Why Ending the UN’s Diplomatic War on Israel Matters

In October of last year, the American lawyer and diplomat Richard Schifter died at the age of ninety-seven. Schifter, in his two decades of public service, devoted himself to using U.S. influence to stand up for human rights everywhere from Africa to China to Eastern Europe, and played a role in helping to get refuseniks out of the Soviet Union. But above all he was devoted to changing the UN’s perverse attitudes toward the Jewish state, as Robert Doar writes:

The United Nations General Assembly is still passing annual resolutions to renew the mandates of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights. Among other biased and anti-Israel agenda items, these entities endorse the so-called “right of return” which has long hampered negotiation and ossified opposition on both sides of the conflict.

As chairman of the American Jewish International Relations Institute, Schifter dedicated the last years of his life to fighting these resolutions. And he was making headway. Within the last decade, support for the UN’s Division for Palestinian Rights has diminished considerably. In 2011, the resolution was approved by a 114-9 vote. Last year, it was carried by a tally of just 82-25 with 53 abstentions and 32 absences (deliberate ones mostly). Though these measures still pass, they do so with mere pluralities instead of overwhelming majorities. This is considerable progress.

Schifter believed that these symbolic resolutions are impediments to peace. And if the last few months have taught us anything about the Middle East, it’s that progress is possible.

This moment calls for the Biden administration to take an important next step. . . . It’s time for the State Department to make it a priority for the UN to reject these resolutions and encourage our allies to help us make that happen.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Human Rights, Palestinian refugees, Soviet Jewry, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy