Geneva, June 8 – UN Watch is calling on the United Nations to condemn hateful and anti-Semitic remarks made today by the Syrian delegate to the UN Human Rights Council.
“Let me quote a song,” said Syrian diplomat Rania Al Rifaiy, “that a group of children on a school bus in Israel sing merrily as they go to school: `With my teeth I will rip your flesh, with my mouth I will suck your blood.”‘
She also accused Israel of being a state “built on hatred, discrimination, oppression and a paranoid feeling of superiority.” (See details below.)
UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer urged an immediate condemnation from Council President Alex Van Meeuwen of Belgium, UN rights chief Navi Pillay, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as by the member and observer states of the Council.
“Allegations of Israeli blood-sucking echoes the medieval blood libel about Jewish murder of children. Such statements, absurd and patently false, are historical incitements to prejudice and violence,” said Neuer.
“We had thought that they had been relegated to the ash-can of history. They have no place in the United Nations. They offend the decorum of the Human Rights Council and damage the credibility of its work.”
“We deeply regret that the Council, whose founding mission is to end intolerance toward any religious, racial, or ethnic group, was the venue for the expression of such crude and hateful allegations. It is now incumbent on all responsible UN authorities to speak out immediately and forcefully to condemn this bigotry.”
UN Watch’s exposé of today’s blood libel is already reported in the Canwest News article below.
Syrian envoy’s attack on Israel threatens to foil U.S. diplomatic drive
Steven Edwards, June 8, 2010
Syria on Tuesday accused Israel of indoctrinating its children with hatred towards Arabs, telling the United Nations Human Rights Council that Israeli youngsters sing about sucking Arab blood, and learn how to sign missiles destined for military activity against Arabs.
The tirade, delivered by Syrian diplomat Rania Al Rifaiy, was part of a Syrian appeal at the world body for countries to unite behind a campaign to “put an end to Israeli brutality.”
It came as Turkey sought a fresh condemnation of Israel over its deadly raid on Gaza-bound aid ships last week and hosted Syria and other regional leaders in Istanbul to discuss security in the region.
Presidents Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Bashar al-Assad of Syria and Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, as well as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas attended the gathering, which ended with a call on Israel to end its “inhuman” blockade of the Palestinian territory.
The emerging ties among the regional powers in opposition to Israel pose a new problem for the United States – even as Washington and other UN Security Council powers said Tuesday they were set to vote on a resolution that would impose a fourth round of UN sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear program.
As recently as February, U.S. President Barack Obama moved to strengthen U.S. ties with Syria as part of an effort to drive a wedge between the Arab country and Iran, which Washington, Ottawa and others say is trying to build a nuclear bomb.
As U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates said the expected passage Wednesday of the resolution would provide a springboard for individual countries to take their own tougher measures against Tehran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment,
Iran, in response, warned its close trading partner Russia against joining western nations in backing the new punitive measures.
The UN launched the Human Rights Council in 2006 to replace another UN rights body in Geneva that countries with poor human rights records had come to dominate.
Israel is predicted to face a new barrage of criticism at the council next week as Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur on Palestinian issues, presents a controversial report on alleged Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.
Ironically, the Palestinian Authority, which represents Palestinians in the West Bank, has reportedly called for Falk to step down. According to Falk, the PA says he is a “partisan of Hamas.”
“Richard Falk is a fruitcake who promotes the conspiracy theory that the U.S. government was behind the September 11, 2001 attacks,” said Hillel Neuer, UN Watch executive director, said of the U.S. professor of international law at Princeton University.
While Syria’s statement went unchallenged Tuesday, the council president interjected when Canada used the word “regime” in a statement condemning of human rights abuses in Canada’s version of an “axis of evil:” Iran, Myanmar and North Korea.
The official told council members “not to use such language” when referring to UN member states, reported a note-taker with the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch.
“Canada condemns the Burmese regime’s lack of respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of its people, and we urge the regime to improve its cooperation with UN agencies and representatives to help address the well being of its citizens,” Jeffrey Heaton, speaking for Canada, had said, referring to Myanmar by the name of the country before the military government changed it in 1989.
On behalf of her country, Al Rifaiy accused Israel of systematically using torture against Palestinians and other Arabs, saying the Israeli Knesset has “legitimized” such practices.
“They claim they are allowed to use what is called mild forms of physical pressure; (these) include tying up prisoners in twisted positions for up to five days continuously, sleep deprivation, (and) covering their heads with sacks dipped in – excuse the term – urine,” she said.
She went on to charge Israelis suffer from a “paranoid feeling of superiority,” while the country was built on “hatred, discrimination (and) oppression.”
“Hatred is widespread, taught to even small children, who are taught to use weapons, and who are taught to sign missiles that will be fired at Arabs,” Al Rifaiy said
“Let me quote a song that a group of children on a school bus in Israel sing merrily as they go to school: `With my teeth I will rip your flesh, with my mouth I will suck your blood.”‘
Assad said Monday in Turkey that his country will support “every decision and every action” by the Turkish government to make Israel lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian territory is ruled by Hamas, which Syria and Iran back, but which most western countries consider to be a terrorist entity.