Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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Showing posts for "United Nations"

Which Side Is UNRWA On?

by Elliott Abrams

The war in Gaza has brought UNRWA, the UN agency dealing with Palestinian “refugees,” back into the news– mostly because UNRWA schools were used to shoot rockets at Israel.

The failings of UNRWA were examined here (“Ending UNRWA and Advancing Peace“)  in December, 2011, although today they seem even worse. The UNRWA employees union is under Hamas control, and it’s clear that the staff is riddled with Hamas “activists.” The Israeli commentator and former Knesset member Einat Wilf wrote yesterday that
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UN Quiz: Who’s the Prime Minister of Israel?

by Elliott Abrams

Despite the criticism of the UN’s Goldstone Report, including by Goldstone himself, the UN seems determined to do it again.

Goldstone investigated “Operation Cast Lead,” the war between Israel and Hamas in December 2008 and January 2009, or more precisely he ignored Hamas and investigated Israel. Now the UN Human Rights Council has appointed a commission to investigate the current conflict, and once again Israel alone is to be the target. There will be no investigation of the rocket and mortars fired at Israel by Hamas, nothing about the purpose of the terror tunnels dug by Hamas into Israel, nothing about human shields, nothing even about Hamas’s use of UN facilities as storage sites and launching pads. Read more »

The Need to Fire Falk

by Elliott Abrams

The Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories of the United Nations Human Rights Council is an extremist named Richard Falk. Falk is an embarrassment to the Council and the UN whose only activity is to use violent and extreme language in denouncing Israel–most recently for “a criminal intention that is genocidal.” Read more »

Israel’s Three UN Allies

by Elliott Abrams

Just over a week ago the UN General Assembly voted to call 2014 the  ”International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.” The vote was 100 for to 7 against, with 56 abstentions.  This is a standard outcome in the General Assembly where Israel is concerned. The General Assembly passed an additional five resolutions about Israel, maintaining its obsessive, ridiculous, and indefensible record of attacking the Jewish State. Read more »

Palestinians From Syria: The Worst Treatment of All

by Elliott Abrams

There are over 500,000 Palestinian “refugees” in Syria, as counted by the UN agency handling Palestinian “refugees,” the UN Relief and Works Agency or UNRWA. The quotation marks are especially apt in this case, for the great majority of the “refugees” were born in Syria and have lived there all their lives. Only under UNRWA’s definitions of “refugee” (Palestinians who left what is now Israel in 1948, and all of their descendants until the end of time) would they qualify. Read more »

Electing the New UN Human Rights Council

by Elliott Abrams

Next week, on November 12, new members of the UN Human Rights Council will be elected. Among the candidates are nations that should never be allowed on the Council, and indeed whose presence will make the Council a mockery: Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China, and Vietnam. Read more »

The Permanent Reprehensive

by Elliott Abrams
Bashar Ja'afari, Syria's ambassador to the United Nations, speaks during a Security Council meeting at the United Nations in New York April 21, 2012. (Courtesy REUTERS/Allison Joyce). Bashar Ja'afari, Syria's ambassador to the United Nations, speaks during a Security Council meeting at the United Nations in New York April 21, 2012. (Courtesy REUTERS/Allison Joyce).

As I wrote in this blog earlier today, the ambassador– or “Permanent Representative,” to use the correct UN language–of Syria was recently elected to a position in the UN Special Committee on Decolonization. Read more »

The United Nations Elevates Syria and Sudan

by Elliott Abrams

It is always a mistake to conclude, after some untoward event at the United Nations, that the bottom has been reached. Just in the past few weeks there have been two new events that suggest there is no bottom.

First, the ambassador of Sudan was elected at the end of January as a Vice-President of the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). If this was not bad enough, the President of ECOSOC (Amb. Osorio of Colombia) issued the following organizational statement on February 12: Read more »

For Peace in Syria, Assad Must Go First

by Elliott Abrams
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets International peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus December 24, 2012 in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA. Brahimi met with Assad in Damascus on Monday to discuss a solution to the country's 21-month-old conflict. (Courtesy REUTERS/Sana). Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets International peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus December 24, 2012 in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA. Brahimi met with Assad in Damascus on Monday to discuss a solution to the country's 21-month-old conflict. (Courtesy REUTERS/Sana).

With 45,000 or more Syrians dead at the hands of Bashar al Assad and his “security forces,” it should be obvious that any conclusion to the current civil war must include his departure from power as soon as possible.

But it isn’t obvious. Unsurprisingly Russia is trying to save him, and is pushing a “peace plan” that leaves him in place.  As the Washington Post reported today, Russia is still promoting a plan, agreed in Geneva when Kofi Annan was the UN envoy, that might save Assad: Read more »