Arbour’s record as rights boss at UN comes under fire

David Akin, CanWest Service
August 4, 2008

Canadian Louise Arbour got it wrong on the Middle East during her tenure as the United Nations human rights commissioner and did not do enough to challenge the human rights records of countries such as Russia and China, which are influential at the United Nations, says a new study prepared by the advocacy group UN Watch.

    “On the Arab-Israel conflict … her statements were weighted against Israel. With few exceptions, Arbour did not criticize Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria or other countries in the Middle East with highly problematic records,”

    In the Commons in June, Treasury Board President Vic Toews called Ms. Arbour “a disgrace” for comments she made during the Israel-Lebanon war of 2006. Though she did not mention Israel or any group by name at the time, Mr. Toews and others took her remarks to be a criticism of Israel, a criticism they found objectionable.

    The report said that while Ms. Arbour issued human rights criticisms of “free” countries like Canada and the United States, not once in her four-year tenure did she criticize Russia.

    “She was silent, or spoke out no more than once, on systematic human rights abuses committed by China and Russia, both permanent members of the Security Council, and on those committed by Egypt, a country that exercises great influence at the Human Rights Council through its leading position in various UN country groupings.”

    UN Watch says Ms. Arbour’s critics are wrong to say she spent more time criticizing democracies than tyrants.

August 7, 2008 | 17 Comments »

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  1. Oat the link shuts down for shabbat and 9th day of AV. try sunday night I think you will gain some insight and the speakers are worthwhile, Jewish or not.

  2. Hi, Yamit.

    I couldn’t get that website you posted — the computer hung up, trying to open it.

    As for Meir Kahane, I agree with the nugget of what he says, though I perceive that most Jews do not — which is to say, most Jews have been instructd by the media (the great PEER pressure of the world) to shun Kahane, so they do. Hardly anyone thinks for himself nowadays, you being a pleasant exception.

    Kahane said the obvious: that those eternally malcontent residents of Israel, called Arabs, need to be caused to leave — by polite invitation or whatever it takes. I hold out the possibility that some can be encouraged to stay as loyal citizens; but something radical would have to happen for that to be workable: Hatikva has real meaning, or ought to have real meaning, to both the religious immigrants and to the descendants of the secular founders of Israel; but for an Arab toembrace it? How can this be? The Arabs have absolutely no historical longing for Eretz Zion vYerushalayim — it simply does not compute, and it’s a lying bow to peer pressure for an Arab Israeli to sing it. The United States was, to quote one of our famous leaders, “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” A country such as the US can welcome immigrants of every stripe, and they can honestly assimilate; but this is not possible for Israel: They were conceived in desperation, and dedicated to the proposition that the Jewish people need a homeland OF THEIR OWN.

    In passing, Kahane said that Jews are essentially nonbelievers, fearing man rather than God. I think the other posters confused this with what Gary said, so Gary was dealt with as a nonbliever. I’m glad he made his rebuttal.

    Getting back to the UN, I don’t think it can be lightly ignored, nor do I think Israel would necessarily benefit from quitting it. If the US would quit the UN first, this would be different matter. At least Israel has the ability there to rebut all the blasphemous libes against it that would be leveled whether their representative were present or not. The UN does have some checks and balances built in, such as giving executive authority solely to the Security Council and giving veto power to some of the most powerful (and otherwise grossly under-represented) members. It’s also heartening, that Israel does not have to rely solely on US approval in order to protect its interests: They have in the past done reather well as allies of the Russians and French, and there is nothing to say they couldn’t cultivate a friendship with the pragmatic Chinese if they had to. People like Ms. Arbour are a disgrace; but we can thank Hashem that she had no teeth as a UN figurehead.

  3. Letters are nice, might have some small impact most don;t however, but if Canadian Jew who claim they are Zionist and really care about Israel I think 10000 Canadian Jewish Zionists en mass publicly moving to Israel would not only make a definitive statement But actually help Israel. Who knows it might begin a movement! I would really settle for a thousand even 500 but ten thousand that would make headlines round the world maybe even in Canada as well?

  4. #9 tov klein: gary it’s sad that you don’t have faith in God! I do!

    I have faith in G-d but not faith in him to correct for the insanity of man and nations. (I will dub G-d as male but “he” could take any form). If G-d does exist then he works in mysterious ways, by his own schedule, beyond human understanding and not necessarily in anthropomorphic forms that men have envisioned in their limited understanding of him and contained in our somewhat confined religions.

    This is why the Jewish people have existed for what, 4000+yrs!

    We have existed – yes – Thrived? No. Always punctuated with Holocausts, pogroms, terrorism, pain and lots of suffering.

