Shoshana Bryen on December 5, 2022
The Iranian mullahs hate women and they’re killing them — and a lot of other people, including children — in the streets of Iran. Iran is also wrecking Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, breaking the United Nations arms embargo on the import and export of weapons technology, and selling drones to Russia.
The Russians hate Ukrainians and are destroying Ukrainian energy and agricultural infrastructure to ensure maximum Ukrainian civilian casualties. The Communist Chinese hate the Uyghurs — and are killing them in what the U.S. secretary of State called a “genocide,” as well as threatening Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Australia. Jihadists in Nigeria have killed 2543 Christians in 2022.
In Ethiopia, as of October 2022 there have been 50,000 to 100,000 victims of direct killings, 150,000 to 200,000 deaths by starvation, and more than 100,000 additional deaths caused by a lack of access to medical care in an unnoticed war between the Ethiopian government and the province of Tigray.
North Korea has an estimated 40-50 nuclear warheads and, this year, tested a delivery ballistic missile a range of 8-10,000 km, which would reach New York. Iran has as many as 3,000 ballistic missiles and is moving on nuclear capability.
The U.N. has a big, big job to do.
So, which of those did it take up this week? Not China. Not Russia. Not Iran. Not Ethiopia.
And just not by passing one General Assembly resolution, but five.
One to commemorate Israel’s 76th anniversary next year with a high-level U.N. event marking what the Palestinians call the “Nakba,” the failure of Arab armies to murder the newborn state. They missed the irony of Israel’s founding as a result of a U.N. General Assembly vote. A resolution calling for the “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine,” missing the irony of ignoring Palestinian rocket fire into Israel or the violence and incitement to violence emanating from the PA and Gaza.
A “Special information program on the question of Palestine” of the Department of Global Communications of the Secretariat missed the irony of PA repression of Palestinian writers and others demanding freedom of speech, and skipping over the death of Nizar Banat in Palestinian custody, while naming the program after a journalist killed covering a gun battle.
The others are “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,” and a “demand that Israel rescind its decision to apply Israeli law to the Golan Heights, captured in a defensive war launched twice by Syria.
It could be said that the U.N. has shamed itself. Yes, it has.
But remember two things: first, General Assembly resolutions carry political, but no legal weight, although they do heavily impact the expenditure of UN money. Second, the reason for that is that the General Assembly is not actually a “thing,” it is a collection of countries, all deemed of equal importance and equal weight regardless of size, economy, indexes of safety and security for their people, freedom of speech, believe and religion, or ability to meet their own security challenges. Palau equals the United States. Aruba equals China. The Seychelles equal India.
No dominant country is willing to put real power in the hands of Laos or Belize. And small countries know it.
Otherwise-ineffectual countries vote against Israel – even if they have good bilateral relations – because a) they see no downside and b) they are afraid of repercussions from bigger — or scarier — countries. Virtue signaling is key. Saudi Arabia, for example, voted for the resolutions even though the Saudi government has cut funding to the PA by 85% since 2020 over corruption issues.
Real power lies in the UN Security Council, the five permanent members who hold veto power — which is why Ukraine has not come up for a vote, nor have the Uyghurs or threats to Taiwan — and a revolving group of lesser members. The U.S. had, until the Obama administration, made a point of protecting Israel in the Security Council with its veto. Less so, now.
The U.N. is an amoral pit. It has been since the U.S. invited Stalin’s Soviet Union into what was designed as a forum for democratic countries.
Israel’s place in the U.N. has been precarious since the “Non-Aligned Movement” (read Soviet stooges) came together in 1974 against the U.S. and its ally Israel.
If the Biden administration falls in line with China and Russia, the potential for real damage to Israel’s security rises — but it will never equal the rise in shame of democratic, free countries that will follow America’s abandonment of Jerusalem.
Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of The Jewish Policy Center and Editor of inFOCUS Quarterly.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation
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