Nikki Haley Will Not Equivocate on the Ecosystem of Violence

The new United States ambassador to the United Nations was unimpressed with her first monthly meeting of the UN Security Council. Nikki Haley addressed the press and called out the blinding anti-Israel hatred at the United Nations. She clearly stated that the US would stand up against the distortions of reality peddled repeatedly at the global body.

Some of her remarks were not new compared to Obama’s UN ambassador Samantha Power, who also lamented the anti-Israel bias of the UN. Like Haley, Power also stated that any peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs would need to be negotiated directly between the parties and not forced on them by external forces.

But there was a clear break from the Obama administration, specifically as it related to Israeli “settlements” east of the 1949 Green Line (EGL).

Settlements

The Obama administration believed that no Jews should be allowed to live in EGL. As such, it allowed a damning UN Resolution, UN Res 2334, to pass the UN Security Council which labeled such settlements as illegal. Haley was horrified. She stated:

We will never repeat the terrible mistake of Resolution 2334 and allow one-sided Security Council resolutions to condemn Israel. Instead, we will push for action on the real threats we face in the Middle East.”

Haley said that the UNSC has failed its mission. “The Security Council is supposed to discuss how to maintain international peace and security.” Under her watch, she would aim to refocus the group on the ecosystem of violence in the Middle East which includes:

  • Hizballah’s illegal build-up of rockets;”
  • on the “money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists;
  • and holding “Bashar al-Assad accountable for the slaughter of hundreds and thousands of civilians.”

Haley wants the UN Security Council to focus on how “we defeat ISIS,” not on Jewish families buying and moving into apartments in the eastern half of Jerusalem.

This is a sharp departure in approach from the Obama administration.

haley
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at her first press conference
February 16, 2017

Even when Obama’s team at the United Nations condemned Palestinian Arab terrorism, it equivocated by discussing Jewish homes in the same statement. Just look at the statement one month ago about the condemnation of the January 8 terrorism against Israelis. Ambassador Michele J. Sison said:

Let me begin by reiterating, in the strongest possible terms, the United States’ condemnation of the horrific vehicular attack on January 8 by a terrorist in Jerusalem. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the four Israeli soldiers who were killed, including U.S. citizen Erez Orbach, and we hope for a full and fast recovery of those injured. The United States and the Security Council both issued statements condemning the attack. There is absolutely no justification for such brutal and senseless attacks. … We have repeatedly and emphatically stressed to the Palestinians that all incitement to violence must stop and that all acts of terror must be condemned. Our position regarding settlement activity has also been clear.”

How did a condemnation of violence (note that the terrorist was not labeled “Palestinian”) get combined with condemnation of Jewish homes? Because of Obama’s symmetry of Palestinian violence and Jewish presence. It was not just cause-and-effect for the Obama administration; it was the equivalence of evil.

The Obama administration wanted to put Palestinian violence in context. It was not naked aggression against innocents as the Middle East witnessed in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, but simply part of an ongoing dispute about land.

As further evidence, consider Ambassador Sison’s comments about a two-state solution on December 16, 2016:

The United States remains committed to achieving a lasting resolution to the conflict, and we will continue to work to advance the interest we all share in bringing about a lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. We remain in close consultation with the parties and key stakeholders to try to move things in a more positive direction.

We continue to call on all sides to demonstrate with actions and policies a genuine commitment to the two-state solution that will enable a resumption of meaningful negotiations in the future.

This administration has consistently opposed every effort to delegitimize Israel or undermine its security, including at the United Nations, and we will continue to oppose any resolutions that would seek to do so.

As you know, we are very concerned about the situation on the ground and believe that current trends are moving in the wrong direction. This includes our serious concerns about continued settlement activity. Make no mistake – the United States views settlements as illegitimate and counterproductive to the cause of peace.

In his recent remarks at the Saban Forum, Secretary Kerry made clear that Israel now faces a choice between continued settlement activity and a two-state solution in the future. As he said, while we do not believe that settlements are the root cause of the conflict, they are clearly a barrier to achieving a two-state solution.

