Category Archives: United Nations

Israel’s UNRWA ‘tunnel’ smear collapses as ‘Hamas’ gear revealed as solar power kit | SKWAWKBOX

This is a few days old now, but worth keeping handy because Israel’s apologists and spokespeople are still reeling out the lie that there are Hamas tunnels under any Gaza building the IDF targets:

Israel’s appalling – and woefully inept – propaganda has been exposed again after the Israeli military showed reporters around what it claimed was a ‘Hamas tunnel’ under the Gaza HQ of UN aid agency UNRWA.

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A video published by Fox News of the tour revealed green boxes on the walls of the supposed ‘tunnel’ – but as former diplomat Craig Murray pointed out, the boxes are not supposed ‘terror’ equipment. Instead, they are solar power converters kept in a cellar to keep them cool as they process energy from solar panels above – and the wires leading from them into the UNRWA building were there to send the converted electricity up into the HQ, as you’d expect.

Despite the ease of checking what the IDF claimed – and the IDF’s long record of ridiculous lies and smears – the so-called ‘mainstream’ media have tamely parroted the lie.

Israel’s attempts at propaganda have routinely been exposed almost as soon as they were uttered … Just as routinely, western governments and media continue to regurgitate the lies without fact-checking, or just as likely in full knowledge that they are lies.

Source: Israel’s UNRWA ‘tunnel’ smear collapses as ‘Hamas’ gear revealed as solar power kit – SKWAWKBOX


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South Africa to take UK and USA to the ICJ for war crime complicity

The International Court of Justice.

I can’t find the source for this but here’s Skwawkbox:

A team of almost fifty South African lawyers is preparing a legal case to bring to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations’ top court, against the US and UK, for their complicity in Israel’s array of war crimes in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

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South Africa’s successful ICJ case against Israel last month led to Israel being put formally on trial for genocide and resulted in a string of binding orders on Israel to stop its slaughter of Gazans and even to protect Palestinians from harm, as well as to ensure adequate aid reaches the strip’s 2.5 million people, many of whom are now starving and homeless.

Israel has flouted the rulings, continuing and even intensifying the mass murder and blockade, and is being supported in its flagrant disregard for international law by the UK and US, who are providing both material and financial aid, and giving political cover by refusing to condemn Israel’s actions or to call its crimes what they are, instead casting doubt on the mass deaths and brutality and denigrating the Court’s ruling.

Here’s Damo to put more flesh on these bones:

This Site has been vocal in its support for the UK, at the very least, to be brought to book for complicity in genocide.

Rishi Sunak (himself aided and abetted by Labour leader Keir Starmer) sowed the wind and now it seems he’ll reap the whirlwind…

Except the International Court of Justice doesn’t have any muscle with which to support its rulings.

Any finding against the UK will have a huge effect on public perception, though.

It will tar this country’s government as a supporter of genocide and a flouter of international law.

Source: South Africa to file legal action with ICJ against UK, US, for war crime complicity – SKWAWKBOX


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UK response to ICJ ruling: cut funding to agency helping Palestinian refugees

Rishi Sunak and Benjamin Netanyahu: is this the reason the UK responded to the ICJ’s ruling over genocide charges against Israel by suspending funding of aid to Palestinian refugees, rather than suspending arms exports to Israel?

The UK’s Tory government has responded to a ruling by the International Court of Justice that Israel is now on trial for genocide – by cutting aid to the UN agency that provides help for Palestinian refugees.

Is that not the correct way to view the cessation of funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which works to provide health care, education and other humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria and employs around 13,000 people in Gaza?

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The announcement follows allegations – from that bastion of dishonesty, the Israeli government – that people working for the UNRWA were involved in the October 7, 2023, attacks on Israel.

According to the BBC,

Mark Regev said there was information showing teachers working in UNRWA schools had “openly celebrated” the 7 October attacks.

He also referred to an Israeli hostage who, on her release, said she had been “held in the house of someone who worked for UNRWA”.

“They have a union which is controlled by Hamas and I think it’s high time that the UN investigated these links between UNRWA and Hamas,” he added.

This Writer would not trust that man to tell me the correct time.

But his claims have been supported by the fact that the UNRWA has launched an investigation into them – and sacked several staff before it has had a chance to report back.

The UK joins the US, Australia, Italy, Canada and Finland, who have already suspended funding to the agency.

The UNRWA’s former chief spokesperson, Christopher Gunness, said the suspension of funding was disproportionate and could only lead to further suffering:

“One million displaced people are currently taking refuge in and around UNRWA buildings. They are the ones who will suffer as a result of this decision,” said Mr Gunness, adding: “The curtailing of UNRWA services will also destabilise the region at a time when Western governments are trying to contain a regional conflagration.”

This is a view that is widely-held on the social media:

But what should the UK have done?

Well…

Would that not have been the more obvious choice?


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UN demands humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza despite US opposition

The United Nations General Assembly has voted to demand a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza after the United States vetoed a similar resolution in the Security Council.

And yes – the UK abstained again.

