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The US dedication to blocking peace.
December 15, 2001 12:19 AM   Subscribe

The US dedication to blocking peace. “It was the second time in less than a year that the United States had used its veto power to effectively kill a resolution that would create a monitoring mechanism for the protection of Palestinian civilians.”
posted by raaka (31 comments total)

 
does anybody really expect a un resolution to slow down either the idf or hezbolla? really?

besides in this particular case it's not clear the PA is operating with any kind of "authority" at all and according to the report: the document did not specifically call for a halt to suicide attacks on Israelis which have left 35 dead this month (Unfortunately, CNN doesn't seem willing to post a link to the actual resolution. What's that about? Heaven forbid readers draw their own conclusions?)
posted by victors at 1:20 AM on December 15, 2001


Ever get the feeling that everybody on this planet, who aren't in the most extreme seats of political and economic power, are in a state, controllessly, of being twirled round and round? Our existences continually, faithfully, levitated just enough from the surface of reality, ever so near to impact with one another, always in fear of a collapse in the "balance". And yet, after one round about the "circle", we're amazed that the balance has not been breached, as bodies in orbit continually fall into one another, yet never colliding. That's us, I say. The billions of people on the planet being taken for a ride-- None of us "know" one another. But we believe something about the *other* just the same.

Why is that?
posted by crasspastor at 2:20 AM on December 15, 2001


For years Israel has been opposed to UN intervention for a simple reason: the Arab bloc at the UN has some 21 votes and Israel simply does not trust the UN. Example: Syrian is currently sitting on the rotating seat of Security Council and Israel is not even allowed a chance to rotate to this seat! Syria, now occupying Lebanon and supporting Hizzbolah ?
TheArab states on the other hand do not trust America, with its long established friendship toward Israel.
Potential solution: NATO.
posted by Postroad at 3:23 AM on December 15, 2001


victors - what does hezbollah have to do with this thread ? we're talking Israelis and Palestinians here...
As an Israeli, I'd like to say that the UN doesn't reflect anything, since just like every other parliament, it's under political pressure, so the US veto actually balances the arab section of the UN.
posted by martz at 7:14 AM on December 15, 2001


The United States has a hard time saying no to Israel.
posted by ddmmyy at 7:30 AM on December 15, 2001


There are already some UN observers on the ground in Israel (in the city of Hebron) and that city is still a center of violence. Also, there's a sizable UN force on the Israeli-Lebanese border, but that hasn't done anything to prevent attacks by Hezbollah.

Anyone who thinks the UN can end the violence is sadly mistaken.
posted by kickingtheground at 8:32 AM on December 15, 2001


Hezbollah has inserted itself into the conflict -- again. Really, victors should have linked to HAMAS (which is an acronym, btw), Islamic Jihad, or al-Fatah. (And Hezbollah is Shi'ite and gets most of its support from Iran. If, as threatened, they include Americans in their targets again that could sink hopes of a new relationship with that playah.)

It isn't so much that Israel doesn't trust the UN -- after all, they drove their tanks right past UN monitor positions in Lebanon without so much as a how-de-do (but then, the UN never does much about the Arab militants driving around on jeeps, either -- they're old-style UN peacekeepers with all the bite of a gummed dog). It's that the UN would be in the Palestinian areas and provide either a) a deterrent to Israeli Defense Forces actions or (more likely) b) a propaganda victory for the Arab world as IDF "defy peacekeepers" -- while those same peacekeepers would be absolutely, incontrovertibly, inarguably, one hundred percent useless at preventing Palestinian suicide bombers from Hamas or Islamic Jihad.

So, from the Israeli perspective, the UN would tie their hands while leaving the terrorists' hands free.
posted by dhartung at 8:33 AM on December 15, 2001


Oh, yes, I forgot. Raaka, troll much? "The US dedication to blocking peace", my god damn ass.
posted by dhartung at 8:35 AM on December 15, 2001


I just love this line from the article:

the United States argued the United Nations is not the proper forum to resolve Mideast violence.

I ask what is the proper forum?
posted by plemeljr at 9:54 AM on December 15, 2001


thanks (again) dhartung for explaining to everyone what I'm thinking.

and in (a meek) defense to raaka, it looks to me like the link this morning is to a completely different story than it pointed last night which (I think) then included the "blocking peace" quote. it's CNN doing the trolling -- and it's raaka following unquestioningly the sentiment of that original piece. hate when that happens.

martz: if hezbollah have no role in the violence in the mideast then perhaps it's true that I should rethink my cynicism about the effectiveness of the un.
posted by victors at 9:54 AM on December 15, 2001


ddmmyy, the U.S. never says no to Isreal.
posted by fleener at 10:00 AM on December 15, 2001


btw, not that you care, but just in the off chance that you wonder what I consider a reliable news source...
posted by victors at 11:12 AM on December 15, 2001


The US is the only country to use its veto power for another country.

The US is the only country to veto every resolution aimed at solving the problems in the Middle East.

The US is the only country whose politicians get over $120 million from Pro-Israel lobby groups every year.

You figure it out.
posted by chaz at 12:09 PM on December 15, 2001


"Washington vetoed the resolution because it failed to note recent suicide attacks against Israelis or name the organizations responsible."

Good reason.
posted by aaronshaf at 2:55 PM on December 15, 2001


Yes, this story has been edited since I saw it last. The time stamp when I posted it said 2:59 AM EST.

This apologia from Negroponte was at the bottom and unattributed: “Washington vetoed the resolution because it failed to note recent suicide attacks against Israelis or name the organizations responsible.”

He didn’t want to veto the resolution because the IDF lays mines where they kill school kids. In Negroponte’s view it's only Palestinians that are committing egrigious acts of violence, collective punishment and defy international human rights.

victor: does anybody really expect a un resolution to slow down either the idf or hezbolla?

At last count, 12 of the 15 countries on the UN Security Council thought the UN could help the problem. One country didn’t.

dhartung, your b) is incorrect since this resolution was aimed at protected Palestinian civilians (whose police force is run by an unpopular crook), not Israeli citizens from Palestinian terrorists. There would be no monitors on Israeli land annexed from Palestine or soveriegn Israeli land — only Palestinian land. It’s much more likely that Israel doesn’t want an international monitor observing it’s collective punishment of Palestinians.

This was an international group trying to solve a cycle of violence in a war-torn and oppressed region of the world. One country, which has a long history of militarily and financially supporting one of the members of the conflict blocked the first stages of a peace plan twice this year. The US is dedicated to blocking peace that it does not broker. The US has at least a decade-long history of seeing itself as the arbiter of global justice. This is a mantle it isn’t willing to let the UN undermine.

If anything, “The US dedication to blocking peace” is a factual statement with evidence in the article backing it up. I suggest your ideology is getting in the way of seeing the obvious.
posted by raaka at 3:56 PM on December 15, 2001


Victors - the Hizbollah have a big part in the violence in the mid-east, just not in the related article which discussed Israeli-Palestinian issues.

raaka - I've been there, I've served in Lebannon, I've seen the UN's "peacekeepers" which are a bunch of guys who go there for their easy money , and usually do nothing but get drunk, and just disturb the IDF from protecting itself against hizbollah warriors. the UN peacekeeping force is a biased joke. nothing more.

dhartung - way to go, mate, I agree with every single word.
posted by martz at 4:36 PM on December 15, 2001


I suggest your ideology is getting in the way of seeing the obvious.

Okay, it's one thing to say that when it's true. But it pisses me off when people use it as a smokescreen for an attack.

I don't think it's unreasonable to say that this is a complex issue, or that reasonable people could disagree about the truth here. I find it difficult, to say the least, to believe that someone as obviously intelligent as raaka believes that this issue is clearly cut. He's got to know that this issue isn't black and white.

Raaka, you're making an attack on dhartung's objectivity, an attack which I believe you know is basically baseless, and you're doing it for strategic reasons. I'm calling you on it. It indicates to me that you don't think your argument can stand on it's own legs.

On the other hand, if you really believe that everyone who disagrees with you is blinded by self-delusion... well, then, with all respect, wake up. This issue is not clearly black and white, and if you think it is, then you're the one that's blinded by ideology.
posted by gd779 at 6:56 PM on December 15, 2001


for the protection of Palestinian civilians.”

What about the protection of Israeli civilians? Since they are the targets of Palestinian aggression. Israel causes a great deal of civilian casualty, but they don't target them specifically, afaik.

