UN Security Council Sanctions North Korea (Again)

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved a new set of sanctions against North Korea in response to its nuclear and missile programs.  This is significant as both Russia and China voted for the sanctions, rather than vetoing them or abstaining from the vote. In order to get this unanimity, the United States had to remove provisions which would have blocked all oil imports into North Korea as well as provided for stronger naval inspections of ships entering or leaving North Korea.

However, the new sanctions do have some teeth.  They reduce oil imports into the country by 30%, ban all natural gas imports, prohibit the export of textiles (worth $800 million), eliminate work authorization for North Korean nationals (worth $500 million), ban joint ventures with the country or its nationals, and allow for inspection of ships (with the consent of the ship’s flag state).  It also imposes travel bans on certain individuals and freezes their financial assets.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said that the addition of this set of sanctions on top of previous sanctions means that 90% of North Korean exports are now banned.

The hope is that North Korea can be encouraged to stop its nuclear and missile testing programs through the use of these latest set of sanctions.  However, based on past history this may be a forlorn hope.  Since the country began weapons testing in 2006, sixteen resolutions have been passed by the U.N. Security Council condemning North Korea and imposing sanctions against the country.

The UN Is Tackling The Real Problems In This World – Like Stereotypes In Advertising

In a world rife with trouble and disunity, where so many people do without the basic necessities of life, while others suffer for their lifestyle or beliefs, it’s a comfort to know that we can count on the United Nations to tackle the real problems plaguing our planet.

No, they’re not working on a plan to fight ISIS or anything related to the environment, the unborn, or human rights. Nope, the UN has just announced a new initiative to target that most pernicious of problems: stereotypes of men and women in advertising.

The UN’s Unstereotype Alliance is aimed at steering the advertising world toward “realistic, non-biased portrayals of women and men.” (Whatever that means.) It’s worth nothing that, even though the stated purpose talks about “women and men,” it’s clear that the bulk of the efforts will focus on women, based on some of the quotes in the press release.

Speaking ahead of the Unstereotype Alliance event, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women says: “Stereotypes reflect deep-rooted ideas of femininity and masculinity. Negative, diminished conceptions of women and girls are one of the greatest barriers for gender equality and we need to tackle and change those images wherever they appear. Advertising is a particularly powerful driver to change perceptions and impact social norms. UN Women is excited to partner with the foremost industry shapers in this Alliance to challenge and advance the ways women are represented in this field.”

One corporate communications executive notes some statistic that, “progressive ads have been found to be 25% more effective and deliver better branded impact.” Uh-huh. We can only guess what kinds of agendas will go along with “progressive ads.”

Over at The Daily Wire, Amanda Prestigiacomo puts in perspective when she says:

[T]he U.N. might not be on top of its game when it comes to fighting for the rights of all Muslim women, or for the right to life of the unborn, the most vulnerable and voiceless among us, or fighting anti-Semitism, but you can bet they’ll be doing everything in their power to rid the world of depicted stay-at-home mothers bringing dad dinner and those bikini-clad chicks eating burgers on the hood of a car.

If they can get rid of the dumb husband cliche in commercials, they’ll really accomplish something. But I’m not going to hold my breath.

Haley’s Ultimatum on UN Human Rights and Israel: Fix It or Else…

Using the strongest words yet, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley issued what could be called an ultimatum to the UN Human Rights Council. In a speech in Geneva, Haley kept a promise she made last week.

She called on the UN to make two key changes:

  • “Act to keep the worst human rights abusers form obtaining seats on the Council.”
  • “Agenda Item Seven must be removed.” This is the permanent item that singles out Israel for condemnation.

On the first item, Haley recited a litany of abuses by sitting members of the Council, including Venezuela and Cuba. She called Cuba’s jaw-dropping hypocrisy “a reversal of the truth that would make George Orwell blush.”

She singled out Russia, Zimbabwe, and North Korea; and accused China, Burundi and Saudi Arabia of failing to “uphold the highest standards” of human rights. “They clearly do not uphold those highest standards,” she said.

Citing former Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s 2005 disbanding of the erstwhile Human Rights Commission, Haley levied the same charges against the new body that was supposed to fix the problems of the discredited body.

These problems were supposed to have been fixed when the new Council was formed. Sadly, the case against the Human Rights Council today looks an awful lot like the case against the discredited Human Rights Commission over a decade ago.

