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For the second time the Bush administration has opted not to run for a place on the U.N. Human Rights Council. The council replaced the U.N. Human Rights Commission last year, principally because the commission had demonstrated a pronounced anti-Israel bias and had included human rights violators on its board . The new council has continued the practices, which is behind the U.S. decision Tuesday to again opt out. Jewish groups have argued in favor of U.S. participation, saying structural changes make it easier for member nations to block such biases. Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) blasted the administration for opting out. “During the past several months we have seen the sad and tragic results of the U.S. retreat from the new Human Rights Council,”?? said Lantos, who chairs the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. “Despite the fact that the council’s membership represents a slight improvement over the dysfunctional Human Rights Commission it replaced, it has been even more thoroughly captured by rogues like Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and Pakistan, as they have aggressively seized the ground that the United States has ceded.”

Founders of a Florida Holocaust education nonprofit criticized a well-known writer for using its tax-exempt status to promote his ideas on terrorism. In 2005, John Loftus renamed the International Holocaust Education Center to the Intelligence and Homeland Security Education Center using the same acronym, IHEC, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

Loftus had helped establish the original IHEC to promote the Florida Holocaust Museum. The IHEC was ready to complete its work in 2005 because its board believed the museum was promoting itself sufficiently. Board members agreed to allow Loftus to maintain control of the name because they trusted and admired him. Loftus, who is not Jewish, is a former prosecutor who has written some of the best-read accounts of how the Vatican and the West failed to protect Jews during the Holocaust. Keeping the name helped Loftus maintain the original institution’s tax-exempt status without having to file with the IRS.

In a reply to the St. Petersburg Times, Loftus said he has made it clear that both groups are distinct. The new IHEC is hosting a conference this week on what it describes as the threat from militant Islam. Board members of the original IHEC told the St. Petersburg Times that Loftus had gone too far in organizing the conference under IHEC’s auspices.

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