The whole thing's a shithole - but we've backed Israel from the getgo, so we might as well ride that shitheel of a horse right down to the hell it's barrelling towards. Doesn't seem to make a difference one way or the other.
posted by UncleFes at 8:51 PM on December 15, 2001


Palestinian civilians could use some protection from Syria too...oh yeah it's an "Arab" state -never mind.
Fact: when it comes to suppression of human rights, including Palestinian, Syria rules over Israel.
Syria's Tadmor prison has a legitimate claim of being the place where the most egregious human rights violations are occurring on the globe!-Yet Syria is on the friggin Security Council?!
I strive for objectivity on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the glaring hypocrisy throws me into a pro-Israel stance.
posted by quercus at 9:04 PM on December 15, 2001


It's a win/win propaganda victory for the Palestinians. If the US vetoes the resolution for international monitors, which always happens, they can point and say look at how we get screwed over and whose interests the US is really backing.

If they get monitors, then they get a little more of the worlds attention focused on the situation on the ground which is what Israel doesn't want. But at this point, it may not matter.
posted by euphorb at 9:08 PM on December 15, 2001


What about the protection of Israeli civilians?

Last I checked, UncleFes, all of Israel and Palestine were under the quite effective domination/protection of the Israeli Army. When Palestinian extremists set out to kill civilians in Israel or colonists of the occupied territories, they have to employ subterfuge and criminal methods. When Israel decides it's time again to make sure that 3 Palestinians die for every 1 Israeli, they just send in the Army and get down to work. In the former instance, there are all the resources of a modern military-police state to control the situation defensively/reactively. In the latter instance, the Palestinians are pretty much impotent, getting rolled over and pissed off like hell, ready for more subterfuge criminal killings.

One may wish to compare the shooting and bombing on both sides (though that too is superficial given the incredible inequality of power). But when it comes to the more measured, out-in-the-open tactics like bulldozing homes, uprooting trees, etc., the master-slave relationship is even more intolerable.

That's why I (and most of the international community except for U.S. and Israeli governments) think an international force on the ground would be a good thing. Really, the U.N. resolution is nothing provocative (though it's obviously controversial to the point of being toxic to the U.S.). It's not like the French and Irish et al. have gone off their nuts endorsing it.
posted by Zurishaddai at 9:25 PM on December 15, 2001


*grumble, grumble*

Look...
For those of you still perplexed by the United States' reluctance to break rank with Israel, there are a few things you're going to have to come to terms with:

Israel is not just an ally; they're also something of a brother (as nations go). We back their play because we know that they'd back ours, if our roles were reversed. We have that same relationship with Great Britain. There are always matters of convenience where states are concerned--but these nations are more like family than useful friends.
Taking that into consideration, you can see how vital it would be for anyone seeking the U.S.'s intervention to play it straight (ex: no uninvestigated/unpunished acts of terrorism). That's just good 'ol common sense.

Palestinians have legitimate issues, but their leadership has failed their cause in favor of bolstering their own egos. The PLO is behaving dangerously, and (not surprisingly) is being treated as a threat. Why in the world would we snub a loyal ally in order to leave them and ourselves more vulnerable to an organization that has violated numerous good faith agreements, continues to offer tacit support for attacks on civilians, etc? That'd just be monumentally stupid!

So where does that leave us?
If you want me to turn my back on my brother--you'd better be sure your motivation is above suspicion!

Palestinians must, in order to be taken seriously, refrain from the tit-for-tat, lunatic fringe violence. All acts of terrorism should be treated as acts of barbarism against Palestininians--because they destroy the foundations of lasting peace--investigated and prosecuted in earnest.

Then, and only then, are we in a position to put any pressure on Israel to acknowledge the Palestinian grievances with renewed vigor.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 5:22 AM on December 16, 2001


It is not a good idea for the United States to have a "brother" nation. It is precisely this irrational attachment that has cost us in our relationship with Israel. I am all for proctecting Israel's right to exist, keeping Israel as an ally, etc. But elevating nations to brother status is a mistake and precisely what the founders of the United States warned us against. It cripples our objectivity and does not allow us to see things for what they really are-- thus placing us in a negative position harmful to our own interests.
posted by chaz at 12:01 PM on December 16, 2001


Two axegrinders appealing to objectivity in one thread; is that a new record?
Here's something to consider objectively: the UN has passed a resolution equating Zionism with racism; given that, do you seriously believe that the UN is capable of this objectivity you tout? If not, doesn't that make this particular decision by the US a clear victory for objectivity, by keeping an obviously biased third-party out of the mix?
posted by boaz at 1:40 PM on December 16, 2001


“the UN has passed a resolution equating Zionism with racism”

Please quote it, I’d like to read it and admonish the UN accordingly. If you’re referring to the Race and Racism conference I don’t think they passed any statement equating zionism with racism.

gd: I'm going to repeat myself (since I love doing that so much).

