Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 10, 2005 / 7 Tishrei, 5766

Thugs will prevent progress at the U.N.

By Jonathan Gurwitz


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | While most of the nation was focused on hurricanes battering the Gulf Coast, another tempest of sorts descended on New York. The United Nations hosted a world summit, coinciding with its 60th anniversary and the start of a new session of the General Assembly.

The increasingly paranoid leader of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, was there. Fresh off a program to destroy urban slums that has made 700,000 of his nation's poorest citizens homeless, the 81-year-old autocrat said the United Nations should focus its efforts on housing victims of Katrina rather than victims of his disastrously oppressive rule.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez attended, bravely shrugging off the mortal danger posed by viewers of "The 700 Club." In his speech to the assembly, Chávez derided the international organization's dictatorship by the United States and its imperialist allies. Dictatorship, of course, is a subject about which he has more than a passing acquaintance.

Crown Prince Sultan of Saudi Arabia came, along with Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. Al-Faisal stayed around New York long enough to tell the Council on Foreign Relations, the New York Sun reported, that his country was the victim of "an unjustified intense onslaught" that made it the "scapegoat" of Sept. 11, 2001.

And Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the United Nations "to lead in the promotion of spirituality and compassion for humanity." His regime is presently engaged in a massive crackdown that has led to the arrest of thousands of "troublemakers" on the flimsiest of charges and to scores of floggings and hangings for moral infractions, including the execution of homosexuals.

The clownishness, thuggishness and deception that annually accompany the opening session gala might have been dismissed if not for the extremely high stakes the United Nations itself had placed on the summit.

For months, Secretary-General Kofi Annan identified the September meeting as a pivotal event. "Never in the history of the United Nations," Annan said in June, "have bold decisions been more necessary."

He circulated draft documents addressing four critical areas: economic development; peace and security; human rights and the rule of law; and, after 60 years, comprehensive U.N. reform.

As the summit came to an end, Annan struggled to put an optimistic assessment on some modest accomplishments. On the major issues, however, member states came up short.

For four years now, for instance, the United Nations has struggled to come up with a definition — and an accompanying condemnation — of terrorism that accommodates the sensitivities of its diverse and perverse membership. The U.N. High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change came up with this simple, if uninspiring, formulation:

"Any action ... intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or noncombatants, when the purpose of such act ... is to intimidate a population or to compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act."

The General Assembly failed to approve it.

The United Nations can't condemn what it won't define, can't fix what many of its member states want to remain broken. And so terrorism, like nuclear proliferation and U.N. reorganization, went unresolved.

The statements of some of the world's most oppressive leaders are integrally tied to this failure. There are, according to Freedom House, 88 members of the United Nations that are full-fledged democracies. The rest — 103 — are not.

Citizens of free societies tend to look on the United Nations as the last, best hope for humanity. Leaders of despotic societies look at it as a tool for undeserved legitimacy, a vehicle to spread ideology and — as the oil-for-food scandal has demonstrated — an international trust off which they can aggrandize power and wealth.

As long as the United Nations makes no fundamental distinction between free and unfree nations and legitimate and illegitimate governments, the lofty goals set for it by Annan will remain a distant vision.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jonathan Gurwitz, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, is a co-founder and twice served as Director General of the Future Leaders of the Alliance program at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In 1986 he was placed on the Foreign Service Register of the U.S. State Department.Comment by clicking here.

Jonathan Gurwitz Archives


© 2005, Jonathan Gurwitz

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles