Tag Archive: United Nations



UN Seeks to Criminalize Free Speech, Citing “Human Rights”
The dictator-dominated global body is waging a full-blown assault on free-speech rights

UN Seeks to Criminalize Free Speech, Citing “Human Rights”

Image Credits: Nicolas Raymond viaFlickr

by Alex Newman | January 1, 2015

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Under the guise of advancing what the United Nations refers to as “human rights,” the dictator-dominated global body is waging a full-blown assault on free-speech rights by pressuring governments to criminalize so-called “hate speech.”

Indeed, working alongside radical government-funded activist groups and anti-liberty politicians around the world, the UN and other totalitarian-minded forces have now reached the point where they openly claim that what they call “international law” actually requires governments to ban speech and organizations they disapprove of. Critics, though, are fighting back in an effort to protect freedom of speech — among the most fundamental of all real rights.

While Americans’ God-given right to speak freely is firmly enshrined in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, the UN and its hordes of “human rights” bureaucrats are currently terrorizing and bullying the people of Japan — among others — in an effort to drastically curtail speech rights. Pointing to a tiny group of anti-Korean activists holding demonstrations in Japan, politicians and self-styled promoters of “human rights” have also joined the UN in its Soviet-inspired crusade to ban free expression. The Japanese Constitution, however, like the American one, includes strong protections for freedom of speech. Still, that has not stopped the UN from seeking to impose its radical speech restrictions on Japan anyway.

At least two separate UN outfits, the dictator-dominated “Human Rights Commission” and the UN “Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,” have condemned Japan so far this year for failing to criminalize free speech while demanding immediate bans. The UN racial committee even released a report calling on Japanese politicians to overthrow the nation’s Constitution and take “appropriate steps to revise its legislation” by criminalizing and punishing speech, rallies, and groups considered “hateful.” The outfit also demanded a “comprehensive law prohibiting racial discrimination.”

The “human rights” committee, meanwhile, demanded that Japanese authorities “prohibit all propaganda advocating racial superiority or hatred that incites to discrimination, hostility or violence.” Even speech on the Internet is in the UN’s “human rights” crosshairs for regulation and prohibition. While anti-Korean speeches and rallies by the Japanese group “Zaitokukai” are being used as the pretext to terrorize Japan into changing its policies and infringing on citizens’ constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, the UN’s anti-free speech scheming has far larger aims.

Incredibly, despite constitutional protections for free speech and the lack of any statute even purporting to criminalize free expression, Japanese courts have actually been relying on UN agreements to punish alleged “hate” speakers. Last summer, the high court in Osaka upheld a previous ruling against the Zaitokukai organization for its speeches and rallies outside of a North Korean propaganda “school” in Kyoto that brainwashes children into worshipping mass-murdering North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The group was ordered to pay more than $100,000 for its supposed hate speech — again, despite the Constitution’s protections for free speech and the lack of a “hate speech” statute in Japan.

Also alarming to critics is that top members of the Japanese political class are already plotting to use “hate speech” laws to criminalize criticism of government and politicians. According to a recent report in the Economist magazine, revisionist politician Sanae Takaichi said “hate-speech” laws should be used to stop people from protesting government actions outside of Parliament. Lawmakers must be free to work “without any fear of criticism,” she explained, sending shivers down the spines of free-speech advocates. Apparently the totalitarian sentiment is widespread among the political class, though Japan’s justice minister has so far resisted UN calls to pursue “hate speech” schemes.

Much of the UN’s lobbying against freedom of speech in Japan, as in other nations, revolves around the “International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination” and similar planetary thought-police regimes. The radical UN agreement, which took effect in 1969 but was not ratified by Japanese authorities until the 1990s, purports to criminalize “discriminatory expression.” Under the global body’s anti-free-speech regime, national governments are supposedly “required” to ban all speech that might justify or promote racial hatred, hostility, or discrimination — and punish the perpetrators.

Then UN “Human Rights” Czar Navi Pillay, a South African who was widely ridiculed after her half-baked attacks on the United States in recent years, also offered some chilling insight into the dictator-dominated global body’s views on liberty. “Defining the line that separates protected from unprotected speech is ultimately a decision that is best made after a thorough assessment of the circumstances of each case,” she argued. In other words, any time somebody speaks, he or she must wonder whether their speech might run afoul of dubious UN notions of “hate speech” — to be decided after the fact.

