You’d think a machine politician would be good at it.  Duban II, a product of the new and improved UN Human Rights Council, is working on a document which includes provisions for making criticism of Islam an international crime and singling out Israel as the only country in the world violating human rights. The US walked out of the previous Durban hatefest in 2001, refusing to lend it moral authority, but the Obama Administration reversed that course in an effort to influence the outcome, they said.

However, judging from the team’s performance at the Durbin II planning sessions, you’d be mistaken.  Durban II Planning

On Wednesday, the European Union proposed a provision for the final document — which is to be adopted formally at the Conference itself in April — on the Holocaust. The EU had attempted to add a reference to the Holocaust at the last preparatory meeting (in January), which the U.S. did not attend. But Iran and Syria had objected. The EU proposal was therefore “bracketed” — entered into the items-in-dispute category. Both Syria and Iran had claimed there weren’t enough facts about the Holocaust to warrant a definitive denunciation. Iran had also complained that the proposal was in the wrong section.

What happened to that provision?  Iran proposed bracketing it, the Chair asked for comments,and the silence from the American contingent was deafening.

Since the operating principle is consensus, this put the Holocaust provision in dispute. But the American delegation chose not to go on the record strongly supporting the EU’s proposal, as it had on other items. Not a peep came from the “change the direction in which the Review Conference is heading” folks.

More silence was the American response to a Palestinian call for “an end of all actions violating international human rights and humanitarian law, the respect for the principle of self-determination and an end of all suffering. Calls also for implementation of international legal obligations, including the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the wall, and the international protection of the Palestinian people throughout the occupied Palestinian territory,” effectively agreeing with the finger-pointing toward Israel alone.

What is US participation good for?  Absolutely nothing, if you’re talking human rights:

…Under the consensus rule, many important suggestions have gone unadopted. A proposal to condemn human-rights violations based on sexual orientation ran into immediate objections from South Africa, Syria, Algeria, Iran, Botswana, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Morocco, Holy See, Libya, Egypt, and China. Pakistan said no to a provision that sought to make violence against women and children a criminal offence. Iran balked at a call for states to promote gender equality, and at a suggestion to ensure that the concept of multiculturalism is not used to infringe human rights.

It used to be said that “politics ends at the water’s edge.”  For the Obama Administration we should update that saying to “betraying America’s founding principles knows no boundaries.”

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