#UNESCO silent as #Hamas destroys heritage site; #Obama wants to fund UNESCO despite #sequester

April 15, 2013

(Carl)Hamas has partially destroyed a 3,000-year old seaport in Gaza that is a UNESCO World Heritage site in order to expand a military training facility (Hat Tip: Israel Daily News Stream). UNESCO has greeted the move with silence. Meanwhile, with the United States trillions of dollars in debt and with basic necessities for Americans being subject to automatic sequester, the Obama administration has asked to restore $77.7 million in funding that was taken away from UNESCO when it made ‘Palestine’ a member (Hat Tip: Monica S).
This is from the first link.

Earlier last month, amid overwhelming criticism from public figures and nongovernmental organizations, the military wing of the Islamic movement of Hamas, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, bulldozed a part of the ancient Anthedon Harbor in northern Gaza along the Mediterranean Sea. The Brigades damaged the harbor in order to expand its military training zone, which was initially opened on the location in 2002, according to Ejla.

The Anthedon seaport, which dates back over 3,000 years to the Mycenaean era, is considered one of the most important sites in the Middle East and is the oldest harbor in Gaza.

It was designated an international heritage site by UNESCO in 2012. The location was discovered in 1997 on the space of 180,000 square meters. It contains mosaic floors with historical pillars from the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic ages.(Read the Complicated Details. Of course Hamas said they would do otherwise and then changed their mind)

The administration argued that the defunding legislation “runs counter to U.S. national security interests by allowing the Palestinians to isolate the United States and prevent the active U.S. engagement necessary to pursue U.S. policy objectives in international organizations.”
“In turn, the United States would lose influence and eventually voting rights in international organizations,” it added.

….as if all the money we have spent on Palestine so far has given influence?


Vatican silent as UNESCO to register Church of the Nativity in ‘Palestine’

June 13, 2012

Israel is working to prevent the ‘Palestinian Authority’ from registering the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as a UNESCO historical site of the imaginary state of ‘Palestine.’ The gory details of the application are here, and it is not certain that the application will be granted at this time. But given how the ‘Palestinians’ treat Christians generally, and given how they have treated the Church of the Nativity in particular, isn’t the Vatican’s silence on the issue rather odd? To remind you of how the ‘Palestinians’ treated the Church of the Nativity:

Here’s a brief summary of what happened:

On April 2, 2002, as Israel implemented its Defensive Shield operation to combat the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure, in Bethlehem “a number of terrorists took over St. Mary’s Church grounds and…held the priest and a number of nuns there against their will. The terrorists used the Church as a firing position, from which they shot at IDF soldiers in the area. The soldiers did not return fire toward the church when fired upon [emphasis added]. An IDF force, under the command of the Bethlehem area regional commander, entered the Church grounds today without battle, in coordination with its leaders, and evacuated the priest and nuns.”
That same day, “More than 100 Palestinian gunmen…[including] soldiers and policemen, entered the Church of the Nativity on Tuesday, as Israeli troops swept into Bethlehem in an attempt to quell violence by Palestinian suicide bombers and militias.” The actual number of terrorists was between 150 and 180, among them prominent members of the Fatah Tanzim. As the New York Times put it, “Palestinian gunmen have frequently used the area around the church as a refuge, with the expectation that Israel would try to avoid fighting near the shrine” [emphasis added].
And in fact this was the case. The commander of the Israeli forces in the area asserted that the IDF would not break into the church itself and would not harm this site holy to Christianity. Israel also deployed more mature and more reserved reserve-duty soldiers in this sensitive situation that militarily called for more agile, standing-army soldiers.
On the other hand, the Palestinians did not treat it the same way. Not only did they take their weapons with them into the Church of the Nativity and fire, on occasion, from the church, but also reportedly booby-trapped the entrance to the church.
On April 7, “one of the few priests evacuated from the church told Israeli television yesterday that gunmen had shot their way in, and that the priests, monks and nuns were essentially hostages….The priest declined to call the clergy ‘hostages,’ but repeatedly said in fluent English: ‘We have absolutely no choice. They have guns, we do not.'”
Christians clearly saw the takeover as a violation of the sanctity of the church. In an interview with CWNews, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican’s Undersecretary of State and the top foreign-policy official, asserted that “The Palestinians have entered into bilateral agreements [with the Holy See] in which they undertake to maintain and respect the status quo regarding the Christian holy places and the rights of Christian communities. To explain the gravity of the current situation, let me begin with the fact that the occupation of the holy places by armed men is a violation of a long tradition of law that dates back to the Ottoman era. Never before have they been occupied – for such a lengthy time – by armed men.” On April 14, he reiterated his position in an interview on Vatican Radio.
On April 24, the Jerusalem Post reported on the damage that the PA forces were causing:

Three Armenian monks, who had been held hostage by the Palestinian gunmen inside Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, managed to flee the church area via a side gate yesterday morning. They immediately thanked the soldiers for rescuing them.
They told army officers the gunmen had stolen gold and other property, including crucifixes and prayer books, and had caused damage….
One of the monks, Narkiss Korasian, later told reporters: “They stole everything, they opened the doors one by one and stole everything…. They stole our prayer books and four crosses…they didn’t leave anything. Thank you for your help, we will never forget it.”
Israeli officials said the monks said the gunmen had also begun beating and attacking clergymen.

When the siege finally ended, the PA soldiers left the church in terrible condition:

The Palestinian gunmen holed up in the Church of the Nativity seized church stockpiles of food and “ate like greedy monsters” until the food ran out, while more than 150 civilians went hungry. They also guzzled beer, wine, and Johnnie Walker scotch that they found in priests’ quarters, undeterred by the Islamic ban on drinking alcohol. The indulgence lasted for about two weeks into the 39-day siege, when the food and drink ran out, according to an account by four Greek Orthodox priests who were trapped inside for the entire ordeal….
The Orthodox priests and a number of civilians have said the gunmen created a regime of fear.
Even in the Roman Catholic areas of the complex there was evidence of disregard for religious norms. Catholic priests said that some Bibles were torn up for toilet paper, and many valuable sacramental objects were removed. “Palestinians took candelabra, icons and anything that looked like gold,” said a Franciscan, the Rev. Nicholas Marquez from Mexico.

A problem that arose during the siege again shows Christian fear of Muslim domination. Two Palestinian gunmen in the church were killed, and the PA wanted to bury them in the basilica. “With two Muslim bodies inside the Church of the Nativity, Christianity could be facing an absolute disaster in Bethlehem,” said Canon Andrew White, the special representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Middle East. “It would be catastrophic if two Muslim martyrs were buried in the church. It could lead to a situation like that in Nazareth,” he said. Only after intensive mediation efforts were plans to bury the bodies inside abandoned.

Given this history of ‘Palestinian’ mistreatment of the Church of the Nativity, isn’t it odd that the Vatican is silent as UNESCO plans to put the ‘Palestinians’ officially in charge of the church?

considering the Pact of Umar… it’s amusing: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/jewish/jews-umar.asp

Obama Betrays Israel Again, Seeks Re-Funding of UNESCO by Circumventing US Law!

May 14, 2012

Media_httpapapromotio_aqabe(apapromotions)The Obama administration is once again betraying our ally Israel and demonstrating just how hypocritical it can be by attempting to circumvent US laws that bar funding of any United Nations agency that grants full membership status to Palestine. The stunning and shameful Obama move centers on a covert attempt to re-establish funding to UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
In 2011, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attempted to avoid peace negotiations with Israel by enacting a bogus scheme to request the UN recognize Palestinian statehood. UNESCO was the ONLY United Nations agency to grant full membership to Palestine. Immediately, Obama announced the cut-off of US funding to UNESCO according to US laws passed in 1990 and 1994. This funding accounts for about 22% of UNESCO’s annual budget – around $80 million a year.
The move put enormous financial pressure on the United Nations as a whole, which deeply depends on US funding, and helped assure that no other UN agencies would recognize Palestinian statehood or grant Palestine member status.
However, the Obama administration has now done a complete about-face, sneaking measures to re-fund UNESCO into the 2013 proposed Obama budget! Within the budget, the State Department requested $79 million for UNESCO. An additional $40.5 million was also requested for UNESCO under the heading of “contingent requirements.” This additional funding would actually cover the balance of the FY 2012 assessment for UNESCO. In other words, it would back-pay UNESCO for the funding Obama withdrew – meaning they would never have actually lost any funding in the first place!
A footnote in the Obama 2013 proposed budget, submitted to Congress this month, makes clear that this was not an accidental move on the part of the Obama administration – one in which they simply “forgot” that funding had been cut off. To the contrary, the footnote boldly declares, “The Department of State intends to work with Congress to seek legislation that would provide authority to waive restrictions on paying the US assessed contributions to UNESCO.”
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, criticized the Obama move by stating, “The Palestinian leadership’s dangerous statehood scheme at the UN was dealt a significant blow last year after the US cut off funding to UNESCO due to its admission of ‘Palestine’. Resuming US funding would give a green light for other UN bodies to follow in UNESCO’s footsteps and support the Palestinian statehood push. Any effort to walk back this funding cutoff will pave the way for the Palestinian leadership’s unilateral statehood scheme to drive on, and sends a disastrous message that the US will fund UN bodies no matter what irresponsible decisions they make.”
The Chairwoman then blasted the Obama administration, adding, “I am deeply disappointed that, rather than standing up for U.S. law and for our key ally, Israel, the Administration is seeking to remove this roadblock to the unilateral recognition of a ‘Palestinian state.’”
Jennifer Rubin noted in her Washington Post blog, “This is further evidence that the administration remains wedded to its failed attempt to cozy up to the Palestinian Authority and alleviate it from any adverse consequences flowing from its abrogation of international agreements to seek a bilateral settlement with Israel.”
This development comes directly on the heels of the Obama administration’s refusal to cut-off funding for the Palestinian Authority in the wake of the new “unity” deal struck between the P.A. and Hamas. Again, US law bars funding of designated terrorist groups – such as Hamas!
Elliot Abrams, former deputy national security advisor, recently wrote that this merger between the P.A. and Hamas also effectively ends any “peace process”:

