Wednesday, October 20, 2004

  • Wednesday, October 20, 2004
  • Elder of Ziyon
By Joshua Muravchik, Joshua Muravchik, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is working on a study of the United Nations that will be published by the AEI Press early next year.

This month, the United Nations Security Council voted to condemn terrorism. The resolution was introduced by Russia, still grieving over the terrorist attack on a school in Beslan, and perhaps the unanimous vote will give it a measure of solace.

But the convoluted text and the dealings behind the scenes that were necessary to secure agreement on it offer cold comfort to anyone who cares about winning the war against terrorism. For what they reveal is that even after Beslan and after Madrid and after 9/11, the U.N. still cannot bring itself to oppose terrorism unequivocally.

The reason for this failure is that the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which comprises 56 of the U.N.'s 191 members, defends terrorism as a right.

After the Security Council vote, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John C. Danforth tried to put the best face on the resolution. He said it "states very simply that the deliberate massacre of innocents is never justifiable in any cause. Never."

But in fact it does not state this. Nor has any U.N. resolution ever stated it. The U.S. delegation tried to get such language into the resolution, but it was rebuffed by Algeria and Pakistan, the two OIC members currently sitting on the Security Council. (They have no veto, but the resolution's sponsors were willing to water down the text in return for a unanimous vote.)

True, the final resolution condemns "all acts of terrorism irrespective of their motivation." This sounds clear, but in the Alice-in-Wonderland lexicon of the U.N., the term "acts of terrorism" does not mean what it seems.

For eight years now, a U.N. committee has labored to draft a "comprehensive convention on international terrorism." It has been stalled since Day 1 on the issue of "defining" terrorism. But what is the mystery? At bottom everyone understands what terrorism is: the deliberate targeting of civilians. The Islamic Conference, however, has insisted that terrorism must be defined not by the nature of the act but by its purpose. In this view, any act done in the cause of "national liberation," no matter how bestial or how random or defenseless the victims, cannot be considered terrorism.

This boils down to saying that terrorism on behalf of bad causes is bad, but terrorism on behalf of good causes is good. Obviously, anyone who takes such a position is not against terrorism at all — but only against bad causes.

The U.S. is not alone in failing to get the Islamic states to reconsider their pro-terror stance. Following 9/11, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan pushed to break the deadlock on the terrorism convention. He endorsed compromise language proscribing terrorism unambiguously while reaffirming the right of self-determination. But the Islamic Conference would not budge.

Far from giving ground on terrorism, the Islamic states have often gotten their way on the issue, with others giving in to them. As early as 1970, for instance, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution "reaffirm[ing] … the legitimacy of the struggle of the colonial peoples and peoples under alien domination to exercise their right to self-determination and independence by all the necessary means at their disposal."

Everyone understood that this final phrase was code for terrorism. Similar formulas have been adopted repeatedly in the years since. Originally, the Western European states joined the U.S. in voting against such motions. But in each of the last few years the U.N. Commission on Human Rights has adopted such a resolution with regard to the Palestinian struggle against Israel, with almost all the European members voting in favor.

Danforth may feel that the U.S. position was vindicated in the new Security Council resolution, but that is not what OIC representatives think. As Pakistan's envoy to the U.N., Munir Akram, put it: "We ought not, in our desire to confront terrorism, erode the principle of the legitimacy of national resistance that we have upheld for 50 years." Accordingly, he expressed satisfaction with the resolution: "It doesn't open any new doors."

Who is right? Hours of parsing the resolution won't resolve that question. But in the end it does not matter. As long as the Islamic states resist any blanket condemnation of terrorism, we will remain a long way from ridding the Earth of its scourge. And the U.N., in which they account for nearly one-third of the votes, will be helpless to bring us any closer.

Printfriendly

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

comments

Speaking

translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Categories

#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Blog Archive