Israel Belongs on the UN Security Council

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The Trump administration has stated that it intends to move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. While this is important, there is a far more urgent goal because time is running short: helping Israel get a seat on the UN Security Council (UNSC), for which Israel has formally applied, when vacancies open up in 2019. There won’t be another opportunity until 2029.

Some background information is in order before considering strategies. The relevant facts are disturbing, to say the least, and deserve to be better known.

From 1946 to 1965, the UNSC had eleven members. Five were permanent: the US, the UK, France, the Republic of China (later PRC), and the USSR (later Russia). The six non-permanent members were drawn from five regional groups: two from Latin America and one each from Commonwealth of Nations, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Western Europe. To qualify for a nonpermanent seat on the UNSC, a UN member had to satisfy three conditions, which still apply today: (1) membership in a regional group; (2) group concurrence; and (3) concurrence by a majority of the entire UN membership.

Though a UN member after 1948 when it was created, Israel never even qualified for a seat on the UNSC because it did not belong to any of the five regional groups and thus failed to meet the first condition. The countries belonging to the Middle East group, which were dedicated to the destruction of Israel, conspired successfully to keep the Jewish state out of the group and in bureaucratic limbo. Why they were able to get away with it is not a mystery. The UN was perfectly content to treat Israel as a pariah state hoping it would disappear, an attitude that persists to this day.

After 1966, UNSC membership expanded to 15. The five permanent members kept their seats while the five regional groups were redefined and got two non-member seats each: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin-America and Caribbean, Western Europe and Others (WEOG), and Eastern Europe.

If it’s not apparent where Israel belonged under this reconfiguration, the answer is nowhere. The usual suspects, now in the Asia-Pacific group, were successful in continuing to keep Israel in bureaucratic limbo despite the new iteration of UN-style gerrymandering skullduggery. Once again, the rest of the UN didn’t care.

Incredibly, there the matter rested until the year 2000, when Israel became a temporary member of the WEOG in May of that year. In 2004, Israel obtained a permanent renewal of its membership in the group’s US headquarters but was granted only observer status at UN offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Rome, and Vienna — more UN skullduggery. Finally, in December, 2013, Israel became a full permanent member of WEOG. Thus, it took 65 years for the Jewish state to have the same rights as every other UN member! How many people knew that, I wonder? I hereby challenge Bill O’Reilly to run a “Watters’ World” segment on the question.

There are 28 countries in the WEOG: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, Australia, Canada, Israel, and New Zealand. The US holds only observer status in the group.

Except Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland (which is neutral), all 28 WEOG countries have been on the UNSC, even Malta and Luxembourg. It’s worth adding that several WEOG members have been on the UNSC three or more times: Italy (six times), Spain (five), Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

Two WEOG vacancies on the UNSC will open up in 2019. Initially, only Israel and Belgium applied. In a surprise move, Germany announced in 2013 it would compete. Group members would gladly push Israel aside in favor of Germany and Belgium.

Observers have rightly criticized Bonn for trying to spoil Israel’s chances and have urged the Germans to withdraw. But there is another alternative.

At the moment, the WEOG has three non-permanent members on the UNSC instead of two: Italy, Sweden, and the Netherlands. This unusual situation occurred because Italy and the Netherlands tied in a contested race for a UNSC seat and were allowed to split a two-year term. Germany or Belgium could perhaps be persuaded to use this as precedent and make room for Israel. Germany has been a supporter of Israel at the UN and might go along. NATO is in Belgium, so President Trump would have clout if he decided the issue had high enough priority.

It’s by no means a sure thing that the State Department would go along or move quickly enough once President Trump made his wishes clear. The pro-Arab faction at Foggy Bottom is powerful, well-entrenched, and would resist a change of direction on a policy they managed to keep in place for decades. The new sheriff just sworn in, Rex Tillerson, will only be effective after some serious housecleaning.

The real fight will be on the floor of the General Assembly, where a majority of the UN’s 193 members will have to approve Israel’s assignment to the UNSC even if for only one year. The many countries that conspired over the decades to keep Israel in limbo or tried to destroy it are still around singing the same tune. Muslim populations all over Europe are expected to exert pressure on UN ambassadors, as will the mainstream media. And then there’s the fact that, aided and abetted by the outgoing Obama administration, the UNSC last December voted unanimously to condemn Israel’s settlement policy.