The number of settlers in the West Bank has climbed from 110,000 at the time of the Oslo accords in 1993 to nearly 400,000 today. We are deeply disturbed by Israel’s moving forward on the unprecedented legalization under Israeli law of outposts deep in the West Bank. We believe the potential legalization of thousands of settlement housing units that are currently illegal under Israeli law would profoundly damage prospects for a two-state solution.

We are further troubled when ministers in the Israeli government say publicly that there will be no Palestinian state.

Terrorism, incitement to violence, glorification of terrorists, and other violent acts also profoundly threaten efforts to advance peace. We continue to stress to the Palestinian leadership the importance of strongly opposing violence in all forms. We continue to make clear that the terrorism and incitement to violence must end, such acts run contrary to efforts to preserve prospects for peace.

We strongly condemn terrorist acts and other violence against Israelis and Palestinians. There is absolutely no justification for such acts.

We are also deeply concerned about reports of excessive use of force by Israeli security forces against Palestinian civilians. Authorities should conduct timely and transparent investigations into these incidents, and ensure that appropriate measures, including prosecution when warranted, are taken to follow through on the findings.”

This went beyond equivocation. Team Obama laid most of the blame for a stalemate of peace negotiation on Jews living in EGL. There was only a single statement against Palestinian Arab violence and the PA leadership’s support of the violence. The problem principally stemmed from Jewish homes and violence and excessive force against Palestinians.

Ambassador Samantha Power used the same formulation time-and-again. On July 12, 2016, Power said:

“Let me begin with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We share the Secretary-General’s serious concern about the situation on the ground, especially the violence against innocent civilians. There is absolutely no justification for terrorism or for the taking of innocent lives. That is why we condemn in the strongest terms the unconscionable terrorist attack last week in the West Bank, where a 13-year-old girl, Hallel Ariel, was stabbed to death in her own home as she slept.

In recent months, there’s been a steady stream of violence on both sides of the conflict. On June 21, as we heard, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy, Mahmoud Badran, was killed when returning home from a night out at a water park in the West Bank, in what the Israeli army said was an accidental shooting. Shortly thereafter, clashes broke out at Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount during Ramadan. We offer our most sincere condolences to the families of Hallel and Mahmoud and all victims of senseless acts of violence.

Israel just announced the advancement of hundreds of settlement units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. If implemented, this would be the latest step in what seems to be a systematic process of land seizures, settlement expansions, and legalizations of outposts that is fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution.”

A deliberate act of Palestinian Arab terrorism became morphed into an accidental killing of an Arab boy. And then somehow Jewish homes get thrown into the discussion.

Further, how did a phrase “absolutely no justification” get repeated for Palestinian violence? Why was it constantly sandwiched between condemnation of violence and settlements? Either Palestinian violence and Israeli settlements have nothing to do with each other (no cause-and-effect, just both equally bad), or they very much are connected, and the Obama administration really believes that there IS a justification for murdering Jews.

In such a mindset of distortions, it was not surprising that the Obama administration allowed UNSC Resolution 2334 to pass


It is still very early, but the words of the US Ambassador Haley at her first press conference were encouraging. As she clearly stated:

The prejudiced approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues does the peace process no favors. And it bears no relationship to the reality of the world around us.”

#AlternativeFacts have been present for many years at the United Nations, including from the mouths of US officials. Maybe Haley’s new focus on hatred and violence will lead to a more peaceful world.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

The Obama Administration Continues to Abandon Israel in Fighting Terror

Ban Ki Moon Understands Why People Kill Israelis

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

The US State Department Does Not Want Israel to Fight Terrorism

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Journalists Killed in 2016 #AlternativeFacts

There were several dozens of journalists killed around the world in 2016. The exact number seems hard to pin down.

