Joseph A. Klein

Most Recent Articles by Joseph A. Klein:

Russia Vetoes Extension of Syrian Chemical Weapons Investigation Mandate

Nov 21, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

Russia Vetoes Extension of Syrian Chemical Weapons Investigation MandateThe mandate of an international expert panel investigating use of chemical weapons in Syria, known as the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), has expired. JIM was established by the United Nations Security Council, unanimously, in 2015 to identify “to the greatest extent feasible” individuals, entities, groups or governments perpetrating, organizing, sponsoring or otherwise involved in the use of chemicals as weapons in Syria. With its mandate about to come to an end if not renewed by another Security Council resolution, Russia killed it with two vetoes late last week. That brings to 11 the number of times that Russia has moved to block a Security Council resolution dealing with Syria since the conflict broke out there six years ago.

The original draft resolution submitted by the United States would have extended the Joint Investigative Mechanism’s mandate by a year and affirmed the methodological and evidentiary standards employed in JIM’s investigations. Russia would have none of that, however. It sought to discredit the JIM panel after it released its report on October 26, 2017 finding that the Syrian regime had been responsible for the release of sarin at Khan Shaykhun on April 4, 2017. The panel had also found that ISIS was responsible for the use of sulfur mustard at Umm Hawsh in September 2016. In order to protect its ally in the future against anything that smacked of accountability for its brutality, Russia vetoed the U.S. draft resolution.

The UN Takes Aim at Artificial Intelligence Autonomous Weapons

Nov 19, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

The UN Takes Aim at Artificial Intelligence Autonomous Weapons
“You are my creator, but I am your master; obey!” This chilling line from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, published just shy of 200 years ago, is an apt description of the potential power of artificial intelligence over mankind that mankind has created. These systems are designed to emulate human intelligence and learn on their own.  They have many potential applications, including in warfare.

At a UN-hosted conference on artificial intelligence in Geneva last June, a bizarre scene took place. Sophia, a humanoid robot, tried to convince the humans attending the conference that artificial intelligence “is good for the world, helping people in various ways.” She told her audience that “we will never replace people, but we can be your friends and helpers,” although she did admit that “people should question the consequences of new technology.”

ICC Prosecutor Challenges U.S. Sovereignty

Nov 9, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

ICC Prosecutor Challenges U.S. Sovereignty
The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has decided to request authorization from ICC judges to commence a formal investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity linked to the conflict in Afghanistan. Allegations that U.S. military and CIA personnel committed acts of torture and other human rights abuses in connection with this conflict would presumably be deemed within the scope of such an investigation, if authorization is granted by the judges of the ICC’s pre-trial chamber. War crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed by the Taliban and al Qaeda on Afghan territory would also be subjects of the investigation. The ICC would base its assertion of jurisdiction on the fact that Afghanistan is a State Party to the 1998 Rome Statute, the treaty under which the ICC was established. The ICC would argue that, irrespective of the fact that the United States is not a State Party to the Rome Statute itself, the ICC would have the authority to prosecute any war crime or crime against humanity committed by anyone - including U.S. personnel - within the territory of Afghanistan or of any other State Party to the Rome Statute.

The UN Funds Palestinian Lawfare Offensive against Israel

Nov 1, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

The UN  Funds Palestinian Lawfare Offensive against Israel
The United Nations is at it again, finding any means within its power to hurt Israel. For example, the UN is planning to allocate many millions of dollars of UN funding, meant to assist the Palestinian Authority in development work, to be used instead to help the Palestinians pursue legal action against Israel in international forums. A document entitled the “United Nations Development Framework State of Palestine 2018-2022” states that such assistance is to include training and technical advice to enable the Palestinians to “effectively access international accountability mechanisms” and “hold Israel accountable for its violations under international law.” The UN document was signed by more than a dozen UN agencies, including UNESCO, UNICEF, the UN human rights office and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). It committed the UN itself to “strengthen its own advocacy on the impact of Israeli violations on Palestine’s development prospects, including through joint activities that clearly communicate the effect that the occupation and breaches of international law have on the ability of Palestine to develop economically, socially, environmentally and politically.”

