Simple ramblings, raves, pet peeves and things I like and reblog... Not all opinions are necessarily my own. The certainly do not reflect in any way the corporate me. Safe for work, is for you to decide.
"At 3:30 am on November 6, a fire swept through the scanning center of the Internet Archive…’This episode has reminded us that digitizing and making copies are good strategies for both access and preservation,’ wrote Brewster Kahle, the Archive’s founder and director, on the organization’s blog the day of the fire. Thanks to the Archive’s mirrored servers — spread over three continents — and a warehouse of hard-copy source material, Kahle said the Archive’s digital data would have survived even if its headquarters had been fully destroyed. ‘Let’s keep making copies,’ he concluded. (The virtue of the Internet’s duplicating qualities is a topic I wrote about in an essay called “The Culture of the Copy.”)”
The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Western nations group has decided to upgrade Israel’s status at the agency, a senior Foreign Ministry official said Friday.
Israel has been invited to join the UNHRC’s Western European and Others Group, a development that stands to ease Israel’s isolation within the often-critical UN. Among the group’s members are the U.K., Germany, France and Canada, with the U.S. serving as an observer.
The invitation was extended on Friday afternoon at the conclusion of a 48-hour silent procedure that allowed members of the WEOG to voice their reservations and concerns over Israel’s admission. No country submitted an objection.
The group is expected to release an official announcement on the matter on Monday.
"This is a successful conclusion to a diplomatic effort waged by the Foreign Ministry for several months," an official within the ministry said.
Israel’s admission to the Western European and Others Group has been made possible after Israel agreed to resume ties with the UNHRC, ending a boycott that had endured for more than a year and a half. As part of the deal, Israel appeared at the council’s Universal Periodic Review on human rights issues three weeks ago.
The step also comes in the wake of a diplomatic push by six of Israel’s allies. On November 6, the ambassadors of the U.K., Australia, Canada, Germany, France and the U.S. sent a letter to the UN’s institutions in Geneva and to the ambassador of Spain, who heads the WEOG. In the letter, the six ambassadors wrote that the time had come to bring Israel into the regional group.
“We, the undersigned, would like by this letter to recall Israel’s longstanding request to join the WEOG regional group in Geneva. We are strongly supportive of Israel’s membership at the earliest opportunity. We request that you kindly include this issue on the agenda of the next WEOG meeting in Geneva, to be held as soon as possible,” the letter read.
It’s consistently thrown its toys out the pram when it’s own human rights record is called into question - be it in the UN, or the EU (and even indignantly destroyed Palestinian development projects [to much European cost] and severed ties that would benefit it’s own research sector - in mere spite).
Whilst they’ve been a member of UN WEOG for a while, this move just cements their privileged position. The optimistic view would be that this move would encourage further co-operation (addressing the above tendency, to defy with impunity) - however, as we can guess, it’s likely to be the opposite (instead legitimising Israel’s “human rights” record - by suggesting they’re any sort of authority - and only giving them a further sense of impunity, as they’re in this ‘western nations’ club - strengthening their beloved ‘but look at us compared to the countries around us!’ card - and even dampening fellow WEOG bloc nations ability to criticise Israel somewhat).
As things like this invite shows, for Israel I guess it helps to have blinkered allies in the powerful UN positions. You can’t help but feel it’s aimed at cajoling Israel, after having (alongside interestingly most of the Western nations behind this initiative) been embarrassed and left red-faced (/on the wrong side of history/common sense) as the majority of the world unanimously voted in favour of Palestinian non-member statehood (and thus against Israeli intransigence and a blow to current Western policy) not too long ago.