The US is dedicated to blocking peace plans that it does not broker, especially plans orginating in the UN. (The linked article mentions the US has done this twice this year.) For pointing out the obvious, I was called a troll. I then suggested to the name-caller that he’s letting his ideology get in the way of seeing it.

“someone as obviously intelligent as raaka”

You are one sexy man.
posted by raaka at 5:55 PM on December 16, 2001


raaka, you're out of luck...that UN resolution exists: United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379, November 10, 1975.

Since the State of Israel was founded in tandem with an ethnic cleansing campaign, it's not like the resolution was incomprehensible, but hell will freeze and thaw many times before anyone changes their opinion about THAT.

So, as penance for saying so many things inflammatory to Zionists, just because I can't get history out my head...I want to provide a genuinely decent peace-loving link. Right now, neither side needs to be working itself up with its own intense national feelings and blinding identity issues. We need to be reading and thinking more about the crisis of the shrinking moderate middle ground between Palestinians and Israelis. (Link is to a nice commentary piece by an Iranian-American living in Jerusalem who found Israelis' attitudes towards him change from warm to hostile because of the feelings aroused by the last year of violence.)
posted by Zurishaddai at 7:07 PM on December 16, 2001


Well, I was right in that it didn’t have anything to do with the Race and Racism conference of last year. That 15 year-old resolution you pointed to certainly is a tactless stain on the UN’s history.

Following Zuris’ lead here’s another peace loving link: Israel in 600 Words or Less. In which the author writes, “And if there is one thing that my mother [an Israeli], Ghassan [a Palestinian] and Adina [an Israeli who’s boyfriend died in a suicide attack] have in common, it's that they are all certain, absolutely certain, that I simply can't understand what's going on in their heads.”
posted by raaka at 8:13 PM on December 16, 2001


The resolution equating Zionism and Racism was overturned/withdrawn, I believe in the early 1990's. It was a stupid resolution and rightly gave the UN a bad name... it's a good thing it was rescinded but the damage was done, as it's easy for people to point to that and say the UN is anti-Israel, as it has no resolution equating other Nationalist movements (including Arab Nationalism, Serb Nationalism, what have you) with racism.

Remember that the only UN resolution Israel follows (it is in violation of more than any other country, including Iraq) is the one that brought about its existence.
posted by chaz at 9:30 PM on December 16, 2001


Look folks, it's not tactless, it's not stupid, it's anti-Israel bias, pure and simple. The repeal of the resolution was championed by the Soviet Union (when the USSR still controlled a bloc of votes on the UN) as part of a program to improve relations with Israel; it had nothing to do with the UN getting embarassed at its behavior. Here's a (not vetoed) resolution from last year. They may be playing it softer, but they're not changing their tune.

Remember that the only UN resolution Israel follows (it is in violation of more than any other country, including Iraq) is the one that brought about its existence.

Which considering the situation in Iraq, Sudan, Tibet, Egypt, East Timor, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, etc. vs. the situation in Israel says all that you need to know about the UN's 'objectivity'. Israel's continued existence owes more to its military strength than to any UN resolution.
posted by boaz at 10:10 PM on December 16, 2001


Fes: If Israel does not target civilians specifically yet many more civilians die as a result of their attacks than the terrorist attacks, what does that say about the targetting policy of the Israelis? It suggests to me that when the next Israeli cabinet member gets in front of a camera to say they don't target specifically civilians that he/she is in fact saying that they target pretty indiscriminately.

But maybe that's just me.
posted by vbfg at 7:03 AM on December 17, 2001


Quote:
It is not a good idea for the United States to have a "brother" nation. It is precisely this irrational attachment...
End Quote -- Chaz


Having those attachments does, indeed, complicate matters, but those attachments are nevertheless present and compelling.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 1:51 AM on December 18, 2001


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