Of course, the issue at hand is not really “hate speech.” Threats and incitement to violence are already crimes in Japan and virtually the entire civilized world, so no new statutes are needed to rein in the excesses of racist hatemongers. Instead, the real issues include freedom of speech, freedom of the press, real rights, national sovereignty, constitutional governance, and self-government. While racist speech is certainly ignorant, tasteless, and collectivist, using laws to criminalize it is not only futile — as has been shown on countless occasions — but extraordinarily dangerous. Instead, the free marketplace of ideas is the best way to counter hatemongering.

Even the notion of “hate speech,” though, has long been used to persecute innocent people for their political and religious beliefs. Across much of Europe, for instance, pastors and street preachers are regularly arrested and jailed for referring to homosexual activity as a sin. In Sweden, under the guise of waging war on “hate speech,” the Justice Ministry even investigated the Holy Bible. Meanwhile, at the global level, a broad coalition of Islamic dictators is seeking to criminalize criticism of Islam, its prophet, and the Quran worldwide using UN agreements.

The tyrannical origin of hate-speech laws, meanwhile, was highlighted in detail in a 2011 report by the respected Hoover Institution, exposing the origins of the machinations within the mass-murdering regime ruling the Soviet Union. “The introduction of hate-speech prohibitions into international law was championed in its heyday by the Soviet Union and allies,” the paper on the “sordid origin of hate-speech laws” explained. “Their motive was readily apparent. The communist countries sought to exploit such laws to limit free speech.” Acceptance of hate-speech schemes by what remains of the free world, the report added, could have “devastating consequences for the preservation of free speech.”

The UN, composed largely of brutal autocracies of various varieties, has also made its views on free speech rights perfectly clear. Just consider two examples documented by The New American in 2014. This summer, the head of a powerful UN agency, Director General Francis Gurry with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), threatened a journalist with criminal prosecution — for the “crime” of reporting on official documents alleging that he unlawfully sent U.S. technology to brutal dictators, retaliated against whistleblowers, and was involved in widespread corruption. More recently, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) physically removed the public and the media from a taxpayer-funded meeting in Moscow during which it decided to demand much higher global tobacco taxes.

Even the whole UN notion of “human rights” should be viewed for what it is: a tool of tyrants to attack the real rights that have underpinned Western traditions since the Magna Carta. Indeed, unbeknownst to average Americans and humanity as a whole, the UN means something very different when it discusses “human rights” than, say, the unalienable, God-given rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. In the American system, rights such as self-defense, free speech, religious liberty, trial by jury, privacy, and property ownership are endowed by the Creator upon every individual — a truth that America’s Founding Fathers viewed as “self-evident.”

Because individuals’ human rights come from God, then, they cannot be legitimately infringed upon by any government. In fact, according to the Founders, government was instituted for the express purpose of protecting those God-given rights from infringement. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” explains the American Declaration of Independence, which formally gave birth to the independent United States of America. “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.”

Under the UN’s version of “human rights,” however, “rights” are purportedly defined and granted to people by governments, dictators, treaties, and international organizations. Even more troubling, perhaps, is that they can be restricted or abolished by government at will under virtually any pretext, as the UN’s own “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” openly admits. Consider Article 29 of the declaration, which claims that the pseudo-rights can be limited “by law” under the guise of everything from “public order” to “the general welfare.”

Separately, the same article claims that everyone has “duties to the community” and that “rights and freedoms” may “in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.” For perspective, that would be like the First Amendment saying Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, unless that speech is being used to criticize Congress or otherwise makes Congress unhappy. Obviously, the two views on human rights are incompatible at a basic level. The two visions are actually almost opposites — unalienable God-given rights versus revocable government-granted privileges.

More evidence of how the UN views “human rights” can be found with a brief examination of the composition of its “Human Rights Council,” the highest “authority” within the UN system on the issue. In November of 2013, the outfit selected the most barbaric regimes on the planet to sit on the body. Among the mass-murdering regimes selected to sit on the UN’s self-styled “human rights” entity, for example, were the communist dictatorships enslaving the people of China, Cuba, and Vietnam. The socialist regime in Namibia was selected for the council, too, joining the brutal socialist autocracy ruling Venezuela that recently disarmed law-abiding citizens with UN help.