    Despite the weak decisions of their leaders, Israel will continue to exist.

    It has been in a state of destruction (due to the insatiable violent appetite of our enemies) longer than it was intact as a home for Jews through the ages.

    We are a strong caring nation, one which,(despite your beliefs) will carry on.

    You know nothing of my beliefs, so don’t pretend to understand my beliefs. As individuals each one of us has enough troubles understanding his own beliefs, so it is presumptuous to get inside the head of another person’s belief system based on his utterances in one or two sentences in a blog.

    Gary, what makes you so sure that there isn’t a God????

    Who said anything about disbelief in God?

    Israel is ,”A light onto nations” for it to continue being so, it MUST not tolerate this indifference!

    I speak for and in defense of Israel (in my own small way). To wit, see my letter in today’s newspaper (below), so I don’t appreciate anyone, Jew, Muslim, Christian, telling me what I should believe, how strongly I should feel about religion and the role it must play in my life. Don’t worry, I believe in Israel!

    http://www.thespec.com/Opinions/LettertotheEditor/article/415044

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed Sylvester Stallone’s film entitled: RAMBO 3 where Rambo takes on Burma! This is what Burma is truly like! And Burma is not alone as Jews and Christians are being slaughtered in Sudan and everywhere throughout the world and not just Jews & Christians, but many other peoples of different beliefs. The oppression must stop and the U.N. should stay out of Israel but assist the other countries with dictatorial regimes who are murdering and oppressing their own people and other people too. the goal of the creation of the U.N. was to stop and prevent more Hitlers; not invite them to come sit down, eat a fat pig and send them on their way with a big fat piggy bank stomach! The U.N. treatment of Israel during the peace process was a fascade to move Israel’s enemies closer towards the goal of Israel’s demise and as ISRAEL SAYS: NEVER AGAIN! The U.N. must back off of Israel and head for China, Burma, Sudan, Somalia, African States, Arabia, Iran, where human rights are being violated. the U.N. only seems to rise up against Israel but doesn’t do anything for Israel but force them to give up the land and property that is historically and Biblically Israel’s! But the God of Israel, who sees what is done in secret places knows who is doing what and will continue to take action in Israel’s defense – and the shaking of all nations is about to get more intense with time that is running out, and the devil gets angrier and trys to take the whole world down with him and his allies.

  6. Bill, I don’t see that as sad. What I do see as sad is the Jews who don’t believe in Hashem. Despite any and all odds we will be successful. Hashem, as I believe, wants us to make an effort. If we do this, Hashem will negate any odds or obstacles in our way. Bill, I’ve seen this passion when I was 17 yrs old on the streets of Jerusalem. I am now 42 and the image of the Israeli driver, who might I add drove furiously around a bend, and slapped a spoiled teenager as I gazed on, still sticks in my head. That is the moment I will never forget, nor be ashamed of. This was truly my epiphany. We were strong and can be again.The year was 1983 and it solidified my respect and belief in Israel. I truly believe in Hashem. What G-d represents is hope or hatikvah.

  7. Tov you may see it as sad that Gary is secular. Do not however think for a moment that Gary, I or a great many other secular Jews have any less passion for the survival of Israel and the Jewish people then you do.

  8. gary it’s sad that you don’t have faith in God! I do! This is why the jewish people have existed for what, 4000+yrs! Despite the weak decisions of their leaders, Israel will continue to exist.We are a strong caring nation, one whic,(despite your beliefs) will carry on. Gary, what makes you so sure that there isn’t a God???? Israel is ,”A light onto nations” for it to continue being so, it MUST not tolerate this indifference!

  9. Louise Arbour is pathetically sad! She is an embarresment to me as a Canadian! I hope not too many of my tax dollars are awarded her way!I believe she was awarded this position solely because she is a woman!Now she has a golden parachute!She makes me ill to be Canadian at her stupidity.She was evil towards Setbia and now Israel! Louise what comes around goes around!

  10. Gary here is at least TWO answers you might consider other than the one you have stated.

    Two disturbing and intertwined questions: Could this generation of Jews bring the Redemption or could this be the last generation of Jews? 7 minutes I strongly suggest you listen to the whole tape only 7 min. of your time then talk to us about nations of the world.

    http://www.jwisdom.com/BLOG/?author=67

    I don’t have faith in G-d to make right what people and nations are doing wrong against all reason and morality. Israel still needs to enlist the confidence and support of the world and its people to help it to become all that it has the capability to be.

