Cliff May

Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen are in turmoil. In Libya, Colonel Moammar Gadhafi is using mercenaries to slaughter peaceful protestors. Hezbollah is staging a slow-motion coup in Lebanon. Iran’s rulers are executing dissidents daily, developing nuclear weapons and sending warships through Suez. The response of the United Nations to these many threats to global peace and security? Condemn Israel! Is there anything else the UN does as often or as well?

Here’s how it went down this time: At the urging of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, temporary Security Council member Lebanon – a nation, as noted, increasingly ruled by Hezbollah, the Iranian-funded terrorist group that in 1983 murdered 241 American servicemen in Beirut – sponsored a resolution condemning Israel for constructing “illegal settlements.”

In other words, the issue that the UN considers most critical in the world at this hinge moment in history is that Israelis have been building homes on land the Palestinians want – and might be able to have if they were prepared to negotiate a peace treaty with Israelis.

On Thursday, 110 members of Congress sent a letter to the Obama administration asking that it veto this latest attempt to delegitimize Israel, a democratic ally that has taken serious steps “to bring peace to the region.” Those steps included a ten-month moratorium on new housing in the West Bank which Israelis hoped would bring Palestinians back to the negotiating table. But why should Palestinians negotiate if they can get the UN to force Israel to make concessions in exchange for nothing?

In the end and to its credit, the Obama administration did veto the resolution. But U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice did not even attempt to suggest how hypocritical, counterproductive and just plain deranged it is for the UN to ignore the crimes being committed by Islamist terrorists and Arab despots while demanding that Israelis surrender territory -- taken in a defensive war -- to those who remain committed to their extermination.

Instead, Rice meekly conceded that the U.S. agrees "about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity," adding that the resolution was nevertheless “unwise."

A more honest and courageous US ambassador to the UN – John Bolton, Jeane Kirkpatrick and Daniel Moynihan spring to mind – would have stated clearly that this resolution is a shameful attempt to deflect attention from real crises while enhancing Abbas’ position within the Arab and Muslim worlds. He can take America’s money and spit in America’s eye? What a guy!


Cliff May

Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.