Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bolton Bolts Anne Bayefsky

It was his success in defense of American and democratic interests that doomed him.

The only winners from the resignation of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton are the foes of the United States. Ambassador Bolton did a courageous job communicating and protecting American values in the belly of a beast where those values are at risk each and every day. His commitment to real and effective reform was unshakable. His honesty, integrity, and hard work produced substantial results on a multiplicity of levels in only 18 months on the job. He spearheaded the adoption of a first legally binding Security Council resolution sanctioning North Korea for its nuclear-weapons program; passage of a first ever Security Council resolution addressing the Iranian nuclear program; consensus-building among democratic states that resulted in 50 donor countries, responsible for 88 percent of the U.N. regular budget, taking a common position on management reform.

Furthermore, he: had the foresight to refuse to lend credibility to the U.N. Human Rights Council, which as he predicted, has become a mockery of reform undeserving of American support; raised the profile of the genocide in Darfur and insisted on Security Council action; led the campaign against corruption at the U.N. secretariat, including the reduction of the gift ceiling for United Nations officials from $10,000 to $200; defended a free and democratic government of Israel from the relentless onslaught of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic attacks launched across the U.N. system.

Ultimately, it was his success in defense of American and democratic interests that doomed him. No one was more vociferous in campaigning against his nomination than the defenders of the status quo — Secretary General Kofi Annan, his deputy Mark Malloch-Brown, and their financial backers, George Soros and Ted Turner’s U.N. Foundation. One can be sure they will have broken out the champagne, along with the Russians, Chinese, Sudanese, and the remainder of the Organization of the Islamic Conference — all those who have a vested interest in ensuring a neverending cycle of U.S. money in, support for terrorism and nuclear proliferation out. The reverberations of the departure of John Bolton will be felt for a long time to come.

On the history of the UN's anti-Israel slant:

General Assembly Ignored Sudan, But Condemned Israel 19 Times

The countless anti-Israel resolutions and related debates consume an astonishing proportion of the UN community's precious resources. In 2004-2005, during the 59th Session of the General Assembly, the time spent by ambassadors on enacting the nineteenth anti-Israel resolution of the year was time not spent on passing a single resolution on Sudan's genocide in Darfur. Diplomats at foreign ministries or UN missions have a limited amount of time to devote to any particular UN session. Because every proposed UN resolution is subjected to intensive review by various levels and branches of government, a direct result of the anti-Israel texts is a crippling of the UN's ability to tackle the world's ills.

UN bias against Israel is overt in bodies such as the General Assembly, which each year passes some nineteen resolutions against Israel and none against most other member states, including the world's most repressive regimes. The World Health Organization, meeting at its annual assembly in Geneva in 2005, passed but one resolution against a specific country: Israel was charged with violating Palestinian rights to health. Similarly, the International Labour Organization, at its annual 2005 conference in Geneva, carried only one major country-specific report on its annual agenda -- a lengthy document charging Israel with violating the rights of Palestinian workers.

In the summer of 2004, the UN's International Court of Justice at The Hague issued an advisory opinion that followed the script of a political campaign orchestrated by the PLO representative at the UN, Nasser al-Kidwa. The busiest corridor of the Palais des Nations, the European headquarters of the UN in Geneva, displays no less than ten larger-than-life panels devoted to the Palestinian cause. The clear message, that the Palestinians are the world's greatest human rights victim; the clear implication, that Israel is the world's greatest human rights abuser.

There are three special UN entities dedicated to the Palestinian cause. The oldest is the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, created in 1968. In 1975, the General Assembly added the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Supporting its work is the Division for Palestinian Rights. Lodged within the UN Secretariat, the Division boasts a sixteen-member staff and a budget of millions, which it devotes to the constant promotion of anti-Israel propaganda throughout the world.

Although Secretary-General Kofi Annan has made important pronouncements against anti-Semitism, and even -- before a Jerusalem audience -- against some aspects of the UN's anti-Israel bias, his regular statements on the Arab-Israeli conflict are disproportionately critical of Israel. Senior aide Lakhdar Brahimi publicly described Israel as a country whose policy constitutes "the great poison in the region."

Time to Take Action to End Bias and Injustice at the UN

The anti-Israel apparatus within the UN, therefore, is of considerable magnitude, and cripples the functioning of the organization. The overt bias practiced against one state undermines the UN's credibility and integrity. Anyone who truly cares about the UN must take action to end this gross injustice and criminal distraction from world pandemics such as disease and poverty. Given the current period of UN reform, now is the time. Many more UN officials, member states, NGOs, and others need to speak out and actively oppose this longstanding inequality.


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