Maybe I’m a bit biased, having served in a UN peacekeeping mission and thus making and maintaining contact with some urbane and highly intelligent people in the UN headquarters in New York, but my contention is that in spite of occasional absurd and inept bureaucracy, the United Nations Organisation is a pretty good outfit.
The Security Council was created by wise and compassionate visionaries, who didn’t allow their pragmatism to be overcome by idealism and had sensible views about how international affairs should be conducted. Unfortunately, their ideas for development of a better world continue to be wrecked by vetoes in the Security Council, of which the latest was that of the United States on the orders of a president who told the UN General Assembly in September that “freedom and self-determination are not unique to one culture. These are not simply American values or western values – they are universal values.”
How enlightened and admirable – until freedom and self-determination for the Palestinians are involved. Then the words vanish from Obama’s register of universal values, because if they were applied to the Israeli-occupied Palestine, there would be discomfort for the half million illegal Jewish settlers who have expelled Arabs from their ancient lands.
The reasons for the creation of the UN in 1945 included the desire to “reaffirm our faith in fundamental human rights…..and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained.” It hasn’t succeeded in these objectives because powerful countries have vested interests which override humanity, principle and compassion. When it doesn’t suit them, they toss the UN Charter out the window.
In mid-December 2012, 14 of the Security Council’s 15 members agreed on a resolution mandating action over Israel’s illegal settlements. Their decision was spurred by Israel’s contemptuous response to criticism by the General Assembly of its intention to massively expand settlements in spite of the Security Council Resolution 446 which specifically forbids that action. Following massive international censure, Israel promptly and spitefully announced it would build even more settlements – defying the world by ejecting thousands more Arabs from their lands.
Resolution 446, from which the United States abstained, determined “that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity.”
It couldn’t be clearer. But when Tel Aviv treats the Security Council Resolutions with contempt and the council members try to impose international law, prudently and pragmatically, then Obama orders that the US must veto any declaration that would be critical of Israel.
In this he’s backed by every politician in Washington, because none of them can afford (literally, in many cases) to offend Israel. Eighty of them went on an all-expenses-paid excursion to Israel in 2011, and both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed motions condemning the Palestinians for Israel’s November 2012 onslaught in Gaza that killed 162 Arabs.
In one incident it was reported that “nine members of one family died in this blast – all women and children, along with two neighbours who were walking past the house when the missile hit.” Thirty-seven Arab children were killed in Israel’s merciless blitz, but not a single Washington legislator uttered a word of sympathy. Five Israelis were killed by Hamas rockets, and these deaths were deplored and described as “acts of terrorism.”
In September 2010, Obama declared that “the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own,” and has reiterated that sentiment several times. But he has made a mockery of his own pronouncements. He disregards the UN Security Council Resolution that orders Israel “not to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories,” which could not be more precise or definite. So Israel defies the entire world with impunity.
The Charter of the United Nations has been rendered irrelevant by a rogue country that cannot be called to task by the world community because the United States will not permit censure of its illegal actions. Every moral and legal principle on which the UN was created has been rendered pointless by Israel’s prohibited conduct because the United States will not allow anything to be done about Tel Aviv’s brazen barbarity.
But we should not be surprised about the US policy, because in March 2011 Obama declared to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee in Washington that “as president of the United States, I have kept my commitments to the state of Israel. At every crucial juncture – at every fork in the road – we have been there for Israel. Every single time.”
And the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu got 29 standing ovations from the US Congress after declaring that his country would never agree to the return of Palestinians to their own lands. His declaration that “Israel has no better friend than America, and America has no better friend than Israel,” was greeted with rapturous applause. His statement that the Palestinians “should enjoy a national life of dignity as a free, viable and independent people” was a gobbet of deliberate deceit, because only a few months later he intensified Israel’s criminal seizure of Palestinians’ lands.
Little wonder so many Arabs detest America which, by its blatant bias towards Israel, has made it clear that there will never be a Palestinian state, no matter that the rest of the world considers this to be right and proper. Obama’s declaration that “the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own,” because “freedom and self-determination are not……simply American values or western values – they are universal values,” is pure humbug, because America has “been there for Israel. Every single time”. And always will be.