Once again, over half the current member countries fail to meet basic human rights standards as measured by Freedom House.

And she closed with an implied threat.

For our part, the United States will not sit quietly while this body, supposedly dedicated to human rights, continues to damage the cause of human rights.

She called on America’s allies–“likeminded countries”–to join her call for reform.

Let the world be on notice: We will never give up the cause of universal human rights. Whether it’s here, or in other venues, we will continue this fight.

Like the Paris Accords, the Human Rights Council is nothing more than a cover for globalists to seek legitimacy and despots to do as they please; it’s proclamations are without effect, and it statements without power. The U.S. should have nothing to do with it.

In the question and answer session following the speech, however, Haley pulled her punches.

“America does not seek to leave the Human Rights Council,” Ms. Haley said. “We seek to re-establish the council’s legitimacy.” Pressed by the audience, she would not commit to staying or leaving.

Some organizations believe that, even with these egregious problems, the U.S. should stick with the HRC.

Eight rights organizations wrote to Ms. Haley last month highlighting the importance of the United States’ leadership role and its ability to change the council’s practices and its approach toward Israel.

(Source.)

They pointed out that during the Bush years, America’s ability to influence the Council was at its nadir. But former President Obama’s terms helped the Council focus on other issues than Israel. One could argue that the Council didn’t see Israel as a necessary target since Obama’s own policies (and in the Security Council) seemed to take care of that checkbox.

“What is certain is that the departure of the U.S. from the Human Rights Council would only result in worse, and perhaps even pernicious, outcomes,” the rights organizations said in their letter.

Israeli officials are not so convinced. They believe (and I agree) that the structure and form of the HRC are too corrupted to be corrected from within, unless and until Haley’s demands are met.

“The US should present the Council with an ultimatum: Either Item 7 goes or we go,” Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren told The Times of Israel in a recent interview. The organization would still be heavily biased against Israel, he added, “but at least it would not condemn us three times a year automatically.”

However, Oren said at the time that the Council cannot be reformed from the inside, urging the US to leave. “By being there, the US and like-minded countries are only legitimizing an inherently anti-Semitic organization. I don’t want to sound hyperbolic, but wanting to reform the UNHRC is like wanting to reforming the BDS [Boycott, Divest and Sanction] movement from the inside.”

The UN as a whole teeters on the brink of irrelevancy–especially in the Trump era, where multilateral cooperative deals are definitely out of favor. The HRC has zero credibility for the supposed purpose for which it was created. Why should the U.S. continue to lend it legitimacy?

Ambassador Haley, your message should be received as: Get right or America gets out.

Ambassador Haley: Yes, Move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

God bless former South Carolina governor and current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

Say what you want about President Trump and his various cabinet picks, but it is this one woman who is standing head and shoulders above the fray, in terms of absolute boldness and right, in the face of madness.

Her steadfast defense of Israel, in what is the lion’s den of the anti-Semitic chambers of the UN is nothing less than an inspiration.

And now she appears to be speaking up against even her own colleagues within the Trump administration.

One of Trump’s bits of campaign bravado was that he would move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

This move would be unprecedented, as it would signal that the United States views Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel, something that is a flashpoint within the region.

Over the last few weeks, however, it has become increasingly clear that Candidate Trump and President Trump take two different views on the issue.

In February, Trump stunned when he turned to visiting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference, and in an apparently off-script moment, suggested that he would appreciate it if Israel stopped building settlements along the West Bank.

That was a stance no different than that of Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.

Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is dependent on a peace deal between Palestine and Israel.

At any time in the short history of modern day Israel, when a “peace deal” is broached, it means territory and lives given up by Israel – not actual peace.

So while Trump and Tillerson are hedging, Haley is being far more resolute on the issue.

Speaking on Tuesday night, Haley said:

“Obviously, I believe that the capital should be Jerusalem and the embassy should be moved to Jerusalem because if you look at all their government is in Jerusalem. So much of what goes on is in Jerusalem and I think we have to see that for what it is,” Haley said in an interview on The Brody File.

Commonsense reasons for moving the embassy, but for the people of Israel, the meaning is much deeper.

Given the chaos surrounding the administration, it’s a relief to find this oasis of reason.