Here’s PBS NewsHour with the facts (the first report This Writer could find on the subject):

The vote in the 193-member world body was 153 in favor, 10 against and 23 abstentions. The support was higher than for an Oct. 27 resolution that called for a “humanitarian truce” leading to a cessation of hostilities, where the vote was 120-14 with 45 abstentions.

The General Assembly vote reflect the growing isolation of the United States as it refuses to join demands for a cease-fire. More than the United Nations or any other international organization, the United States is seen as the only entity capable of persuading Israel to accept a cease-fire as its closest ally and biggest supplier of weaponry.

In tougher language than usual, though, President Joe Biden warned before the vote that Israel was losing international support because of its “indiscriminate bombing” of Gaza.

Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding – and Israel has already announced its refusal to pay any attention in any case:

The arrogance of these monsters is breathtaking, isn’t it?

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The PBS NewsHour article adds,

The resolution expresses “grave concern over the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the suffering of the Palestinian civilian population,” and it says Palestinians and Israelis must be protected in accordance with international humanitarian law.

It also demands that all parties comply with international humanitarian law, “notably with regard to the protection of civilians,” and calls for “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access.”

Let’s have a look at the situation there, according to the latest reports:

Source: UN General Assembly votes to demand a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, U.S. opposes resolution | PBS NewsHour


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US vetos UN ceasefire resolution for Israel/Gaza – and UK abstains

After United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, claiming that the conflict between Israel and Hamas there is a threat to world peace, the United States vetoed it.

Worse than that, the UK abstained.

The will of the minority prevailed that day. Was it because the United States is selling weapons to Israel?

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Here are a few comments on what happened:

Adding insult to injury, the United Kingdom’s representative said Israel must be “targeted and precise”, and “civilians must be protected” – ignoring all the evidence to the contrary:

And the result?

Israel is already suffering an economic downturn because of its genocidal war of extermination in Gaza. Will the United States face the same?

And at a time when the UK’s economy is particularly vulnerable, can the damnfool Conservative government really afford to attack the national interest in this damnfool way?


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Israel has tried to start a fight with the United Nations – with a lie

Shocked: Antonio Guterres.

Liars gotta lie.

Israel and its supporters have tried to start a fight with the United Nations after that organisation’s secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, referred to the decades of persecution suffered by Palestinians under Israeli rule.

Mr Guterres himself has said he is “shocked at the misrepresentation of what he said”:

According to Mr Guterres, Israel (and its little minions) is claiming that he said the decades of persecution justify the Hamas attack on October 7. He didn’t say it, so Israel lied.

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Here’s the proof:

If that’s bizarre (because we can all check what Mr Guterres said), the next bit is off-the-chart lunacy:

A “blood libel” is an accusation that Jewish people historically murdered Christians in order to use their blood in religious rituals – especially the preparation of Passover bread. It has nothing to do with anything Mr Guterres said at all.

It seems clear that Israel’s ambassador was just saying whatever he thought would get a strong reaction.

How unfortunate that his remarks came right after former Israeli PM Yair Lapid denounced objective – in other words, fair – news reporting as favouring Palestine. He was trying to put forward a claim that Israel was a trustworthy source of information and Hamas/Gaza were liars:

It’s very hard to take that seriously when Israel’s ambassador to the UN has just asked us to swallow two such howling whoppers.

But, of course, there are always a few useful idiots, ready to provide some support:

At least they’re out in the open where we can see them.


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Tory government is reported to UN over anti-strikes law. So what?

Strike: under the Conservative government’s new law, some of these strikers would probably have to work while their colleagues took industrial action – or lose their jobs legally. It might go against international laws, but does anybody really think the Tories care?

Does anybody really think anything useful will come of the Trades Union Congress reporting the UK’s Tory government to the United Nations’ watchdog on workers’ rights over a new law?

The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act will require some people to work during industrial action – including people in the rail industry and emergency services – or face being sacked.

The TUC reckons this “anti-strikes law” is unworkable and may be illegal.

The government has responded with a claim that the law protects the lives and livelihoods of the general public, ensuring that people can still access vital public service during strikes.

there would be no automatic protection from unfair dismissal for an employee who is told to work through a notice but chooses to strike.

If a strike is not conducted in accordance with the new rules, employers would be also be able to sue unions for losses.

This Writer would like to know how having this reported to the United Nations would make anything better.

The UN is a paper tiger – it can’t force national governments to do anything at all, as we discovered when it found against the Tories over their treatment of disabled people (and, if I remember this correctly, the bedroom tax).

There seems no point in appealing to that organisation.

Even if the UN finds against the Tories, it seems the TUC will do a lot of work for nothing more than a public relations victory. Am I wrong?


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Children have a right to a clean environment, says UN report. What’s happening here?

Young people protesting over the environment: it’s a good image but sadly it was probably taken in Canada.

This is from the BBC:

Children have the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, and governments must urgently act to ensure this, the United Nations says.

In a new report, the UN Child Rights Committee says that climate change is affecting children’s rights to life, survival and development.

It says young children are among the most vulnerable, yet their voices are rarely heard in climate change debates.

