I predict that within 5 years the World Snooker Championship will move to China.
There are already several snooker tournaments in China and this year there were four Chinese qualifying for the World Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield. This is a record.
So where are the Human Rights demonstrators? Did anyone see anyone with placards outside the Crucible? Did anyone deliberately interrupt a match by standing up and decrying China’s abysmal Human Rights record?
Are players who go off frequently to play in China for several thousand pounds vilified on their return?
Do hundreds of people try to fly to Lhasa airport in Tibet to show solidarity with the Tibetan people whose culture is being destroyed?
Will the Chinese athletes require special protection at this year’s Olympics in London?
You know the answer to all these questions is ‘no’.
I might remind you that the 2008 Olympics actually took place in China and the entire world turned up.
I will also remind you that the USA and others boycotted the 1980 Olympics because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan! You couldn’t make it up, really. In 1984 the Soviets reciprocated and the Warsaw Pact countries didn’t show up for Los Angeles.
Here are some facts about China:
Press freedom? Nah
Can you move freely around China? That’s a ‘no’.
Can you access any website you wish in China? Nope.
How about religious freedom? Ask the Catholics, the Falun Gong and the Buddhists. So, uh, uh.
How about political freedom? You are kidding me!
So you can have as many children as you like, at least? Ah, sorry, just one per family. Get pregnant with number two and it’s the abortion clinic for Mum, and they are not too particular about how many weeks of your pregnancy have passed.
But the judicial system is up to modern standards? Well, not quite – no less than 68 crimes are punishable by death. Torture is also rife.
I could go on. But it is self-evident that China is not alone. Some of its neighbours are pretty awful, including Russia. And then there are the old favourites: Sudan, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Syria, yada yada.
Now let’s look at Israel. Yep, you knew I would get there in the end.
Press freedom? Absolutely.
Can you move freely around Israel (I said Israel, not the ‘Territories’) Yes. Once you enter Israel you can go anywhere without hindrance.
Can you access any website? You sure can.
Religious freedom? Guaranteed by law. Try building a church in Egypt or a synagogue in Saudi Arabia.
Political freedom – pretty much. You can even create a party whose purpose is to destroy the state which gives it the political freedom to try to do so and to advocate replacing it with another state which doesn’t.
Can you have as many children as you like? – sure, and it’s compulsory if you are religious.
Death penalty? In theory, but only one person has ever been executed – Adolf Eichmann in 1962 and that was probably a mistake.
Ok, so Israel is not perfect. I agree. But is this country of 7 million people such an egregious state that a group of actors and theatre people decide that the Israeli theatre group, Habima, should be banned from contributing to the World Shakespeare Festival at the Globe in London? Why? Because they perform in ‘settlements’. Wow – crime of the century.
Now if these worthy luvvies were consistent they would wish to ban other companies which may well be sponsored by governments or be involved with some unsavoury people and institutions. Of course. They surely would.
Did they check all the other theatre groups? What about the ones from South Africa, Serbia, Belarus, Afghanistan, the United States (yes, don’t forget Guantanamo and special rendition etc.), Iraq!
Plenty there for the luvvy boycotters to get their intolerant, hypocritical, salonfaehig teeth into.
Now let us turn to Brazil. That caught you by surprise, I bet.
A beacon of western democracy in South America? Sure. No-one would want to boycott Brazil or its produce? Would they?
Well, yes, they would. That is, if they were consistent with their targets of demonisation.
Heard of the rainforest? I’m sure you have seen Sir David Attenborough and others cavorting through, under and up it for years, decades, in fact.
Did you know it’s being destroyed? Yes? Did you know that such behaviour, much of it illegal in Brazil, directly affects your climate and the world’s most important ecosystem? Don’t care? Rather declare ‘We are all Hamas’ and sit outside a cosmetics shop in Covent Garden? Your choice, but your children’s future and your grandchildren’s is at stake.
Not a ‘Human Rights’ issue, you say? Wrong!