Some will ask why the US should get involved. These are the folks who think the Middle East is a quagmire and we should stay away because nothing good will come of it. They would add that the US secretaries of state during 1948-2000 — from George Marshall to Dean Rusk to Henry Kissinger to Alexander Haig to James Baker to Warren Christopher — were right to ignore the appalling treatment of Israel at the UN.

So, Mr. President, which side will you be on? What about House Speaker Ryan, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, House Minority Leader Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Schumer? This is an issue on which our most senior officials can speak with one voice.

President Obama’s Genocide

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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was released from Iraqi prison custody in 2009, shortly after President Obama came to power largely upon a political promise to end U.S. military involvement in Iraq. Baghdadi was captured in February 2004 by U.S. forces and had been involved in extensive radical activities including kidnappings of many individuals and ransom activities. Under Saddam he had been involved in radical Islamic sects, earning him extra attention from the Baathist government before U.S. forces arrived. Since the premature departure of American forces led by President Obama, Baghdadi rose quickly to power among Islamic supremacists. By 2010, he was acknowledged as the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. By 2014, his genocidal fantasy with the new moniker of ISIS was already killing 1,000 Iraqis a month in car bombings and various supremacist terrorist acts designed to kill the innocent while attracting more fanatical followers to the idealized task of re-creating the Islamic Caliphate.

ISIS spread across Iraq and Syria and seized U.S. military supplies as it institutionalized savage genocidal policies across the region. Everything from the sale of oil to human organs helped fund this genocidaire’s radical nihilism that was designed to swallow up the entire world if enough allegiance could be gained. Spectacular ‘deaths as text’ filled the internet with videos of people being burned alive, drowned, crucified, thrown off buildings, and an endless quest for more shocking and vivid betrayals of human dignity. ISIS managed to kill 1,200 people outside of its locus of control in Syria and Iraq. Though President Bush predicted in his State of the Union message of 2007 that a premature exit from Iraq would lead to precisely this scenario, the Obama administration continually maintained that one of its most important successes was withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq. More than 30,000 people were killed by ISIS — mostly Muslims but many Christians and Yazidis as well. Christians and Yazidis were begrudgingly recognized as specific genocide targets in 2016 by the U.S. State Department, but the Obama administration did not prioritize their escape to places such as the United States. The refusal to protect the Yazidis was in some sense ideological payback for the fierce support Kurdish groups gave to the U.S. invasion of Iraq since 2002 to the present. In fact, President Obama mocked such religious preferences for the Christians and Yazidis as “Un-American” in 2015:

“When I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which a person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution — that’s shameful, That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.”

Of course, that is precisely the kind of standard that was necessary to protect Jews from Nazi Germany and it was the standard of military action in Bosnia for NATO to protect Muslims in the mid-1990s over the objections of the United Nations. Moreover, Obama’s misinterpretation of humanitarian asylum norms gives preference to perpetrators of genocide who control public discourse. Obama’s words help prevent Christians, who make up ten percent of Syria’s population, from escaping the genocidal hell on earth created by ISIS. Samantha Power, who some say wrote the book on America and genocide, did not undo that policy argued by President Obama in her role as UN Ambassador. She did have time to recently ask the Russian government if they had any “shame” in their efforts to stop ISIS.

There were three times as many deaths in Syria since 2012 as there were in Iraq from 2003 to 2009. Yet, there were no massive marches in the U.S. and Europe against this violence as there were during the Iraq war. The anti-war movement has never been against war. It is against the United States military and the Israeli military. There have been nearly 70,000 deaths in Iraq since 2009 and the abrupt U.S. military withdrawal. These death tolls were largely ignored by the media in an effort to bolster the false perception that the Iraq withdrawal was a success. These deaths lay squarely upon the Obama administration and an intellectual culture that bolsters the idea that American assertiveness in the world is the root of all evil. Terrorism is a rational response to the reality that America hates Muslims. That pathology is believed among some in the U.S. and among the supremacists in Iraq and Syria. The parsing of terrorism data to create domestic ‘lightning is more likely to kill you than terrorism’ is direct jingoistic dehumanization of victims living outside the United States and part of a larger intellectual pathology of suggesting that America is an evil hegemon bent on harming innocent Muslims.

