Monday, March 31, 2008

“Human Rights” Speaker a Supporter of Terrorism?

Our colleague Rich Friman has arranged for a woman named Mary Robinson to give a speech on campus.

The description of her background, as officially released by Marquette University, is bland enough. She is identified as:
The first female president of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. President Robinson is chair of the Council of World Women Leaders and president of Realizing Rights: the Ethical Globalization Initiative.
In reality, there is a lot more too it.

Anybody who knows much about the United Nations knows that “human rights” can be defined in a rather odd way there. And thus it was under Robinson. As Michael Rubin of National Review Online explains:
The trouble starts with Robinson’s tenure as president of Ireland. During the last four years of Robinson’s tenure, the European Union donated large sums of money to the Palestinian Authority. Ireland even held the presidency of the European Union for the second half of 1996. During this time, Arafat siphoned large amounts of European aid money away to pay for terror. Robinson can plead ignorance, but documents seized during the recent Israeli incursion into the West Bank revealed that the Palestinian Authority spent approximately $9 million of European Union aid money each month on the salaries of those organizing terror attacks against civilians. While European officials like Robinson looked the other way, the Palestinian Authority regularly converted millions of dollars of aid money into shekels at rates about 20 percent below normal, allowing the Palestinian chairman to divert millions of dollars worth of aid into his personal slush fund.

Remember the young boys, students, and old women killed in the rash of Palestinian bus bombings back in 1996? It’s hard to believe that European politicians are so incompetent than to notice that Palestinian violence grew in proportion to their aid money. European funds enabled Arafat to purchase $50 million worth of sophisticated Iranian weaponry for use against civilians. While the world knows the story of the Karine-A’s interception last January, few remember that the ship represented only one of many Palestinian weapons schemes (Remember the Calypso? The Santorini? The smuggling tunnels from Egypt into Gaza?) European leaders may claim ignorance, but Robinson should be the first to admit that indirect responsibility is no mitigation for war crimes. The sad fact is that aid given by Robinson helped build the organizations that now kill children at pizzerias, teenagers at discos, and pensioners at Passover seders, not to mention numerous American citizens along the way.

Robinson’s tenure at the United Nations has been little better than her record as Ireland’s president. She was the driving force behind the Orwellian “World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.” At the conference, Robinson presided over little more than an intellectual pogrom against Jews and Israel. She remained largely silent as the preliminary Asian Regional Conference in Tehran (to which Israel was excluded) inserted blatantly racist statements into the conference agenda. She failed to speak out when, on the grounds of the U.N. conference itself, the Arab Lawyers Union distributed pamphlets depicting hook-nosed Jews as Nazis spearing Palestinian children. In the same tent where nongovernmental organizations depicted Israel as a “racist, apartheid state,” were distributed fliers entitled, “What if Hitler had won?” The answer: “There would be no Israel, and no Palestinian bloodshed.” While Robinson takes no responsibility for enabling the greatest single display of anti-Semitism in 50 years, she failed to lift a finger when the South African government denied visas to European anti-slavery activists critical of human rights in Islamic nations like the Sudan, where over two million people have perished in a war since the regime in Khartoum declared a jihad against non-Muslims in 1983. Either black Sudanese are less worthy of concern to the human-rights commission, or it would be inexcusably politically incorrect to actually protest human-rights violations conducted in the name of Islam.

Robinson’s post-Durban record is little better. On April 15, Robinson’s commission voted on a decision that condoned suicide bombings as a legitimate means to establish Palestinian statehood (six European Union members voted in favor including, not surprisingly, France and Belgium). The vote came after Robinson initiated a drive to become a fact finder to investigate the now-famous massacre in Jenin (also known as “the massacre that never happened”). Curiously, in the months preceding Israel’s incursion into the U.N. refugee camp in Jenin, suicide bombers launched from the camp wearing explosives likely bought with European money killed more than 100 Israeli civilians. However, for Robinson, a massacre is the deaths of seven Palestinian civilians in a war zone (47 Palestinian militants and 23 Israel soldiers also died). The deaths of more than 100 Jewish civilians by suicide bombers is worthy of little more than deafening silence interrupted by an occasional pithy statement of moral equivalence. The world still waits for Robinson to use her bully pulpit to call for an investigation of the terrorist murder of Jews (but then again, such an inquiry might lead uncomfortably close to UNRWA and European Union officials ).
Not surprisingly, she is pro-abortion, and hostile toward the Bush Administration on the issue or terrorism.

According to PBS:
Robinson called Bush’s linking Bin Laden to Adolf Hitler in a speech this week an attempt to “muddy the ground to fight an election,” adding it was “sad rhetorical language.” Instead the U.S. should focus on ‘real issues,’ she said, such as the recent conflict between Lebanon and Israel. She also urged the U.S. to open up discussions with the Palestinian ruling party, Hamas.
There is, of course, nothing wrong with having Robinson speak on campus -- although a skeptic would say that she’s a female Irish Barack Obama, with a lot or rhetoric but not much in the way of real accomplishment.

But when we tote up whether Marquette is offering a balanced selection of speakers, or is in fact engaging in liberal indoctrination, we have to look for the Allis Chalmers Distinguished Lecture Series in International Affairs to provide some balance with a more conservative speaker in the near future.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Dad29 said...

There is, of course, nothing wrong with having Robinson speak on campus

I disagree, if Marquette is still pretending to be a "Catholic" school.

USCC has explicitly stated that pro-abort politicians should NOT be granted a forum at "Catholic" colleges.

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Mark Armstrong said...

John,
While i don't completely agree with all your points here I want to raise one issue of political science. The Irish presidency is a non-executive position and as such is generally understood to be ceremonial. In this regard i think mthat Rubin is being rather unfair in suggesting that Robinson is responsible for EU aid to Palestinians. While it is entirely conceivable (even, perhaps, likely) that she agreed with the general EU policy, givent the structure of Irish politics she would have had no say over this issue. It would have been decided by the Prime Minister (Albert Reynolds and/or John Bruton.) Indeed, when Ireland holds the Presidency of the EU, the prime minister or deputy prime minister fulfills the role of President (it was deputy Prime Minister Dick Spring who did this during the period Rubin discusses.

Mark Armstrong

6:04 PM  

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