By Stuart J. Moskovitz
To some degree, it seems unnecessary to write another article depicting the naive foolishness of the United Nations and describing the utter uselessness of this institution. Yet, even when one is convinced that the United Nations cannot fashion another way to prove that it should be headed for the foggy pastures occupied by the League of Nations, this august institution finds yet another means of establishing its irrelevance to world affairs.
Granted, the action by the United Nations we are about to discuss is now several months old. But recent headlines in Palestine emphasize the foolishness of their recent action beyond what was obvious at the time.
The United Nations General Assembly - a body to which the United Nations charter itself grants no international power -- in response to the demand by Mahmoud Abbas, deemed the Palestinian Authority a sovereign state. It is not an exaggeration that this powerless body said, "Poof! You're a state." Its members did so knowing that the ostensible state had no independent culture, no means of financial stability, little commerce, no political or military stability, and no means of sustaining itself except through the largesse of other nations. Indeed, this ostensible nation does not so much as collect taxes, leaving that job to Israel, the nation it seeks to eliminate. Israel collects taxes for this ostensible nation and forwards the collections to this paper nation to enable it to pay its policemen and soldiers, whose principal job appears to be fomenting unrest and terrorism against the very nation that collects its taxes and enables the payment of the salaries of these policemen and soldiers.
To add to this theater of the absurd, let us not forget that the only duly elected representatives of the Palestinian people are in Gaza, not Ramallah. It should be recalled that when Hamas won the election, it was not permitted in Ramallah, the Palestinians' capital (though they would prefer their capital in Jerusalem, the capital of another nation). Shortly after the United Nations General Assembly magically declared Palestine to be a full-fledged nation, Egypt, Israel, the United States and others negotiated not with the new "nation," but with Hamas to effect the cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Apparently it was lost on the United Nations that Hamas was not about to turn over its "sovereignty" to Abbas or the new Palestinian nation just because the United Nations declared it so.
All of this, of course, is recent history. The headlines of late add the important new twist to these absurdities. In the streets of the West Bank, under the watchful eye of Abbas and his military and police -- paid for, as noted above, by the taxes collected by Israel -- the citizens of this new state are hurling rocks at and picking fights with armed soldiers apparently protesting the fact that prisoners accused of terrorism are refusing to eat, causing one, in fact, to have died from a heart attack, possibly the result of lack of nutrition. Israel is not requiring these prisoners to avoid food. Israel did not ask these recidivist prisoners to commit acts of terror after being released previously. But, perhaps encouraged by Abbas -- and certainly not discouraged by him -- this mini intifada continues unabated. Palestinians acting like animals in the West Bank is not of itself news. What is newsworthy is the likely result of this.
The events in the Middle East of the last two years have shown us that Arab rioting in the streets, regardless of the origin of the rioting, tends to result in a change of governments. One need only look at Egypt to see that Morsi, brought to power by the streets, may well be on his way out in the same manner so soon after taking what we euphemistically refer to as "control." Abbas has seen whatever political influence he derived by the declaration of statehood virtually dissipated by the world's successful negotiations with Hamas, while he remains unable to fashion any diplomatic solution to any problem anywhere in any manner. The negotiation of the ceasefire resulted in a dramatic leap in credibility to the elected government in Gaza, while leaving Abbas appearing to have no more ability to effect outcomes than the United Nations itself.
It is not a leap of imagination to consider that the rioting in the streets of the West Bank (there is no such rioting presently in the Gaza), may be fomented by Abbas himself. If so, he is playing a dangerous game. The rioting will accomplish nothing. Soon demands will be made on Abbas to take action against Israel to force the release of the remaining striking prisoners. This is something Abbas is powerless to do. The frustration will build. Unable to release their frustrations on Israel, the rioters are likely to turn to where they can effect a result -- against Abbas himself. Should Abbas fall on his own petard, as is quite likely, Hamas will quickly assume leadership in the West Bank. The United Nations will then be in the position of having granted statehood essentially to an organization -- Hamas -- that a significant portion of its membership has declared to be a terrorist organization worthy of international condemnation, not reward.
The result is one more argument to join the overwhelmingly large collection of arguments to declare the United Nations a useless waste of critical finances needed by most of its supporting countries to bolster their own failing economies.