Monday, March 31, 2003

File this under "Yet Another Reason To Pull Out Of The UN"

When the chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission is from Libya, this is what you get:

From the Jerusalem Post
Palestinian observer to UN Human Rights Commission for calls for "elimination" of Israel
Herb Keinon Mar. 31, 2003

The Simon Wiesenthal Center demanded Sunday the recall of the Palestinian observer to the UN Human Rights Commission for calling for
the "elimination" of Israel.

Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal Center's representative at the 59th Human Rights Commission session currently taking place in Geneva, wrote the UN Human Rights High Commissioner Sergio Vieira de Mello calling on him to "immediately condemn the Palestinian observer and take the necessary measures for his recall, due to his violation of the UN Charter in
calling for the 'elimination' of the state of Israel.

In addition to calling for Israel's elimination, Samuels said, Nabil Ramlawi repeatedly compared Nazism and "new Zionist Nazism," and at one
point said Zionist Nazism was worse than German Nazism.

Samuel, in his letter to de Mello, said, "this call for the elimination of Israel may reveal the true intentions of the PA, but such language
should have resulted in the immediate intervention of the session's chairperson, Libyan Ambassador Najat al-Hajjaji."

Samuels' also called on the High commissioner to "censure Ms. al-Hajjaji for her abuse of power in not restraining Ramlawi's excesses."

In a related matter, the Wiesenthal Center Monday called on the Human Rights Commission to launch a "a full and thorough investigation of
UNRWA's expenditure and employment practices" and "to establish an independent committee to restructure what has become an agent for the
perpetuation of the Middle East conflict."

Samuels, in addressing the session's debate on "the Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including
Palestine," said that "after 55 years of stagnation it is time to ask whether UNRWA has not served to perpetuate Palestinian refugee status."

He called for a "re-examination of UNRWA, by an independent agency, to determine whether it serves the cause of peace through its statutory
responsibility for 'relief works.' Or, in contravention of its mandate and the UN Charter, is it, in fact, a prejudicial agent for the
perpetuation of conflict and the deprivation of human rights?"

Samuels said the time has come to question whether UNRWA has not served the policies of Arab countries opposed to integration of the refugees in order to stoke the ever-festering Israeli-Arab conflict.

Samuels also slammed UNRWA head Peter Hansen, who - in April 2002 - said that in Jenin Israel had perpetrated "a human catastrophe that has
few parallels in recent history."

"The Hansen story," Samuels said, "entered the annals of 'Big Lie' revisionism, exacerbating further Palestinian hatred and politicizing
UNRWA as an instrument of propaganda and incitement."


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