Ghosts and goblins at the United Nations

Posted: Oct 28, 2004 12:00 AM

October is the scariest month. Ghosts, goblins and creepy creatures come out of the closet. Tricksters threaten to do bad things if no tribute is paid. But Halloween is low on the Fright-O-Meter compared to United Nations Day. That was last Sunday, and we survived again.

The kids only want candy. The United Nations wears no disguises and continues to pick on the country it most loves to hate. Coinciding with celebrations of the U.N.'s 59th anniversary, John Dugard, a United Nations human rights officer, published a report scolding Israel for its defenses against terrorism. "Israel's defiance of international law poses a threat not only to the international legal order, but to the international order itself," he wrote. "This is no time for appeasement on the part of the international community."

In the age of terrorism in which we all live, when suicide bombers are tearing into Israelis, Iraqis, Afghanis, Americans, Brits, Spaniards, Poles, Italians and Aussies, the United Nations continues its lopsided campaign against the only country in the Middle East where democracy thrives.

Israeli officials and Jewish organizations immediately demanded that Kofi Annan dismiss the author of the report. Fat chance. The United Nations bureaucracy took refuge behind the fact that Dugard was appointed by the United Nations human rights commissioner partaking of the sweet life in Geneva, and not by Mr. Annan.

When John Kerry proposes to submit American national security interests to a "global test," in hopes of drawing a wider range of allies, you can be sure the security interests of Israel is not on his mind. He sometimes sounds somewhat like George W. when he talks about Israel, but it's clear to anyone who follows his flip-flops abandoning Israel would be an easy price to pay to these new "allies." The Israel card is the first card the modern Democrats want to play.

Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York, who was only yesterday a diehard Democrat, supports George W. this time because he thinks Kerry would be utterly unable to stand up to the "Deaniatic" wing of his party. The war against terror requires a strong defense of Israel and he thinks neither the Democratic Party nor Kerry have "the stomach to fight - as long as it takes" against international terrorism.

Thomas Friedman in the New York Times writes that many Arabs and Muslims identify their enemy as a composite "JIA" - Jew, Israeli and American. The Germans and the French, with large and intimidating Muslim populations, acknowledge rising anti-Semitic violence in their countries. This violence is not altogether Islamic, but Muslims in both countries are behind most of the thuggery.

Kerry pays the proper lip service to Israel's fight against the terrorists, but his support is not something the Jews can count on. He has both attacked and supported the Israeli security fence that has dramatically cut back Palestinian terrorism.

"The Israelis know more about terrorism than anyone else because they have suffered more from it than anyone else," he said recently, "which is one reason we must always stand by their side." But the United Nations General Assembly, where he says he can find new objects of affection all sublime, condemned the fence as illegal with a vote of 150 to 6.

In our own country, anti-Semitism has expanded with the expansion of Middle Eastern politics on our college campuses. The campus of Columbia University is buzzing about a new underground documentary film that identifies anti-Semitism on the Columbia campus. In one scene, a professor of Arab politics sneers at an Israeli student who had recently served in the Israeli Air Force: "How many Palestinians have you killed?"

Duke University hosted a Palestine Solidarity Movement conference where students refused to condemn violence against innocent Israeli civilians, and chanted "divest from apartheid Israel." In the wake of the conference, the editors of the Chronicle, a student newspaper, printed a column by a Duke senior decrying Jewish "privilege" - asserting that Jews are "over represented" on American campuses. Only the na? believe that anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism are not connected.

George W. Bush is regarded here and abroad as the best friend in the White House that Israel has ever had. It's usually not meant as a compliment.

But the election is about America, not Israel, and it's na? to think that the war against terror in the Middle East requires anything less than a tough and irresolute defense of Israel. Discouraging and dismantling terrorist groups against Israel means diminishing terrorist groups against America. We have a responsibility to elect the best man who can do that.