Israel, the UN and Man’s Last Best Hope

A case study into the track record of the United Nations

Did you know that you are on your “last hope” for survival? Perhaps you’ve never thought about that. It sounds pretty glum—yet did you know that there is a world organization touted to be this very thing—yourlast hope?

“Our last best hope”—that’s how President John F. Kennedy described it. That idea has been the calling cry of the United Nations from the outset of its founding. As the dust of World War ii was settling, the United Nations formed as a new force for good in the world. It was established in a dangerous nuclear age, designed to finally bring all nations off the battlefield and into one peaceable setting to work out differences and make progress in creating a better world.

It sounded impossibly good. It was.

One of the attendees at the opening ceremony called its failure from the beginning. He was a man later in life regarded as an “unofficial ambassador for world peace”— Herbert W. Armstrong. Amid the hype of the UN’s opening ceremonies, he wrote:

Already I see the clouds of World War iii gathering at this conference. … I do not see peace being germinated here, but the seeds of the next war! … The United Nations conference is producing nothing but strife and bickering and is destined, from its inception, to end in total failure. Yet world leaders are pronouncing it the world’s last hope—with the only alternative annihilation of humanity!

The project that has been the UN has matured into just what Mr. Armstrong described: a total failure. A place of “strife and bickering,” resentment and onerous bureaucracy. Let’s examine one particular case to see where man’s “last best hope” has taken us.

A Case Study

The Jews’ survival has been in jeopardy perhaps more times throughout history than any other people on Earth. If any collective group needed a “last best hope,” it ought to be the Jewish people. Surely they would be high on the UN’s priority list.

Of course, just the opposite is true. The UN has actually become renowned as a host for a broad display of anti-Semitism, especially concentrated on the nation of Israel.

If you’ve been keeping up with news from Jerusalem, no doubt you will have seen a wash of articles regarding a certain recent UN resolution passed on “Occupied Palestine.” This resolution was created and passed by unesco, the cultural sector of the United Nations. This resolution has gained particular disdain from Israel (who by now has become all too familiar with the regular wash of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel resolutions). It attempts to remove Israel’s historical attachment to holy sites in the nation, particularly the Temple Mount. Along with referring to Israel 15 times throughout the article as “the occupying power,” all references to holy sites in Israel gave either sole use or priority to their Arabic names, in a move to disconnect the Jews’ attachment to Israel and its religious sites.

The report was rather long and dry, so let’s tease out some of the important points to get a small snapshot of the perception of Israel within the United Nations.

The resolution started out by “[a]ffirming the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls for the three monotheistic religions.” It then proceeded to refer to Jerusalem and its walls exclusively by their Arabic names and criticize Israel for atrocities around them.

Point four of the article proceeds to express that unesco “deeply regrets” that Israel refused to have a unesco representative stationed in East Jerusalem to report on the goings on there. The rest of the article gives a good idea as to why Israel would refuse such a representative.

Point five “deplores” that the “occupying power” is failing to stop excavations in East Jerusalem and the Old City. I’ve worked on some of these archaeological excavations. I can tell you that they are quite difficult to get permission for. It’s not as if Israel is opening up archaeological sites willy-nilly in desperation to prove a connection with the land. And why would unesco—a cultural organization—want archaeological excavations to stop? Is it because they are exposing an indisputable, long-held Israelite connection to the land that the UN would rather remain hidden? Finds that perhaps run counter to a political agenda? The Arab artifacts aren’t doubted—those have been found and well documented. But so too have the older Israelite remains. To ignore them would turn science and culture into a mere tool of politicking. The earth doesn’t have an agenda; it reveals what it reveals.

Points eight through 10 of the article speak on a general theme of Israel’s “aggressions” and “storming” of the “Al-Aqsa Mosque/al-Haram Al-Sharif.” This claim that Israel is apparently “changing” the status quo on the Temple Mount became widespread in late 2015, leading to a wash of terror attacks (we’ll cover those further down). It was a total lie—read more about it here. Israel continues to keep a strict guard on Israeli citizens visiting the Temple Mount, to prevent them from praying there—part of the deal with the Islamic Waqf leadership. Muslims are essentially given free rein of the site. I’ve had large stones thrown down at me and others from the Temple Mount walls—little if anything is done to stop it. However, if you wander too close to certain points at the base of the Temple Mount walls, you’ll trigger an alarm and the police will come running to make sure you aren’t up to mischief. Hardly a situation in which Israel ought to be accused of “aggressions.”

Point 38 is interesting. unesco “[d]eeply deplores the new cycle of violence, going on since October 2015, in the context of the constant aggressions by the Israeli settlers and other extremist groups against Palestinian residents including schoolchildren, also asks the Israeli authorities to prevent such aggressions.”

Let’s consider the aggressions since October 2015 that unesco lambasts Israel for. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has labeled this period as a “popular peaceful uprising” against the false claim that Israel was changing the “status quo” on the Temple Mount.

Here are the statistics of this “peaceful” uprising: October 2015 saw 11 people killed and 80 injured, in 620 Palestinian terrorist attacks (including 483 firebombings); November 2015: 10 killed, 58 injured, 326 Palestinian terrorist attacks (including 249 firebombings). Picture a place about the size of New Jersey witnessing over 900 terrorist attacks in just two months. I’d hate to see a non-peaceful uprising. Attacks have continued since, but fortunately on a much smaller scale. For a broader overview, in just over a year since September 2015, Palestinian terrorists have targeted Israelis in 167 stabbings, 116 shootings, 48 vehicle attacks and 1 vehicle bombing. So for unesco to accuse Israel of unspecified “aggressions” without lifting a finger toward these Palestinian attacks is utterly disdainful, virulently biased and unabashedly anti-Semitic.

unesco’s article concludes with Point 41—a point about making the article itself part of a larger item for unesco’s next session. It’s pretty clear what the theme of that session will be.

While 26 countries abstained from voting on the resolution, and only six voted against it (including the United States, Britain and Germany), the fact that 24 backed it means it is to be put into effect by the body. Of course, the countries voting in favor of the resolution included Iran, Lebanon and Russia.

No wonder the resolution caused such a stir in Israel. But it is only a small manifestation of the festering anti-Semitism throughout the United Nations and its daughter organizations, including unesco, the Human Rights Council (unhrc), the Commission on the Status of Women (csw) and World Health Organization (who).

The UN: Rife With Anti-Semitism

Resolutions like these passed by the UN have a long history. In 1975, it passed a resolution that branded Zionism as a form of racism (it was eventually repealed 16 years later). In 1977, the committee recommended (and accepted) that November 29—the anniversary of the UN’s vote to create the state of Israel in 1947—be labeled “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.” In 1991, the UN General Assembly voted 152-1 for Israel to renounce Jerusalem as its capital, and withdraw from “occupied” territories such as Jerusalem. Nov. 29, 2007—the 60th anniversary of the vote to create the Jewish state—saw UN leaders speak in a room decorated with only two flags: the UN flag and the Palestinian flag. On March 20, 2015, the csw finished its annual meeting by condemning only one country on women’s rights—Israel (This is a country where women can fly fighter jets and become prime minister. A country, unlike some in the UN, that doesn’t stone a woman for being a victim of rape or forbid them from driving.) Also in 2015, who singled out only one nation—Israel—as a violator of health rights. Never mind the fact that Israel provides hospital treatment regularly for Syrians and Palestinians. Never mind the health crises in Syria, Yemen, North Korea; Israel is the problem.

You might have noticed that the above paragraph omitted reference to the Human Rights Council. This group was created in 2006 to replace its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights, which had turned into an anti-Israel sham. Its stance hasn’t changed, however. Every year at the unhrc, it has a mandatory debate on Item Seven—Israel’s human rights record. No other country has an item (that must be brought up yearly) dedicated solely to it. Not North Korea, not Syria, but only Israel must be discussed regarding human rights every year without fail. Such flagrant bias even prompted then-Secretary General Kofi Annan to warn that this council could again be discredited, like the previous one, for blatant anti-Israel bias. He protested, “There are surely other situations, besides the one in the Middle East, which would merit scrutiny by a special session of this Council.”

The obvious anti-Israel bias in the UN hasn’t been a secret. Current UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has admitted the bias exists. Yet he is powerless to do anything about it. The secretary general has no real tangible power. How is it possible to change the outlook of countries?

Herein lies the problem of the United Nations. This is why it was a nice idea doomed from the beginning. Nothing can be done to change the inherent nature of the participating countries. While they may have representatives gathered together somewhat peaceably in one place, nothing about the UN prompts change in the minds or policies of belligerent countries. Essentially, the UN has turned into a classic school playground situation, where groups of similar ideologies gather together to gang up and bully others. And in a place where Togo’s vote is equal to that of a country the size of the U.S. or Russia, it is easy to see how even the smallest of nations could league together to create powerful ideological factions. Such has been the case with largely Arab and Muslim nations against Israel.

The UN—the “last best hope” of humanity’s survival—gave Iran vice chairmanship of the Disarmament Commission and a seat on the Woman’s Rights Commission. It appointed Zimbabwe as the chair of the Commission on Sustainable Development, made Libya chair of Disarmament and International Security. Is this some kind of a joke? If the UN is really our world’s last hope, then we are finished, plain and simple.

Some experts have started to admit that we need a “strong hand from someplace” to fix the main problem facing not only Israel, but the entire globe. Human governments haven’t been able to stop the mad careening of civilization toward the precipice of self-annihilation. And in fact, that “strong hand from someplace” did warn us a long time ago, in words that evoke a vision of our modern UN. Isaiah 59:8-11:

The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us …. We grope for the wall like the blind …. [W]e look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.

The need is desperate for that strong hand, but it is “far off from us.” But not for long.

“And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him” (verse 16).

That arm of salvation is on its way very soon. Given the worsening world conditions, for those who believe the Bible, it has to be (Matthew 24:21-22). For more information, read the booklets offered with this article. Our “last, best hope” has already failed us. We can’t honestly expect to survive through another world war that would inevitably be nuclear.

It’s about time we reach out to that strong hand from someplace.