Wasn't the UN created to promote peace and human rights?
"...the United Nations was established...to promote peace. [But] It consists of a welter of sovereign states whose ambassadors use the devious language of peace as a fig-leaf for national self-aggrandizement. How any human organization can promote genuine peace or prevent war when egoism is the basic motive of mankind [strikes me] as ludicrous".
- Prof. Paul Eidelberg is the Co-founder and President of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy in the Middle East -
Even though the UN has clearly failed in most conflict situations to promote peace and security -- its primary function -- at one task it is really unmatched. It excels at legitimizing or delegitimizing targets chosen for political reason by a coalition of dictators who dominate the world body and whose tainted authority the UN launders.
- Dr. Harris O. Schoenberg , President of the Center for UN Reform Education, author of A Mandate for Terror -
Arab slave trade continues. U.N. condemns Israel. World thirsty for Oil.
Nur Muhammad al-Hasan emerges from the Sudanese bush. His loose, once-bright white jalabiya flutters as he strides towards me. I in turn step through the long, dry grass towards him, stooping slightly as I walk under the weight of a U.S. army kit bag full of grimy Sudanese bank notes. It is April 1999 and the midday sun is oppressive. Nur and I greet each other with a handshake and "Salam 'alaykum." We slip under the shade of an enormous mango tree where we have some important business to discuss: The liberation of slaves, mainly women and children.
Our enterprise is not to everyone's liking. Last spring, Sudan's government, the radical Islamist regime of the National Islamic Front (NIF) headed by Hasan at-Turabi and Gen. 'Umar al-Bashir, protested to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights about our work. The regime claims that my organization, Christian Solidarity International (CSI), is the main source of the abduction and kidnapping of children in southern Sudan. In April, the Khartoum regime also initiated proceedings to deny CSI its consultative status at the United Nations (U.N.), alleging that we act contrary to the purposes and principles of the U.N. charter.
About the same time, the world's richest and most influential child welfare organization, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), ended its long silence on the enslavement of Sudanese woman and children. Instead of condemning the slavers, UNICEF-whose mandate requires it to work in partnership with the government of Sudan-echoed Khartoum by calling our liberation of slaves "absolutely intolerable," and by accusing us of violating the Slavery Convention. Others, with agendas of their own, perhaps working with the Sudanese regime or trying to salvage their own tarnished reputations, have spread rumors of fraud about these activities.
Then in late October, the U.N. Economic and Social Council voted by a tally of 26 to 14 (with 12 abstentions) to withdraw our consultative status, thus effectively excluding CSI from the U.N. system. Yet if anything is "absolutely intolerable," it is that the international community has allowed slavery and other crimes against humanity to be institutionalized by a member state of the United Nations.
All of this campaigning has had some effect, making the "out of sight, out of mind" attitude less tenable. In February 1999, soon after Dan Rather of CBS News highlighted the plight of Sudanese slaves and CSI's role in freeing them, UNICEF broke its silence and admitted: "Slavery in Sudan exists." Even as it said this, however, UNICEF appeased the Khartoum regime by condemning the redemption of slaves as "absolutely intolerable."
...UNICEF's executive director Carol Bellamy made a series of widely publicized press statements attacking CSI's antislavery campaign, claiming that Dinka efforts to retrieve their enslaved women and children contravenes the Slavery Convention and is not in their own best interests.
...The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, has also kept mum on the issue, despite her own staff and independent U.N. special rapporteurs confirming the existence of slavery in Sudan and the government's key role in abetting the slave trade-in particular, the reports submitted by the former Special Rapporteur on Sudan Gaspar Biro and his successor Leonardo Franco. The 1999 Sudan Resolution of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights failed even to mention the word "slavery." The U.N. secretary-general, Kofi Annan, has also never publicly condemned the revival of slavery in Sudan.
And the U.S. government? It too is reluctant. In 1999, for the first time in six years, Washington declined to serve as the main sponsor of the Commission on Human Rights' Sudan resolution, leaving this responsibility to the lukewarm European Union; and the Clinton administration assented to the commission's "slavery-free" resolution. Why the change? Because in return, the Sudanese were prepared not to press hard for a condemnation of the United States for the rocket attack on Khartoum's Ash-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in August 1998. However, with an eye on the abolitionist movement at home, the State Department tried to maintain the moral high ground by condemning the (U.S.-supported) Sudan resolution as "deeply flawed" for failing to "confront fully the practice of slavery." This did not convince; just four days later, the Clinton administration announced a weakening of sanctions on Sudan (by allowing the sale of agricultural goods and pharmaceuticals).
...The sad truth must be acknowledged: Sudanese slaves and other victims of the NIF's genocidal jihad count for little in a world preoccupied with other matters. Millions of lives have been lost and disrupted while the world has largely turned a blind eye toward gross violations of human rights in Sudan.
Whatever may be the future of the international abolitionist movement, the Dinkas are right not to wait for help from the U.N. or any state but to find their own ways to liberate their people from bondage. Still, they can count on my colleagues and me, as well as a growing number of abolitionists for support until the last slave is free.
- John Eibner, historian and human rights specialist, assistant to the international president of Christian Solidarity International. He has led over twenty fact-finding visits to Sudan and neighboring countries and has pioneered CSI's antislavery program. Source: The Middle East Quarterly -
Has the UN displayed a double standard against Israel?
Since Israel is the only nation in the world that is denied the right to hold a seat on the U.N. Security Council on a rotating basis, the Jewish State is uniquely reliant upon the influence -- and, if necessary, the veto -- of the United States to prevent its security and vital equities from being compromised by that body.
- Center for Security Policy, Washington, D.C, 17 March 1994
...Meanwhile, Israel, in deference to World Opinion, is using rubber bullets to hold back the mob. In Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya or Sudan the mob would have been shot to pieces; the riots ended; and the World would have kept its collective mouth shut. The World, what a disgusting gaggle of hypocritical corrupt nations who kill when it suits them. Now, like maggots feeding on a corpse, they congregate in the United Nations, caressing each other in a pit that can only be described as the Sodom of New York. Even as 500,000 Africans are butchered without a single conference of the General Assembly, these sluggards found the time to convene at least three General Assemblies just to castigate Israel for building houses on land that the Jews own and which is part of their capital Jerusalem.
- Emanuel A. Winston - Middle East Analyst & Commentator -
Fifty years ago enlightened mankind through UN resolution 181 grudgingly agreed to allow the re-creation of the Jewish State. The dream came true, the Jews were again to become free people in a free country. Blinded by the happiness, they did not notice that the UN was already regretting its move. During the first cease-fire, after the Arab attack on the newborn Jewish state, UN mediator Count Bernadotte, on June 27, 1948, in the suggestion to resolve the crisis omitted all reference to resolution 181. As one of the Hebrew newspapers wrote at that time, he was planing to squeeze Israel into boundaries "the size of a coffin" (Avi Shlaim, The Politics of Partition). His proposal was reminiscent of what the Peel Commission had recommended in 1937, when it "generously" allocated 4% of Mandated Palestine for the re-establishment of the Jewish state.
Efforts to delegitimize Israel have also been part of the record of the specialized agencies, especially UNESCO, the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. In the 1970s, the Arabs in UNESCO raised questions about archaeological excavations in Jerusalem. Director-General A.M. M'Bow sent a specialist, Belgian Professor Raymond Le Maire, to investigate. Le Maire found the digs were carried out in accord with established international standards. Muslim holy places were protected, and archaeological relics from all periods of antiquity were preserved. Le Maire's report was suppressed by M'Bow, and UNESCO voted sanctions against Israel and refused to admit it to a regional group.
Similar to experiences in UNESCO have been developments in WHO, the World Health Organization. A positive report by an expert, Dr. A. Bellerive, on health conditions in the Israeli-held territories was rejected by the WHO Assembly in 1973, and a "special committee" was created to replace him. The following year Israel was condemned for refusing to admit the biased special committee. By 1976 Ambassador William Scranton declared that "the absence of balance, the lack of perspective and the introduction by the WHO of political issues irrelevant to the responsibilities of the WHO do no credit to the United Nations. Indeed, this is precisely the sort of politicized action which decreases respect for the United Nations system." Twenty years have passed, there is a new Director- General, and the only population in the whole world whose health conditions were debated this May at the annual WHO Assembly was the Palestinian Arabs.
...In April 1983 the PLO claimed that Israel had undertaken a campaign of genocide against the Palestinian Arabs. Complaints submitted at the same time by Arab states accused Israel of responsibility for "mass poisoning" based on an outbreak of headaches, dizziness, and nausea, particularly among Arab school girls on the West Bank. Although the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United States Centers for Disease Control both confirmed the findings of Israeli doctors that there was no mass poisoning, the Security Council demanded an inquiry and the Assembly of the World Health Organization condemned Israel in connection with the "mass poisonings." In a totally unprecedented move, it called for direct WHO control over health programs in the Israel held territories.
- Dr. Harris O. Schoenberg , President of the Center for UN Reform Education, author of A Mandate for Terror -
"This international masquerade, if we look closely, marks a definite decline into earlier, barbarous standards. Playing up the problems of Israel helps to distract attention from the excesses of savage dictatorial regimes".
- Jacques Givet, in The Anti-Zionist Complex -
In short, "anti-Israeli" sentiment at the UN is often a surrogate for two other predilections: anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism.
- John R. Bolton, Senior Vice President, American Enterprise Institute, July 14, 1999 -
[the UN's PLO observer] "can almost always get the majority to support ... [his] accusations, justified or not."
- Jane Rosen, Manchester Guardian correspondent, in the The New York Times Magazine, September 16, 1984
"It is the tool of those who would make Israel the archetypal human rights violator in the world today. It is a breeding ground for anti-Semitism. It is a sanctuary for moral relativists. In short, it is a scandal."
- Professor Anne Bayefsky of York University, Canada, writing of the UN Human Rights system -
Does UN resolution 242 require Israel to withdraw its forces back to the June 4, 1967 lines?
That Resolution, the bedrock legal reference contained in the 1993 Declaration of Principles, is said by the Palestinians to require Israel to leave the entire West Bank. Palestinian commentator Gassan Khatib, for example, said in a July 11 segment of ABC's Nightline "for the Palestinians, we're talking about implementing Security Council Resolution 242, which calls for ending the illegal occupation of Israel over the Palestinian occupied territories."
Is Israel legally compelled to exit from all the land it has controlled since the conclusion of a war that was launched to destroy it? The language of 242 was hammered out with great precision to take account of Israel's vulnerable pre-1967 borders and to avert future aggression. Britain's UN ambassador in 1967, Lord Caradon, an author of the Resolution, argued that: "It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial."
The American UN ambassador at the time, former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, said 242 omitted reference to Israel's withdrawing from "the" or "all" territories in order to enable "less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territory, inasmuch as Israel's prior frontiers had proved to be notably insecure."
- from EYE ON THE MEDIA: Stumbling on Resolution 242, by Andrea Levin -
"The former British Ambassador to the UN, Lord Caradon [the chief-author of 242], tabled a polished draft resolution in the Security Council and steadfastly resisted all suggestions for change...Kuznetsov of the USSR asked Caradon to specify 'all' before the word ' territories' and to drop the word 'recognized.' When Caradon refused, the USSR tabled its own draft resolution [calling for a withdrawal to the 1967 Lines] but it was not a viable alternative to the UK text...Members [of the UN Security Council] voted and adopted the [UK drafted] resolution unanimously..."
- from UN Security Council Resolution 242, The Washington Institute For Near East Policy, 1993, pp 27-28 -
Arthur J. Goldberg, an author of U.N. Resolution 242, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1965-1967):
"It calls for respect and acknowledgment of the sovereignty of every state in the area. Since Israel never denied the sovereignty of its neighbouring countries, this language obviously requires those countries to acknowledge Israel's sovereignty."
"The notable omissions in regard to withdrawal are the word 'the' or 'all' and 'the June 5, 1967 lines' the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories, without defining the extent of withdrawal....There is lacking a declaration requiring Israel to withdraw from all of the territories occupied by it on, and after, June 5, 1967... On certain aspects, the Resolution is less ambiguous than its withdrawal language. Resolution 242 specifically calls for termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty of every State in the area. The Resolution also specifically endorses free passage through international waterways...The efforts of the Arab States, strongly supported by the USSR, for a condemnation of Israel as the aggressor and for its withdrawal to the June 5, 1967 lines, failed to command the requisite support..."
