And now for a moment of sanity (diplomatic edition)

Every once in a while, not often but once in a while, the people whose job it is to skirt ever so carefully around a clear statement or position throw up their hands and take a position (of sorts) anyway.

Seems we, the US, or the current American Administration, decided that Israel's take on the recent Gaza demonstrations just isn't getting enough traction. In such instances we like to present resolutions at the U.N. to cast their spell of respectability on everything that is not respectable.

So, there were two resolutions before the Security Council.

One was drafted by Kuwait, urging protection of the residents of the Gaza Strip. Actually, this was a watered-down version to try to hook those position-evading diplomats.

Ten countries, including Russia and France, voted in favour of the Kuwait-sponsored resolution on Friday.

Four others - Britain, Poland, the Netherlands, and Ethiopia - abstained, while the US, a major ally of Israel, was the only country to vote against it.

Abstentions, as you all know, are votes that do not favor or oppose a resolution in a firmly attributable sense but are made to withhold support in a manner that permits you to continue to have dialogues with a bully nation you disagree with.

You can go to the Al Jazeera source above to see the interpretations of that vote.

But then there was another revised draft resolution. This one was submitted by the U.S.

The US version had omitted references to Israeli use of force and protecting Palestinians.

It instead demanded that Hamas and other Palestinian groups cease "all violent provocative actions" in Gaza.

Seems that version didn't go over so well.

This time eleven nations abstained, and three rejected the U.S. version outright. Only the U.S. voted in favor of its version.

"I don't know when there was last a resolution put to the Security Council that only got one vote in favour," said Al Jazeera's correspondent James Bays.

Heh, we're a nation of firsts.

So, on a Friday evening, when all the crap of the week has a chance to roost in your head and percolate there, take heart that the world, even the position-evading diplomats of the world, are slowly, spasmodically, telling the U.S. that they're fed up with this shit.

'Bout fuckin' time.

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dance you monster's picture

. . . the subject of these resolutions continues to bear its tragedies,

Not many abstentions in Gaza.

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@dance you monster

How anyone could fail to be sickened and outraged...

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

mimi's picture

Can't find anything. Do you know by chance?

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Centaurea's picture

@mimi This was a vote by the UN Security Council, not by the full United Nations membership. At present, Germany is not a member of the UN Security Council, so it did not vote on this resolution.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

mimi's picture

fall asleep over the laptop, had troubles concentrating and may have troubles to read up on it.
Many thanks for setting my confusion straight.

Not sure, if I will be able to get my mind together, but will try.

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wendy davis's picture


but café babylon author (mein herr von davidly who writes from berlin) put this diary up after he and i were having trouble communicating about my 'mysticism of anti-semitism' diary. thought you might like it, especially as he's translated an op-ed from the Berliner Zeitung and his comment at the paper. ‘Sloping Slipperily toward Anti-Semitism’, by davidly, café babylon, june 2

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis
if it wouldn't be so ridiculous, I am sad and I am jealous about Herr von Davidly being able to report from Berlin proper and being "in the real local know" of the social, political and musical Zeitgeist of Germany and the US (past and present). I wished I would have had that background. Thank you for your clarifications that this article gave me.

I read the original German report Wutrede auf der Bühne Konzert von Roger Waters endet mit Eklat and well ... yes, I am very sad, because what my guts told me "know-nothing expat German in the US" for the last 36 years, is coming through to be more real than I would have expected.
So, I tried to understand what I read:

Der Mitbegründer der Rockband Pink Floyd gilt seit etlichen Jahren als prominenter Wortführer von anti-israelischen Bewegungen wie „Artists for Palestine“ oder BDS (Boykott, Desinvestitionen, Sanktionen), die zu einem kulturellen und wirtschaftlichen Boykott des Landes aufrufen, von einigen Aktivisten der Organisation mit antisemitischen Untertönen vorgetragen. Wegen dieses Engagements hatten sich fünf ARD-Anstalten, darunter auch der RBB, im November dazu entschlossen, die Konzerte der Deutschlandtournee von Roger Waters weder zu promoten noch zu übertragen. – Quelle: ©2018 -

Your translation at cafe babylon: "The co-founder of rock band Pink Floyd has been considered by some activists of the organization for several years a prominent spokesman for anti-Israeli movements such as “Artists for Palestine” or BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) calling for a cultural and economic boycott of the country. As presented by some of its activists, it has anti-Semitic undertones. Because of this commitment, five ARD institutions, including the RBB [state sanctioned, compulsory fee-payer funded broadcasting in Germany], had decided in November to neither promote nor broadcast the concerts of the Water’s tour of Germany.)

oh, well, I can imagine the ARD institutions' "neither promote, nor to broadcast the concert" attitudes... they didn't want to dip their feet into hot water, to not get burned, I guess. With a sad smile, I guess, because I try to imagine the producers and correspondents talking in their morning conferences about 'what to do'. They certainly didn't want to get 'involved'.

With Felix Klein, Roger Waters chose the right addressee for his tirade. It’s amazing how well informed he is about German domestic politics. “I consider BDS an antisemitic current whose activities I strongly condemn,” the anti-Semitism commissioner had recently said in an interview with the Jüdische Allgemeine [a German Jewish newspaper] “With its call to boycott Israel, it uses patterns of argument from the time of the Nazis, which is simply unbearable.”


Conclusion: One may criticize the politics of Israel halfheartedly and impotently. Try to achieve results and the boundaries will flow with negative consequences. Every time Palestinian children are killed by weapons from Israel, the IDF claims that Hamas use the children as human shields. Could this be how the State of Israel uses the Star of David? After all, ARD and Herr Junghänel allow themselves in this way to be fluently instrumentalized.