Also appointed were the hardline Islamist tyrants ruling over Algeria and Saudi Arabia, which considers converting to Christianity a capital offense and which continues to publicly behead “apostates” and others, ISIS-style. If the genocidal mass-murdering maniac ruling Sudan had not withdrawn his bid in the face of a global outcry, his seat on the council was all but assured. Ironically, the current UN “High Commissioner for Human Rights” comes from Jordan, where converting to Christianity is a crime. Less than a decade ago, the UN Commission on Human Rights, which preceded the council, was actually chaired by none other than brutal Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

While UN attacks on free speech under the guise of pseudo-human-rights are growing bolder with every passing day, the controversial global outfit — widely ridiculed as the “dictators club” — has no plans to stop there. In fact, in the United States, Japan,Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and more, the UN has been using its phony notion of “rights” to attack real rights — ranging from self-defense and parental rights to self-government and even freedom of the press. In the upcoming January 19 print issue of The New American (available by subscription), this magazine extensively documents the full-scale UN attack on the U.S. constitutional system and the unalienable rights of Americans using “human rights” as the weapon.

Rather than entertaining the outlandish and totalitarian demands of the dictators club against the free world, civilized nations and free peoples should force their governments to defund and withdraw from the UN. Only then will the non-stop UN attacks on freedom and real rights come to an end. Until then, though, humanity must firmly oppose the UN’s autocratic scheming at every turn — lest the people’s true unalienable rights be usurped and trampled under the guise of bogus “human rights.”

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at anewman@thenewamerican.com


Israel: International Anger Mounts

By Felicity Arbuthnot

Global Research, July 23, 2014

 

Irish politician pulls down Israeli flag at children's sailing event

Councilor Hugh Lewis takes down the Israeli flag in Dublin, Ireland. (Independent.ie)

You take my water

Burn my olive trees

Destroy my house

  • Take my job                      

Steal my land

Imprison my father

Kill my mother

Bomb my country

Starve us all

Humiliate us all

But … I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.” (Placard first seen in Gaza, 2012.)

The “most moral army in the world” from “the only democracy in the Middle East” has attacked hospitals, a home for the disabled, a geriatric hospice, demolished five mosques, razed entire neighborhoods, erased entire families – the youngest – so far – just three days old if you do not count the unborn, as in the case of twenty nine year old Samar Al Hallaq (1) killed with her two sons, aged four and five, other members of her family and carrying her third child. Her husband was critically injured.

Yet again a war is declared against children and the young. Forty three percent of Gaza’s population is aged 0-14 and just under twenty one percent, 15-24. (Index Mundi, 2013.) Thus sixty four percent, 0-24.

As Israel trades on eternal victim status whilst murdering neighbouring, fellow Semites with seeming legal impunity, stealing land, obliterating homes, nullifying history preceding even the coming of Christ in the land of his birth, the UN bleats weakly, as ever, of “concern” and “regret” some countries have had enough.

Ecuador has recalled their Ambassador from Israel, Chile has suspended their free trade agreement negotiations. Bolivia’s President Evo Morales and Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro have called the assault on Gaza genocide and “extermination”, with Maduro demanding that the UN address the: “systematic violation of the Human Rights of the Palestinian population in Gaza by the State of Israel and adopt the necessary measures to halt those violations.” (2.) Venezuela severed all relations with Israel after its last massacre, “Cast Lead” over Christmas and New Year 2008-2009.

As Prime Minister David Cameron calls the onslaught on the 1.7 million people of Gaza in their forty mile long ghetto “not disproportionate”, President Maduro stated: “It is clear you cannot morally compare occupied and massacred Palestine with the occupying state, Israel, which also possesses military superiority and acts on the margins of international law.”

Meanwhile, amid massive protests in South Africa, the African National Congress in Parliament (who suffered their own long years of apartheid) is calling for the Israeli Ambassador to leave with “immediate effect” and for the South African Ambassador to Tel Aviv to be immediately recalled.

The ANC Chief Whip, Steone Sizane, MP., in a blistering address said: “The office of the UN Secretary General issues statements which have no effect. The UN Security Council must stand up and act to support vulnerable Palestinian people at the time when they need their protection.

“The situation involving Palestine and Israel is an undeclared war, in which the aggressor, Israel, has destroyed the Palestinian economy, robbed people of their land, unilaterally changed borders, and unilaterally built a wall of exclusion to keep Palestinians out of their land. When it feels provoked, it unleashes the most sophisticated military hardware on a defenceless people. Palestinians have been reduced to cheap labor for the Israel economy.

“This relentless destruction of the Palestinian territory and its people by Israel must be stopped. The international community needs to act in unison on this matter.”