Thank you, Ambassador Haley.

Nikki Haley: “The Days Of Israel-Bashing Are Over”

“You’re not going to take our number one democratic friend in the Middle East, and beat up on them.”

Newly appointed Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has had a stellar first few months at her new job. And now, she is receiving a hero’s welcome back home for the work that she is doing abroad to protect American interests at home and overseas.

“For anyone who says you can’t get anything done at the U.N., they need to know there is a new sheriff in town,” she says. Haley made the comments to a packed crowd of around 20,000 pro-Israel advocates at yesterday’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Conference.

Ambassador Haley appears to be relishing her new international role, and has been eagerly defending American interests and allies abroad at the United Nations. Already, she has managed to successfully force the UN to withdraw a report accusing Israel of apartheid, and was able to stop a Palestinian from being given one of the highest positions at the UN. “What [this] means is, until the Palestinian Authority comes to the table, [and] until the UN responds the way they are supposed to, there are no freebies for the Palestinian Authority any more.”

“You just can’t comprehend how ridiculous it is,” she said, with regards to the incessant Israel-bashing. “I wear heels. It’s not a fashion statement. It’s because if I see something wrong, we’re going to kick them every single time.”

Isn’t it refreshing to finally have a Presidential administration that defends American interests at the UN instead of the Middle East? Let us know your thoughts on Nikki Haley’s comments by sharing this article on Twitter and tagging @resurgent.

The White House Explores Cutting Funding To The United Nations, And – You Guessed It – The Left Is Freaking Out!

The Trump administration is preparing its budget proposal, and word is that State Department staffers have received warnings that the White House is looking at cutting up to 50 percent of the $10 billion a year in funding that the United States provides to the United Nations.

Just mentioning cutting UN funding get the Left to freaking out, as Colum Lynch over at Foreign Policy demonstrates. Read the breathlessness of some of his article on the cuts:

State Department staffers have been instructed to seek cuts in excess of 50 percent in U.S. funding for U.N. programs, signaling an unprecedented retreat by President Donald Trump’s administration from international operations that keep the peace, provide vaccines for children, monitor rogue nuclear weapons programs, and promote peace talks from Syria to Yemen, according to three sources.

The push for such draconian measures comes as the White House is scheduled on Thursday to release its 2018 budget proposal, which is expected to include cuts of up to 37 percent for spending on the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign assistance programs, including the U.N., in next year’s budget.

It remains unclear whether the full extent of the steeper U.N. cuts will be reflected in the 2018 budget, which will be prepared by the White House Office of Management and Budget, or whether, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has proposed, the cuts would be phased in over the coming three years. One official close to the Trump administration said Tillerson has been given flexibility to decide how the cuts would be distributed.

Lynch continues his sky-is-falling quoting experts who lament that such “strong and disproportionate cuts” will “create ‘chaos.'” Apparently high on the list of areas ripe for cutting are UN services that offer “family planning” (read: abortions) and pro-Palestinian organizations.

Lynch even quotes a Heritage Foundation analyst who admits that 50-percent cuts to UN funding would be difficult, but the vast majority of the article’s analysis comes from a left-leaning perspective, including a dire warning against cutting funding from – big surprise – a former Obama administration staffer.

The fact of the matter is, drastic cuts to our United Nations funding face a tough road ahead in Congress – and even Lynch takes a breath long enough to admit it. Even if the cuts make it into the finished budget and Tillerson has the latitude to determine how the administration implements them, they’ll likely be more gradual than the worst fears. But that won’t stop the Left from freaking out over them, that’s for sure.

The Moral Cowardice of Barack Obama and John Kerry

For eight years, Barack Obama has given lip service to our special relationship with Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East and our long time ally. During that time, the United States has opposed anti-Israel efforts in the United Nations, standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel. But with less than four weeks before he leaves office, Barack Obama finally worked with Israel’s enemies to pass a United Nations resolution hostile to Israel.

This is an act of moral cowardice and immaturity the likes of which Barack Obama thinks only Donald Trump is capable of.

Nothing has changed in our relationship with Israel in the past several years. Obama has been increasingly hostile toward Israeli interests, but he has maintained a facade of friendship. Nothing has changed. The only thing that has changed is how much longer Barack Obama has in office and the fact that voters will never again see him on a ballot.

