UN Security Council credibility eroded by its refusal to restrain Israel

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The UN Security Council is often frustrated in its attempts to respond effectively to Israel’s continued atrocities against the Palestinian people. When the US is not vetoing, and thereby blocking attempts by the Security Council to hold Israel accountable for its repeated crimes against humanity in Palestine, the Palestinians themselves, and other Arab and Muslim states have held up the process due to failures to agree upon specific language, and due to other seemingly unimportant issues. In comparison to the probable benefits resulting from any successful attempt to restrain Israel’s violence through a legal process, including saving lives, such things as getting permission from the PA first shouldn’t matter, yet it has. As a result of all of the reasons mentioned above, the UN Security Council has failed to do anything of substance to stop, once and for all, and to prevent the violent ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Even though the Security Council may not be solely to blame for this failure, it is clear that it is another victim of the conflict, and not its member states. The UN Security Council is loosing credibility due to its seeming impotence in the face of the growing threat that Israel represents to regional peace and stability. This loss of credibility will result in a loss of Security Council stature in the eyes of the people of the world, and this loss of Security Council stature will create a vacuum in power that will increasingly be filled by non-state actors.

Fear of a popular outcry due to the failure of international institutions to deal effectively with Israel is perhaps part of what motivates Hosni Mubarak’s more severe crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt now taking place, and also increased efforts to control information, and to put political pressure on opposition groups in the region generally. Such attempts to forestall an inevitable backlash of anger and discontent will without doubt fail to curtail or to abate a popular response to Israel’s ethnic cleansing, and genocide in Palestine. Too much time has been allowed to elapse that was filled with blatant violations of human rights and international laws. During this elapse of time, frustration among common people have reached levels that are capable of causing public outbursts among people who are not part of organized campaigns, and who are not activists.

Along with Israel’s crimes against humanity and its other war crimes in Palestine, Israel has repeatedly thumbed its nose at the international community, the UN and also at the Security Council. When Israel uses its influence over the US government to stall or prevent Security Council action, the US and Israel both loose status and credibility, but not to the extent that the Security Council does. It will continue to loose its credibility and stature if it cannot regain its voice, its conscience, its moral bearing and function as a protector and enforcer of international law, particularly in respect to the smaller countries, and people like the Palestinians who have been rendered dependent in a very detrimental way upon the UN. Palestine has no army; it has no healthcare system, and no economy, all thanks to Israel who refuses to fulfill its Geneva Convention mandated responsibilities to those people whose land it has militarily, and illegally occupied. While the Security Council stalks Iran, and a mythical nuclear weapons program, the Palestinian people are living in a very real concentration camp, and they are being exterminated by Israel in a very real way, while the UN does nothing. Even members of Israel’s government and military leadership shamelessly refer to their project in Gaza as a Holocaust.

It is unbelievable, and tragic that a person can go to prison in Europe for denying the Holocaust against the Jews in Germany, while the UN Security Council can’t even get a resolution passed, condemning and calling for an end to an ongoing Holocaust being carried out in Palestine, distinguished by the Israelis who have termed the genocide in Palestine, the second Holocaust, or Holocaust number 2.

Continued international hypocrisy, and Security Council helplessness in respect to the ongoing tragedy in Palestine will only exacerbate growing popular discontent, which will likely lead to larger and more aggressive demonstrations of public support for Palestine, along with increasing anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiment. Such demonstrations may be what it will take to drive home the point that the people of the world will not tolerate a Holocaust number 2 in Palestine, and neither will Muslims tolerate an Apartheid state in the Muslim world. The required role of the UN Security Council has much greater significance than either Israel or the US seems to understand. As the US and Israel act in concert to weaken the UN Security Council, which is a symbol of international authority and justice, rendering it ineffectual except against their selected foes, they simultaneously strengthen the legitimate authority of the people to take the steps necessary to end the occupation themselves, to free Palestine, and to save the Palestinian people.

The United Nations and its various agencies must regain their independence if they are to play their mandated roles as peacemakers, peacekeepers, and the great equalizers of the world’s people through the pursuit of justice, and enforcement of international law. If they cannot, we have every reason to expect that the void created by their institutional failure, will be filled by the stronger voices and activism of the world’s people, who should not be expected to stand idle as the Palestinian, or any people are eliminated from the earth simply because they are not Jewish, and an inconvenience to the US and Israel.

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The writer is the Founder and President of the National Association of Muslim American Women. The author is also head of the International Assoc. for Muslim Women and Children, an accredited NGO with the UN Division on the Rights of the Palestinians. She is a regular contributor to Media Monitors Network (MMN).

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