This week, New York City — America — will play host to two tainting and tainted sets of affairs at the United Nations. First, the most dangerous man in the world heading the most dangerous regime in the world, President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad of Iran, will arrive here to speak. To compound the shame, Columbia University has again invited Ahmedinejad to its campus, even hosting a private dinner with him and students. In passing, it is worth noting that until this year, Columbia did not allow ROTC on campus — this, however, will be Ahmedinejad’s second invitation.
To our shame, our government will allow all of this. To remind, this is a state holding American hostages; funding and supporting Hezbollah; and thwarting every possible nuclear non-proliferation effort of every possible international agency and organization. As for how Iran operates, it leads the world in imprisoning journalists, crushes political and religious dissent with violence, and hangs homosexuals. As Michael Ledeen has pointed out, if you want to know what Iran would do to us if it could, look at what it does to its own people as it can.
The second disgrace will be the Palestinian government’s — or one of the governments — quest for statehood. According to the New York Times, the White House is “scrambling” to prevent this. Why? By what right, and by what moral authority, does Barack Obama have to lecture and try to prevent the UN from giving the Palestinians a state when he has spent the last four years (including in his campaign) lecturing Israel that they must recognize a Palestinian state? It gets worse — a lot of people here may have forgotten, but the Palestinians have not: Last year at the U.N., Barack Obama said “[W]hen we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations — an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel.” Others can argue this line is being taken out of context, as it was predicated on certain concessions by the Palestinians, but the words heard by the Palestinians were not about concessions — they never are because they are never enforced — they were about recognition.
Here is the problem: A Palestinian state right now, and for any possible set of years to come, would be illegal by the U.N.’s own charter. Chapter II of the Charter states, “Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.” Some of those obligations include “To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.”
Perhaps this is why Mahmoud Abbas said earlier this month exactly this: “We are going to complain that as Palestinians we have been under occupation for 63 years.” Sixty-three years ago is not when Israel took the West Bank and Gaza, that would have been 44 years ago. Sixty-three years ago is the founding of Israel, period. It’s the founding of two states actually: the Arab state and the Jewish state — and the Arabs went to war 63 years ago because they would not accept a Jewish state anywhere on that land. The Jews didn’t go to war, they accepted it — and lost one percent of their population in defending against that war, defending their tiny state. The Palestinians have been at war with Israel ever since. This is why the PLO was founded in 1964, before Israel had the West Bank and Gaza, not after. That didn’t happen until 1967.
To this day, official entities from the media to the education system in this nascent state of Palestine teach and preach terrorism. They train their children to glorify suicide bombers in their schools as the state’s media outlets celebrate those suicide bombers who have shown the way. This is not war, this is civilization abuse. The simple case against Palestinian statehood is this: We are surfeited enough with terrorist states—we do not need one more Iran or one more Syria at the U.N. or anywhere else for that matter.
The sad truth is that every effort by every administration that has given credibility and hope to Palestinian statehood has led to the “scrambling” we all now face. The terrorists who use the U.N. for their ends are serious; the only relevant question is “Are we?”
— Seth Leibsohn is a fellow at the Claremont Institute and the co-author, with William J. Bennett, of The Fight of Our Lives: Knowing the Enemy, Speaking the Truth, and Choosing to Win the War Against Radical Islam.