Israel plans on doing something rather remarkable today, an act of faith that has echoes of Daniel in the lion’s den. Israel will request that the United Nations Security Council condemn the terrorist bombing that killed four people in Tel Aviv this weekend and demand that the Palestinian Authority dismantle the terrorist groups operating in its territories as a prerequisite to further negotiations on autonomy:
Israel will ask the U.N. Security Council today to condemn a weekend suicide bombing in Tel Aviv and press Palestinians to act against militants, marking a rare diplomatic offensive in the international forum by the Jewish state, officials said.
In Israel yesterday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he had stepped up military measures against terrorists in response to the attack at a seaside nightclub that killed four, and would condition future peace talks with the Palestinians on concrete steps to fight terrorism. …
The U.N. foray is a departure for Israel, which is more accustomed to being isolated on Middle East security issues. It hopes to get a declaration condemning the attack in an “unequivocal” manner, while pressing Mr. Abbas to take “tangible” steps, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev.
“Usually, we’re used to playing defense at the U.N.,” said Mr. Regev, who added that a successful outcome would mark a shift in Israel’s fortunes at the world body.
That’s putting it mildly. The UN has been little more than a temple to hypocrisy when it comes to Israel since the 1967 war — initiated by the Arabs — that created the occupation. The UN has repeatedly scolded Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians without ever noting the deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists. There doesn’t appear to be much hope of getting such a resolution passed; just recently, another UN resolution condemning Israel exclusively got floated and died only with the promised US veto.
However, the UNSC should understand that Israel has a practical point. If the Palestinian authority cannot lay claim to the only legitimate use of force in their own territories, then they cannot govern. While two or three other factions exist that can match or exceed that of the PA, then a state cannot arise. A state must have a monopoly on legitimate organized uses of force, or it no longer functions as such, and instead turns into a Somalia-style geographical construct run by warlords. And just as in Somalia, the world will see what kind of nutcases such an environment will export.
Good for Israel, however, for laying this back at the feet of the UNSC. Either they have to act to pressure Abbas to drive out the other actors of violence, or the UN will abdicate its role in peacemaking altogether.