[T]here is a price to pay for these theatrics, for no one can seriously expect Israel to negotiate peace with a combined Fatah-Hamas team when Hamas is dedicated to Israel’s destruction. It is not the PA but the PLO that formally negotiates with Israel, and one of the most damaging aspects of the “reconciliation” agreement is that Hamas is supposed to join the PLO. Once it does, all but the most ardent peace-processors will have to admit the negotiations track is truly frozen. Yes, perhaps Hamas will magically take that occasion to abandon its previous hatred of Jews and Israel, abandon terrorism, and declare itself ready for peace with Israel. If so, let’s all go back to Camp David or Annapolis for another round. If not, if Hamas is admitted into the PA government and the PLO as the terrorist group it is today, let’s acknowledge that the Palestinian leadership has turned away from any genuine effort to negotiate peace.

Rubin addresses the Obama administration’s response to both issues when she writes, “But of course the administration will do none of that [cut-off funds to the Palestinian Authority and close PLO offices in US]. It won’t even abide by the cut-off of UNESCO funds, the one symbolic move that demonstrated the futility of the P.A.’s unilateral declaration mandate. This is how the administration behaves before an election. Can you imagine how it will conduct itself if it should get four more years and be alleviated of any electoral pressure to stand with our ally Israel?” (MORE)

Relevance? UNESCO vote today will keep Syria on human rights committee at View from Geneva

March 7, 2012
Despite bid by US & UK to expel Assad regime, UNESCO waters down draft resolution; Syria to keep seat on UNESCO board and rights panel

GENEVA, March 7 (UN WATCH) – Despite vigorous efforts led by the US and Britain, a resolution on Syria to be adopted today by the UN’s education, science and culture agency will keep the Assad regime on its human rights committee, revealed UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization, which exclusively obtained a copy of the draft. Click here for draft resolution.
“That UNESCO will keep President Bashar al-Assad on its human rights committee — at the same time as the regime mercilessly murders its own people — is a moral outrage,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group.
“Today’s appalling decision calls into question the credibility of UNESCO as an agency dedicated to human rights, and casts a shadow upon the reputation of the UN as a whole.”
After UNESCO elected Syria to its human rights committee in November, UN Watch led a campaign of 55 parliamentarians, human rights and religious groups calling on the agency to reverse its decision. In response, the US and Britain initiated today’s debate at UNESCO.
“While today’s text rightly condemns Syria, the promised call to oust the regime from UNESCO’s human rights panel has been completely excised. We’re left with words, but no teeth. By maintaining Assad in a position of global influence on human rights, UNESCO today is sending absolutely the wrong message. It an unconscionable insult to the suffering people of Syria,” said Neuer.
Today’s vote is expected around 4:30 pm Paris time. The weakened resolution is expected to pass with numbers similar to last week’s vote, when Russia tried but failed to remove the Syria discussion from the agenda.(MORE)

uh… this is an issue? is anyone shocked?

‘Palestinians’ to seek to add Machpeila Cave to UNESCO heritage list in February

December 27, 2011

American tax dollars hard at work… does Ron Paul have anything to say about this? oh? yeah… this is why we shouldn’t fund UNESCO… and we are breaking our own laws to do this.