Today, with less than three weeks to go before they depart, John Kerry intends to give a speech offering a “comprehensive vision” on Middle East peace. He is allegedly expected to recognize a Palestinian state — something no American administration, including this one, has done.

Doing so three weeks before departing office does nothing but create headaches for an incoming administration by an outgoing administration too cowardly to do this before now.

It is not leadership to wait till you have one foot out the door to be bold. It is reckless cowardice and a descent into stereotype of Trumpism this administration believes. Turning nearly a half-century of American foreign policy on its head in the literal final weeks of a Presidency is not competent leadership, but childish petulance.

Childish petulance, however, is Barack Obama’s legacy. His childish petulance, though he may never admit it, gave rise to Donald Trump, who is Obama’s ultimate legacy.

Destroy the United Nations

Sometimes enough really is just enough.  And so it is here.

The United Nations, which emerged out of the ashes of the Second World War and the Shoah but which has come to embody that which it was initially formed to oppose, has long ceased serving any useful function.  Ironically founded in no small part to better secure the Jewish fate, the wretched hive of morally relativistic scum and Western values-loathing villainy has long succumbed to strongman sycophancy, noxious Arab supremacism, and perverse Islamist-Leftist dogma.  The grotesque body that once so pusillanimously slandered Zionism as “racism” has now doubled down on its obsessive Jew-hatred with Friday’s Security Council passage of Resolution 2334, a disgraceful screed that betrays Leftist attempts to legitimize the Yitzhak Rabin/Yasser Arafat-negotiated Oslo Acccords framework and seeks to unilaterally impose final settlement terms on the Israelis and the Palestinians that would enforce the (literally) indefensible “1967 borders” armistice line.

Notwithstanding that the “1967 borders,” decried by virtually the entire Israeli defense edifice and sardonically lambasted by many in the tiny Jewish state as “Auschwitz borders,” would shrink Israel to a mere nine miles wide at its narrowest point.  Notwithstanding that 2334 rewards the kleptocratic, jihadi martyr-subsidizing Palestinian Authority, which has turned down multiple generous Israeli offers of full-fledged statehood in this century alone, and of late has allied with Muslim Brotherhood offshoot Sunni sharia supremacist terror group Hamas in a “unity government,” for instigating a bloody “knife intifada” that consisted of stabbing as many Jerusalem Jews as the jihadists could find.  Notwithstanding that, under 2334, the two holiest sites in all of Judaism (the Temple Mount and the Western Wall) have their history scurrilously rewritten by Islamophilic revisionists so as to unfathomably render them part of “occupied Palestinian territory.”  Notwithstanding that, under 2334, the entire Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, where Jews have lived for literally millennia, is also deemed “occupied Palestinian territory” in its entirety.  Notwithstanding that, under 2334, Jesus (born as a Jew in Bethlehem) would have been considered an “illegal settler” in “occupied Palestinian territory.”  Notwithstanding that, as my friend Eugene Kontorovich aptly demonstrates, the actual underlying legal dispute with respect to Judea and Samaria is far from settled.

To say that this is reprehensibly ugly and shameful would be to put it mildly.  Such misanthropic anti-Judeo-Christian and pro-Arabist historical revisionism is, of course, par for the course for the feckless dolts at the supra-national, sovereignty-undermining institution that perverts Manhattan’s East River skyline.

But by not only formally abstaining at the vote but (by all accounts) also surreptitiously working behind the scenes to lobby passage of Resolution 2334, the unhinged Obama Administration and its sharia supremacism-abetting foot soldiers in Foggy Bottom have truly struck a dagger into the very essence of the American role at the U.N.  For decades, the U.S. could be counted upon to exercise its permanent Security Council veto to stop such misguided anti-Israel assaults in their tracks.  Indeed, many conservatives reluctantly acceded to U.S. funding and membership in the international body for something akin to precisely this reason.  Over my personal protestations, I have heard this express rationale from many conservative friends.

In a moment of true clarity, though, the unholy Leftist trinity of Barack Obama, John Kerry, and Samantha Power savagely betrayed Israel and disproved the alleged efficacy of such a long-term strategy.  So be it.  But now the global progressive Left, ever in love with its would-be transnational overlords at the U.N., must pay a steep price for that betrayal.

