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December 17, 2015 3:01 pm

Watchdog Calls on UN to Condemn Essay by Human Rights Council ‘Expert’ Blaming Israel, US for Paris Attacks

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Alfred Maurice DeZayas. The UNHRC expert's essay, which blames Israel and the US for the Paris attacks, spurred UN Watch to call on the international body to issue a condemnation. Photo: Wikipedia.

Alfred Maurice DeZayas. The UNHRC expert’s essay, which blames Israel and the US for the Paris attacks, spurred UN Watch to call on the international body to issue a condemnation. Photo: Wikipedia.

The head of a Geneva-based human rights organization called on the United Nations to condemn an essay written by one of its employees blaming Israel and the US for the November 13 Paris attacks.

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel C. Neuer urged Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other UN officials to denounce the 1500-word piece penned by Alfred De Zayas, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s “independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order.”

In the article, De Zayas argues that while terrorism is not justifiable, the attacks in Paris occurred because of “old religious tensions and conflicts” between “Israeli settlers and Palestinian populations.”

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He also makes a veiled reference to the US, asserting that the “victims and the survivors” of “colonialist” and “capitalist” enterprises — who “have neither forgiven nor forgotten” — manifested their anger in Paris.

“They came to us because we went to them,” De Zayas wrote, which Neuer said was a way of blaming the actual victims.

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  • Peter Armstrong

    Dear Mr. De Zayas,

    You are intellectually dishonest and naive.

    You, and the NHRC, should begin to acquaint yourselves with historical facts before issuing comments on things you apparently know very little about. Your essay is profoundly ignorant of the evolution of human civilization.

    Secondly, you and the NHRC hold yourselves up to be the arbiters of human rights and justice, yet human rights are denied to the West and Israel; that’s rather despicable and hypocritical.

    Jews do not blow up people in Germany to protest their treatment by the Third Reich, or perpetual antisemitism. You might want to study why Jews, who have suffered interminably through history, do not kill those that have oppressed them, or why they have never in some twisted logic blown themselves up just to kill other people, like radical Islamists, who think they are “martyrs” when they are nothing more than mass murderers.

    Maybe if you understood why Jews have not taken action against those that have sought to eradicate them from the face of the Earth, you would understand Judaism and have the basis for a scholarly, not political, essay.

  • Sherlock Holmes

    There are two points I note when it comes to Arabs and other Muslims. First there are conspiracy theories even when there is no evidence and Second they blame everyone but themselves. The attamept to bomb the Paris Stadium, the restaurants and bars and the concert hall had nothing to do with Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. Nor did the bomb on the Air France plane today. Across the Middle East and parts of Africa there are insane terrorists who believe they should rule the world and overthrow all legit govts.

  • Alfred de Zayas

    Statement by Dr. Alfred de Zayas, United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order

    Link: https://dezayasalfred.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/statement-by-dr-alfred-de-zayas-united-nations-independent-expert-on-the-promotion-of-a-democratic-and-equitable-international-order/

    Geneva, December 17, 2015 – The UN Independent Expert welcomes constructive criticism on his reports, statements, essays related to the advancement of human rights, international terrorism, and any other issue conducive to improving the well-being of persons in the world, irrespective of religion, ethnicity, culture, age and gender. I am open to input from all quarters.

    I am also aware that mandate holders are often subjected to attacks from governments, private sector institutions and individuals. Sometimes it is better to ignore below-the-belt abuse. A danger lingers, however, that when defamation is widely disseminated in the media, “always something sticks”. The result is suspicion — and a reduction of the credibility of the mandate holder and of the impact of his/her recommendations.

    Recently it has come to my attention that a particularly vile defamation has been spread over blogs and news outlets according to which I have somehow blamed the West for the Paris terrorist attacks of 13 November. One would think that such a statement is too ludicrous to merit any kind of reaction.

    Let me be clear. I have never written in my blog essay that the West is responsible for the Paris terrorist attacks. My essay does not mention Paris at all, but focuses on the root-causes of terrorism with its multiple actors and victims.

    In any case, endeavouring to trace the stages of violent behaviour and understand the phenomenon in no way justifies it. Our common interest must be to develop prevention mechanisms. This requires a comprehensive analysis, not only on the root-causes of terrorism, but on the recent and more distant pre-history of the violence.

    I encourage every independent and critically thinking reader to read my essay (https://dezayasalfred.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/terrorism-in-an-age-of-asymmetries/) in which I give my utmost consideration and attention to all victims stating that:

    “All victims of terrorism anywhere in the world are entitled to our sympathy, compassion, solidarity and support. All acts of indiscriminate killing of civilians are abhorrent. Nothing will ever justify terrorist acts against innocent human beings. Perpetrators must be identified, prosecuted and punished.”

    Moreover, it is suggested that I justified the Paris attacks as: “…a response to grave injustices and ongoing abuses perpetrated by the dominant, primarily developed countries, against populations of less developed countries.”

    For the sake of intellectual honesty, I would like to share the relevant paragraph:

    “Some observers have postulated the view that terrorism, albeit neither justified nor justifiable, is partly a response to grave injustices and on-going abuses perpetrated by the dominant, primarily developed countries, against populations of less developed countries. Admittedly, modern terrorism has evolved over the past decades, but it remains a truism that in the light of power asymmetries both guerilla warfare and terrorism are preferred tactics of the underdog.”

    The intellectual dishonesty expressed in the defamatory article against me is a disservice to readers, who are entitled to the full text of my argument. Such crude distortions make it even more difficult to come to grips with a social phenomenon that has already claimed too many lives.

  • Tuvia Fogel

    “Among the root causes of terrorism, we must acknowledge the accumulation of hatred… because of very real abuses from various origins affecting millions of human beings. They came to us because we went to them,” writes De Zayas.

    Well, the French ‘abused’ millions in Indochina, too, and in the same decade of the war by the Algerians to throw them out of their country, but you don’t see Laotians or Vietnamese blowing themselves up in Paris 60 years later to avenge colonialism, do you? The difference between Algerians and Indochinese? I would say Islam, but that’s just me, De Zayas obviously knows better…

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