Were I ambassador to the UN

Lilac Sigan

Can't we cut the fine words and get on with roasting Israel?

Id like to give you a friendly warning: if you really want to be a good person, do yourself a favor, and beware of fine words. Especially ones that have a clean fragrance to them. They seem so goodhearted and pure, but sometimes they hide dirty, hairy monsters behind them. So if you really care, think twice before you believe.

Just the other day, the Israeli ambassador to Washington said he would reject the UN secretary generals suggestion for an inquiry into the flotilla to Gaza. He said Israel did want an inquiry, but a serious and objective one. But what is the sense in that? Isnt the UN an impartial and just establishment? Isnt its Security Council out to protect us, and doesnt its Human Rights Council watch over the millions of unfortunate people on this planet who are treated inhumanly?

These are the nice things wed all like to believe. Why? Maybe because that way, we can sleep better at night. Nobody wants nightmares, right? But lets take a tiny peek at what might really stand behind the nice words that we so willingly consume.

For instance, you may not know that, in the past decade, many non-democratic countries such as Uganda, Tunisia, Syria, Qatar, Algeria and Libya were elected to the Security Council of the UN. How impartial and objective do you think countries like that can be, especially with Israel?

Another example: A few days ago, members of the UN Human Rights Council such as Yemen, China, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Cuba, were appalled at the Israeli actions on the flotilla to Gaza, ignoring terror connections of the IHH organization that led the ships, and not asking any real questions before they rushed to condemn. Its a bit hard not to wonder if these non-democratic, oppressive countries that wouldnt recognize a human right if it fell on their heads, jumped at the opportunity to be shocked and appalled, just so they could keep going about their abusive business without being bothered, while someone else is in the spotlight.

Take a look at these numbers.* About half the countries on the UN Human Rights Council are either dictatorships or only partly-free. Of the 40 Human Rights resolutions passed by the UN over the past four years, 33 have been condemnations of Israel, the only democratic country in the Middle-East. No resolutions were passed against China and its continuous abuse of Tibet, or of many Muslim countries that oppress women and impose cruel Shariyah law. Yes, there were resolutions passed against Sudan, after its murderous actions in Darfur. In case youve forgotten, these Sudanese actions caused and are still causing thousands to lose their lives, and thousands of others to lose their homes and country to become hollow-eyed starving refugees. The Sudanese government, however, managed not to be held responsible. How? I guess thats just the way it works in the UN. You vote in blocs, and you can protect each others interests. But at least we can be reassured that the flotilla will be investigated immediately, right after the loud condemnation of Israel has automatically been made, and before anything was actually examined.

Meanwhile, not much attention is given to Turkey, for example, which is becoming more extreme by the minute. It used to be a Western ally, but now the president of Iran is being welcomed to Turkey with hugs and kisses, and the next day it decides to vote against sanctions on Iran in the UN Security Council. The Council managed to vote for the sanctions without Turkey, but Turkey is not alone: sanctions against Iran have been negotiated for months with the members of the Security Council, and so far all the sanctions voted against Iran havent really stopped it from continuing with its plans. Maybe its because some of the members of the Security Council have other priorities on their minds. Does this pose a threat to the free, safe world, or is it just a minor detail we should all overlook, while focusing on condemning Israel?

Could it be that the use of fresh-smelling, laundered words like security and human rights actually enables abusive countries to continue with real violations of security and human rights and go almost unnoticed? Could it be that insisting on condemning one democratic country that has to fight terror every day, is actually a great front for business as usual?

So what would you do if you were the Israeli ambassador and were offered an inquiry by the UN? If I were him, I would say: Listen, guys. If you want to roast Israel, cant we just get it over with? Everybody already knows Israel will be blamed, the media will have some good headlines since hate usually brings more ratings, and real atrocities will continue quietly elsewhere. So do we really need to go through the motions? Type your predetermined conclusions, lets call it Goldstone, the Sequel or something, and then we can all leave work early and maybe catch a movie.

Thats what Id say if I were the ambassador. And if I were you? I dont know. Its definitely tempting to just continue thinking these fine words embody fine intentions. Yes, the price is that terror and real breaches of human rights will go on, but hey - at least you wont have any nightmares tonight.

* Numbers from UN Watch.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 10, 2010

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

Lilac Sigan

Lilac Sigan
Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters Israel Business Conference 2018