by Barry Rubin
The UN Human Rights Council has now endorsed the Goldstone Report. There are important implications to this decision that make it a turning point.
It means the first make or break test for Obama's foreign policy. There is no easy way out. The president must either block a disastrous UN resolution through effective diplomacy in the UN corridors, accept a bad resolution in order to avoid a confrontation, or veto such a resolution an accept the price in unpopularity. Oh, and it also marks the end of the peace process era that began in 1993, showing both sides why they don't want a compromise deal.
Of course, it says a great deal about the nature of international affairs nowadays. What does it say about the UN that it condemns Israel but says not a word and does not a deed against Hamas, which is guilty of aggression, terrorism, seizure of power by force, calls for genocide, antisemitism, indoctrination of children to become suicide bombers, oppression of women, systematic use of civilians as human shields, and a range of war crimes.
Trying to present the Goldstone report in a more favorable light, Western media overstated its “evenhandedness,” playing up a few mentions of Hamas to pretend that both sides in the conflict were condemned. The UNRC drops this pretense and only speaks of
This is not merely another of the many ritual condemnations of
I am not saying that this is going to happen, or that the resolution will have any actual negative impact on
It is an accident but not a coincidence that the Palestinian Authority signed a unity agreement with Hamas in the same week that the resolution was passed. The two groups won’t actually cooperate but the document they reluctantly signed for reasons of organizational rivalry symbolizes the fact that their strategies, though not tactics, now coincide to a large degree.
This, then, is the first reason why the passage of this resolution is an important development. It marks not only the end of the peace process but the end of the peace process era. Arabic-speaking, Muslim-majority, and some states governed by left-wing governments (
The most important country that voted for passing the Goldstone resolution in the UNHRC,
The second reason why this development is so important is what it tells about
But so, on a larger-scale, is the concept that President Barack Obama’s “popularity offensive” in which he distanced himself from Israel, lavished devotion on the Palestinian cause, extolled the glories of Islam, and apologized for past U.S. policies would have some beneficial effect.
The policy has done worse than failing it has, predictably, backfired. The question is whether this will be recognized, much less reversed, by the Obama Administration.
But there’s more. The
Step 1: Can it stop the progress of this resolution and report into implementation through judicial decisions and sanctions against
Step 2: The next possible failure would be if the
Step 3: If the resolution is still too far-out, the Administration may have to veto it. (European states know they can afford to be cowardly and leave it to
[There is also another alternative being mentioned, to pass an anti-Israel General Assembly resolution if the
Finally, there is the lesson for
What does this say about a two-state solution?
Bottom line: No Israeli government will make such a deal; the Israeli people will not support such a deal.
Along with myriad other reasons, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas can now argue persuasively that they enjoy broad international support for wiping out
Good-bye hope for peace. I now declare the window of opportunity that had seemed to open in the late 1980s, which met and failed the test of the
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