Have you heard of indigenous people? Do you care that their way of life, their environment and, too often, they themselves are being destroyed? If not, why not? Do you only care about ‘indigenous’ people in a few thousand square kilometres of the Middle East?
Take a look at this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17827072
Yeah, I know it’s the BBC but it’s not all bad – as long as it’s kept away from the Middle East desk it can be quite reliable, sometimes.
The Awa are experiencing genocide and extinction. They are not the only rainforest dwellers thus endangered and not the only species, either.
So the Awa live a long way from civilisation (so-called) and do not have the UN and the US pumping in billions of dollars, or UN agencies to protect them in perpetuity. They are ‘primitive’. They do not contribute anything to the modern world – no arms dealing (though they may swap the occasional blowpipe), no insider trading, no suicide bombers, no desire to spread perverted ideologies across he world.
So who cares? Apart from Sting (and kol haKavod to him – I am not scoffing).
Hardly anyone speaks up for them, challenges the Brazilians, protests outside embassies, boycotts coffee shops for using Brazilian beans (or beauty parlours for providing ‘Brazilians’). Nothing. Nada.
Environmentalists may get a bit hot under the anorak on occasion but these people and this environment have few people willing to protect it. Effectively, that is.
So I think you get my drift.
If you want to criticise one country for a particular reason and this is your ’cause’ of choice and you want to ignore far more important issues, then that is your right. Just be a little more subtle about WHY.
Yom HaAtazmaut sameach. Happy Birthday Israel. Shame you don’t have any rainforests.
Honest Reporting has started a petition to urge the UN Security Council to reject the UNHRC resolution which recommended the findings of the Goldstone Report.
The video cam be seen here http://www.honestreporting.com/a/UNHypocrisy.asp
It reveals what we all should know: the UNHRC is no longer a Human Rights advocate but a political tool in the hands of Israel’s enemies.
Please sign this petition.
Although we all know that the United States will veto the resolution anyway, it is important for the UN to understand that their constituency are not prepared to stand by whilst the UN and its instruments are used to wage political warfare against a single state whilst ignoring the gross crimes of other countries, especially those who obscenely are members of the UN Human Rights Council.
If you want an expert, unbiased, dispassionate assessment of the Israel Defense Force during Operation Cast Lead then I refer you to Colonel Richard Kemp who knows more about asymmetric warfare then the whole of the UN Human Rights Council combined:
But the HRC is not interested in truth, only politics and deligitimisation.
Col. Kemp tells it as it is. Thank you,
Now that the United Nations Human Rights Council has voted to send the Goldstone report to the UN General Assembly, the head of the fact-finding team that produced the report, Richard Goldstone, is back-pedalling.
Goldstone has been exposed in all his naivety. Just like a ghetto Jew policeman, collaborating with his people’s murderers, Goldstone accepted the role of heading the fact-finding mission. And no sooner than the report is presented to the UNHRC, the resolution recommending it to the UN General Asembly becomes doctored to exclude any mention of Hamas and to include extraneous materials attacking Israel which were not part of the original brief.
And Goldstone, like a naive Jew collaborator never saw it coming. The revered jurist, the impartial investigator who produced a report so one-sided as to be obscene. Now he is widely reported as being “saddened” by the resolution as jta.org reports, Goldstone went on to say “”There is not a single phrase condemning Hamas as we have done in the report”
Well that’s naive and disingenuous, isn’t it? Even in the report the condemnation of Hamas was a mere after-thought thrown in, probably at Goldstone’s embarrassed insistence, as a fig-leaf to cover a deeply nasty biased and dangerous report.
So Goldstone finds himself surprised at being the patsy of the anti-Israel league.
You see the resolution of the UNHRC does not mention Hamas AT ALL! Surprise, surprise. The murdering, lying terrorist abomination that calls itself Hamas and who committed every war crime and broke every rule of war, the Geneva convention, customary law and human decency get off scot free whilst Israel is now called a war criminal and its pariah status no doubt enhanced. Meanwhile other countries for whom no investigation and no resolution will ever see the light of day (Russia in Chechnya and South Ossetia, China in Tibet, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and probably Pakistan) laugh on the sidelines or actively participate in condemning Israel.
