Reactions from Arab world

09.17.03

The reaction from the Arab world to the U.S. veto of a UN security council resolution calling for Israel to stop threatening to expel Arafat was fairly typical:

Arab League:Amr Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League, said he hoped the veto doesn’t mean the United States supports Israeli policies “which are opposed by the whole world.”

Egypt:“The pretext saying that the draft resolution was unbalanced is baseless,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said Wednesday. Maher echoed concern Israel might see the vote as a license to go after Arafat. He said that if nations don’t pressure Israel to desist from its “provocative and aggressive” policies, it would show the international community’s “powerlessness.”

Syria: Syria’s UN Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad expressed regret at the veto, calling it “extremely regrettable” and warning that it “will antagonize the feeling of Arabs in the region.

The Palestinians:“Clearly this is not a neutral position,” Ziad Abu Amr, a member of the outgoing Palestinian Cabinet, said. Senior Arafat adviser Nabil Abu Rdeneh told reporters the veto could jeopardize the U.S-backed “road map” for Mideast peace. The vote “is a real encouragement for the Israelis to continue their escalation,” he said. Nasser Al-Kidwa, the Palestinian UN observer, said the United States lost its credibility as an honest broker and warned that “serious consequences may follow.”

(It seems that “honest broker” has been translated as someone who condemns both sides of a dispute equally, regardless of who is at fault. That’s like a parent being criticized for grounding only one child and not both, when the grounded kid crashed the car and the non-grounded one brought home straight As.)

Jordan: In Jordan, the opposition Muslim Brotherhood said it was not surprised at the U.S. veto because “the Zionist lobby … controls the American policy in the Middle East.”

Oh, and I suppose we should include France: France said it regretted that the UN resolution on Israel didn’t pass. The resolution “had a balanced message that we believed could bring a consensus,” Cecile Pozzo di Borgo, the French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said in Paris.

Balanced??? I think Israel is making a political blunder by threatening to expel Arafat, but that doesn’t make the proposed UN resolution any more balanced:

The rejected draft resolution would have demanded “that Israel, the occupying power, desist from any act of deportation and to cease any threat to the safety of the elected president of the Palestinian Authority.”

It would have condemned Israel’s targeted assassinations of militant leaders and Palestinian suicide bombings, “all of which caused enormous suffering and many innocent victims.” It would also have called for a cessation of “all acts of terrorism, provocation, incitement and destruction.”

In other words, yet another UN condemnation of Israel without any mention of Palestinian terror. Sure, France, that looks balanced all right.

The UN seems to believe that a simple “majority rule” decides the difference between right and wrong. If the Arab nations and the Europeans gang up on Israel, then it must be okay, because they’re outvoting the US. More votes, more right? Only in a morally bankrupt world where right and wrong no longer exist. Unfortunately, this is increasingly the world where we live.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Hanthala 09.19.03 at 12:27 AM

“that Israel, the occupying power, desist from any act of deportation and to cease any threat to the safety of the elected president of the Palestinian Authority.”

–In other words that Israel not engage in war crimes. From what you’ve written, the resolution also condems suicide bombings…its balanced.

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