Fighting Back Against United Nations Gangsters

Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and the author of “While Europe Slept” and “Surrender.” His book "The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind" is just out from Broadside / Harper Collins.


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For decades, serving as a representative for a number of different non-governmental organizations, the British historian David Littman regularly made a noble nuisance of himself before the U.N. Commission on Human Rights Commission, and later the Human Rights Council, in Geneva.  His purpose was always the same: to do what little he could to touch the conscience of this at once tragically and farcically wayward agency, to remind it of its own official raison d’être, and to use his bully pulpit to draw the attention of the world to horrific circumstances upon which the Commission, later the Council, refused, for one reason or other, to act.  In firm but civilized words, he spoke up, for instance, against the persistence in certain societies of the Jewish blood libel, documented certain societies’ violence against women, and condemned certain societies’ treatment of Christians.

Since the certain societies in question were, more often than not, Islamic ones, Littman routinely ran into trouble with the U.N.’s Muslim mafia.  When he pointed out that the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights gave sharia precedence over what he considered universal human rights, he was sharply rebuked and instructed that the “issue of religion” should be raised only with the greatest of “sensitivity.”  He wasn’t having it: “certain religious beliefs threaten the universal values of human rights,” he insisted, and went on to lament the “growing phenomenon of cultural relativism” that was making it harder and harder to honestly address a whole host of human-rights issues in a forum that had been founded, after all, to do precisely that.

Littman died on May 20 at age 78.  He left a devoted wife, Gisèle, also a historian, and also a fearless, long-time defender of human rights, who is known professionally as Bat Ye’or.  He also left an organization, the Human Rights Council, which, with Littman’s passing, lost a formidable and eloquent challenger to its grotesque miscarriage of its duties.  And the unfortunate fact is that there is no organization on earth that, given the scale and nature of its putative responsibilities, needs such a challenge.  It will be recalled that the reason why the Commission, founded in 1946, was disbanded in 2006 and replaced with the Council was that it had become a farce: its members included major human-rights offenders like Sudan, and it repeatedly found excuses to condemn Israel for relatively minor infractions while systematically ignoring large-scale, truly barbaric violations by Muslim states.  The Council was supposed to correct all that; in reality it simply became the Commission under another name.  So pointless – indeed, counterproductive – was its existence that the U.S., under George W. Bush, chose to have nothing to do with it, although that decision was reversed under President Obama.

I was reminded of Littman the other day when I watched a video of Thor Halvorssen, founder and president of the Human Rights Foundation, addressing that selfsame Human Rights Council on June 28.

Halvorssen was there in connection with the “Stop Chavez” campaign by UN Watch, an organization with which Littman was long associated.  Briefly put, Venezuela wants a seat on the Human Rights Council, and UN Watch is one of several human-rights groups that, quite rightly, consider this an outrage.  One of those groups is Human Rights Foundation.  Halvorssen, who is Venezuelan by birth, came out fighting, spelling out Chavez’s offenses succinctly and firmly: “In Venezuela, exercising free speech is fraught with risks. Political dissent is criminalized. Property is capriciously and unlawfully seized. Opposition politicians are disqualified from elections thanks to false accusations. Journalists are harassed and media critical of the government is simply shut down. Judges are fired and even sent to prison when the president dislikes their rulings.”

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  • jacob

    Professor FALK was sent by this shameless kangaroo court to investigate the treatment of so called
    "Palestinian" prisoners at Israeli jails and he has already condemned Israel for the use of
    "Disproportionate Force" to fight against the almost 10 years long thousands of rockets fired by Hamas
    on South Israel with total disregard for human lives or property but just to cause as much damage as
    possible but he has made damned sure of any mention about the conditions HAMAS kept the five years
    corporal SHALIT…
    What kind of moral authority this rotten court has to judge Israel, at the time it has human rights violators
    of the kind of CUBA, CHINA, RUSSIA, SAUDI ARABIA, SUDAN among its members ????

    But it surely serves Israel riight, because the terrorists it has jailed should be kept in the same conditions
    the human rights violators sitting in the UNHRC keep theirs…
    No more and no less

  • Chezwick

    Bawer's voice becomes more important by the day as he shines the light of discovery on the polar night that is enveloping Europe and the UN. His literate and eloquent defense of human freedom is characteristically expressed in an unyielding moral censure of those who would usurp it in the name of "tolerance". And that's exactly how we on the Right MUST perceive the fight for survival of human freedom…through a moral prism, just the way Orwell did.

    Ronald Reagan once called the Soviets an "evil empire." At the time of course, Liberals scoffed at his moral clarity. Today, they scoff at any attempt to define the religion of Islam in any terms other than validating (or at the very least, relativistic). But we Conservatives understand the necessity of using the language of good and evil when defining our civilizational enemies. Anything less and we blur the bigger picture.

  • Steve Chavez

    On CNN this morning there are drawings of Syrian torture chambers and I can't imagine the pain caused by these methods making me think that they're begging to be WATER-BOARDED instead. Where is Obama? He was quick to aid the Arab Spring and now the Muslim Brotherhood and the rest will impose the Sharia Law but Obama is silent on Syria except for his and Hillary's crocodile tears.

    Hopefully someday, the United Nations will dissolve and we can instead have a Civilized Alliance vs. an Uncivilized One so the West can fund its agenda through its own body.

    My suspicion is that the UN Building itself is bugged in all sorts of ways so the U.S. will gladly pay for its upkeep but it seems with all the new technology, that the old-fashioned bugging system is out-dated anyway. So let's close the building, remodel it, and use it for apartments and office space.

    My suspicion too is that these dictator terrorists who visit the United Nations will someday bring WMD in their Presidential diplomatic planes and even use the planes to attack the Freedom Tower, DC, and other U.S. cities in a coordinated attack. How many seconds does it take to divert their plane from Kennedy to downtown NYC and that surely isn't enough time to stop the attack even with a nuke from Iran given to them by Russia.

    • Asher

      The lawlessness is coming to America if we allow this government to give the UN our governing rights, especially the Small arms treaty….All communists and socialists disarm the people so they can take total control of your lives!

  • waldemar

    The UN has been a leftist idea from the start. Any attempt to reform the UN is to dignify it. The only moral and effective solution is for the US to get out of it and ask those "eminencies" to leave NYC. They will then disintegrate or integrate with the OIC, Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Any idea how to go about this?

  • marios

    What the reason for us taxpayers to pay 25% of UN budget if we have nothing in respond? Saudis and all Muslim countries don't use their petro-dollars but imposed all anti-American, anti-Israel resolutions in UN. We are bankrupted almost with our enormous debt and who hold it? China and Saudi Arabia who pays so little to UN. Muslims by Koran and sharia' law must not aid any non-Muslims in any catastrophe but US, EU and Israel as democracies do it. Thus we support Islamists in their goal to dominate in the world. How stupid we are!
    If Republicans will be majority in both House of Representatives and Senate and Romney will be Pres. this stupid situation can be changed. Let we pray and work on it.

  • Beth

    It sickens me to know that U.S. tax-payer dollars go to the U.N. I don't like keeping company with thugs. I pray for an American administration that will one day end all support to that dangerous corrupt institution.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    RE: "Fighting Back Against United Nations Gangsters"

    FIRST FIGHT THE NAACP Gangsters that rob decent taxpayers who WORK to support their lifestyle!

    ~ Section 8 housing subsidies, – Medicaid, and other support programs has been to create a permanent welfare class which, – in terms of skills and attitudes, is poorly equipped to return to work.

    Not only that, but the children of OBAMA welfare queens are nurtured in a mentality that perpetuates dependency from generation to generation.

    And liberal politicians are in no hurry to end this dependency since the system of welfare patronage serves their interests. http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/the_welfar… ~ American Thinker

    Currently, only half (50%) of Americans pay income taxes. Yet every non-criminal citizen can vote for OBAMA spending programs.

    Democrats have a vested interest in open borders, voter fraud, as well as expanding the numbers of persons on government welfare.

    Why should Obama wish to create more jobs when it is welfare recipients who are his greatest fans?

  • Ghostwriter

    The Human Rights Council should have let Halvorssen speak. It would have enlightened them but they didn't want to be enlightened. They wanted him to shut up because he was criticizing those like Cuba,Saudi Arabia,Venezuela,and other places like that.