-mill 80s leftist).

On Israel, I think you are also collapsing distinctions. Of course supporters of Israel will fight against what they see as attempts to harm Israel, such as those of Bush Sr.--or, going back a bit, Reagan's sale of fighter planes to the Saudis. But these were normal political battles, and I don't think Bush, and certainly not Reagan, were accused of anti-semitism. Part of the problem here is that it's harder to have such normal battles--Israel has been willing to negotiate with the Palestinians and have conceded that the ultimate outcome of the negotiations are to be a Palestinian state (regarding which I share your skepticism), while Palestinian "resistance" has become increasingly intransigent, not to say pathological. Something is clearly out of whack here, and most "criticism" of Israel these days essentially invalidates their right to defend themselves against the most vicious and savage kinds of warfare.

BTW, it's interesting that people on the left credit Israel with stuxnet and the killing of the Iranian scientists--I don't know what the basis for that is, and people on the right aren't making such claims at all.

Posted by: adam62 | December 2, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse


"Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests."
Lord Palmerston

We disagree on many things, but the world is a big place.

Regarding stuxnext and the scientists, do some reading at sites you trust. There really is a very, very small number of groups in the world that have the sophistication to carry out such operations, and when you factor in motivation and opportunity, really only one.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 2, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I see (after 2+years of study) Obama as a post-modern transnational multiculturalist who is viscerally uncomfortable with the concept of nationalistic patriotism. He is indeed a product of the change in teaching of history since the late 1970's, which I thought D'Souza emphasized.

His primary failure as president is that he never seized the leadership mantle of the Democratic Party, and let Pelosi and her 1960's-style liberal chairs design the Stimulus, and what became the sausage of health care reform.
The primary function of the President is not only to protect and defend against all enemies, but the conduct of foreign relations. Nixon beats Obama hands down on that function. Still a tie with Carter.

This belief in transnational multic-culturalism is why Obama so fervently believes in the UN and the UNHRC.

He has gotten quite the on-the-job training about the reality of Great Power foreign relations at a time of increasing nationalistic devolution. He has yet to show that he now understands the risks of a mostly Hobbesian world.

No U.S. president should treat reliable allies like Britain, Japan, and Israel the way Obama has, in his magical thinking that the world of Islam would respond to HIM, because of who HE is.

Bush43 went too far in being NOT-Clinton. Obama has repeated history by striving to be NOT-Bush43.

Lucky world, having to deal with the incredibly stupid way Americans allow two political parties to choose their nominees for President.

Posted by: K2K2 | December 2, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

54465446 on stuxnet "when you factor in motivation and opportunity, really only one."

yes, that would be RUSSIA.

Posted by: K2K2 | December 2, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse


I think your point about inexperience is certainly valid. Your point about Nixon is not. Being the only president in history forced to resign from office in lieu of impeachment and certain conviction trumps anything else that happens during your tenure.

About stuxnet, nothing about it is Russian in nature. They lack anything resembling the computer expertise. They're just at the basic Nigerian email and credit card level of international theft.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 2, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

54465446: your typical comment about Jennifer and Charles having dual citizenship is just one "tell" that gives you away as an anti-Semite--but let's be precise--you are yourself self-consciously and proudly an ant-Semite--you believe you are fighting the good fight against Jewish power (of which Israel is an embodiment, not merely a state for Jews or a state of Jews or a jewish state but a kind of Heideggerean template or paradigm of "false existence" or "non-existenz)"--that's what you and yours pride yourselves on.

So we are all agreed that you are an anti-Semite. The difference is that when critics say you are an ant-Semite we mean the classical definition as defined by non-anti-Semites: solipsistic crusaders locked in a circular series of closed apriori syllogistic stereotypes of what Jews or Israel must be.

Note that you lead off with the anti-Semitic Jew baiting, followed by the protest that righteous critics of Israel are reflexively called anti-Semites, but as with the old joke about the proper matriarch who agrees to take a tumble for a million dollars--we've already established what you are, we are haggling over the price.

Charles does not have Israeli citizenship, neither does Richard Perle. Or Henry Kissinger. In a sense Edward Said, I suppose did, as did Rashid Khalid, but coming from the Palestinian side of the equation, but not the Jews typically trotted out as traitors in nutsroot websites. Again, this is just a canard, the delusional premiseis where you *start* your arguments and where you inevitably circle back to end.

All else is detour to a preordained conclusion.

Posted by: besht2003 | December 3, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

I am not a racist, but have been very tired, for a very long time, of the way the goverment, local, state and fed, have all embraced the programs like Affirmative Action, and Quotas, Repairations, and all the rest. They are programs that are the very definition of Racism..., favors are given, decisions are made, based on the color of one's skin, IF THAT AINT RACISM, WHAT THE HELL IS???????

I have personally been screwed out of things because I am white..., in 1971 it was Graduate School..., I actually got letters from Universities I applied to asking me if I was a member of a minority group, and if I was they would accept me into their program, but if I wasn't, they couldn't because of the Quotas they had to meet.

Then on 3 occasions over the years since, I have been screwed out of jobs I was the best qualified for and could of gotten except because I was white.

The only time I whined about the unfairness of all of this is like right now, as I type this. Not really a whine, just a comment.

I acted in the American Way of accepting the set backs, fair or not, and moving on. I am sick of the crybaby minorities..., and the way the authorities always kiss their asses.

Posted by: ToddPollard | December 3, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse


Thank you for showing up, although in truth I was expecting you yesterday!

Your words prove my point far more eloquently than anything else I could have written.

I would agree with your last line. Your conlusion was preordained the moment I mentioned Israel.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 3, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

It's a good idea to disband the UNHRC (Human Rights Council) and transfer its assets to the UNHCR (High Commissioner for Refugees).

But this won't happen because it will be American Jews of the Marxist persuasion, and their fellow travelers in the pro-Islamic organizations, who will prevent it.

Watching things from Israel, it's difficult to understand the detachment that most American Jews have when it comes to the Jewish State.

Over the years, it has been mainly American Jews who have pressured Israel to engage in "Peace" negotiations with individuals and groups who have no desire for peace.

We can hope that some change will take place, but really there is no basis for believing there will be change that will be of help to us.

The belief system of most American Jews has moved so far away from Torah and Zionism that many of us (maybe most of us), in Israel, perceive them as being in league with our most bitter enemies. They use their Jewish ancestry as a way of dodging the facts about their actions.

The best thing for us would be for America to stop giving any type of aid to the "Palestinians". America should take away the weapons and stop training "police" forces in Jenin and elsewhere in Judea and the Shomron.

And America should give up on pushing the "Peace Process" down our throat.

America has never been a true ally to Israel, and now is, technically, an enemy.

Let the UNHCR (not the UNHRC) start resettling those Arabs who don't want to live in the Jewish State. THAT'S "Change We Can Believe In"!!!!!

Posted by: WB1948 | December 4, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

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