A New Low in Turtle Bay

Editorial

Published December 24, 2008, issue of January 02, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The threadbare honor of the United Nations has reached a new low with the misbehavior of the General Assembly president, Miguel D’Escoto Brockman of Nicaragua. Ignoring the diplomatic etiquette expected in his post, D’Escoto, a priest and former Sandinista official, repeatedly describes Israeli policies as a “version” of apartheid. He recently urged the U.N. to use that ugly word in its routine work. Even worse, in a November 24 assembly speech, he urged that the world body “consider” adopting tactics of “boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure Israel to end its violations.”

Israel’s treatment at the U.N. had undergone some moderate improvement in recent years, thanks to American pressure and lobbying by former secretary-general Kofi Annan. The annual count of anti-Israel General Assembly resolutions had dropped noticeably. The Security Council hadn’t voted to bash Israel in several years. In 2006 the assembly even dissolved the notoriously bigoted Human Rights Commission and replaced it with a supposedly improved Human Rights Council. But the council has proved no better than its predecessor.

Indeed, this past March the rights council took the outrageous step of naming as its observer in the Palestinian territories the notoriously hostile Richard Falk. A retired Princeton University professor, he has accused Israel of genocide and compared it to Nazi Germany.

Israel did itself no favors in mid-December when it barred Falk from entering the territories on an inspection mission. He was frisked at the airport, then put in a dank holding pen for 15 hours before being expelled. Israel has complained for years of its mistreatment at the U.N. Manhandling a diplomat, whatever his record, hardly strengthens Israel’s case. Still, the frustration in Jerusalem is understandable.

Ironically, the Security Council was meeting the very day Falk was sent packing to adopt its first Israeli-Palestinian policy resolution in five years. The 14-0 vote (with Libya abstaining) was a victory for Israel, endorsing the bilateral negotiations launched at Annapolis. But one statement won’t change the lynch mob atmosphere.

If there’s any hope for change, it must start with the Arab League, the driving force behind the venom. Arab leaders want it known that they opted for the high road with their 2002 peace plan. If they’re serious about changing gears, they can start proving it at the U.N.






Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.