That price is simple.  Donald Trump and the Republican-led U.S. Congress should declare war on the United Nations.  No actual bullets need be fired, but it is now time to do everything in our power to destroy any remaining claimed credibility and legitimacy for the U.N.  Yes, destroy.

Fully defunding the God-forsaken multinationalist entity of any U.S. taxpayer dollars should be an immediate first step.  Next, the Trump Administration should take any and all necessary steps to get that blighted symbol of illiberal autocracy and Jew-hatred off Manhattan’s proud skyline.  Steve has some good ideas for how to accomplish that.  I’d only add (and, given the U.N.’s idiosyncratic legal status, I’m actually not positive how this might work) that, despite my usual firm opposition to eminent domain, I would be on board with the idea of using it to kick the U.N. out of New York.  Removing the Western democracy-bashing, terrorist-abetting “diplomats” from Turtle Bay might plausibly count as a “public use” in its own right, per the Fifth Amendment textual requirement.  But to solidify (if necessary, here?) Fifth Amendment requirements, just for good measure, and also to show what he really thinks of the amorphous, anti-Semitic “international community,” Trump should then install an elaborate missile defense system there in the building’s stead in eastern Manhattan.  Right in the rubble of the U.N. building.  And he should point the missile defense system directly at Tehran.

Next, after the repulsive body is defunded and kicked off our sovereign shores, and after soon-to-be U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has spent a week or two enjoying herself by trolling the international body and making extensive use of her two middle fingers, the U.S. should formally and fully withdraw its membership status.  The Obama Administration has singularly destroyed the rationale underlying the only quasi-legitimate reason to retain membership status, which is to use the veto power to block irksome Security Council resolutions.  That (perhaps always) quixotic ideal died last Friday, with Samantha Power’s disgraceful abstention on Resolution 2334.  Since there is literally no other compelling reason for the U.S. to formally bless the legitimacy of a morally perverse body that praises Fidel Castro but says Jews have no ties to the Western Wall, we should rip the Band-Aid off in its entirety.  The U.N. already undermines our constitutional self-rule and hamstrings our foreign policy by submitting it to the capricious whims of autocrats and dictators.  Be gone already.

Finally, after congressional defunding, the building of a missile defense system in the literal ashes of the former U.N. edifice in Turtle Bay, and formal withdrawal, conservatives and U.N. skeptics must commence a systemic, profound assault in the public discourse to deprive the institution of any extant legitimacy.  President Trump should make an affirmative case for full withdrawal in his State of the Union Address, and he can supplement the formal case by (in true Trumpist fashion) adding the occasional mocking insult or two toward Ban Ki-moon and his illicit henchmen.  Trump can taunt their newfound inability to prevent the U.S. from taking whatever actions it wants to take vis a vis either the Sunni (e.g., Islamic State or Muslim Brotherhood) or Shi’ite (i.e., Iran) jihads.  Sitting conservative politicians should make a concerted effort to tout the benefits of our being constitutionally and geopolitically unshackled on the Sunday talk show circuit, and in other mainstream media more broadly.  Like-minded Western allies should be encouraged to follow us out the door and to not look back.  And if the mainstream Jewish establishment (represented by traditional, non-right-wing groups like AIPAC, AJC, and the Jewish Federations of North America) has any sense of pride and post-Obama era hardened realism as to the threats to Israel, it ought to enthusiastically join in this public relations effort.

With the body sinking deeper and deeper into self-parody, a concerted effort at shaming, delegitiziming, and (yes) fully withdrawing from the U.N. is long overdue.  The United Nations is a disgraceful black mark on our national conscience and, upon assuming office, Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress should waste little time in stripping these retrograde anti-Semites of any and all American imprimaturs.  As far as I’m concerned, the Jew-hating scum who pathetically virtue signal when it comes to Assad’s butchery in Syria but instead choose to focus on anti-Semitic resolutions like Friday’s 2334 farce can all go to hell.  Yes, to hell.

What was once a well-intentioned attempt to prevent the excesses of European-style nationalism has long degenerated into a punch line.  And a bigoted Jew-hating punch line, at that.  It is long time to assure the same fate for this toothless body as was met by all the scores of groups who tried, but failed, over millennia in their own myriad ways to harm and ultimately eradicate the Jewish people.

Be gone already.  United Nations delenda est.