Skip to comments.Guilty until proven guilty
Posted on 04/29/2002 7:59:47 PM PDT by anapikoros
Remember the East German Olympic judges? They were the ones who would blithely hold up a score of 2.6 for an American skater when all the other judges held up scores in the high nines. One East German judge is comical; a commission stacked with East German judges is what Israel is being asked to accept from the United Nations.
The respected diplomats chosen by the UN to judge Israel hardly intend to be as crass as the East Germans were. Who could question the bona fides of the former president of Finland, former head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the former chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission? Well, Israel, for one. It has been treated shabbily by the ICRC, which to this day refuses to recognize the Magen David Adom as it does the Red Crescent, and the UNHRC, which subjects Israel to constant calumny. Most recently, seven European nations voted for a UNHRC resolution that endorsed armed struggle against Israel.
Some might think it paranoid of Israel to hold these officials culpable for the biased actions of the institutions they headed. But this is exactly the point: Even respectable, decent, international diplomats find themselves dragooned into bashing Israel when they represent the international community. Take sensible diplomats and throw them into an international organization and they become an anti-Israel mob.
The great diplomatic accomplishment of the Arab world has been to transform global forums into nests of Israel bashing. The UN General Assembly resolution declaring Zionism equals racism is the classic example of such mob behavior, but there are countless others. Though that infamous resolution was repealed, last years UN Durban Conference was if anything a more vicious and blatant hijacking of an international humanitarian forum. That conference, after all, was supposed to have dealt with racism, xenophobia, and other forms of hatred, and was transformed into a vehicle of hatred itself.
The UNs Jenin fact-finding committee is clearly poised to repeat this ugly pattern. The whole idea of the committee is entirely unprecedented. There was no suggestion to appoint a similar committee to investigate how the United States fought in Afghanistan, how UN forces fought in Somalia, or international culpability for standing by as Bosnians or Rwandans were massacred by the thousands. The premise of the UN team is that there is doubt between the Palestinian claim that there was a massacre and Israels insistence that there was not.
Now even Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch two organizations that could hardly be more vitriolic toward Israel admit that there was no massacre. The charge, according to Amnesty secretary-general Irene Kahn after her visit to Jenin, has been reduced to serious violations of international humanitarian law. But why should Israel subject itself even to slightly watered down form of diplomatic lynching? The evidence that the jury is in before the trial has begun lies in UN Secretary-General Kofi Annans April 27 letter to Israel laying out the ground rules of the Jenin committee. Though the letter has not been released, it reportedly states that the committee may make observations, even though the UN resolution that created it speaks only of fact-finding. The committee also reserves the right to call any witnesses it wishes, meaning that Israeli officers could open themselves up to indictment by a future international tribunal.
US President George W. Bush, in exchange for what may be a politically suicidal concession by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, reportedly promised to give Israel full support for its concerns with the Jenin commission. The time to redeem that pledge is now, and Israels request should be to back the permanent shelving of the UN investigation.
Speaking to a closed meeting after the US threatened to veto the sending of an international presence to the region, Annan revealed his real agenda: an armed, multinational force. It is time for the international community to pursue such an option in a proactive way, rather than waiting for the parties to arrive at this conclusion on their own, Annan stated. Or as Saudi Prince Saud put it to the London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat this week, We now want international forces to protect the Palestinians and ensure security along the lines of what was done in the Balkans.
The Jenin committee has nothing to do with fact-finding; it is the thin end of a wedge designed to internationalize the conflict. We saw how this worked in Lebanon, where Hizbullah would shoot from behind UN forces, which would then complain when Israel shot back. Arafat is angling for an internationally sponsored one-way mirror that lets through Palestinian attacks while hamstringing Israels ability to respond in its own defense.
The time to melt this snowball is now, not after it rolls down the hill and gathers size and speed. The legal grounds for doing so are in Annans letter, which overreaches the UN resolution that the US supported. But the moral grounds have been laid over more than three decades of unremitting UN hostility toward Israel, which would have done the East German judges proud.
The truth is that the Israelis drove their tanks and armored vehicles through an Arab slum, while fighting terrorists, and some of the buildings were damaged. Not a big deal.
Pretending to the rest of the world that the UN is a "good" thing only adds to their ridiculous credibility.
The UN-- primarily made up of a bunch of military despots, bullies, nepotist royal families, madmen, and religious fanatic leaders-- should, NO MUST, have an entry criterion above "pulse".
Let Ted Turner take over the UN, and send the whole shooting match packing to Nigeria...
Never will the US give up sovereignity to the UN (unless the HildaBeast gets elected Prez, in that case, "Katy, Bar the Door".
The UN would also gain a slight bit of credibility if they would investigate attacks on Israel and Jews living in the West Bank/Gaza by terrorists.
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