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
and 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
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,
anti-Semitism, indoctrination of children to become suicide bombers, oppression
of women, systematic use of civilians as human shields, and a range of war
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 Israel, totally removing the factors
that forced a reluctant Israel to launch an operation on the Gaza Strip.
This is not merely another of the many ritual
condemnations of Israel but a demonization. Israel is now accused of massive war
crimes on a remarkably flimsy basis. Of course it is all political but this is a
step toward delegitimization. The Arabic-speaking, Muslim-majority, and
left-wing governments that supported the resolution see this as a step not
toward a compromise peace but an elimination of Israel altogether.
I am not saying that this is going to happen, or
that the resolution will have any actual negative impact on Israel itself. Yet
what is most important is that having tasted blood, these forces will not be
interested in getting less. Why should they-including the Palestinian
Authority-settle for a stable two-state solution when they believe they can get
far more without giving up anything?
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.