This moral inversion, this moral blindness towards Israel and Israel alone is the real crime.
And the UNHRC resolution did not stop at the Goldstone Report. Here’s the extraneous stuff
Reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the inadmissibility of the acquisition of land by the use of force, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations
So what’s that got to do with the Gaza conflict?
Affirming the applicability of international human rights law and the international humanitarian law, namely the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,
That’s OK until ‘to the Occupied Palestinian Territory..’ bit. This has nothing to do with Gaza but a lot to do with final status negotiations. Clearly those sponsoring the resolution have already decided that East Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian Territory even though there is and never has been a Palestinian state. Indeed, the resolution’s title is:
HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN PALESTINE AND OTHER OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES.
Do they mean Iraq? Probably the Golan Heights and Gaza which the UN is determined to call ‘occupied’ even though Israel abandoned it and withdrew all its troops several years ago. It was that very withdrawal which led to Gaza being taken over by Hamas and other terrorist groups who used the Gaza Strip to launch thousands of rockets against Israeli towns and cities and whose actions precipitated the conflict.
Only the naive and the blind could say that the text of the resolution includes Hamas by implication.
So like the ghetto policeman, Goldstone, a man of impeccable credentials, has sold his soul. But not because of self-serving, but because he has failed to spot the trap. He has failed to see how many lies and distortions Israel’s enemies are prepared to use against it. He has failed to expose the lies of Hamas, the lies of the Palestinian Authority and the moral inversion of the bleeding-heart human rights lobby for whom the narrative is simple: Israel is the aggressor and Palestinians the victim. End of.
Libya, that bastion of democracy and human rights has forced the UN Security council to meet ahead of schedule to discuss the Goldstone report on alleged war crimes in Gaza by Israel and Hamas in Operation Cast Lead.
Presumably it’s Israeli war crimes Libya has in mind, not Hamas’s war crimes.
This is just as extraordinary as the original Palestinian Authority’s request to the UN Human Rights Council to delay the debate.
Now Libya and other Arab states say that October 14th is the day when the debate must take place. They can’t wait to accuse Hamas of its egregious human rights violations, can they.
Now the PA has made a U-turn and supports Libya’s request.
Of course Libya can force this issue as a member of the UN Human Rights Council.
A natural choice as a defender and investigator of Human Rights, of course. It’s rather like having Hannibal Lecter running a vegetarian restaurant.
For example, one of the most important of all human rights is the ability of a nation to choose its leaders and remove that leadership in regular elections.
Libyans have no human right to replace Colonel Gadaffi. No political parties are allowed in Libya.
For a full explanation of Libya’s right to serve on the UNHRC you might do well to visit the US Department of States’s website here.
You will see a litany of abuses including arbitrary arrest, detention without trial, torture, trumped up charges.
Look at this – remember?:
The law provides for the presumption of innocence, informing defendants of the charges against them, and the right to legal counsel. In practice defendants often were not informed of the charges against them and usually had little contact, if any, with their lawyers. Defense lawyers automatically were appointed, even if the defendant declined representation.
On two occasions, in 2004 and 2006, a court sentenced to death six foreign health workers accused of deliberately infecting 426 children with HIV‑tainted blood in 1999. The sentences reportedly were based on confessions that the accused made under torture. International observers reported serious concerns about the lack of investigation into allegations of torture and delays in bringing the case to a conclusion. In 2005 the Supreme Court accepted the appeal of the medics and ordered a retrial by the criminal court, which began in May 2006 and concluded with a second guilty verdict in December 2006.
During the second criminal trial, authorities denied the defendants and their lawyers the right to call witnesses or present evidence while giving wide latitude to the prosecution. Defendants and their lawyers had limited access to government‑held evidence. Following the December 2006 guilty verdict, the medics again appealed to the Supreme Court, which held its first hearing on the defendants’ appeal on June 20. On July 11, the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s conviction and reinstated several lesser charges to the indictment, including alcohol consumption and currency violations. On July 17, the Higher Judicial Council intervened and commuted the death penalty to life imprisonment after the victims’ families expressed satisfaction with a compensation arrangement, which included a payment of one million dollars for each infected child, substantial foreign investments in the local health infrastructure, and European promises to provide medical care abroad for some affected children.
On July 24, the government allowed the medics to depart to serve their remaining prison terms in Bulgaria, where authorities pardoned the six medics upon arrival. (my emphasis)
The Libyans thus managed to kidnap innocent people and hold them to ransom and extort millions from European governments before releasing their hostages. If this had not been state kidnapping but some terrorist group in Iraq the hostages would not have been bartered.
Libya. The same country that greeted Lockerbie bomber and mass-murderer, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, with celebration and triumph on his release from a Scottish prison.
A fundamental human right is freedom of religion, is it not? Surely the UNHCR could not allow its council to have a member where a government proudly professes its anti-Semitism. Wrong. Gadaffi has just done just that. On March 27th 2007 Gadaffi said “”Jews will go extinct because everyone hates them.”
For Libya to be so exercised about the Goldstone report is rank hypocrisy of the most cynical kind. A country, run by a lunatic, who condones and supported terrorism across the world, a dictatorship, has the chutzpah to want to bring Israel to justice.
But that’s the problem with the UNHRC and the UN, They are seriously compromised by an obsessive, biased and politically motivated animus against Israel whilst the true criminal regimes in the world merit scant and mealy-mouthed condemnation. How does Libya stand on Sudan or Zimbabwe? Sri Lanka anyone? Russia and Georgia – where’s that investigation? China and Tibet? Where are the Goldstone reports on these countries?
Why should any country or any individual pay any attention to anything spewed out of the hate-filled mouths of just about every UN body. Judge Goldstone as next Secretary General? It’s a distinct possibility.
Ha’aretz reports that:
“A committee of jurists hired by the Arab League completed a six-day tour of the Gaza Strip on Friday. The fact-finding mission was meant to investigate alleged war crimes as well as crimes against humanity perpetrated by Israel during its offensive against Hamas earlier this year.
Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa appointed the committee which is expected to submit a detailed report on its findings and conclusions. This report will then serve as the basis for any future legal proceedings the league plans to initiate.“
It might be edifying to examine the human rights records of some the members of the Arab League since they seem so keen on such things.
Their ‘shoot to stop’ policy on the Israel border has been criticised by Human Rights Watch. The Christian Science Monitor reported in November 2008. (http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1113/p06s03-wome.html)
Sadiq Sahour came to Egypt from Darfur in 2004 after government militias burned down his village. He wanted to find a better life for his family, but in Cairo he found no work and little assistance from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). So in July 2007, he and his wife, Hajja Abbas Haroun, made an increasingly popular – and dangerous – decision for refugees and migrants. They resolved to smuggle themselves into Israel.
With their infant daughter in tow and a second child due any day, they traveled to the Sinai town of Al-Arish and paid Egyptian smugglers $250 per person to ferry them to the border area. As they drew near, says Mr. Sahour, Egyptian border police approached the group of 12 adults and several children and opened fire.
Ms. Haroun and her unborn child were killed instantly. Many of the others were arrested, tried, and sentenced to heavy fines and a year in prison.
“The police came and shot us from close up,” Sahour says. “They could see that there were women and children.”
As I previously reported here Israel’s treatment of Muslim refugees is in stark contrast.
Amnesty International (who have strongly criticised Israel and so it seems fair that we should hear what they say about Egypt and other Arab League members) speak of
long-standing… systematic torture, deaths of prisoners in custody, unfair trials, arrests of prisoners of conscience for their political and religious beliefs or for their sexual orientation, wide use of administrative detention and long-term detention without trial and use of the death penalty
The country has been in a State of Emergency since 1981 which is used as a vehicle for abuses under the cover of ‘security concerns’.
Free speech is suppressed with the example of two prominent bloggers being arrested for criticising the President and the government.
Democracy in Egypt is problematical with Hosni Mubarak clamping down on any threat to his power. Critics and activists are subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention and military trials.
