• 1344
  • More

Can the UN Really Do Anything?

April 9—The application by the Palestinian Authority (PA) for full membership status in the United Nations was referred yesterday by the UN Security Council to its membership committee for action. A decision is expected within the month, and if favorable, it would then be referred back to the Council, which could approve or deny the request. If approved, the request would then go to the General Assembly, where the PA’s UN envoy Riyad Mansour, said yesterday that the votes are there for approval.

This is only the second time that the application has made it out of the Security Council to the 15 member membership committee. The last time, in 2011, the application failed in the standing committee, when the U.S. threatened a veto if it came back to the Council for a vote. Sources report that this time the Biden White House might let the application go through, especially if the Israelis continue their slaughter in Gaza with a murderous attack on Rafah. The White House, and its chief diplomat, Director of Central Intelligence William Burns, is engaged in an intense effort to secure a long-term ceasefire in Gaza and the release of the remaining Israelis held hostage by Hamas.

While full membership for Palestine will give a boost to supporters of a Two State Solution with Israel, it is unclear whether it will have any real effect in the current situation. At the UN, Palestine is represented by the PA, but it is unclear what exactly constitutes “Palestine.” It is a nation without any agreed upon borders or even territory. And it is unclear what and who, exactly, the PA speaks for.

While Gaza would obviously be a part of any Palestinian state, the PA currently has no authority there, where the ruling body is the terrorist organization Hamas, which the Israeli government of the bloodthirsty tyrant Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to annihilate and whose Oct.7 attack on Israel which murdered more than 1,200 mostly Israeli civilians, among others, and led to the taking of 250 hostages, gave Bibi the pretext for his war to make Gaza a hell, uninhabitable by its population.

Some so-called experts say that full membership status will protect Gaza and other Palestinian territory occupied by Israel from further, ultimate destruction.

That might be the case, but only if the UN is willing to take decisive action now to halt the genocide, especially if the ongoing ceasefire negotiations fail to yield results. On April 7, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) withdrew the bulk of its ground forces from southern Gaza, but sources say that as long as Netanyahu ultimately controls their actions, they will be ordered back in whatever numbers are needed for the final assault on Rafah, the last standing Gazan city, where Netanyahu maintains the last two fighting units of Hamas are holed up among its more than 1.5 million inhabitants.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has repeatedly cited Israel for its commission of genocide against the Palestinians, doing so again this last weekend, and has called for a ceasefire and a vast expansion of aid to the starving and dying Gazans, which Israel continues to slow or block. But it is now more than two weeks since the Security Council adopted Resolution 2728 demanding an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, and an end to the Israeli blockade of aid.

While there is a silly debate going on over whether the Resolution is binding or not, the fact is that the war-making party Israel, has declared that it is not, backed at least verbally, by the United States and Biden Administration spokesmen. All Security Council resolutions are binding, under the UN Charter, regardless of who says otherwise. The real question is: is there a penalty for defiance of such resolutions—in other words, does the UN have the guts to enforce the global will?

The time has come to call the question. Mr. Secretary-General should immediately announce plans to enforce Resolution 2728.

Guterres should introduce a new Security Council resolution authorizing the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force (Blue Helmets) to Gaza, in large numbers to stand between the Israelis and their targets, which targets have included aid workers, as well as women and children who comprise the majority of the more than an estimated 33,000 killed in the Israeli onslaught so far.

Guterres should have done this already, as the mere threat to do this might have a positive effect on ceasefire talks, including the one ongoing in Cairo. Netanyahu and his backers in the United States might protest such action, but as it is the Security Council which has already called for a ceasefire and increased aid, the Bibi backers cannot stop the Secretary-General from taking steps to implement it. And sources report that President Sleepy Joe Biden might actually support the Secretary-General, if Bibi balks at agreeing to a ceasefire in the ongoing talks, as he sees that growing protests in Israel show that he has lost the mandate of the Israeli people for his policy in Gaza.

There is no need to speak of “bypassing vetoes by the U.S.,” an intelligence source said. “If anyone ever proposes to take away or eviscerate the veto power in the Security Council, then they will be responsible for the U.S. walking out of the UN, permanently; the Russians might do so also. The real problem is that the UN makes itself weak by pointing fingers at wrongdoers, while doing very little, even when there is clear need and support for action, such as the case of Gaza.

“Want to get more aid through Bibi’s blockade? Get peacekeeping forces on the ground in Gaza. Have the aid convoys escorted by UN Blue Helmets. Bibi might order the IDF to fire on them. But that is an order that the IDF would likely refuse. Stop the finger-wagging and lay out a plan to implement this and then do it! The UN needs to show it can be more than a debating society.”

Comments (0)
Login or Join to comment.