On July 26, the UN Security Council held its 6590th meeting and sat in day-long debate about the viability of a two-state solution, as delegates considered the Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood and UN membership, scheduled to be presented by PA President Mahmood Abbas on September 20th. On August 25th the Security Council devoted much of its 6602nd meeting to the same issues. At both meetings Israel was blamed for the PA’s failures in state building, and “settler violence” was condemned as the cause of tensions between Israel and the West Bank Arabs. Various UN delegates stressed the need for Israel to “roll back” its activities of occupation, and castigated Israel for its actions against Arabs in Sinai and the Gaza Strip without acknowledging the lethal terror attacks that prompted Israel’s retaliation.
If the PA succeeds in mustering adequate support in the already very “Palestine-friendly” UN for a resolution recognizing “Palestine” as a sovereign state and as the 194th member state in the UN, it will then be in a position to ask for the UN’s help in pressuring Israel, with a UN “peace keeping force” if necessary, to abandon its West Bank communities and make the 1949 armistice lines the official border between Israel and a Judenrein “Palestine.” Then Ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv, Netanya and about 50% of Israel’s population will be in easy rocket range.
The above is a frightening scenario, however, there is an even more terrifying threat looming on the post-September 20th horizon. The UN, controlled in part by the Arab bloc, could call upon NATO to fulfill its “responsibility to protect” (R2P) on behalf of the Palestinian civilians endangered or attacked by Israel as Israel defends itself against the violence that some analysts fear will accompany the UN resolution for a Palestinian state.
“Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) was born from the ashes of the Rwandan genocide. Slow to catch on at the UN, where all too many oppressive tyrannical dictators may in the future need extreme measures in order to secure their thrones, R2P was enshrined as official UN doctrine only at the 2005 World Summit where UN members agreed to “…clear and unambiguous acceptance by all governments of the collective international responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Willingness to take timely and decisive collective action for this purpose, through the Security Council, when peaceful means prove inadequate and national authorities are manifestly failing to do it.” It calls primarily for non-violent measures, but R2P options include the use of force to compel a nation that is perpetrating crimes against civilians to submit to UN demands.
The R2P doctrine, including use of force, was almost invoked during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in 2008-9. As the world’s nations, or at least their representatives in the UN, chose to believe Hamas and Human Rights Watch as they accused Israel of unwarranted attacks on civilians, massive civilian casualties and a looming humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and others opined that the R2P doctrine was justified to save the Gaza civilians from Israel’s depredations. Happily, no action was taken.
In Libya R2P prevailed, but with much debate and disagreement. Many countries opposed this action out of fear that it violates the concept of sovereignty; and their opposition has been strengthened by the NATO actions against Libya, where protection of civilians seems to have suddenly taken a back seat to deposing or killing Gaddafi. Moreover, the unexplainable selectivity of its application only in Libya, ignoring other humanitarian crises in a world awash with dictators who use mass murder and torture to secure their rule, further heightens the concerns of some at the UN. Why, they ask, has not Syria come under the threat of R2P actions? If the UN were taking R2P seriously, it would have many months ago initiated non-military sanctions against Syria, or against China’s actions in Tibet, just to name a few. Based on this highly selective application, one must conclude that R2P is brandished only when it is politically expedient for the major players at the UN to do so.
That apparent political expedience is what concerns some regarding Israel and the specter of Palestinian aspirations to UN-blessed unilateral statehood.
The strongest champions of the R2P doctrine in the USA are Zbigniew Brzezinski, Samantha Power, and George Soros. Brzezinski has advocated the U.S. downing of Israeli warplanes if Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear installations without Washington’s approval. Power has proposed using U.S. and United Nations troops to impose an R2P solution on Israel to protect Palestinians. Soros is believed by some to have exercised decisive influence on Obama’s decision to support the NATO intervention in Libya. No friends of Israel, this troika have worked in partnership in the past to advance anti-Israel actions.
Given the UN’s propensity to condemn Israel for building housing projects and defending its civilians against terrorist attacks, Obama’s anti-Israel three-some could again influence him to support a UN resolution declaring that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians justifies R2P intervention. Arab propaganda cries of _genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity,_ amplified in an all-too-Arab-friendly mainstream media, would provide all the buzzwords needed to have R2P’s supporters swing into action on behalf of the beleaguered “Palestinians,” with Libya as a precedent to beatify what would be, in essence, a monstrous genocidal conspiracy against Israel.
Once the UN has recognized “Palestine” and accepted it as the 194th member of the family of nations, Israel could find itself at war with the UN and NATO.
It is not likely that other forceful voices in the UN such as China, Russia or the Arab League would object to an R2P intervention on behalf of the Palestinians. Can Israel count on Obama to veto the PA ploy for UN recognition in the Security Council? Can Israel count on Obama to veto a UN attempt to activate R2P against Israel?
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