Women’s rights are poor and they are subject to discrimination with regard to marriage, divorce, custody and inheritance.
Religious freedom is also a major concern. The Coptic Christian community are restricted with regard to the building of churches or public profession and demonstration of their faith. Baha’is, Shi’a and Sufi Muslims are poorly tolerated and their religions not recognised by the state.
Gays are persecuted and AIDS sufferers considered criminals.
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) has been attacked from within the country by those who say that it is a front organisation created by the government to cover up or excuse its own human rights violations. It is the EOHR that is encouraging and supporting the Arab League’s investigation into alleged war crimes and human rights abuses in Gaza.
Saudi Arabia’s adherence to full Sharia law is well known. Political Freedom is non-existent. Extra judicial exections are common. Religious minorities and political opposition are oppressed as are homosexuals and women. All this is denied by the government.
Although women make up 70% of the student population, only 5% are in the workforce which is the lowest percentage in the world. This situation is improving – slowly. Women’s legal position is highly problematical due to the stringencies of Sharia. This is a difficult area where international norms contrast starkly with Sharia. However, there are many Muslim countries where such stringencies are not observed and a more moderate form of Sharia is employed.
One of the difficulties that women have is vulnerability when it comes to sexual attack or rape where they are ususal presumed to be the guilty party. A recent case is of a woman who was gang-raped but herself sentenced to 6 months imprisonment and 200 lashes because she was in a car with an unrelated male at the time of the attack.
Saudi Arabia is reagrded a ‘Tier 3′ country in terms of its record on slavery and human trafficking. Thi smeans that it fails to comply with the minimum standards and makes no moves towards remedying the situation. Saudis outside the country have been prosecuted for the effective enslavement and ill-treatment of servants. So although Saudi Arabia is very keen that foreigners observe its laws when in Saudia Arabia, many of its citizens do not seem to feel the same need to comply with the laws of countries they are visiting or are even resident in.
Anything other tha heterosexual relations within marriage is outlawed and punishable by imprisonment, the lash and sometimes execution.
Corporal and capital punishment are common. The corporal punishment includes amputations of hands and feet or the lash. The latter can be administered over a protracted period of time. The UN considers such punishment as torture. Saudis defend it as an ancient tradition. Human Rights Watch has concluded that the Saudi legal system ”fails to provide minimum due process guarantees and offers myriad opportunities for well-connected individuals to manipulate the system to their advantage”.
Freedom of speech and the press are limited. No-one can freely criticise the government or propose values which are considered against Islamic traditions. There are no political parties in Saudi Arabia or any form of labour union or representation.
Freedom of religion is non-existent. Even other Muslim sects are proscribed if they do not conform to the Saudi’s particular brand of Wahabism. Anyone with an Israeli passport or a stamp of entry or exit from ISrael on their passport is banned.
“fails to provide minimum due process guarantees and offers myriad opportunities for well-connected individuals to manipulate the system to their advantage.”
As with Egypt, Syria too is in a state of emergency, since 1963! which provides cover for its dictatorship. Arrests and detentions without trial are common, torture and show trials rife.
There is no freedom of speech, the press or the right to demonstrate.
Human Rights Watch record 17,000 political prisoners who have just disappeared over a period of 30 years.
Syria is one of the least free countries in the world.
Do I need to go on? Other countries in the Arab League include Yemen, Libya, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates. In fact there is not one country in the league which is not tainted by repression or oppression and not one full democracy amongst them. And these are the countries who are going to sit in judgement on Israel.
Meanwhile today we hear in Kenya’s Daily Nation reports that the Arab League is working with the Sudanese government to AVOID confrontation with the ICC and helping it to stall investigations whilst trying to promote ‘internal’ investigations.
See the full article here
In other words, the Arab League is effectively trying to deflect criticism from a genocidal maniac responsible for the deaths and uprooting of 2 million people whilst vigorously pursuing a case against Israel for killing 1200, most of whom were Hamas members or combatants.
A sick joke indeed.