Today’s UN: Abandoned Credibility in the Middle East

With strident voices again calling for the United Nations to “impose” a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, let’s take a look at the UN’s recent Israel-bashing.

Over the past several decades the once-noble UN has undergone a facelift and a heart transplant. In 1949, its 58 member countries were predominantly democratic and pro-Western.  Today there are 193 members, the majority of which are neither free nor democratic.  Fifty-six of these nations are also members of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperative (OIC), whose founding charter emphasizes its commitment to the promotion and consolidation of “. . . unity and solidarity among the Member States in securing their common interests at the international arena.”

That’s a big voting bloc, and it bears mention that the overwhelming majority of the OIC’s 56 members systematically suppress freedom and civil rights.  By contrast, the world’s one and only Jewish state is democratic and robustly promotes women’s rights, gay rights, and freedom of speech and religion, including among its 1.6 million Arab citizens.

In recent years the UN has become unhinged in its quest to delegitimize the Jewish State.  Two painfully obvious examples are the UN’s Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The UNHRC, supposedly an international champion for human rights, has become a parody of itself.  Its current and recent members include such guardians of civil liberty as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Cuba, Pakistan, Venezuela, and Russia.  A year ago the Saudi ambassador was elected chair of the five person panel that chooses UN human rights experts.  Member nations have gotten so intoxicated with Israel-bashing that they’ve pursued this preoccupation at the expense of their own credibility and integrity. From its creation in 2006 through August 2015, the Council obsessively issued 62 condemnations of Israel, but not a single condemnation of Pakistan, South Sudan, Somalia, Russia, China, Cuba, Afghanistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, or Venezuela. In 2016 the UNHRC condemned Israel in five resolutions, while issuing one each against Syria, North Korea, and Iran, and none that addressed China, Russia, or Saudi Arabia.

UNESCO has been equally disingenuous. This year, ostensibly to further the causes of international “education” and “culture,” it passed a resolution denying a historical connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem.  What does this resolution prove?  Only that some folks at this UN agency believe they can “resolve” away centuries of history (not to mention the dismissal of liturgical foundations of both Christianity and Judaism). It is no surprise that Iran, Pakistan, Qatar, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Algeria, and Egypt voted in favor; France, Spain, and Sweden were abstaining enablers.

Then there is the UN General Assembly, which last Friday passed six resolutions against Israel.  Not surprisingly, each resolution was co-sponsored by more than 20 OIC nations.  Earlier in the week, Assembly President Peter Thompson wore a Palestinian scarf in observance of “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.” It does not appear to matter that Hamas is institutionally committed to the jihadist “obliteration” of Israel.  Neither does it matter that only a few weeks ago, the Palestinian Authority named a West Bank school after the mastermind of the Munich Olympics massacre.  Nor that last year, PA President Abbas encouraged a spree of civilian stabbings by imploring his followers, “we welcome every drop of blood spilled” in Jerusalem.

It will do no good for the heavily-biased UN to try to force a “solution” on Israel and the Palestinians.  Direct negotiation between the parties is the only way to arrive at a sustainable peace agreement. History has proven that when Israel has a true partner in peace, enduring peace agreements can be achieved. Bilateral peace talks succeeded between Israel and Egypt, and again between Israel and Jordan. Importantly, Egypt and Jordan were willing to recognize Israel’s right to exist in peace. If Hamas, and Mr. Abbas, should also decide to seek peace with the Jewish State, the opportunity still awaits them.

About the Author
John C. Landa, Jr. is an attorney, entrepreneur, and writer in Houston, Texas. He spends weekends on a farm in the Texas countryside. He is a frequent presenter on Israel, and a devoted advocate of its right to exist in peace.
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