According to UNESCO, 101 journalists were killed. It considered Syria as the most dangerous country for journalists, and elaborated that “the most lives were lost in the Arab States, where the armed conflicts in the Syrian Arab Republic, Iraq and Yemen have claimed the largest share. Media operating in Latin America and the Caribbean saw 28 casualties, including bloggers and freelancers, constituting the region as second deadliest in 2016.

However, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) counted 93 journalists as targeted and killed. They note that another 29 were killed in accidents or natural disasters bringing the total to 122. IFJ listed the most lethal country for journalists as Iraq (15 killed) followed by Afghanistan (13). Syria ranked as  #6 with 6 killed.

Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) tallied 74 journalists murdered, including non-professional “citizen-journalists.” RSF tagged Syria as the deadliest country. “Syria continues to be the world’s deadliest place for journalists, followed by Afghanistan. Worldwide, two thirds of the journalists killed this year were in war zones. Almost all of them were local journalists, now that news organizations are increasingly reluctant to send their reporters to dangerous hotspots abroad.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) announced that 48 journalists were killed in 2016, with clear motives. Syria led the list with 14, followed by other Arab and Muslim countries: Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

So how many journalists were killed in 2016? 122? 101? 93? 74? 48?

How did four “non-partisan” and “reputable” organizations come to such different conclusions? Did some organization include accidents while others did not? Perhaps one included civilian-journalists and bloggers while another just counted professionals. Maybe some groups did not include peripheral casualties if the journalist wasn’t specifically targeted.

All possibilities. As is bias.

Consider that IFJ has a history of declaring that anyone who self-declares as a journalist is a journalist. So if a terrorist operative used press credentials to infiltrate certain areas to commit murder, that person counted as a journalist by IFJ, but not always by other organizations.

In searching for a reason, maybe one could argue that a higher total of injured journalists heightened the importance of umbrella organizations like IFJ. But that would leave a question of why RSF and CPJ would post such low totals compared to UNESCO.

Maybe the reason for one country getting a higher total was purely innocent. If a Syrian journalist was killed in Turkey maybe one organization listed the murder as happening in Turkey, while another focused on the place where the journalist reported.

journalist-killed
Anti-ISIS Syrian journalist Zaher al-Shurqat killed in Turkey in May 2016

Beyond listing the raw “facts,” UNESCO, RSF and CPJ reached conclusions based on those facts that the most lethal country in the world for journalists was Syria, even though IFJ announced that the country wasn’t even in the top five. IFJ stated that the most dangerous place in the world to be a journalist was the Asia-Pacific region, specifically Philippines, Pakistan and India. UNESCO, RSF and CPJ claimed that it is the Arab states.  Which was right?

The IFJ website covers the entire world by region and claims to be devoted to a mission beyond politics. “The IFJ does not subscribe to any given political viewpoint, but promotes human rights, democracy and pluralism.”  But the English site reserves reporting about the Middle East to only be in Arabic – clearly limiting the audience of readers to a narrow segment of the world population. Why would it deliberately produce an entire section in Arabic? To educate the region that it scores the lowest in regards to “human rights, democracy and pluralism?” To make it impossible for non-Arabic speakers to read about the state of journalists in the Arab world?

 

In 2017, the world was intrigued by the term “Alternative Facts,” and reacted to it as if it were a new phantom reality. In truth, people and organizations have always looked at the same situation and extracted DIFFERENT FACTS, not only different conclusions. Sometimes the reasons are apparent and other times not. Often one can see the motivating factors which led to a party extracting and expressing particular facts and conclusions, and there are times when the listener is simply stumped.

Does it make the party sharing the facts a liar? Biased? Uninformed? Maybe, maybe and maybe.

As the consumers of information that is oftentimes murky, seek the source and basis of the “facts,” and don’t only rely on someone’s conclusions.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Social Media’s “Fake News” and Mainstream Media’s Half-Truths

Journalists in the Middle East

Israel’s Freedom of the Press; New York Times “Nonsense”

New York Times Confusion on Free Speech

Selective Speech

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