Last stand for UN hypocrisy

PERMANENT OBSERVER for the ‘State of Palestine’ to the UN Riyad Mansour addresses a recent Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East.  (photo credit: REUTERS)
PERMANENT OBSERVER for the ‘State of Palestine’ to the UN Riyad Mansour addresses a recent Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In yet another example of its legendary hypocrisy, the United Nations Security Council last week held a special meeting to condemn US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
One after another, council members ostracized the move, predicting dire consequences as a result. The statements sounded like a “Chicken Little chorus” of naysayers predicting the sky would fall as a result of the December 6 declaration. One had a sense these pronouncements of disapproval had been written years ago, given the rote-like redundancy of their flawed reasoning. To these diplomats, Jerusalem has been a no-go zone for decades, a kick-the-can-down-the-road issue if there ever was one.
For nearly 70 years, the State of Israel, admitted to the United Nations in 1949, has been the only country whose designated capital is not recognized by the international community. Never mind the more than 3,000 years of Jewish history there or, since the founding of the modern State of Israel, it is the seat of its government, parliament and other state institutions. Even recognizing the western part of Jerusalem, where most of Israel’s government institutions sit, was off limits to nearly all of the international community.
The last two countries to have located their embassies there, Costa Rica and El Salvador, moved to Tel Aviv under intense pressure from the Palestinians and their Arab League friends years ago.
As a result of the Trump declaration, the Palestinians declared their predictable “three days of rage” and the Palestinian “observer” ambassador to the UN has called for the decision to recognize to be rescinded.
Here’s the real hypocrisy at the UN.
While the recognition of Israel’s capital evinced groans and diplomatic catcalls, the very same United Nations upgraded the status of the Palestinians to “nonmember state” status in 2012. The Palestinians were admitted to UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a full member in 2011.
And in other international fora, similar recognition has been accorded, most recently at Interpol, where the Palestinians are now a full member. Only last month, the General Assembly again agreed to fund a group of committees whose only purpose is to advance the Palestinian narrative.
At last week’s Security Council meeting, US Ambassador Nikki Haley once again called out the world organization, saying: “The UN has done much more to damage the prospects for Mideast peace than to advance them.”
She’s right. Accustomed to getting special treatment at the UN, the Palestinians and those who support them and their relentless efforts to delegitimize Israel have been served notice by a cold splash of reality.
For the past nearly 25 years, since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, the UN has been used as a battering ram against Israel, whose resolutions have provided cover to the Palestinians to avoid negotiations with Israel.
The “days of rage” threat rings hollow, as the Palestinians have run out of excuses.
Are they serious about a resolution of the conflict, or would they prefer the path they have perfected at the UN, which is to promote their nihilistic campaigns of defamation against Israel? If anyone is entitled to rage, it is Israel, which has led an orphan-like existence in a world body supposedly founded on higher values.
The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital suggests new thinking about right and wrong in how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is viewed. Will other countries, long tied to the misguided conventional wisdom of the past, follow suit? Let’s hope the first test, at last week’s Security Council meeting, is the last at which hypocrisy on this issue reigns.
The writer is the executive vice president and CEO of B’nai B’rith International.