That the United Nations is hostile to Israel hardly comes as a surprise. The perfidy that permeates the house over which Kurt Waldheim once presided can be cut with a knife; Israel bashing has become an integral part of the culture of that body. Such duplicity does not appear from thin air -- it must be nurtured and stoked by individuals who, by dint of impressive titles, can command international attention and influence public opinion and thus cause much mischief. That is particularly apparent today in Louise Arbour, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was stunned at the hostile reception he received during a recent visit to London. It seems our British friends are much more attuned than we are to the nefarious role the Saudis continue to play in financing and fomenting terror.
Fascinating, isn't it, to watch professors Stephen Walt (Harvard University) and John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago) attain near rock star status by resurrecting the tired and discredited canard that U.S. foreign policy is dictated by a devious, dangerous and disloyal cabal known as the pro-Israel lobby -- sort of a Protocols of the Middle-Agers of Zion. Of course, the good professors are convinced that any policies advocated by the cabal are anathema to the interests of this country.
Ever since news emerged that officials at Washington's powerful pro-Israel lobby were suspected of violating national security laws, speculation has raged over how this would affect its legendary clout. Now, two years down the line, after unceasing crises of investigations, subpoenas, surveillance, wire taps, grand juries and indictments, the consequence is clear: Unhappily, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is in peril of becoming a modern-day version of the ancient court Jew. In this case, that means bowing to the prerogatives of the Bush administration rather than using its avowed clout actually to influence government policy.
Despite the smiling images from Sharm el-Sheikh, the fact is that Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, has taken no demonstrable steps to dismantle and disarm the vast Palestinian terror networks, end the incitement or arrest terrorists. And although his rhetoric even after his election has been troublesome (calling for a "big jihad," referring to Israel as the "Zionist enemy," making it clear he will not use force against terrorists, and endorsing the policies of Yasser Arafat), the administration and Congress are falling over themselves to throw vast sums of money his way. President Bush has promised $350 million to Abbas, more than four times that given to Arafat by the Clinton administration.