- Columbia Journal of International Law, Vol 12 no 2, 1973 -
"The Meaning of 242" - June 10, 1977
Lord Caradon, an author of U.N. Resolution 242, U.K. Ambassador to the United Nations (1964-1970):
"We didn't say there should be a withdrawal to the '67 line; we did not put the 'the' in, we did not say all the territories, deliberately.. We all knew - that the boundaries of '67 were not drawn as permanent frontiers, they were a cease-fire line of a couple of decades earlier... We did not say that the '67 boundaries must be forever."
MacNeil/Lehrer Report - March 30, 1978
Prof. Eugene V. Rostow, an author of U.N. Resolution 242, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (1966-1969):
"Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338... rest on two principles, Israel may administer the territory until its Arab neighbors make peace; and when peace is made, Israel should withdraw to 'secure and recognized borders', which need not be the same as the Armistice Demarcation Lines of 1949." > "The Truth About 242" - November 5, 1990
"UN SC 242 calls on Israel to withdraw only from territories occupied in the course of the Six Day War - that is, not from 'all' the territories or even from 'the' territories...Ingeniously drafted resolutions calling for withdrawal from 'all' the territory were defeated in the Security Council and the General Assembly one after another. Speaker after speaker made it explicit that Israel was not to be forced back to the 'fragile and vulnerable' [1949/1967] Armistice Demarcation Lines..."
- UNSC Resolution 242, 1993, p. 17 [The USSR and the Arabs supported a draft demanding a withdrawal to the 1967 Lines. The US, Canada and most of West Europe and Latin America supported the draft, which was eventually approved by the UN Security Council. - the American Society of International Law, 1970] -
"...The Egyptian model fits neither the Jordanian nor the Syrian case...Former Secretary of Defense McNamara has said that if he were the Israel's Minister of Defense, he would never agree to giving up the Golan Heights...UNSC 242 authorizes the parties to make whatever territorial changes the situation requires - it does not require the Israelis to transfer to the Arabs all, most, or indeed any of the occupied territories. The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty awards [to the Arabs] more than 90 percent of the territory Israel captured in the Six Day War... permits a transfer [of all the territories] if the parties accept it, but it does not require it..."
- UNSC Resolution 242, 1993, pp 18-19, notes that the evacuation of the Sinai does not imply a requirement to do the same in former Syrian or Jordanian occupied territory. -
Lyndon B. Johnson, U.S. President (1963-1968):
"We are not the ones to say where other nations should draw lines between them that will assure each the greatest security. It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of June 4, 1967 will not bring peace." September 10, 1968
U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 - A set of guidelines for Peace & Security:
What does it say?
* "Termination of all claims or states of belligerency "
* "respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political
independence of every State in the area "
* "[every State's] right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats
or acts of force."
* "Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories in the recent conflict."
What does it mean?
* The Arab states must end the state of war initiated and maintained by them since 1948.
* The Arab states must recognize Israel's right to exist.
* Israel is entitled to clearly defensible borders. This is not a privilege, but rather a right
guaranteed by international law.
* Israel should withdraw from some, not all, of the territories captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.
* Israel's indefensible pre-1967 borders provided no security.
* The Arab states should sit down with Israel, without preconditions, to negotiate peace.
- Canadian Friends, International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem -
What are the obligations of the Arabs under UN resolution 242? What about the Palestinian Arabs in particular?
A nearly forgotten article of UN Resolution 242 requires of the Arabs, "termination of all claims and states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."
The Palestinians were not recognized as a "State in the area" by Resolution 242, but if they aspire to that status, it is incumbent upon their leadership to assume the same obligations toward Israel that every Arab country has. And since obligations are generally honored in the breech, an appropriate role for the United States would be to insist that the Arab states, and the Palestinian leadership, change both their behavior and their propaganda as a prerequisite to changes to the borders of Israel.
- Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, March 20, 2000 -
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