Israel Boycotts UN Human Rights Review

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Rupert Murdoch Apologized For “Grotesque, Offensive Cartoon.” And the disproportionate reach of Haaretz’s contrarian views were on usual display.

Hopefully closing the chapter on the toon tempest, The Guardian reported that the Sunday Times’ acting editor, Martin Ivens, will meet with UK Jewish leaders tomorrow to “apologize in person.”

2. Israel’s scheduled for a universal periodic review (UPR) of its human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council. Jerusalem already declared it will boycott today’s review. As the  Jerusalem Post points out, nobody has ever boycotted a UPR, and the US doesn’t want Israel setting a precedent for real violators to opt out. Amnesty International expanded on the latter point:

If Israel fails to fully engage in its examination under the Universal Periodic Review during 2013 as required, will the victims of human rights violations, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, thank the Israeli government?

But Anne Bayefsky shreds the charade.

During the UPR, country representatives turn up in Geneva while diplomats from other states proceed to make comments and recommendations on improving the country’s human rights record. Since the country can “accept” or “reject” those recommendations, it is in its interest to line up friendly participants, a disingenuous role willingly played only by rogue states. At the end, the President of the Council thanks the country concerned, regardless of the statements made by its representatives, the recommendations it has rejected, or its actual human rights record.

Bayefsky goes on to detail exactly what happened during Syria’s most recent human rights review at the council. Read the whole thing.

Nicolás Maduros Moros

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduros Moros addressing the UNHRC’s univeral periodic review of Syrian human rights, Oct. 7, 2011. An estimated 47,000 Syrians have been killed since that session.

3. WorldNetDaily followed up with more information about the explosion at Fordow. The most important stuff:

> “. . . five explosions occurred concurrently in the centrifuge chambers, two explosions in the uranium reserve enclosures and a subsequent explosion in the main hallway close to the exit.”

> “Before the explosions knocked out the cameras, interior walls could be seen coming down within the centrifuge chambers. All the explosions seemed to have been initiated from the ceilings.”

> “Iranian authorities fear that opening the site from the outside in a rescue mission could possibly release radiation and uranium gas or cause further explosions, which could contaminate thousands of people living nearby, the source said.”

> “The source added that the regime is contemplating showing old images of the interior of the site to buy time . . .”

4. Toronto Star: Your Daily Dose of Twisted Moral Equivalence.

Israel and the Palestinians

Hamas agreed to release a bunch of journalists arrested in recent days. The Jerusalem Post writes:

Hamas claimed that the journalists and bloggers had plotted to foil attempts to achieve reconciliation between the Islamist movement and Fatah . . .

The journalists denied allegations that the detainees had acted on instructions from Dahlan or any other official or party. The journalists and bloggers were arrested because of their political views and not for conspiring against Hamas or Palestinian reconciliation, they stressed.

Jordan’s King Abdullah talked to a wall trying to convince Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal to accept a two-state solution. YNet reports that the king reiterated his rejection of a Palestine-Jordan confederation. Both leaders have their reasons to make nice. ‘Nuff said.
I see that CNN‘s breathless Christiane Amanpour finally discovered “The Gatekeepers.”

For more commentary/analysis, see the Toronto Star.

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