Comments by David G. Littman, NGO Representative (UN–Geneva) of the Association for World Education (AWE) and the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ):
Our recent experiences at the Palais des Nation (9th Special Session — on Gaza) reminded me of K. in Kafka’s Castle. Let me share his and my dreams with JW:
K. nodded, smiling, he believed he now understood everything perfectly; not because it concerned him, but because he was now convinced he would fall asleep in the next few minutes, this time without dreaming or being disturbed; between the competent secretaries on the one hand and the non-competent on the other, and confronted with the crowd of fully occupied applicants, he would sink into deep sleep and in this way escape everything. (The Castle, 1953, p. 324)
The Human Rights Council condemned Israel with the usual automatic resolution — without a mention of the word “Hamas”. The USA didn’t participate, Canada voted against, the EU and Switzerland abstained, and the usual 33 member states voted “˜yes”. Despite two fine statements by the Ambassador of Israel (“˜heard” clearly by all) and one by Canada and by a few other delegates and NGOs — especially a young girl from S”derot, the whole session repeated the usual Council diatribes against Israel.
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In order to provide a Kafkaesque glance into this Castle atmosphere, I shall restrict myself to a vivid personal example, rather that just reproduce “˜news”. A letter sent to a competent secretary at the UN Secretariat yesterday will give an “˜idea” of what can be expected at The Castle of the United Nations. It is followed by our written statement on HAMAS and our joint oral statement, which was not interrupted this time by points of order by Egypt and other delegates — as on previous occasions — probably because our complaints have borne fruit. As the proverb says pertinently: “To every thing there is a season”¦ a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”
I note that no correction has been made yet on our written statement. I had hoped that you would have succeeded in getting a rectification on the UN website — simply adding our “˜HAMAS” title as sent. You referred to a “˜clerical error”, for which you, willingly, took full responsibility, but on 9 January you informed me and Mr. XYZ that you had sent AWE”s text complete for processing. Wherever the “˜clerical error” took place — on your side or theirs — it should be corrected, as has been done in the past. If not, this justifies a formal complaint, as only the AWE written statement had its title deleted, thereby diminishing its impact.
Our title, as you know from the text submitted to you, is: HAMAS Charter: A Political–Genocidal text and a source of Judeophobia . This refers to the information contained in our statement and should not have been removed for any reason, and should now be urgently restored. Some of the other NGO titles are equally evocative of their contents but none of them suffered such a “˜clerical error”.
In view of the gravity of the subject — a Genocidal Charter condemned by us for 20 years without any reaction from a UN body — this “˜clerical error” might seem to any non-UN independent person to have been a form of censorship of an NGO document.
I, personally, do not believe that this is the case, but I am unable to understand the refusal — as you explained — by your colleague to correct it. I am preparing this text for publication with both our oral and written statements and wish to have a final “˜yes” or “˜no” answer from you, so that I can faithfully record the actual situation.
This is the 2nd case concerning me at the 9th Special Session (Gaza). Need I remind you that I was “˜searched” three times by security officers on entering Room XIX on Friday — even to the extent of having every UN document examined (I had UN copies of our NGO/3 written statement); the friendly guard even tried to read my, as yet, undelivered oral statement (although he doesn’t know English) — to decide whether I could take it all with me into the Council meeting room. Despite my vigorous protests that delegates and NGOs should not have their “˜papers” examined anywhere, especially within the Palais des Nations, I was informed that these were “the rules” that the guards had been given and they were being applied to everyone. However, I saw no one else searched for “˜inappropriate documentation” — except one person, whom I recognised and suggested (as a joke) that she should also be “˜searched”, in order to prove the absurdity of the arguments being used in my case. Having been refused entrance if I didn’t allow my “˜papers” to be thoroughly examined, one by one, I later asked you to accompany me to discuss this very grave matter with the “˜security”. You heard two security guards confirm to both of us that they were merely acting in accordance with clear Director’s Administrative Instruction — being “ST/AI/309”.
On hearing this, you felt obliged to accept this strange “ruling”, but I refused to consider for an instant that the UN had been reduced to such crude censorship. I went to the trouble to find the alleged document “ST/AI/309” which has two versions:
a 1984– ST/AI/309/Rev.1 and ST/AI/309/Rev.2 from 1997. Neither of these UN documents to “Members of the staff” from their superiors refers to searches for either “papers” or “documents” in the possession of NGOs or anyone else — only weapons, explosives, etc.
Today, the equipment being used for the control of cases, etc. allows security to see if there are weapons or explosives, but examining “papers” or “documents” is totally unjustified . Article 2 of ST/AI/309/Rev.2 states very clearly that:
Security officers are authorized to search persons, vehicles, handbags, briefcases or packages and to seize property if they have reason to believe that any person is carrying an unauthorized weapon, explosives or other dangerous substances or narcotics, or is removing property from the premises without proper authorization.
Article 4 makes grants the:
right to file complaints with the assistant Secretary-General, Office of Conference and Support Services, through the Chief, Security and Safety Service, if directions by security officers are thought to be unfair or unjust.
Late on Friday, just before the meeting closed (and after), I showed these ST/AI/309 documents to you and to the friendly security guards, who were merely “following instructions”(and to their Chief). No one bothered to examine either of them then; one guard felt that there might be a more recent “˜revised” text.
On Monday, 12 January, I arrived early (9:45am) to deliver our joint AWE/WUPJ oral statement (3rd speaker) in the expectation of being hassled again by security guards because my briefcase was full of documents (UN and others). But nothing happened, and I was allowed through with broad smiles. It is quite clear that it was only my insistence on following this “˜trail” that had the desired effect. Such Kafkaesque events should never happen at the UN for sessions of the Human Rights Council.
I am going to such lengths in order to make sure that such happenings will never occur again to anyone at the UN. It would be appropriate for me to receive an official written apology for this constant harassment to which I have been frequently subjected. In view of all this, you will understand why neither I, nor AWE, is satisfied with the “clerical error” explanation that you said cannot be corrected for our written text.
Please understand that the complaints contained herein do not concern you or your excellent staff, or the security guards, who were merely carrying out instructions. It is necessary to find out who gave these false “instructions” and on the basis of what written, legal and official UN “written instructions”. The same applies to the anonymous decision of someone not to correct our written statement on the web, by simply restoring the title which we submitted before the deadline on 7 January.
Every good wish to you,
David G. Littman
Representative of the AWE and the WUPJ.
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Association for World Education
Case Postale 205 — 1196 Gland — Suisse
UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: 9th Special Session (9/12 January)
STATEMENT by Representative David G. LITTMAN — Monday (a.m.), 12 Jan. 2009
Human Rights Situation in Occupied Palestine Territory. “¦ including the Gaza Strip”¦”¦
Mr President, this is a joint statement by AWE and World Union for Progressive Judaism.
The great tragedy now taking place in Gaza and over the rocketed area in southern Israel is being debated at this Special Ninth Session in the first week of 2009, which the General Assembly proclaimed two years ago an “˜International Year of Reconciliation”..
[“Recognizing that reconciliation processes are particularly necessary and urgent in countries and regions of the world which have suffered or are suffering situations of conflict that have affected and divided societies in their various internal, national and international facets.” And: “Aware that dialogue among opponents from positions of respect and tolerance is an essential element of peace and reconciliation.” (A/RES/61/17)]
Sir, a year ago, in Special Rapporteur John Dugard’s final Report, he strongly advised the UN to withdraw from the Quartet. He also rejected the Quartet’s Road Map. [He stated: “the road map is an inappropriate and unhelpful framework for negotiations” (A/HRC/7/17 of 21 January 2008, Â§56)] and he referred to: “the seizure of power in Gaza by Hamas in June 2007”; and to “the internecine conflict resulting in the deaths of several hundred Palestinians, mostly belonging to Fatah.” He predicted: “there is no immediate prospect of reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.” [Â§49] That is still the situation.
Gaza, under the administration of Hamas since their coup d”Ã©tat is a classic example of a divided society — the division between Gaza and the “˜West Bank”, Gaza and Israel, Gaza and Egypt, and Gaza and the wider world. In a September statement, we suggested that it could perhaps become an independent State — with economic ties to the “˜West Bank”, Israel and Egypt. This idea might now become a possible solution to this grim situation. Gaza’s future status is a key issue of any negotiations. Why not a separate entity? Why should there not be four independent States within the former geographical area of Palestine, as designated by the League of Nations in 1921 — Israel, Jordan, the mutually agreed “˜West Bank” region, and Gaza. This is not so unrealistic as it seems, if one recalls that the original area comprised roughly 120,000% km2, of which over 78% eventually became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and 22% was divided by the UN 1947 Partition Plan into two States: one Jewish, the other Arab — but this UN legitimacy was refused by the Arab League, which tried and failed to wipe Israel from the map with 5 armies.
Two decades ago, we proposed the idea of “A United States of Abraham” in the Middle East, based on Churchill’s famous 1946 “United States of Europe” speech at the University of Zurich. Here are the opening words pronounced on 6 March 1990 [52nd Commission (E/CN.4/1990/SR.52)]
“I am now going to say something that will astonish you. The first step in the creation of the Family of Abraham– or Ibrahim — must be a partnership between Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians within the geographical area designated as “˜Palestine” in the original 1921 Mandate of the League of Nations.”
[And I concluded: “If this should be the peoples” desire, surely wise leaders would wish to achieve, within, the next decade, genuine peace and reconciliation. (Sohl in Arabic; Shalom in Hebrew). Was it not written in the prophetic Biblical Book of Joel: “˜Your old men shall dream dreams; your young men shall see visions.” [2:28] May the dialogue begin now, perhaps even here at this Commission.”]
Two decades later one may ask: are these dreams dashed? Why not begin here at this Council?
[An important symbol of a willingness to enter into a reconciliation process & serious negotiations would be the renunciat-ion of the Hamas Charter of August 1988 which refuses all negotiations and peace agreements and calls for the destruction of the State of Israel — and a further genocidal call for the destruction of all Jews. The Hamas Charter justifies its positions through the use of conspiracy theories which undermines the spirit of fraternity and justice necessary for reconciliation.]
Our written statement A/HRC/S-9/NGO/3: HAMAS Charter: A Politicidal–Genicidal text and a source of Judeophobia, provides precise details of the Hamas Charter, which makes any meaningful discussion impossible. This is the moment to set in motion reconciliation between those estranged by conflicts, leading to renunciation by Hamas of its genocidal Charter.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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N.B. The written statement referred to above is here copied from the UN original, with the addition of the deleted title in bold that is restored.
General Assembly Distr. GENERAL
8 January 2009
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL Ninth special session
Written statement* submitted by the Association for World Education (AWE),
a non-governmental organizations on the Roster
The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.
[7 January 2009]
This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language received from the submitting nonÂ¬governmental organization.
HAMAS Charter: A Politicidal–Genocidal text and a source of Judeophobia
I. We call for a humanitarian break-through in Gaza and the continuation of constructive negotiations between the Israeli Government (current and future) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas — and like-minded Palestinian political leaders: The aim should he a two-state solution, acceptable to both sides and guaranteeing peaceful coexistence and mutual recognition between the two peoples – with human dignity recognized for all.
2. Negotiations between the authorities of Israel and Hamas are made more difficult by the refusal of each to consider the other as legitimate. This difficulty was made evident by the EU and French mediation efforts on 4-6 January 2009. The mediators had to appeal to other intermediaries, whether Syrians, Turks or Egyptians, to undertake discussions with Hamas. Such mutual non-recognition of the legitimacy of each prevents the necessary face-to-face negotiations to cease the current fighting and strive for a peace solution. Hamas considers “the land of Palestine is an Islamic waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgment Day.” (Article 11) — and therefore Israel will never be a legitimate State and cannot be recognized by Hamas.
3. The Israeli authorities — alongside America, the European Union and the United Nations — consider Hamas as a terrorist organization. The designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization could be rescinded by a statement from a future Israeli government, once there is a clear volte face by Hamas leaders — in the interest of the suffering inhabitants of Gaza. This could be done at the same time as a similar renunciation by the EU and the USA — if Israel decides to take the initiative with Hamas. However, the recognition of Israel’s legitimacy by Hamas is more difficult as the rejection of Israel is a major part of its Charter as outlined below. Clearly, until the Charter is revoked by the Hamas leadership, there will be no change. Conceivably, a mutual recognition of legitimacy could pave the way to such an indispensable step.
4. However, to fully understand the past and current events in Gaza (and in the region), we maintain that there is an urgent need to consider the full implications of the 18 August 1988 Charter of Hamas (available on the net) — since Hamas won the elections three years ago and is the legally elected Gaza Government. (1)
5. We have been alerting the Commission about the dangers of this binding Charter since January 1989, but during this twenty year period, there has not been an official UN condemnation of its genocidal contents. (2)
6. Regarding peace, its Article 13 is totally negative, which indicates that no negotiations are possible: “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse against part of religion. Nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its religion. Its members have been fed on that. (…) There is no solution to the Palestinian question except by Jihad. All initiatives, proposals, and International Conferences are a waste of time and vain endeavors. ”
7. Religious hatred of Jews (not only of Israel) is expressed by a hadith or ‘saying’ that concludes Article 7:
“The Day of-Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews) when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say: 0 Muslims (…) there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. “Only the gharkad tree [evidently a certain kind of tree] behind me, come and kill him. “Only the gharkad tree [evidently a certain kind of tree] would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (this hadith is from al-Bukhari and Muslim. both considered by Islamic scholars as highly reliable sources for the hadith or ‘sayings’ of the Prophet Muhammad).