    By Rabbi Meir Kahane
    June, 1990

    Isolation. The Jew does not wish to be isolated. He fears being alone, without allies. He fears man, he trusts only in man and so – in the exquisitely Divine way of the Almighty – precisely that which he fears will be sent upon him. He fears to do that which the Almighty demands – to annex the territories and establish Jewish sovereignty over them, as part of the Holy Land of Israel. The Almighty repays him by turning them into burning caldrons of an
    intifada, with confused Israeli youth not knowing whether these Holy lands are indeed Jewish or “occupied.” While a world that is normal and knows that if land belongs to you then you annex it, feels free to condemn a country that does not do so as an “occupier.”

    He fears to throw out the cancer raging in his midst – the Arab enemy – lest the world turn on him. He is repaid measure for measure by a grim Almighty as the world, daily, condemns him for “oppression” of people that would not have been there had he had faith in G-d rather than fear of the Gentile.

    In any event, the Jew will be isolated, and that is the greatest blessing imaginable. For so long as the Jew has even one ally, he will be convinced – in his smallness of mind – that his salvation came from that ally. It is only when he is alone – against all of his own efforts and frantic attempts – that he will, through no choice, be compelled to turn to G-d. And it is only when the Jew stands alone against a world unified in hatred against him, that the Almighty will turn, in His anger and wrath, against the nations that knew Him not, and His powerful arm that will bring salvation to the Jew will be the awesome proof to the nations that the Lord, G-d of Israel, is indeed One – the only One.

    That is why isolation will be. That it is why it must be. It is the greatest of blessings, and the foolish Jew of little faith sees it only as a curse. Foolish Jew, Jew of Exile, whose soul and mind has been destroyed by that Exile, who has turned from a Jew of faith into one of trembling before the man of dust

    Unless. Unless we become the Jews we were meant to be. The Jews of chosenness. Of might and faith. Unless we ignore both the money and the honey of the United States and their empty threats and condemnation. Condemnation? It is dandruff to be brushed away before moving on to do the will of G-d. In any event, there is no choice. The United States will turn on Israel, slowly and subtly. The difference is that if we turn from the Gentile first, we will have the Almighty as the immediate staff and our comfort. If not, we will have neither the Gentile nor, for a terrible stage, the Almighty.

  11. Shy Guy: I share your disdain for these institutions – where we differ is that I think it is worthwhile to exercise our right to protest to change the focus and mandates of these bodies; whereas, you want to ignore them and let them continue down the path of deception. I don’t blame you, it is just a matter of choice and how one approaches these problems.

    The arrogance of pretending that Israel is an indestructible island in a sea of enemies is what I try to avoid. I think that Israel is more vulnerable and in a more precarious position vis-à-vis the rest of the world than some are prepared to admit/acknowledge.

    I don’t have faith in G-d to make right what people and nations are doing wrong against all reason and morality. Israel still needs to enlist the confidence and support of the world and its people to help it to become all that it has the capability to be.

  12. I really believe that the first step in dismantlement of that “Frankenstein monster”,is for Israel to quit it. Others would eventually follow till it snowballs.

  13. Gary, some of us don’t have your hangup. Israel’s sovereignty should not be dependent on the whims of a self-appointed court of stuffed robes and an international forum hosting a majority membership of Jew loathing cutthroats.

    The Frankenstein monster, resulting from the League of Nations’ laboratory experiment over half a century ago must be destroyed. Where’s my pitchfork?!

  14. I hope that Ms. Navanethem Pillay, the judge from the World Court, newly appointed to take over from Ms. Arbour is not made of the same stuff.

    She must prove herself by banning Durban II. If she does not, then we are in for more of the same.

    I urge people to write Ms. Pillay to ask for Durban II to be cancelled. You can ask that your email be forwarded to Ms. Pillay. Write to: Visits@icc-cpi.int

  15. I know many people who are a disgrace. A more accurate description of Arbour would be scum of the earth.

  16. Irwin Cotler, Canadian MP, law professor and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada recently revealed an incident in which Ms. Arbour contacted him in her capacity as head of UN Human Rights Commission to participate in an investigation of an Israeli missile which went off course and hit some bystanders in Gaza. Desmond Tutu was also to be among the panel of prestigious investigators.

    When Cotler asked Arbour if there was going to be an equally probing investigation of Sderot and the daily missile bombardment of Israel by Hamas terrorists, she feigned little knowledge of these incidents, then downplayed their significance and refused to take Colter’s suggestion seriously. Colter did not participate in this UN sham of terror support – part of the UN industry engaged in making Palestinians seem the perpetual victims at the hands of the Israelis.

    Have a look at Cotler’s article, The Double Nakba:

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1214726165071&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    This is one further piece of evidence supporting the fact that Ms. Arbour is “a disgrace.”