Creating new perspectives since 2009

The UN is playing a role, not fulfilling its mandate

July 30, 2019 at 11:49 am

A girl’s cheek is painted with the colours of the Palestinian flag during a protest in Gaza on 11 December 2016 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Action by the US and Israeli against Palestine is nothing new. The Palestinian Authority, however, has been pointing out this alliance lately as if it has just discovered it. In keeping with its penchant for dissociation, the PA is isolating decades of history from the present circumstances. The net result is the accrual of more damage to Palestinians.

Furthermore, the PA is still pretending that Palestinians have an ally in the UN, while making a distinction between the international community and the organisation. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Al-Maliki was reported to have called on “the international community to preserve the credibility of the UN and quickly afford international protection to the Palestinians.”

The overlap between the international community and the UN cannot be ignored. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s 1999 speech about the international community includes international law and institutions in the concept and frames the UN as a manifestation of “our sense of shared opportunity”. Yet he also stated, “The international community is under perfectly legitimate attack because of its own frequent failings.”

READ: The UN’s 2030 agenda will fail Palestinians -the organisation always has

One of the UN’s main failings which is bolstered by the international community – the euphemism for Western influence at a global level – is the perpetuation of all forms of violence, be it foreign intervention or colonial expansion. The UN is a conglomeration of international representatives bolstered by impunity for their actions against the oppressed. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas and his diplomats have persistently ignored this fact and are now seeking to project an illusion of division between the US and Israel on one hand, and the UN on the other. According to Al-Maliki, international silence is the culprit. This is not the whole truth.

The PA has also facilitated international silence over Israel’s colonisation of Palestine. It is only when Israeli violations make news headlines that the PA embellishes its rhetoric. The authority’s actions, however, persist in degrading Palestinians and offering them up as fodder for Israel’s colonial violence. Just like Khan Al-Ahmar, the PA is unable to resist the limelight after the demolitions at Sur Baher. Abbas’s declaration about halting security coordination with Israel’s occupation forces was once again swiftly contradicted by statements affirming its continuation.

There is no doubt that the UN’s track record of protecting human rights is poor to non-existent. For the international community, maintaining human rights violations is profitable. This is the premise upon which the UN, as part of the community, operates and what the PA has contributed to, through its diluting of Palestinian rights to ensure its standing at an international level. It matters not to the PA that this weak pedestal is nothing but an ongoing convenience for Israel, the US and the international community, because from this borrowed standpoint bestowed upon the PA, Palestinians do not matter.

READ: Israel and the assassination of Palestinian childhood

The UN is playing a role, not fulfilling a mandate. This is what the PA would do well to remember if it wants to distinguish itself from the web of complicity that has tethered Palestinians to international decision-making resulting in an ongoing Nakba. No doubt the PA knows this, but it still prefers to expound upon “disrespect for international law” before turning in on itself and evaluating its own contempt for the Palestinians it claims to represent.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.