Friday, March 07, 2008

Good news: Louise Arbour steps down

My readers will know that I hold her in mild to intense contempt. I've written about her in the past, on her vicious selectivity when choosing how her time is spent and who will benefit from her authority as human rights arbiter. When someone of her great status chooses to devote months to stop an Iraqi genocider from being hanged, that means very little time or concern dedicated to the thousands of men, women and children that are being killed, mutilated and raped in the meantime.

I suspect her decision was encouraged after her latest, most blatant mistake. She clearly forgot she was heading the world's highest institution for promoting universal human rights, when she came out in support of a major pan-Arab human rights charter that:

* commits to the elimination of Zionism,

* that stipulates that "Women, who face religion-based discrimination in many Islamic countries, are guaranteed equal rights "within the framework of the positive discrimination established in favour of women by the Islamic Shariah, other divine laws, and by applicable laws and legal instruments.".

* that "On marriage, the charter stipulates it can only be between a man and a woman."

She retracted her support, a few days later, under pressure from the Canadian government. But too late to save her shamed face from the logical conclusion of her initial act of support: her instinctual, reflexive bias in favour of oppressive systems which stand in stark opposition to the values of liberality and humanism of the democratic ethos.

When she visited Israel and Gaza, she was witness to Qassam attack on the inhabitants of that beleaguered town. But she chose to coddle Hamas while condemning Israel. She chose to encourage Hamas by her open hostility to Israel's security needs. A year or so, and two thousands or more Qassams later, Israel was forced to launch a massively aggressive force to stop Hamas, with over 100 dead Palestinians at the end of it. Responsible people should demand accountability from her, for her failure to look after the security needs of the very Palestinians she declares such sympathy for, her failure to insist that their leadership protect them by enforcing a policy of non-belligerency.

She leaves a highly tainted legacy. Human rights, under her guidance, continually eroded to point of comic futility.

Irwin Cotler has been a well-known critic of Louise Arbour. As we can see from this account, Arab-Canadians consider this criticism as antithetical to their well-being.. or something:

This past summer, Cotler gained notoriety all over the world for his viscious verbal attack on Louise Arbour, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Prior to becoming the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Prior to that, in 1996 Louise Arbour was appointed by the Security Council of the United Nations as Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, a position she held for three years.

Here is a excerpt of Cotler's 2006 viscious verbal attack on United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour:

"Louise Arbour's comments on international law as it applies to Israel's military actions in Lebanon are as superficial as they are simplistic as a matter of law, and uninformed and misleading in their appreciation of and application to the facts." [Source]

Let's give her some credit, shall we?

In November, UN Watch issued a report saying it had been unable to find any examples of her publicly confronting anti-Semitism while serving as the UN's chief advocate of human rights. But, her spokesman said Ms. Arbour had "continuously condemned the multiple forms of intolerance and discrimination, including anti-Semitism."

Well, then...


At 3:49 PM EST, Blogger Bald Headed Geek said...

I did see this story, CC, and am happy that she soon will be gone. Like most "internationalists" she was (and always will be, I suppose) an ardent foe of Israel and the United States.


At 4:08 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“She leaves a highly tainted legacy. Human rights, under her guidance, continually eroded to point of near extinction.”

I lost a lot of respect for the human rights community after Irene Khan from Amnesty International described Guantanamo Bay as “the gulag of our times.” This is not only a ludicrous comparison it is highly offensive to those who experienced the terror of the gulag first-hand. Hundreds of thousands of people were murdered in the gulag. I’m not going to claim that the individuals interred at Guantanamo are on a Caribbean vacation or anything callous like that but to say Guantanamo is the new gulag where less than 300 are detained (550 when Ms. Khan made her statement) is reprehensible. Unfortunately I think more and more individuals and organizations in the human rights community are moving in this direction.

At 8:44 AM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Indeed, NC.


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