Sunday, November 22, 2009

  • Sunday, November 22, 2009
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Fox News:

The United Nations detained an outspoken critic and booted her from its New York headquarters in what the woman, a human rights watchdog, is calling an effort to silence her opposition to the world body.

Anne Bayefsky claims that as retaliation for giving a two-minute impromptu speech defending Israel, her 25-year career of monitoring the U.N. is now in jeopardy — likely to be placed in the hands of a committee chaired by the genocidal regime in Sudan.

Bayefsky gets special access to U.N. meetings in her capacity as the director of a non-governmental organization, the Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust at New York's Touro College.

But the longtime U.N. observer has found herself in what she calls a "Kafkaesque" gray zone, where the U.N. confiscated her credentials, then denied to reporters that her access had been blocked.

"This is no accident," she told FoxNews.com, arguing that she is being denied access to vital meetings concerning her prime focus: defending Israel. "This is keeping [the U.N.'s] major critic absent during the heart of the year."

Following a vote Nov. 5 at the U.N. General Assembly, a microphone was set up outside the UNGA chamber for delegates to tout their endorsement of the controversial Goldstone Report, which accuses Israel of committing war crimes during its invasion of Gaza last winter.

Without an invitation, Bayefsky approached the empty podium to offer what she thought would be a counter-balance to speeches from the Libyan president of the UNGA and the Palestinian observer, who both supported the resolution.

"I didn't expect that there would be a problem at all," said Bayefsky, who noted that she and other NGOs have spoken there in the past without incident. (Archived U.N. video shows an official from the NGO Human Rights Watch speaking in praise of the U.N. at the same podium in May 2007.)

Bayefsky blasted the Goldstone Report and called the U.N. a "laughingstock" for singling out Israel and ignoring human rights violations committed by the terrorist organization Hamas against Israeli and Palestinian civilians during the three-week campaign in December and January.

"This is a resolution that purports to be evenhanded; it is anything but," she said of the document approved by the UNGA. "It is a travesty — it calls for accountability, and in fact what we see instead is impunity for the Palestinian side."

Soon after she finished speaking, Bayefsky was swarmed by four U.N. security guards, who brought her to their security office, confiscated her NGO pass and kicked her out of the building, she said.

But the U.N. told reporters a different story at a press conference Tuesday — claiming that there has been no change in status for Bayefsky, even as she continues to sit in limbo.

After this article was printed on Wednesday, the UN then admitted that it did revoke her pass, and said that the reason was because she misused it by allegedly lending it to someone else. I guess that the fact that they happened to kick her out of the building right when she was giving a speech criticizing the UN was simply an amazing coincidence.

More from WSJ:
Yet the U.N. continues to bar Ms. Bayefsky from the premises, despite calls on her behalf by the U.S. mission and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel. Best-case scenario, one U.N. insider tells us, is that "they'll put her on probation." We hear the U.N.'s NGO accreditation committee, chaired by Sudan, will likely make the final decision.

The full details, including text of the UN denials and then reversal can be seen at Inner City Press, which has followed this story from the beginning and concludes that "The UN likes to expel its critics, then deny doing so."

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