Tuesday’s report outlines new guidance for governments to follow.

Drawn up with the help of young people, it includes phasing out fossil fuels and switching to renewable energy.

UN countries will also be required to take measures to protect children from the harmful effects of climate change, such as monitoring air quality, regulating food safety and tackling emissions and toxic lead exposure.

Countries should also address the “clear emerging link” between climate change and children’s mental health, identifying eco-anxiety and depression as conditions that are on the rise.

And the UN says that young people must be included when drawing up new guidance.

None of this will happen in the UK, of course. Remember what happened when a UN rapporteur found that the government of this nation institutionally discriminates against disabled people? (Hint: nothing came of it apart from a stream of abuse directed at the rapporteur concerned, from the UK government.)

Meanwhile, what’s going on here in the UK?

And let’s be fair: attempts to improve the environment have been aimed in the wrong direction – at people who have little choice about whether to use polluting systems, rather than the 100 or so corporations that cause 70 per cent of the pollution in the world:

We can see which way the smog is blowing, can’t we?

The UN can tell every country in the world what needs to be done, and governments will tell private citizens that they need to clean up all the pollution, while allowing the culprit corporations to continue stinking up the land, waterways and skies – and possibly taking donations from those big businesses while doing so.

Tough luck, kids. Reach into your pockets or your wallets and take out some paper money, if you have it. Take a good look at it because it is more important to the people who shape the future than you are.


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UK disability groups explain plight of disabled people to the UN. Tory minister absent

As seen on Twitter: but is the UK government already planning ways to discredit a new United Nations investigation into the (mis)treatment of disabled people here?

That’s right – the UK’s minister for disabled people, Tom Pursglove, couldn’t be bothered to attend the United Nations in Geneva to provide the Tory government’s side of the story:

This Writer will dare to predict what will happen:

Firstly, the government – that will have had plenty of time to put together a report before this meeting took place – will complain that it was not allowed an opportunity to present its case.

Secondly, any findings by the UN will be vilified by government representatives, in line with what has happened to other UN reports criticising the UK’s Tory government in the past.

Nothing will be done to improve the lives of disabled people in the UK.


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UN human rights chief wants UK to reverse ‘deeply troubling’ Public Order Bill

Volker Turk: this international lawyer is saying the UK’s Tory government is stamping on its own citizens’ human rights and must reverse the Public Order Act.

Suella Braverman might think her fascist Public Order Bill protects “our way of life” but the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights clearly feels otherwise.

That organisation has released the following statement:

The Public Order Bill, which has now been passed by Parliament in the United Kingdom, is deeply troubling legislation that is incompatible with the UK’s international human rights obligations regarding people’s rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk warned.

I think this means any arrests, convictions, sentences for breaching the Act may be challenged on grounds that it impinges on our human rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

“This new law imposes serious and undue restrictions on these rights that are neither  necessary nor proportionate to achieve a legitimate purpose as defined under international law. This law is wholly unnecessary as UK police already have the powers to act against violent and disruptive demonstrations,” Türk said.

“It is especially worrying that the law expands the powers of the police to stop and search individuals, including without suspicion; defines some of the new criminal offences in a vague and overly broad manner; and imposes unnecessary and disproportionate criminal sanctions on people organizing or taking part in peaceful protests,” he added.

The High Commissioner drew particular attention to Serious Disruption Prevention Orders introduced by the law that allow UK courts to ban affected individuals from being in certain places at certain times; being with particular people; or using the internet in certain ways, and could lead to the individual in question being electronically monitored to ensure compliance. It is especially concerning that such orders can be made against people who have never been convicted of any criminal offence.

“Governments are obliged to facilitate peaceful protests, while, of course, protecting the public from serious and sustained disruption. But the grave risk here is that these orders pre-emptively limit someone’s future legitimate exercise of their rights,” the High Commissioner said.

“I am also concerned that the law appears to target in particular peaceful actions used by those protesting about human rights and environmental issues. As the world faces the triple planetary crises of climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution, governments should be protecting and facilitating peaceful protests on such existential topics, not hindering and blocking them,” Türk stressed.

“The passage of this Bill regrettably weakens human rights obligations, which the country has long championed in international fora. I call on the UK Government to reverse this legislation as soon as feasible,” he said.

To sum up: the UN reckons that, by passing the Public Order Act, the UK is now a renegade, criminal state because it has passed a law that overrules international agreements on human rights.

Worse, the UK has prioritised polluting industry above the survival of our planetary ecosystem, which means our government is not only facilitating harm to the human race as a species, but persecuting people who want us all to survive.

That is an insane position for a national government to take.

Worse still is that This Writer sees no government-in-waiting that is likely to agree with the United Nations and reverse the situation; Keir Starmer is a corporate yes-man who won’t do anything to upset his real bosses.

Still… perhaps it’s our fault that this has gone as far as it has.

I mean, have you contacted your MP to express opposition to this despotism?

Source: UN Human Rights Chief urges UK to reverse ‘deeply troubling’ Public Order Bill | OHCHR


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