Mr Sizane’s call is backed by a host of political and civil bodies including faith groups, the Young Communist League, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers, seventy two leading South African Jews and many others. (3)

In Europe, the Norwegian government is resisting pressure to expel the Israeli Ambassador from pro-Palestinian and human rights organizations with the leader of the Joint Committee for Palestine (Fellesutvalget for Palestina, FuP), Anna Lund Bjørnsen telling Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK): “Norway can not uncritically maintain close diplomatic relations with a state that does not show respect for human life, international treaties or UN conventions.”

Even the resisting Foreign Minister Børge Brende acknowledges: “the suffering you see in Gaza and the West Bank”, and cites Israel’s particular responsibility in driving the peace process because its illegal settlements were the key to the conflict.

Labor Party MP and Chairwoman of the Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee in the Norwegian parliament, Anniken Huitfeldt is widely backed by seven left leaning parties in her call for boycotting products manufactured by Israel in the occupied territories “without wasting time.”

Two parties supporting the boycott, the Labor Party and the Center Party, are demanding a review Norway’s policy of selling arms to third-world countries, which resell those arms to Israel.(5)

In neighbouring Sweden calls are mounting by those involved in academic and cultural boycotts for all collaboration between Swedish and Israeli institutions to cease, with abstention: “from participation in EU funded projects in which Israel is involved. A letter was also addressed to the Board of the Royal Institute of Technology, which has a comprehensive cooperation program with the Technion University in Haifa.”(6)

In Ireland, Dublin City Council unanimously called on the Irish government to enforce an arms and trade embargo on Israel (7) and seventeen EU governments have now: “published online guidance warning their citizens and businesses about risks involved in trade and other economic links with illegal Israeli settlements.” The latest twelve to issue warnings did so last week, after the start of the assault on Gaza. They are: Portugal, Austria, Malta, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Greece, Slovakia, Belgium and Croatia, “in a move coordinated at EU level.” France, Italy and Spain issued similar guidelines the previous week.(8)

Across the world in the Maldives the government has scrapped three agreements with Israel and discussions are gathering pace to prohibit the import of Israeli goods. The tropical nation of 1,200 islands, at some potential cost to the economy has said they will also reject investors from Israel, noting international condemnation of Israel’s current actions. (9)

On 19th July, the Guardian published a letter signed by six Nobel Laureates, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Adolfo Peres Esquivel, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchú and Betty Williams and numerous academic, intellectual, artistic and signaturies from many countries, including João Antonio Felicio, the president of the International Trade Union Confederation, and Zwelinzima Vavi, the general secretary of the Confederation of South African Trade Unions calling for the UN and governments to impose a military embargo on Israel.(10)

The letter underlines starkly the culpability of the international community in Israel’s ongoing genocidal actions: “Over the period 2009-2019, the US is set to provide military aid to Israel worth $30bn, while Israeli annual military exports to the world have reached billions of dollars. In recent years, European countries have exported billions of euros worth of weapons to Israel, and the European Union has furnished Israeli military companies and universities with military-related research grants worth hundreds of millions.”

It concludes: “Governments that express solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza, facing the brunt of Israel’s militarism, atrocities and impunity, must start with cutting all military relations with Israel. Palestinians today need effective solidarity, not charity.”

One Nobel Laureate’s signature was not on the letter, President “Change we can believe in” Obama.

As the death toll exceeded five hundred and serious injuries three thousand two hundred Norwegian Dr Mads Gilbert stated on Democracy Now: “This was truly a massacre, and the injuries were just horrible … Children came in without heads and totally dismantled by the shelling of the residential areas.”

On the same day (Monday 21st July) Obama merely said weakly that he had: “serious concerns.” Pathetic.

Israel too now has “serious concerns” of another kind. Hours after US airlines Delta, United and US Airways cancelled all flights to Israel on Tuesday 22nd July, the US Federal Aviation Authority issued an advisory banning all US carriers from flying to Tel Aviv. Air Canada has also cancelled their flights. The European Aviation Safety Agency has followed suit issuing a “strong recommendation” that airlines avoid travel to Israel until further notice. Air France, EasyJet, Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa, and the Netherland’s KLM were among European airlines that had already cancelled services.

The financial implications for Israel can only be imagined. Having spent two weeks telling the world of the mortal danger the country faced (in spite of crowds of residents picnicking in the open, standing on car roofs to watch the destruction of Gaza) the Transportation Minister and Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that flying to the country is “safe” and that: “There is no reason whatsoever that American companies would stop their flights and hand terror a prize.” Somewhat contradictory all round.

Further, last year 3.5 million tourists visited Israel, boosting the economy by over twelve Billion $s. This year Yahoo Travel cites Leon Avigad, the developer of Browns Hotels, a chain of boutique hotels in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem who says the conflict was already: “devastating us economically … We are losing tons of money by the minute. The entire profit from the summer (to date) is wiped out.” In the south of the country: “Hotels are completely empty … almost everything is closed.”

Surprisingly, even Israel’s loyal friends, the US State Department have been advising against all but most essential travel to Israel since February.

Especially courageous are the stands across the world by Jews themselves. Ten thousand orthodox Jews demonstrated in support of Gaza in New York, and across the world they, with other Jewish denominations have taken a visible and courageous stand.

Jewish Voices for Peace statement by their Rabbinical Council perhaps encapsulates what many believe. Headed “Stop the Bombing. Hold Israel Accountable” it reads in part:

“We are currently amidst ‘the three weeks’ – the annual Jewish period of quasi-mourning that leads to the fast day of Tisha B’Av. This is the season that bids us to look deeply into the soul of our community and examine the ways that our sinat chinam – baseless hatred – has led to our communal downfall.

“Driven by the spirit of this season, we cannot help but speak out in response to the horrific loss of life currently taking place in Gaza, at the hands of the Israeli military. We deplore the Israeli government’s military crackdown in the West Bank that led to its lethal, military onslaught on the people of Gaza.  We mourn the deaths of hundreds of innocent people, including children.

“We condemn Hamas’ rockets attacks on Israel and the anxiety, injury and death they have caused. But we cannot view this as a war between two equal sides. Israel has unlimited hi-tech weaponry; it dominates Gazan airspace, its borders, its utilities and economy…

“We can not stand idly by as the Jewish State acts with such wanton disregard, with such sinat chinam, for the humanity of the mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, children and elders of Gaza.

“As Jews, we abhor the abuse of human rights that are standard practice of our fellow Jews in the Israeli government and Israeli military. This is not the path of justice.” (11)

Also grieving is NATO Member Turkey, declaring three days of mourning for Gaza this week.

Yesterday activists from Jewish Voices for Peace were arrested for a peaceful demonstration at the Friends of the Israeli Defence Forces on New York’s Broadway.

In Israel, Peace Now and Hand in Hand participants are being “shouted down or physically attacked” for their principled stance. Last week, in Tel Aviv: “about 250 Jewish protesters were set upon, punched and pushed by a well-organized group of right wingers in an attack that left several people with bruises, black eyes, or other injuries. Another (of) about 1,000 people, was also attacked” with eggs and plastic bottles.(12)

Perhaps it is time for President Obama to earn his Nobel Peace status.

This week Dr Mads Gilbert addressed a passionate appeal to him, writing:

“Mr Obama, do you have a heart? I invite you, spend one night – just one night – with us in Al Shifa’a Hospital. I am convinced, one hundred per cent, it would change history. Nobody with a heart and power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa’a without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people.” If only.

The last word goes to increasingly intellectually challenged Prime Minister David Cameron, who declared on July 21st: “We can’t stand by when a strong nation bullies a weak one.” Indeed. Sadly, he was talking about Russia, who, for those fully bolted down, seems to have bullied no one.

Notes

1.http://pht2012.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/a-devastating-loss-to-the-tapestry/

2.http://rt.com/news/174144-south-america-gaza-genocide/

3.http://www.bdssouthafrica.com (subscribe, contact, site temporarily under construction.)

4.http://www.newsinenglish.no/2014/07/16/calls-to-expel-israeli-ambassador/

5.http://en.shafaqna.com/international-news/item/30340-middleeastmonitorcom/-norwegian-mp-calls-for-boycott-of-israel-over-its-gaza-offensive.html

6.http://psabi.se/?p=621

7. http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/palestine-campaigners-welcome-dublin-city-council-motion-calling-for-end-to-attacks-on-gaza-and-for-arms-embargo-trade-sanctions-on-israel-12332#sthash.98WcoSgL.dpuf

8.http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/17-eu-members-take-action-against-corporate-complicity-12200#sthash.xN7vcoes.dpuf

9.http://www.sun.mv/english/23670

10http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/nobel-celebrities-call-for-military-embargo-12316#sthash.BlqKTzg0.dpuf

11.http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/campaigns/end-the-bombing-hold-israel-accountable

12.http://www.globalresearch.ca/israeli-peace-movement-members-shouted-down-and-physically-attacked/5392698

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