As dovish groups urge no U.S. veto, Rep. Ackerman severs ties with J Street.
James D. Besser
A United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as illegal is putting the Obama administration in an awkward squeeze — and thrusting two major pro-peace process groups into the tumultuous epicenter of the Middle East debate.
The Obama administration, which is expected to veto the resolution, nevertheless is caught between its own longstanding stance on settlements and political realities at home.
The international community on December 10 marks International Human Rights Day, the anniversary of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Conventions. Unfortunately, there is more to lament than celebrate. Although numerous institutions and organizations were established to protect and advance these rights, the international community fails to live up to its moral commitments.
Walking through the crowd at the “Free Iran” rally outside the United Nations this afternoon, one would think the Jewish community had spent a good deal of time, effort and money to provide hundreds of day school and yeshiva students with a summer camp reunion and social hour.
As a kid, Simcha Felder used to enjoy the tour of the UN headquarters. Now he won’t set foot inside the world body’s Turtle Bay complex.
“The only time I go there is to protest,” said Felder, Borough Park’s City Councilman. “Israel can’t seem to do anything right in the eyes of the UN, let alone get a fair shake.”
Israel could be just “days away” from being accepted into a regional grouping at the United Nations, a long-sought goal that would open the door for it to sit on the UN Security Council and a variety of other bodies worldwide, according to Israel’s UN ambassador, Dore Gold.
A Libyan Jew described to an Egyptian official Wednesday how as a 6-year-old her teacher traumatized her and how she and other Jews were expelled after the Six-Day War in 1967.
In prepared remarks before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Regina Bublil Waldman recalled the first time she “experienced hate” when her math teacher posed the following math question to the class: “If you have 10 Jews and you kill five of them, how many Jews do you have left to kill?”
“I came home crying,” she said.
The United Nations, which has been called “the leading global purveyor of anti-Semitism,” on Monday will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps.
Yad Vashem, the Israeli museum and memorial, has erected an exhibit in the UN lobby featuring pictures of the death camp at Auschwitz. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Elie Wiesel, a Nobel laureate and survivor, will address a special session of the General Assembly.“
Yehuda Lancry, Israel's new ambassador to the United Nations, assumes his post at a critical, roller-coaster moment for the Jewish State. Within days, Israel's efforts to be included in a regional grouping appeared to collapse after months of positive preparation, but then the UN Secretary General spoke out strongly on Israel's behalf.
On Sunday night, Kofi Annan criticized the world body's continued exclusion from an internal regional group, and his words were welcomed by Lancry, who hoped Annan would 'continue with his just and courageous stance."
Israel, which has made it a point not to walk out of the United Nations despite all of the abuse hurled at it from member nations over the years, will be pointedly absent when the General Assembly convenes on Monday, Yom Kippur.
So will President Bill Clinton. Israel's ambassador to the UN, Dore Gold, said this is the first time an American president has not spoken at the start of the General Assembly's general debate. He will speak Tuesday instead.