A sparkling comet at the UN

From the very start it was a nice-looking woman of Indian origins who gave the signal that the UN will be for Trump’s government a revolutionary political test bench.

Let’s dream: the UN perhaps might stop being that hub of injustice and indolence that makes every reasonable man and woman despair, in solitude, about the arrogance, the indolence and the unreasonableness of the largest international meeting in the world.

That makes wonder in amazement about all its committees, Security Council and agencies such as UNESCO or the Human Rights Council… all of which are driven by an opportunistically Third Worlder and often anti-Semitic model.

Trump’s new ambassador to the UN is a thin woman with long straight black hair framing her face. She is the former governor of South Carolina and her name is Nikki Haley, the first Indian American in such a role. Naturally, she has been mocked by Trump’s slanderers as being ignorant about foreign affairs. But on her debut in mid February at the informal meeting of the Security Council on Middle East issues, she proved instead that she is very knowledgeable about how things really stand and that she will not accept the status quo. In short, after stating that she was very honored , without wiping off her face that well-mannered smile and keeping her very firm tone of voice, Haley declared that the USA’s worst enemy is terrorism, that her country will know how to stand against it, and then challenged Iran by declaring it a “state sponsor of terror”.

By listing the items of the meeting, pretending to be ingenuous, she said she found it a “bit strange” that the Security Council, whose mission is to maintain international peace and security, has never talked about how many thousands of missiles are being illegally stock-piled by the Hezbollah in Lebanon, or how much money and how many weapons the terrorists receive from Iran, and it has never even remotely talked about how to get rid of Assad, the murderer of his own people, or how to beat ISIS. Instead, Haley said, the meeting was all maniacally focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East. I am new around here, said Nikki, but we won’t turn a blind eye to this phenomenon, and we will never again endorse a resolution that condemns Israel like the one recently passed with the previous administration, because we will always support Israel.

Never before has the UN’s conceptual structure been challenged by such a clear stance cleared of all UN-style rhetoric. This could lead to important political consequences like, for example, that the new counterterrorism office that the UN Secretary-General Guterres is urging be created will not, if Haley knows how to direct her logic, be populated by members that are flirting with or outright sponsoring terrorism. And there are many members that do. One of the most important example of the UN conceptual system is the UN Human Rights Council run by 47 members, most of which are serial violators of human rights and dedicated to making Israel the scapegoat.

But here too we are seeing important changes. The firm speech of the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Erin Barclay made at the UNHRC’s 34th session in Geneva suggested that US might pull out of the UN Human Rights Council that includes among its members Saudi Arabia that performs death sentences for apostasy and adultery, flails and amputates; China that bans freedom of speech, of religion and of association and performs the extra-judicial killing of dissidents; Iraq that commits serial abuses that go all the way to assassination and kidnapping; Qatar, Venezuela….For the first time in history, Barclay has accused the Council of having an authentic ‘obsession’ that leads it to condemn Israel in a maniacal way, each time, based on a specific Agenda item 7 dedicated solely to Israel’s violations of human rights, even though many other countries that are much more guilty of these are all debated under the same ‘Agenda item 4’ and are de facto almost never condemned by the Council.

Since its foundation, Israel has received 228 condemn resolutions: the General assembly has condemned it 18 times in 2016 alone, and the Security Council 12 times. Not even Iran, Syria, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan summed together are on a par with the Jewish State.

If on the one hand the US decide to pull out the council and on the other will tell Guterres in a very direct manner that a UN counterterrorism office should not be created because it runs the risk of becoming a perverse conceptual shelter, a practical ‘sanctuary’ for terror itself, this will bring to the UN a fresh breeze of challenge and real renewal. Haley, the comet, could finally light up those deaf and grey corridors.

This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (March 4, 2017)

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.
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