American Involvement Has Not Made the United Nations Any Better

Last week, Russia’s announcement that it is seeking a seat on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) stirred some outrage in the West. To anyone familiar with that organization—where such countries as China, Cuba, and Qatar join in libeling and condemning Israel while diverting attention from their own human-rights abuses—it will be no surprise if Moscow’s bid succeeds. And this sort of corruption is endemic to the United Nations as whole. The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), for instance, recently made the ancient city of Jericho a “world heritage site” with a statement that ignored any ties to Jewish history.

As Richard Goldberg and Enia Krivine point out, the U.S. had left both the UNHRC and UNESCO because of such behavior. The Biden administration has rejoined, on the grounds that “engagement” is the only way to obtain reform—with little success:

The U.S. rejoined [UNESCO] and began paying down more than $600 million in arrears in July, only to be sucker-punched with another anti-Semitic act as the president arrived in New York last week. The administration had demanded the legal ability to rejoin UNESCO, claiming it necessary to counter China within the UN system. But . . . the Biden administration’s track record of countering China at the UN is abysmal.

The administration didn’t even try to challenge the WHO’s Beijing-influenced director-general despite China’s continued cover-up of COVID-19’s origins. A U.S. attempt to hold China accountable inside the Human Rights Council for its genocide in Xinjiang failed. And China still works with Russia to stymie Washington in the Security Council. The goal of countering China within the UN system is noble. Believing that it can be achieved by abandoning U.S. leverage is woefully misguided.

Countering China, however, is not the real reason the U.S. has rejoined a UN organization that continues to spew anti-Semitism. The real reason is the Biden administration’s unshakable ideological belief in the utility of UN engagement for engagement’s sake—the notion that swimming against anti-American currents in a sea of dictators will produce positive results for U.S. national security. The overwhelming evidence suggests the opposite is true.

Read more at National Review

More about: Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy, UNESCO, UNHRC, United Nations

Ordinary Gazans Are Turning against Hamas—and Its Western Sympathizers

In the past few days, difficult-to-confirm reports have emerged of unrest in the Gaza Strip, and of civilians throwing stones at Hamas operatives. A recent video from Al Jazeera showed a Gazan declaring that “God will bring Qatar and Turkey to account” for the suffering of Palestinians in the current war. Being an agent of the Qatari government, the journalist turned away, and then pushed the interviewee with his hand to prevent him from getting near the microphone. Yet this brief exchange contributes much to the ongoing debate about Palestinian support for Hamas, and belies the frequent assertion by experts that the Israeli campaign is only “further radicalizing” the population.

For some time, Joseph Braude has worked with a number of journalists and researchers to interview ordinary Gazans under circumstances where they don’t fear reprisals. He notes that the sorts of opinions they share are rarely heard in Western media, let alone on Al Jazeera or Iran-sponsored outlets:

[A] resident of Khan Younis describes how locals in a bakery spontaneously attacked a Hamas member who had come to buy bread. The incident, hardly imaginable before the present war, reflects a widespread feeling of “disgust,” he says, after Gazan aspirations for “a dignified life and to live in peace” were set back by the Hamas atrocities of October 7.

Fears have grown that this misery will needlessly be prolonged by Westerners who strive, in effect, to perpetuate Hamas rule, according to one Gazan woman. Addressing protesters who have taken to the streets to demand a ceasefire on behalf of Palestinians, she calls on them to make a choice: “Either support the Palestinian people or the Hamas regime that oppresses them.” If protesters harbor a humanitarian motive, she asks, “Why don’t we see them demonstrating against Hamas?”

“Hamas is the destruction of the Palestinian people. We’ve had enough. They need to be wiped out—because if they remain, the people will be wiped out.”

You can watch videos of some of the interviews by clicking the link below.

Read more at Free Press

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion