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UN official compares Israel's settlements to war crimes, sparking backlash

UN official compares Israel's settlements to war crimes, sparking backlash

A United Nations human rights investigator is being called anti-Semitic for remarks made Friday against Israel at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. Critics say this is just another long line of anti-Israel bias stemming from the world body as it seeks to rewrite history. Michael Lynk, a Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, was speaking to a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council presenting findings from his report where he said he wanted, “to make it clear to Israel that its illegal occupation, and its defiance of international law and international opinion can and will no longer be cost free.” Lynk, who has long been criticized for his anti-Israel views, noted, “I conclude that the Israeli settlements do amount to a war crime.”Lynk’s remarks immediately drew fire from critics who noted that his report and remarks excluded any criticism of terror group Hamas or the Palestinian Authority.FOX NEWS POLL: VOTERS SUPPORT ISRAEL, FAVOR SENDING AID AND WEAPONSAnne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, told Fox News, “Missing from his so-called 20-page expert report is a single reference to Hamas using human shields, to any of the Palestinians killed by misfired Hamas rockets, or in fact to any Palestinian having committed any war crime at all. The real question is why the Biden administration has decided to join and legitimize this Council and its preposterous human rights authority figures, knowing full well neither the Council nor Lynk’s platform can be or will be changed.”Then-President Trump took the U.S. out of the Human Rights Council in 2018. Nikki Haley, the United Nations ambassador at the time, said the 47-member council was “a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias.” In one of many policy changes from the Trump administration regarding the U.N., Secretary of State Antony Blinken said this past February the Biden administration would re-engage with the council and challenge for a seat for its 2022 session.Blinken, in a statement, noted, “The United States has long been a champion of human rights. If elected to the Human Rights Council, we will use the opportunity to be a leading voice within the Council for promoting respect for human rights.”Bayefsky, who is also president of Human Rights Voices and who speaks regularly and monitors the Human Rights Council, told Fox News, “The U.N. Human Rights Council’s so-called expert on the ‘Palestinian territories,’ Michael Lynk, is a notorious extremist. Three days after 9/11, he blamed ‘disregard’ by Western nations of the law for ‘breeding these kinds of acts.’ He routinely makes the grotesque analogy of Israel, and the Jewish victims of the Nazis, to the Nazis. He constantly challenges the legitimacy of the existence of a Jewish state at all, repeatedly reverting to the supposed affront of 1948.”ISRAEL USED SWARM OF DRONES TO ATTACK HAMAS TERRORISTS: REPORTBayefsky concluded, “Today’s revolting example of promoting anti-Semitism under the guise of protecting human rights is par for the course, both of the U.N.’s top human rights body and its representative, Michael Lynk.”While Israel doesn’t participate in agenda item 7, which is solely used to condemn the Jewish state, the Palestinian representative thanked Lynk for his report.Its Ambassador, Ibrahim Khreish said it was imperative to take into consideration the recommendations, “so that we can punish this colonial and plantation system, put an end to investment there, and to boycott this system and impose economic and political sanctions in order to condemn the injustices committed by this (Israeli) government.” While no comment was offered by Israel’s United Nations ambassador to Fox News, the International Spokesman for the Jewish Community of Hebron, Yishai Fleisher slammed Lynk calling him, “a national identify thief.” CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPFleisher told Fox News from Hebron that he should understand that the areas he called settlements shows that he lacked a basic knowledge and understanding of history. “The Jewish people are indigenous to Judea, we had two commonwealths here and we are now in the period of the third commonwealth. We hail from this land, our language is filled with idioms from this land, our whole identity is tied up with this land, and the only war crime that should be discussed right now is the war crime that Michael Lynk is perpetrating by denying our history.”Of all the agenda items of the U.N.’s top human rights body there is only one that is dedicated to attacking a single country which is Israel – agenda Item 7. Despite multiple efforts to reform item 7, it still continues to this day.Members of the 47-country Human Rights Council includes China, Cuba, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela.Fox News’ Frank Miles and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Calls to boycott Iran’s election grow as protesters call on Biden to halt return to nuclear deal

Calls to boycott Iran’s election grow as protesters call on Biden to halt return to nuclear deal

As Iranians prepare to go to the polls this Friday reports from inside Iran paint a picture of growing resentment aimed at what many are calling an illegitimate election. This comes as Iranians are standing up to the regime, risking life and limb as a boycott of the presidential poll is reportedly gaining steam. On Wednesday a video doing the rounds shows an unnamed woman protesting a town hall event in Tehran. The video captured by the news website The Foreign Desk shows a woman speaking out, and taking aim at the seven presidential candidates. In the translated remarks she is seen and heard saying, “They put seven bananas in front of us, and they say take one. What’s the difference?  A thief is a thief.”IRAN HARDLINER LINKED TO MASS EXECUTIONS LIKELY TO BECOME NEXT PRESIDENT, AS REGIME EXCLUDES OPPONENTSOther videos show anti-regime protests including the burning and ripping down of posters of the likely new president, Ebrahim Raisi, the head of the country’s judiciary.Fox News communicated with a handful of Iranians with the help of one of the main exiled opposition groups, The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI.) All those interviewed did so at great risk and used pseudonyms, and are members of the  People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK). The MEK has long been a thorn in the side of the regime and according to one Iranian government-affiliated news site, its security apparatus is on full alert to stop the group’s actions. SATELLITE IMAGES OF IRAN NUCLEAR SITE RAISE ALARMS AS IAEA MEETS IN VIENNA”I just wish the Iranian people were free and made all their words public, but you can see for yourself that despite all the repression, the people still showed their opposition to the election farce,” said a twenty-something medical professional who gave her name as Roya from the country’s Southwest.”You have to believe that in this regime, there is no such thing as elections,” she said, “and that it is neither fair, nor legal, nor in accordance with the laws of the free world.” Roya like many of the voices Fox News communicated with is upset with the Biden administration’s rush to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, more commonly called the Iran nuclear deal. “We expect Mr. Biden not to sacrifice the human rights of the Iranian people to political and fleeting deals and really any support for this regime (which) will make this dictatorial regime stronger.” Hossein a 22-year-old MEK activist told Fox News that, “what we want from President Biden is to side with the people of Iran and acknowledge the people’s voice. The people have already showed what they want and shouted what they want on the streets.” He said that each dollar that goes into the hands of the regime, “turns into a tool for more oppression in Iran and also it goes to back up terrorism in other countries…not even a single dollar is going to be spent for the benefit for the people.”He said the people in Iran are waking up and, “don’t want to be played anymore” and claimed this election could be a turning point. “People are talking about not voting in this election anymore…what the people want is a democratic secular government and republic.”Hossein said COVID-19 was a prime example of how the Iranian government spends no money on the people. “That money that should have been spent on the welfare of the people and buying vaccines for the people. (It) has been spent by supporting terroristic groups in the Middle East and all around the world.” He said people at protests shout, “No Gaza, No Lebanon I live for Iran.””This is not an election,” Tehran resident Bagher told Fox News. “This is just the regime…installing someone for the presidency.”Bagher states the recent lifting of sanctions by the U.S. on some Iranian officials and companies has only made the “regime more brazen and ruthless towards the people than even before.Lisa Daftari, Editor-in-Chief of the Foreign Desk and a Middle East and counterterrorism expert. told Fox News that, “The overwhelming majority of Iranians who are eligible to vote are choosing to boycott the upcoming election. They don’t believe in voting in an election where the candidates have been selected by and are from the same ilk as the mullahs who are running the country.” Daftari, who is not associated with the NCRI or MEK said the Biden administration’s rush back to the Iran nuclear deal shows just how out of touch they are with ordinary Iranians.”It comes off as completely tone deaf when thousands of Iranians are bravely coming onto social media to tell us #No2IR or “No to the Islamic Republic,” which has been an extremely effective and successful social media campaign over the last few months, and then side by side you see U.S. officials hurrying back to the negotiating table to strike a meaningless appeasement deal with the regime.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPBehnam Ben Taleblu, an Iran expert, and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank in Washington D.C told Fox News that, “Iran’s tightly managed “elections” are exercises in forcing people to incrementally settle for less. Since 2005, Khamenei has used elections to reshape the already narrow political landscape through purges and disqualifications.”He said the 2020 elections for Iran’s parliament featured a record-low turnout and said that another low turnout “would also be a sharp rebuke of the Biden administration’s Iran policy.” Taleblu concluded that “Indirect political engagement to relieve sanctions is the exact opposite of what should be happening. Low electoral turnout would be yet another indicator of the chasm between state and society in Iran, something which should not be ignored when formulating policy.”

Whistleblower claims UN is working with China as she faces losing her protection

Whistleblower claims UN is working with China as she faces losing her protection

As United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres seems all but set to win a second term in office it seems that his much-vaunted whistleblower protection program is not all it seems to be. At least according to one whistleblower who says the U.N. wants to revoke her status. Emma Reilly a lawyer at the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) who was granted whistleblower protection by Guterres in 2020 tells Fox News that the U.N. is looking to find a way to rescind it.  Reilly alerted her bosses when she learned her office – on the request of China – handed over names of dissidents who were coming to the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Switzerland. Reilly said this resulted in pressure from Beijing on the dissidents not to make the trip. She said that included pressuring their families which in some cases resulted in arrests, torture and in one case a person was reported to have died in detention. CHINA PUSHES BACK AGAINST G-7 JOINT STATEMENT, BLAMES ‘SINISTER INTENTIONS’ OF US, OTHERS”I am collateral damage, and senior managers are now apparently so utterly devoid of ethics that they genuinely do not understand why I would prioritize the lives of human beings over my pay and benefits,” Reilly told Fox News.The attorney said that the U.N. “denied” she was a whistleblower and claimed, “that no reasonable person could ever think a secret policy of giving names of human rights advocates to China, and only to China, was a problem.”However, she said it was an ethics officer at the organization, “on the verge of retirement [that] finally displayed actual ethics.” The officer looked into the case and “found that managers of the U.N. Human Rights Office were concerned only with giving China what it wanted” while Reilly says she “actually cared about human rights.”
A spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that Emma Reilly’s claims are “currently under internal review.” 
(Reuters)Fox News contacted the alternate chair of the U.N. ethics panel but was told to direct inquiries to the secretary-general’s spokesman.HUGH DUGAN: BIDEN AND UNITED NATIONS – HERE’S HOW HE CAN USE SECRETARY-GENERAL SELECTION TO INSPIRE CHANGEStephane Dujarric a spokesman for Guterres wrote in an email statement to Fox News that, “At this point, all I can tell you is that the questions you raised relate to a matter that is currently under internal review in accordance with the procedures set out in ST/SGB/2017/2/Rev.1 (Protection against retaliation for reporting misconduct and for cooperating with duly authorized audits or investigations). As this remains an internal matter, we have no further comment at this time.”A Fox News follow-up email asking if Reilly’s whistleblower status had been withdrawn has so far not been answered. Edward Flaherty an American lawyer who has represented whistleblowers throughout the U.N. system based in Geneva, Switzerland, told Fox News that “the egregious,” about-face in Reilly’s case is a final nail in the coffin of the claim that the U.N. provides whistleblower protection.”The recently announced decision of the U.N. Ethics Office to revoke a prior positive finding made by a now-retired official in the retaliation case of U.N. whistleblower Emma Reilly seems to suggest a rearguard action has been initiated by senior U.N. officials,” according to Flaherty. The attorney added, “‘The recently announced decision of the UN  Ethics Office to revoke a prior positive finding made by a now retired official in the retaliation case of UN whistleblower Emma Reilly seems to suggest a rearguard action has been initiated by senior UN officials (with or without the knowledge of SG Guterres who originally granted protection against retaliation to Ms. Reilly, now that he has secured his coveted second term) to strip away such protection to enable the UN to fire her for ‘breach of confidentiality’ – the fate of most UN whistleblowers sooner or later!!”Flaherty called on Congress to act by lifting the global organization’s immunity and funding. “Every U.S. administration makes the right noises about whistleblower protection, but the U.N. still can’t point to a single public interest whistleblower who survived the system and was not eventually crushed. It’s time for Congress to take concrete action once and for all to protect whistleblowers.”  At a press conference last July, Guterres was asked about Reilly’s case and defended the U.N. whistleblower policy.In Reilly’s case, he told Fox News that, “In relation to that question there was an investigation that was recently finished, and we are now moving ahead with the conclusions of the investigation. But one thing is an individual case in which we can have different opinions about this or that. The other thing is a policy in which I am adamant that all those that do their job, their obligation as whistleblowers, are effectively protected.” Shortly after that Reilly was given whistleblower status. Peter Anthony Gallo, an international lawyer and former U.N. investigator told Fox News that Reilly’s ordeal shows the lengths to which the U.N. goes to silence any staff member who dares to speak up against obvious wrongdoing.Gallo said the system works against whistleblowers like Reilly. “The U.S. Government and other member states are strangely tolerant of this perversity, but the ordinary U.N. staff member looks at how Emma Reilly has been treated and understands that they too will face the same fate if they report any form of corruption or wrongdoing, so they will not do so.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPMeanwhile, Reilly tells Fox News she remains resolute despite all she has faced in just wanting to tell the truth.”I am not even permitted to report for work and the U.N. refuses to even pretend to give a reason. The retaliation is blatant and intended to send a message to all U.N. staff — China is the new boss, and no U.N. staffer should ever report breaking the rules to please Beijing.”Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.