Baghdadi is a genocidaire who envisions killing every person on the planet who disagrees with his Islamic supremacist vision. He never should have been released from the Iraqi prison in 2009 so he could create ISIS. His rhetoric and actions combined with the callous inaction and deception of the Obama administration created conditions of genocide in Iraq and Syria. Obama’s chief expert on genocide Samantha Power, who mocked the U.S. government in her 2002 book, must now gaze upon hundreds of thousands of lives lost in genocidal activities during her leadership. The thesis that American military withdrawal from Iraq would defuse the motives for terrorism has proven terribly false. The current effort to demonize the new immigration orders for Syria that would reprioritize entry and allow genocide victims to escape this age of genocide is diabolical and we ought not be silent.

Ben Voth is an associate professor of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs and Director of Debate at Southern Methodist University. He is the author of The Rhetoric of Genocide: Death as a Text and co-author with Robert Denton of Social Fragmentation and the Decline of American Democracy.

Extremely vetted Syria refugee had unvetted contacts with Islamic State

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The liberal media like to say over and over that refugees from the Middle East are already subject to extreme vetting.  The most extreme!  The bureaucratic equivalent of waterboarding!  Why, they sat down refugees and actually asked them questions!  How much more thorough could they be than that?

Apparently, they missed something, because they let in at least one ISIS operative.

Federal agents are reinvestigating the backgrounds of dozens of Syrian refugees already in the United States after discovering a lapse in vetting that allowed some who had potentially negative information in their files to enter the country, two U.S. law enforcement officials said.

Do you appreciate the minimalist way this was written?  There’s nothing to worry about – merely “potentially negative information in their files.”  Doesn’t sound very serious, does it?

The refugees whose cases are under review include one who failed a polygraph test when he applied to work at a U.S. military installation overseas and another who may have been in communication with an Islamic State leader, according to the officials

I would say communicating with an Islamic State leader would be very “potentially negative information” in a refugee’s file.  Wouldn’t you?

President Obama ramped up the acceptance of Syrians last year to address the humanitarian crisis in that country, admitting 15,479 Syrian refugees, a 606% increase over the 2,192 admitted in 2015. Since the civil war started, the U.S. has accepted more than 18,000 Syrians seeking asylum, according to the State Department.

The vast majority pose no threat, officials say.

So what’s the problem?  If 60% or 70% or even 80% pose no threat, is there any reason to be concerned about Syrian refugees?

The 21-step screening process for Syrian refugees is among the most rigorous for anyone seeking to enter the United States.

The most rigorous!

Typically, the refugees are first screened by the United Nations and then referred to the State Department and other countries for potential resettlement.

Good to know we can rely on the U.N.!

As they review the applications, U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials check the names and identities against databases.

What databases? When someone comes from a regime with no central government, what database is there to check against?  What do they do, a keyword search for ISIS on LinkedIn?

The vetting gap stemmed from a technological issue that for a period of time limited how agents searched CIA databases during the background check process, the officials said. As U.S. intelligence agents cross-checked refugees’ names and biographical information against CIA databases, the computer systems were not initially set up to automatically inspect data contained in “attachments” to the records, the officials said.

I have complete confidence in extreme vetting, don’t you?

Refugee applications have been rescreened before. In 2011, the files of more than 58,000 Iraqi refugees already living in the U.S. were vetted after the FBI learned that an Iraqi man living in Kentucky had participated in roadside bomb attacks in Iraq before he was granted asylum. He and another Iraqi refugee were arrested by the FBI and pleaded guilty in 2013 to trying to send explosives and missiles to the group known as Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Did they forget to check their email attachments?

Maybe they’re not doing the right keyword searches.  Or maybe there’s a problem with their spreadsheets.  Or maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t let an incompetent bureaucracy let any of these people in.  One of the great things Donald Trump is doing is stopping immigration from Syria, on a temporary basis.  It should be made permanent.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

The Supreme Council of Cyberspace

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