December 5, 2008
The U.N.'s 'Greatest Failure'By Daniel Tauber
Genocide in Darfur (300-400,000 killed and 2.5 million displaced), aids in Africa (just under 24 million infected with HIV and 1.6 million dead), the Rwandan Genocide (800,000-1,000,000 killed), Communist China (1.3 billion living under a totalitarian regime), the rise of Islamic terrorism, the plight of women in Islamic and Arabic countries, and the Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons and threats to wipe Israel off the map.
The world sure has a lot of problems and these are just a few. None of them, however, measure up to what the U.N. General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto termed the "single greatest failure" of the U.N. - the failure to create a Palestinian state.
D'Escoto went on to accuse Israel of apartheid and called for sanctions and a boycott of Israel as was done to apartheid South Africa.
D'Escoto's speech came during the first day of a two day session in which the day the U.N. celebrated its International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The Palestinian solidarity day is officially November 29 in commemoration and mourning of the day the U.N. voted for the establishment of the State of Israel.
The organization Eye on the UN reported that the U.N. was to hold an exhibit in its lobby with an entrance sign stating, "The Palestinians: 60 years of Struggle and Enduring Hope." (The 2005 Solidarity day included a map of Israel with a Palestinian Flag.)
The General Assembly President's speech and the Solidarity Day commemoration exemplify perhaps all that is wrong with the world today: It simply does not matter to the community of nations -
The facts, the justness of the parties' claims, the history, none of these things matter. The only thing that does matter for the U.N. and the skewed world it represents is that the Israel must make more concessions to appease Arab demands. The concession here is the creation of a Palestinian state, which will be used to terrorize Israel, ethnically cleanse the region of any significant Jewish presence and thus put an end to "the 60 years of struggle" that began with Israel's creation.
But the blame for the rise of Palestinian-statism cannot be solely laid at the feet of the United Nations. This is because the state with the primary interest in combating this movement, Israel, has itself placed the idea of a Palestinian state on a pedestal.
Though the Oslo Agreements and Ehud Barak's generous offer in 2000 to give Yassir Arafat almost all of the disputed territories of Judea, Samaria (the "West Bank") and all of Gaza resulted only in Palestinian terror, even Israel's most hawkish figures persisted in worshipping the golden calf of appeasement.
In May 2003, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon endorsed the 2002 Road Map, which called for the creation of a Palestinian state by 2005, and carried out the Disengagement from Gaza in 2005 in accordance with the Road Map.
Following Sharon's incapacitation, the next Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, worked from the beginning of his tenure to promote the "Convergence," which would effectively create a Palestinian state by unilaterally withdrawing from Judea and Samaria and expelling the Jewish residents therein. When his popularity dropped, Olmert abandoned the plan, quickly replacing it with traditional bilateral negotiations for the creation of a Palestinian state. Olmert's calls for Israeli concessions have only become more routine since he handed in his resignation.
Over the years, Israel has simply decided to give up fighting against the current. As a senior Israeli diplomat told the Jerusalem Post, Israel's attitude toward the Solidarity Day - and by implication the question of a Palestinian state - is that it is a battle which Israel "simply can't win."
Of course, the United States, Israel's closest ally, shoulders much of the burden as well.
As early as 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush became the first Republican president to endorse a Palestinian state when he said that "the idea of a Palestinian state has always been part of a vision."
In 2002, despite his campaign declarations that he wouldn't set timetables for peace, Bush signed the Road Map, which as mentioned called for establishment of a Palestinian state by 2005. Later, Bush characterized Sharon's 2005 Gaza Disengagement plan "as an opportunity for a Palestinian state which is peaceful to begin to grow . . . ."
In January of this year, Bush persisted in pushing his "vision" of a Palestinian state. In a trip to Israel, the President predicted that Israel and the Palestinian Authority would conclude final peace agreements by January 2009. In complete ignorance of Israel's mission to facilitate the return of the Jewish people to Judea and to serve as a haven for a people persecuted for 2000 years, Bush added that the final "agreement must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people, just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people."
It is particularly telling that as the U.N. celebrated its Palestine day and called for the creation of a Palestinian state, Olmert and Bush met for the final time the two leaders would be in office and touted their commitment to a Palestinian state.
And this trend will only continue with the upcoming inauguration of Barak Obama, who in June told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that "the Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive and that allows them to prosper."
Until Israel and the United States recognize that a Palestinian state is more of a prescription for continued violence than a solution for peace and begin to battle Arab claims in the world arena, it is unlikely that a Palestinian state and the Israel-bashing it entails will ever be replaced as the top priority for the United Nations in favor of problems which truly deserve the world body's attention.
 There has been much debate on this subject. Daniel Pipes, in an article in Commentary, argued that Jordan should not be considered part of Palestine. However, both the terms of the League of Nations Palestine Mandate (Art. 25) and the Palestine Order in Council (§ 86) make it clear that the land east of the Jordan river was part of Palestine, though the two documents (unfairly) allowed Britain to withhold application of the Mandate's purpose of building a Jewish state to those areas.