(Carl) The ‘Palestinian Authority’ plans to apply to UNESCO in February to have the Machpeila Cave and the Old City of Hebron declared UNESCO heritage sites. It goes without saying that they would classify the cave – the burial place of the three founding fathers of the Jewish nation and their wives – as a mosque.

BTW… this is in complete contradiction to Islamic belief… talk about taqqiyya: Mohammad’s hadith calling to destroy the mosques that are at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and other burial grounds

The Palestinians say they will ask UNESCO to formally recognise their cultural attachment to the Ibrahimi Mosque in February — a move only made possible by their admission to the UN body two months ago.
“Before we gained membership, we didn’t have the right to add a Palestinian archaeological site to the World Heritage List because we are under occupation and the only way to do it was through friendly countries,” said Palestinian culture minister Siham al-Barghuti.
“Now we can ask UNESCO to add our archaeological and religious sites to the World Heritage List,” she said. “It’s the main benefit we’ve won.” And if granted, would be a second symbolic victory after UNESCO membership.
Before the diplomatic wrangling starts, the Palestinians want to send clear signs that their people cherish the Ibrahami Mosque — as on November 26 when huge crowds gathered there to mark the Muslim New Year, many with their hair newly cut in line with tradition.
“I haven’t seen such crowds for long time, it’s five times more people than were here last year,” said Palestinian Hijazi Abu Sneineh, who called it a “reaffirmation of the Arab and Islamic character of the mosque”.
While both Muslims and Jews pray at the compound, the site has been divided into separate sections since 1994 when an Israeli settler opened fire on Palestinian worshippers, killing 29 of them.
Despite the mosque’s bloody past, Salah Abu Turki, 44, proudly carried his baby son for his circumcision ceremony — a rare event in recent years because of Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access to the site.
“It’s a great honour for me that my son is being circumcised here,” he said.
“The settlers also circumcise their children here, but we have more rights to do so than them because this place is a mosque and this is an ancient tradition for the people of Hebron,” he said.
Heritage efforts are focussed on more than the mosque. The city’s Mayor Khaled Essili recently returned from Paris where he took part in a conference at the Institut du Monde Arabe in support of adding Hebron’s entire Old City, including its holy sites, to the World Heritage List.
“We started a campaign three years ago to add Hebron’s Old City to the UNESCO list,” he said.
“Now the request is ready and we will present it to UNESCO in February 2012.”

I wonder if the Americans will even make noise about withholding aid to the ‘Palestinian Authority’ over this.
What could go wrong?

Pigs fly: Obama administration criticizes the ‘Palestinians’

December 27, 2011

(Carl) The Obama administration has criticized the ‘Palestinian Authority’ for its doubletalk over its support of the Zayzafuna youth magazine. As you may recall, Zayzafuna published a piece in which it admired Hitler because he murdered Jews. The criticism came in a letter from the US ambassador to UNESCO to the organization’s director general: More here.

…ooooooh somebody is worried about an election and campaign money. don’t fall for it. This is the guy who fought to give the hate mongers at UNESCO their funding back. Complaining about one misdeed ignores the greater story… that this is business as usual for Palestine and the U.S. tax dollars.

US gives ‘Palestinians’ a pass on UNESCO

December 17, 2011

(Carl) Republicans and Democrats in Congress have reached an agreement that will ignore the ‘Palestinians’ joining UNESCO and permit funding in 2012 so long as they don’t join any other United Nations bodies.

The proposed spending plan was released by congressional Republicans, who say it was agreed between Republican and Democratic appropriators as a spending plan for fiscal 2012. Their agreement has until now been kept secret.
It was unclear how soon a vote would be held, or whether details of the plan would change. Republicans are pushing for a vote as soon as possible.
The plan does not specify any particular amount of aid for the Palestinians for fiscal 2012, apparently leaving it to the Obama administration to set the level in consultation with Congress.
“The bottom line is that US aid to the Palestinian Authority can continue, which is good news,” said Dylan Williams, director of government affairs at J Street, a liberal advocacy group in Washington that says a two-state solution is essential to Israel’s survival.
J Street argues that continuing US aid to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank benefits Israel’s security. “That is because the alternative to the Palestinian Authority being able to assist Israel in maintaining order, and provide basic services to the Palestinians, is for extremist groups like Hamas to deliberately destroy that order and take control of the West Bank,” Williams told Reuters.

Of course, the ‘Palestinian Authority’ and the ‘extremist groups’ have the same goal – they just differ in how to go about attaining it.
What could go wrong?