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By Barry Rubin   Oct 19/09.

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 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, anti-Semitism, 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 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.




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