The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.What happens when these wonderful platitudes are tested in the real world?
The UN Middle East envoy announced on Wednesday the postponement of a concert planned for east Jerusalem, after Palestinian objections to the perceived act of "normalisation".Now, who are these groups that the UN decided has veto power over any joint Israel-Arab cultural events in parts of Jerusalem?
The West-East Divan Orchestra, co-founded by late Palestinian academic Edward Said and Israeli-Argentine maestro Daniel Barenboim, was to hold a July 31 concert on the Mount of Olives.
But Robert Serry said that the planned concert, which "the United Nations was happy to present", has been "postponed".
The statement issued by Serry's office said that "Noting the objections of some groups it was decided - with regret - not to proceed with present plans for the concert".
Such events, in which Palestinians and Israelis take part, are "a kind of normalisation, at the same time Palestinian rights continue to be ignored", as Rassem Ebidat, coordinator of the National and Civil Work Committee in east Jerusalem, told AFP.
"Instead of sponsoring a concert on the Mount of Olives, Serry should demand that Israel stop confiscating Palestinian lands and building settlements and bases on it," said Ebihat, whose group wrote Serry to protest the concert.
To Serry, the concert would "have sent a strong message that Palestinians must be able to experience their cultural rights and freedoms in the unique city of Jerusalem, which the United Nations believes must emerge as the open capital of two states, living side by side in peace and security", his statement read.
"Mr. Serry is disappointed that the concert will not go ahead at this stage and that Palestinians in east Jerusalem will not have the opportunity to enjoy such a unique cultural offering in their city," it added.
The "National and Civil Work Committee" has zero web presence, and chances are it has only a single member, this Rassem Ebidat, whose only other claim to fame is being the contact person for the YMCA in Beit Sahoor.
The only other complaint I saw about this came from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) whose letter to Serry was dated July 24.
Serry caved less than a day later.
Which means that the UN really didn't try very hard to push for its vaunted standards of "international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress."
Not only that, but PACBI is an extremist organization that was also against the orchestra playing in Qatar in 2010!
And the orchestra is dedicated to nothing but peace, with its conductor as left-wing as possible, holding an honorary Palestinian citizenship. It is difficult to imagine an organization that is more pro-Palestinian than WEDO.
But the mere hint of trouble was enough for the UN to cancel the concert, meaning that the UN "regretfully" agrees that as long as anyone objects to the existence of Jewish Israelis stepping foot over the Green Line, the UN will end up supporting them. And all its nice-sounding principles are meaningless as long as any extremist haters object.
Given a choice of making a statement that it supports coexistence between Israel or that it follows the agenda of organizations who seek Israel's destruction, the UN chose the latter.
And that's pretty much all you need to know about the UN.