I wondered who is Felix Klein and wikipedia-ed him. Just found a German page, but oh, sometimes life is just too ironic and bad to be real.
Felix Klein
This is the google translation (with some tiny edits by myself):

Felix Klein (diplomat)

Felix Klein (born 1968 in Darmstadt) is a German lawyer specializing in international law, a diplomat and the anti-Semitism commissioner of the Federal Government.


His father, Hans Klein, who was in the fifties a violinist in the Philharmonic Orchestra in Duino, lived with his family since 1967 in Darmstadt. His relatives include the journalist Fritz Klein and the Marxist historian Fritz Klein. (the latter being the son of the former, too much for me to translate, if someone could help me finding out if there would be an official English version of both biographical wiki webpage for them, I would be grateful)

Felix Klein attended an international school in Duino near Trieste, added to his Law studies in Freiburg a master's degree from the London School of Economics and went through the program of the educational center of the (German) Federal Foreign Office from 1994 to 1996.
In 2001 he finished his PhD with a thesis about "Marriage and Divorce in Cameroon" at the University of St. Gallen and with it got his title as Dr. Jur. Aside from German he speaks French, English, Italian and Spanish.

He began his career in the Foreign Office in Bonn as a speaker for relations with the South American countries Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, then worked on foreign stations as Cultural Attaché in Yaounde / Cameroon and Deputy Consul General in Milan and
worked since 2007 at the Berlin Headquarters of the Foreign Ministry: as 'Speaker in the personnel department of higher service in the (German) Foreign Office in Berlin', as 'Deputy Consul General in the Division of cultural and business at the German Consulate General in Milan', as 'Deputy Director of the South East Europe Unit in the Foreign Office', as 'Personal Assistant and Head of the Office of the State Secretary of the Foreign Office, Peter Ammon, and lastly as Head of the Personnel Department of Higher Services in the Germzn Foreign Office.

Since March 2014, Klein has been Special Representative for Relations with Jewish Organizations and Anti-Semitism Issues in the Federal Foreign Office. In April 2017, experts and politicians came to the conclusion that the population lacked insight into the problem of anti-Semitism. [1] When the introduction of the position of anti-Semitism commissioner [2] was adopted in January 2018, the Central Council of Jews suggested Klein. His office is located in the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Klein wants to help make the problems of anti-Semitism more visible. He has been in office since May 2018. [3]

Uff that's kinda hard to translate, but ... that's life.

From above Conclusion:

Conclusion: One may criticize the politics of Israel halfheartedly and impotently. Try to achieve results and the boundaries will flow with negative consequences. Every time Palestinian children are killed by weapons from Israel, the IDF claims that Hamas use the children as human shields. Could this be how the State of Israel uses the Star of David? After all, ARD and Herr Junghänel allow themselves in this way to be fluently instrumentalized

So, yes, is it that?
1. Israel uses the Star of David to instrumentatlize their opinions about what is anti-semitism.
2. ARD uses their 'non-involvement' of not promoting and not broadcasting the concert of Rogers to instrumentalise their 'coward neutrality'(as I am sure some would judge it).
3. Herr Junghänel uses his report to instrumentalise his own job as 'worthy'.
4. Rogers uses his concerts to instrumentalizs his opinions of what Klein thinks is or is not anti-semitism.
5. all of us use our opinions and comments to instrumentalise fluently opinions that constantly move back and forth.

Boy, oh, boy, a lot of instrumentalists around.

There are three generations of "Klein" folks in this family saga. I bet you the fourth generation is up and coming. So, what?

In any case, I was kind of amused to read that Mr. Klein's PhD thesis was about "Marriage and Divorce in Cameroon". I definitely will search for that one now, as I have some personal memories of thingies like that. (Disclosure; My former husband, RIP, was Cameroonian, and I knew him as boyfriend, unmarried partner, married partner, divorced partner and widowed partner. Whatever he was, I have memories a lot and they are all of two-sided sword-blades kind)

Other than that, I just say that Mr. Klein is young compared to me, so I don't take everything he says as serious as you may. He is a product of the Germany's history and educational system for the the Diplomatic Service. With the added (for me interesting) twists of having been in former East and West Germany.

"Try to achieve results and the boundaries will flow with negative consequences".

Those boundaries flow in and out like the waves on the beach of Kribi in Cameroon. They are usually beyond judgement of positive and negative. But so far they are fluid, coming and going and returning. Like these discussions of what anti-semitism is, especially for Germans.

Oh, and I am sure you all know about the undercurrent of waves coming in at the beaches, no? Usually they try to drag you in the depth of the ocean and make you lose your balance. Scary, no?

Sigh, so much for my Sunday morning. It never ends to haunt me. But there is always a new Sunday coming and so I wish you all a wonderful one.

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detroitmechworks's picture

And I fully expect Bolton to make good on his threats against them pretty soon.

Interesting times Not good times.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

wendy davis's picture

noting that the US had offered its own competing resolution that gleaned: one vote. the RT coverage on the kuwaiti res i'd read hadn't mentioned it, (and i assume) must have had no idea about it for some reason cuz the site loves pimpin' nikki.

dunno if i exactly sign off on your take on abstentions, on accountta as you know, there are often so many carrots and sticks at play in the (de facto) cloakrooms.

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" take heart that the world, even the position-evading diplomats of the world, are slowly, spasmodically, telling the U.S. that they're fed up with this shit."

And we're sick of this crap, too, but our representatives won't listen to us.

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