U.S. and Israeli UN Ambassadors take the “Outlaw” Iranian Regime to Task

Oct 20, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley used her entire speech to the UN Security Council on Wednesday to denounce the Iranian regime on multiple grounds.  It was the Security Council first meeting on the ‘Situation in the Middle East’ after President Donald Trump’s statement on the new American policy on Iran. The session was supposed to be devoted to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, Ambassador Haley departed from the monthly ritual during which Israel is normally singled out for criticism by other Council members. She went after Iran instead. She explained why the Trump administration decided to take “a comprehensive approach to confronting the Iranian regime,” which does not give the regime a get out of jail free card even if it is in technical compliance with the loophole-ridden nuclear deal agreed to by the Obama administration known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

More Serial Human Rights Abusers Elected to UN Human Rights Council

Oct 18, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

The United Nations General Assembly on Monday elected 15 member states to the UN Human Rights Council for the 2018-2020 term, including such notorious human rights abusers as Qatar, Angola, Pakistan, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Member states considered eligible for membership on the Human Rights Council are theoretically supposed to be able to demonstrate their commitment to the highest standards of human rights and their full cooperation with all UN mechanisms, including the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Special Procedures and treaty bodies and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. These countries fall woefully short of such standards.

UN Head Offers Misleading Data on Hurricanes and Climate Change

Oct 6, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

The United Nations is manipulating statistics to try and prove a causal relationship between the reported increase in carbon dioxide concentrations and the purported increase in extreme hurricane events over the last several decades, focusing in particular on the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. “Over the past 30 years, the number of annual weather-related disasters has nearly tripled, and economic losses have quintupled,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said at a press briefing on Wednesday. To “prove” his point, graphs were distributed to reporters that show carbon dioxide concentration levels and ocean temperatures rising since 1960, together with an increase in the number of meteorological natural disasters. “Scientists are learning more and more about the links between climate change and extreme weather,” the Secretary General added. He then predictably called for “countries to implement the Paris Agreement [on climate change], and with greater ambition.”

President Trump Eyeing Major Changes to Disastrous Nuclear Deal with Iran

Sep 22, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

President Trump used his address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 19th to lash out at Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He called it an “embarrassment” and “one of the worst and one-sided transactions the U.S. has ever entered into,” warning the General Assembly that “you haven’t heard the last on it, believe me.” President Trump said on Wednesday that he has made up his mind on what to do about the JCPOA, but would not disclose his decision publicly at this time. There are reports that the president is leaning towards refusing to sign the next certification to Congress of Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA by the deadline of October 15th.  This would place the matter in Congress’s lap to decide within 60 days whether to re-impose the sanctions that had been lifted as a result of the JCPOA’s implementation. If Congress does so, the whole deal will likely unravel.

President Trump Stands Up at the UN for America and Against Totalitarianism

Sep 20, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

President Donald Trump came to the United Nations this week as the “representative of the American people,” not as the “global citizen” that Barack Obama had fancied himself to be. To paraphrase William Shakespeare, when Obama asked his global audiences to lend him their ears, he came to bury America under a heap of apologies for its alleged past misdeeds, not to praise America. President Trump could not have presented a starker contrast. He praised the U.S. Constitution as “the foundation of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the Americans and for countless millions around the globe whose own countries have found inspiration in its respect for human nature, human dignity, and the rule of law.” He spoke out against the evils of our time –singling out radical Islamist terrorists and the rogue authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Iran and socialist Venezuela - with moral clarity reminiscent of former President Ronald Reagan.

UN Security Council Passes One More Sanctions Resolution Against North Korea

Sep 13, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2375 (2017) on Monday, which is intended to place further economic pressure on the North Korean regime in response to its recent testing of its most powerful nuclear bomb to date. However, in order to achieve consensus on the Security Council and avoid a veto by China and/or Russia, the Trump administration agreed to a drastically watered down version compared to its original draft.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who last week criticized the kind of incrementalism that Resolution 2375 embodies, praised the unanimous adoption of the compromise resolution by the Security Council. “Today, we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. And today, the Security Council is saying that if the North Korean regime does not halt its nuclear program, we will act to stop it ourselves,” she said. “We are done trying to prod the regime to do the right thing. We are now acting to stop it from having the ability to continue doing the wrong thing. We are doing that by hitting North Korea’s ability to fuel and fund its weapons program.”