8. This controversial hadith has become a commonplace belief among Islamists. On 12 April 2002, the PA-nominated Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi delivered a Friday sermon at Gaza City’s main Sheikh Ijlin Mosque, broadcast live on PA television. He quoted extensively from this hadith “” including the odd reference to the “Jewish” Gharqad tree “” in preaching genocide and a jihad-war: “We believe in this hadith. We arc convinced also that this hadith heralds the spread of Islam and its rule over all the lands (…) ‘from the ocean to the ocean ‘.” Sheikh Madhi concluded: “Oh Allah, accept our martyrs in the highest heaven (…) Oh Allah, show the Jews a black day (…) Oh Allah, annihilate the Jews and their supporters (…) Oh Allah, raise the flag of Jihad across the land (…) Oh Allah. forgive our sins.-
9. Article 8, the slogan of the Islamic Resistance Movement — Hamas (widely quoted by clerics and others) has been since 1989 a blueprint for jihadist terrorism: “Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model. the Koran its Constitution; Jihad is its path, and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes. ” (3)
10. Article 28 widens the circle of hate to include all Jews: “Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people: ‘May the cowards never sleep.'” The Charter in its preface quotes Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, as saying: “Israel will exist and continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” Article 2 states: “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic Movement in modern times.”
Article 32 refers to an infamous century-old forgery in almost the identical terms used by Adolf Hitler: “Their plan is embodied in ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying. ” (4)
12. Article 22 is an update of “˜The Protocols”, alleging that “the Jews” control all major world events. It is here quoted in full (but without the Qur’anic verses, which may be found on the various websites in both Arabic and English). This article, and others, indicates the rich ‘conspiracy thinking’ of the Hamas Charter:
“For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully, and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realization of their dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution , the Communist revolution  and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there. You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they that instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere without them having their finger in it. [a quotation from the Koran]. The imperialistic forces in the Capitalist West and Communist East support the enemy with all their might, in money and in men. These forces take turns in doing that. The day Islam appears, the forces of infidelity would unite to challenge it, for the infidels are but one nation.” [the Qur’anic quotes follow to prove the point: “if ye understand.”]
13. The CONCLUSION has a subheading: The Islamic Resistance Movement is Composed of Soldiers, under which article 36 states, inter alia, that: “It will only serve as a support for all groupings and organizations operating against the Zionist enemy and its lackeys. The Islamic Resistance Movement adopts Islam as its way of life. Islam is its creed and religion. Whoever takes Islam as his way of life, be it an organization, a grouping, a country or any other body, the Islamic Resistance Movement considers itself as their soldiers and nothing more. We ask Allah to show us the right course, to make us an example to others and to judge between us and our people with truth. ” [Al-Araf, v. 89]
14. With the Hamas Charter now binding the Palestinian leadership in Gaza, its call for the destruction of a Member State of the United Nations is in contravention of Article 2 (4) of the 1945 UN Charter. Article 3 (c) of the 1948 Genocide Convention which condemns “direct and public incitement to commit genocide,” is punishable under its article 4. The grave situation in Gaza — and in southern Israel — is linked to the Hamas Charter of religious and racial hatred, which has never been debated at any United Nations body and should be urgently and seriously addressed at the Ninth Special Session of the Human Rights.
I. www.vale.edu/lawweb/avalon/mideast/hamas.htm and others. Co-authored (dated 18 August 1988) by Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and Dr. Abd al-Aziz al-Rantisi. See NGO written statements on Hamas: E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/NGO/41 : The 1988 Charter of Hamas and its evil legacy of ‘jihadist-martyrdom bombings’: E/CN.4/Sub.2/2004/NGO/25*: Hamas: Sheikh Yassin / al-Rantisi – The UN and a grave worldwide cultural clash: E/CN,4/Sub.2/2004/NGO/26: Muslim Brotherhood / Hamas / Hizbullah / Al Qaeda: Terror Legacy of ‘Jihad-Martyrdom-Bombings’: E/CN.4/2006/NGO/239: The 1988 Covenant of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement — Hamas.
2. Quoted by David G. Littman on 31 January 1989 (45th session, Commission on Human Rights), main representative of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (and again in 1990 and 1991); and since then, repeated regularly by him on behalf of the Association for World Education, and recently again for the WUPJ.
3. Article 8 – the slogan of Hamas – is taken from the 1928 Charter of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Article 2 of the Hamas Charter states: “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times.” And Article 1: “The Movement’s programme is Islam.”
4. Philip Graves. The Truth about The Protocols: A Literary Forgery (London, 1921 — his articles from The Times): H. Rauschning, Hitler speaks (London. 1939). pp. 235-36: Norman Cohn. Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (London. 1967): Pierre-Andre Taguieff. Les Protocoles des Sages de Sion. Introduction a l’Ã©tude des Prolocoles:
un faux et ses usages dans le siÃ¨cle (Paris, 1992).