Another reason it's time for the US to withdraw from the UN


United Nations officials were shocked — positively stunned — to learn that employees of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) directly supported and even participated in the massacre, torture, and kidnapping of thousands of Israelis on October 7, 2023. The agency took swift action to dismiss staffers implicated in those attacks following its receipt of Israeli intelligence detailing the evidence against them. “Any UNRWA employee who was involved in acts of terror will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution,” UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini insisted.

Neither Lazzarini nor any other U.N. functionary deserves the benefit of the doubt. If any U.N. officials are genuinely surprised by the conduct of its contractors, they are confessing to willful blindness. Indeed, virtually every organ of this institution has conducted itself contemptibly since the 10/7 attacks, calling into question the value of an organization that appears to exist for the benefit of terrorist organizations and their sponsors.

The specific allegations against UNRWA should be sufficient to scuttle the whole enterprise. Israeli intelligence reportedly implicated at least twelve of the agency’s staffers in efforts to coordinate and affiliate with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists. UNRWA staffers are accused of kidnapping Israeli women, hiding captives from Israelis, distributing ammunition to terrorists, and even participating in the massacre of civilians at one kibbutz.

That doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who followed reports outlining the extent to which UNRWA staffers and school teachers openly celebrated the slaughter of Israeli Jews. It doesn’t shock those who have followed the extent to which UNRWA schools participate in Hamas’s pedagogical efforts to steep Gaza’s children in Jew-hatred. It doesn’t astonish anyone familiar with the ways Palestinian terrorists have used UNRWA infrastructure as weapons depots and staging areas for attacks on Israelis for more than a decade.

If these developments have chastened the U.N., it’s hard to tell. Its functionaries seem far more horror-struck by the threat to their own bottom lines after a handful of Western countries responded to the allegations by pulling some of UNRWA’s funding. Lazzarini insisted that it “would be immensely irresponsible to sanction an Agency and an entire community it serves” in response to these allegations, but he isn’t alone. “We appeal to donors not to suspend their funding to [UNRWA] at this critical moment,” wrote World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Cutting off funding will only hurt the people of #Gaza who desperately need support.” U.N. secretary general António Guterres agreed. “The abhorrent alleged acts of these staff members must have consequences. But the tens of thousands of men and women who work for UNRWA,” he said in a statement, “should not be penalized.”

If it seems like the whole sprawling United Nations apparatus is not all that alarmed by the discovery that its associates have lent aid and support to terrorists, that impression is reinforced by the degree to which the U.N.’s organs are engaged in the same project.

The U.N.’s juridical organ, the International Court of Justice, last week issued a “series of near-unanimous” rulings on allegations brought by South Africa alleging that Israel’s defensive war in Gaza was a campaign of genocide. At least, some of Israel’s actions could conceivably constitute actions that roughly approximate the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” But the scant proof the country could marshal in support of that conclusion is betrayed by the evidence of your own eyes. Moreover, in declining to condemn Israel’s war in total but merely to report back in a month about the steps it was taking to avoid genocide, the ICJ did not evince the courage of its own alleged convictions. Rather, it set out to ratify a preexisting bias in the non-aligned world against Israel and its democratic sponsors.

The U.N. agency tasked with being a “global champion for gender equality,” U.N. Women, exhibited conspicuous impassivity when confronted with allegations that Hamas terrorists wielded rape as a weapon of war. The outfit’s functionaries buried reporters in a blizzard of meaningless diplomatic newspeak designed to acquit them of having to render a judgment on those allegations of sexual violence. But U.N. Women has never been similarly reluctant to condemn groups that use rape as a weapon when the people being raped are not Israelis. Nor did the outfit need a thorough High Commissioner on Human Rights investigation to pronounce a verdict on Hamas’s conduct as its functionaries claimed. All it took for U.N. Women to behave like an apparatus staffed by human beings was for their cowardice to become sufficiently embarrassing.

The U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has been singularly devoted to whitewashing acts of antisemitism for decades. It has promoted the “boycott, divestment, and sanctions” (BDS) campaign by promoting economic pressure campaigns targeting specific Israeli commercial interests. It staffs itself with 9/11 conspiracy theorists and champions of anti-Western propaganda. It attacks Israel with monomaniacal frequency — partly in deference to a permanent item on the UNHRC’s agenda compelling it to regularly condemn Israel’s right to self-defense — all while denouncing the civilized world’s efforts to pathologize the conduct of genuinely murderous regimes such as the one operated by Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.

From UNESCO — supposedly a body devoted to preserving antiquities which, instead, violates U.S. law, denies Israeli sovereignty over its cultural heritage, and drafts resolutions that refer to Israeli sites by their Arabic names — to the United Nations General Assembly, which exists only to empower the world’s worst regimes, what is the point of the United Nations? To the extent that any of its organs are valuable, the United Nations Security Council at least reflects the hard-power realities that govern the anarchic international environment — and then, only its permanent members. But the idea that any of those nations exercise a diplomatic veto over another’s conduct is a fiction. The United States doesn’t need a compromised venue like the U.N. to conduct bilateral and multilateral diplomacy with its peers.

The United Nations long ago reached its sell-by date. It serves only to lend diplomatic cover to rogue states, revisionist great powers, and the terroristic non-state actors in their orbit. Its primary purpose is to tie the hands of responsible diplomatic nations committed to the pleasant fiction that geopolitics is something that happens in talk shops on Turtle Bay. It absorbs exorbitant sums of American taxpayers’ dollars only to spit in their faces. The institution is worse than worthless. The U.S. pays for the privilege of having its interests undermined while lending a portion of its legitimacy to a wholly illegitimate institution. That’s a bad deal. It’s time to cut our losses.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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