For many years, the Left in Israel and throughout the world has upheld the so-called “international community” as the arbiter of all things. From Israel’s right to exist to climate change, from American world leadership to genetically modified crops, the Left has maintained that the “international community” is the only body qualified to judge the truth, lawfulness, goodness and justice of all things.
Most of those who uphold this view see the United Nations as the embodiment of the “international community.”
US President Barack Obama has repeatedly made clear that his chief litmus test for the viability or desirability of a foreign policy is the support it garners in UN institutions.
Obama is so averse to acting against the will of the UN that he is trying to strong-arm Israel into making suicidal concessions to the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Authority. Obama claims that if Israel agrees to accept indefensible borders, then he will be able to convince the Palestinians not to ask the UN to endorse Palestinian sovereignty in September. Since the success of the Palestinian initiative is entirely dependent on the US Security Council veto, by acting as he is, Obama is showing that he prefers sacrificing Israel’s future viability as a nation-state to standing up to the “will of the international community” as embodied by the UN.
Furthermore, in a bid to maintain faith with the UN Security Council resolution permitting the use of force in Libya to protect civilians, Obama has refused to articulate a clear goal for the US military involvement in Libya. The fact that the Security Council resolution essentially dooms NATO’s military intervention to strategic incoherence stalemate that can lead to the break-up of Libya is unimportant to the US president.
The only thing that is important is that the US abides by the limitations dictated by the UN Security Council resolution.
As to Libya, Obama’s decision to send US forces to Libya without congressional permission makes clear that from his perspective, the UN Security Council, rather than the US Congress, is the source of authority for US military action. To the extent that Congress calls for the president to act in a manner that is contrary to the UN Security Council, as far as Obama is concerned, it is the duty of the president to disregard Congress and obey the Security Council.
Given the totemic stature of the UN in the minds of the American president and the international Left, it is worth considering its nature.
A glance at UN affairs in recent days is revealing.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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