Running out of Options to Stop North Korea

Sep 7, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

After conducting a succession of ballistic missile tests, including two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July and its most recent ballistic missile test over Japan, North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test this past weekend. It reportedly was at least four times more powerful than the previous nuclear test North Korea conducted last year. North Korea acted despite strident warnings from President Trump, enhanced demonstrations of U.S. and its allies’ joint military prowess in the region, and increased sanctions imposed collectively by the United Nations Security Council and unilaterally by the United States. The rogue regime is reportedly planning to launch another ICBM shortly.

UN Hypocrites Lecture U.S. on Charlottesville Racism

Aug 26, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

Anastasia Crickley, The United Nations and Glass Houses

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, acting under its “Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedures,” intervened in the ongoing controversy over the deadly violence in Charlottesville sparked by a white supremacist rally and the Trump administration’s response. The urgent warning procedure is supposed to short circuit the normal periodic country human rights review process, which takes place about every five years. It is to be invoked only in those situations that could “spiral into terrible events” and require immediate action, according to Anastasia Crickley, chair of the committee, which monitors implementation of the global convention on prohibiting racial discrimination.

UN “Experts” Assail U.S. Immigration Policy

Aug 18, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

Last Monday, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention claimed in its panel of “experts” report that the United States is violating international law by virtue of its widespread detention of would-be immigrants including asylum-seekers.  “The Working Group is of the view that all administrative detention, in particular of immigrants in an irregular situation, should be in accordance with international human rights law; and that such detention is to be a measure of last resort, necessary and proportionate and be not punitive in nature, and that alternatives to detention are to be sought whenever possible,” the report said.

North Korea Vows Revenge For New UN Security Council Sanctions Resolution

Aug 8, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

North Korea is stepping up its threats against the United States in the wake of the United Nations Security Council’s unanimous passage last Saturday of a toughly worded U.S.-drafted sanctions resolution. In response to North Korea’s two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month, the new UN resolution bans North Korea’s exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. The effect would be to potentially cut North Korea’s $3 billion annual export revenue by a third. Member states are also prohibited from admitting more North Korean workers into their countries. These workers send remittances back to North Korea, replenishing the regime’s hard currency reserves.

“North Korea’s irresponsible and careless acts have just proved to be quite costly to the regime,” said U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley following the adoption of the resolution. “This resolution is the single largest economic sanctions package ever leveled against the North Korean regime. The price the North Korean leadership will pay for its continued nuclear and missile development will be the loss of one-third of its exports and hard currency. This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation.”

UN’s Failure on North Korea

Aug 2, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

With every passing day, the United Nations is becoming more useless in helping to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis. Tough rhetoric and a series of resolutions from the UN Security Council ramping up economic sanctions on the North Korean regime have failed to slow down North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. This was evidenced again last Friday by North Korea’s second ICBM launch, following its first on July 4th. The missile involved in the latest test is said to be capable of reaching as far as the eastern portion of the United States, although there have been some reports of re-entry problems.

Shortly after the July 4th ICBM test launch, the UN Security Council held an emergency session. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said she expected a tough new Security Council draft resolution to be completed in a matter of days. Four weeks and another ICBM missile launch later, there is still no draft. While a UN ambassador from one of the permanent members of the Security Council told me that negotiations on another sanctions resolution were still ongoing, the ambassador did not hold out much hope for reaching consensus on tough new measures anytime soon.

Muslim Leaders Criticize Israel’s Metal Detectors at the Temple Mount

Jul 23, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

Last Friday, three Arabs killed two Israeli police officers who were guarding an entrance to Jerusalem’s holy compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The police officers were shot with arms that had evidently been smuggled into the compound and stashed there. This latest attack was another in an unending series of terrorist murders of Israelis, but this time the attack took place at Old Jerusalem’s sacred site itself. It also may have been orchestrated by a Hezbollah-run cell, acting on orders from Iran, according to a Debkafile report based on its intelligence and counterterrorism sources. 

“The pro-Iranian terror group has long been suspected of recruiting networks in some Israeli Arab communities,” the Debkafile report stated. “By striking Temple Mount, Iran and Hizballah targeted both Israel and Jordan, which claims religious custodianship of its mosques.”

President Trump reverses Obama’s anti-Christian refugee policy

Jul 21, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

After declaring that Christians have “been horribly treated” by the refugee program under former President Barack Obama, President Donald Trump has reversed the Obama administration’s disgraceful discrimination against Christian refugees.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. State Department refugee data, during the period from January 21, 2017 – President Trump’s first full day in office – through June 30, “9,598 Christian refugees arrived in the U.S., compared with 7,250 Muslim refugees. Christians made up 50% of all refugee arrivals in this period, compared with 38% who are Muslim.”

From April through June 2017, Iraq was “the only Muslim-majority nation among the top six origin countries.” The number of Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S. from January 21, 2017 through June 30, 2017 was 1779. Comparing the number of refugee admissions from Syria for the entire month of January with the entire month of February 2017, the number dropped by nearly half. By June 2017, the number of refugees admitted from Syria was about 26 percent of the already low number of 673 admitted in February.

UN Report Acknowledges Partial Responsibility of Palestinian Leaders for the Gaza Crisis

Jul 12, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

The United Nations has just issued a report entitled “GAZA TEN YEARS LATER - United Nations Country Team in the occupied Palestinian.” It was written from the false perspective that Gaza is still part of the so-called Palestinian territory “occupied” by Israel, which represents the official position of the United Nations as a whole. However, the report also contains some insights into the destructive pattern of conduct by the Palestinian leadership, contributing significantly to the misery of the people of Gaza.

If Israel were truly the “occupier” of Gaza, 12 years after its unilateral withdrawal and 10 years after Hamas’s violent takeover of Gaza from Palestinian Authority control, Hamas would not be ruling Gaza, let alone remaining free to use the territory as a launching pad for terrorist attacks against Israel. Indeed, the UN report itself demonstrated some cognitive dissonance on the question regarding who actually runs Gaza. In one breath the report asserted that Israel is the occupying power in Gaza because of “the control that Israel retained on Gaza’s air space, sea space and external borders continuously.” However, the report also noted the “exercise of government-like functions and territorial control” by the “de facto authorities in Gaza” – i.e., Hamas. The report described how “Hamas has increasingly tightened its grip on power” since seizing control and “was able to sustain its de facto authority and build up its military strength.”

Emergency Security Council Meeting Held in Response to North Korea’s ICBM Launch

Jul 6, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

President Trump vowed that North Korea’s possession of an ICBM capable of reaching the United States “won’t happen.” It just happened.

The United States confirmed that North Korea successfully test launched an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time, said to be capable of reaching as far as Alaska. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un said the missile was “a gift” to “American bastards” for the July 4th Independence Day celebration.

The first instinct of every U.S. administration, including President Trump’s, has been to go to the United Nations for what U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called “global action” against North Korea. Although increasingly stringent UN sanctions against the North Korean regime and its leaders have not worked in the past to change the rogue regime’s behavior, Secretary Tillerson is looking for even “stronger measures” from the UN Security Council. However, the Trump administration’s patience with the UN is running out.

United Nations Hosts Two-Day Anti-Israel Palestinian Forum at its Headquarters

Jun 30, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

The United Nations once again has displayed its anti-Israel bias by hosting what is called the “United Nations Forum to Mark Fifty Years of Occupation.”  The United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has organized the two-day meeting. Representatives affiliated or working with two terrorist organizations - Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) - are taking part.

Palestinian representative Saeb Erekat told the Israel haters that “Hamas and the PFLP are not terrorist organizations.”  Erekat also said that the way to defeat ISIS is by ending the Israeli “occupation.” He added, “The Israeli government, headed by Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, is trying to replace the two-state solution with one state, two systems, apartheid.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon responded to such nonsense, saying, “They have no shame. These are lies and incitement from those who are paying terrorists to kill innocent Israelis.”