Archive for the ‘United Nations’ Category

Michael Moore on Israel

November 9, 2011

[sent to MichaelMoore.com]

Dear Mr. Moore:

I have been a fan of your since my high school English teacher played for us a VHS of Roger & Me.  Since then, I have not seen a single film of yours that I did not love.  I have even read a couple of your books and enjoyed them very much.  Even when I disagree with you (which is rare), you are an interesting and entertaining voice.

For this reason, I was disturbed by your comments at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue regarding Israel and the Palestinians.  On that issue, you implied that you were in favor of the unilateral Palestinian movement to get the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state, thus subverting U.S. policy of bringing about a Palestinian state through negotiating a just settlement of the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.  On this point, you not only diverge from U.S. policy, but also from the stated opinions of some Palestinians leaders and left-wing Israeli leaders that moves like this will not bring about peace in the region and will only serve to isolate Israel internationally.

I invite you to rethink your opinions on the Middle East.  I direct you to responsible, left-wing groups such as J Street, Americans for Peace Now, and the American Task Force on Palestine for groups that for you to research, and whose views you may find it useful to endorse.

Thank you.

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Attempts at Anti-Blasphemy Legislation

November 21, 2009

[Sent to the UN General Assembly (UNGA).]

There is a campaign by Algeria and Pakistan to make the United Nations make blasphemy illegal.  This should never come to a vote at the UNGA.  The campaign is directed specifically against the notion of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  Furthermore, it is clear that Islam is the religion the campaign has in mind.  While I am not in favor of mocking religions mean-spiritedly, making the mockery of Islam illegal will have given validity to the mayhem that occurred in response to the Danish cartoons of Muhammad in 2005.

The Christian Science Monitor Responds

November 17, 2009

I just got an email from Ilene Prusher of the Christian Science Monitor:

I’m reply to your letter to my editor yesterday.

I used the sentence I did as shorthand for what would otherwise take at least two paragraphs. Monitor stories on the web are sometimes short and we don’t have a lot of space to get into deep history.

You correctly point out the 1947 Partition Plan, which is of course the turning point. But following the Partition Plan in late 1947, there was a war, after which Israel itself declared itself an independent state in May 1948. Then its recognition was put before the UN, and recognition was won with a vote of two-thirds of the General Assembly.

Shorthand for all of that is that the UN created – or at least sanctioned the creation of – Israel, first by the Partition Plan in 1947, and then by recognizing it as a state in 1948. These two UN votes, as you know, were crucial in the creation of the state [sic] of Israel.

I wrote back:

Dear Ms. Prusher:

Thank you for responding.  Unfortunately, the explanation in your response has left me unconvinced that your shorthand (“Israel itself was created by a vote in the United Nations”) is sufficiently accurate.  Although both events were very important in Israel’s founding moments, neither the UN’s support of the partition plan in 1947 nor the UN’s recognition of the State of Israel in 1948 was the act that created Israel.  Similarly, if the Palestinians decide to declare independence, it will be the Palestinians themselves who would create the State of Palestine, and not a vote in the UN (although that would certainly help their cause).  Sanctioning the creation of a state and actually creating it are very different things.  By that logic, Harry Truman was at least as much the creator of the State of Israel as the United Nations.

Thank you,
G.H.

UPDATE: Ms. Prusher wrote back immediately, “I see your distinction, and I’ll take it into consideration in our future coverage.”

Premature Palestinian Statehood

November 15, 2009

[Sent to the UN Security Council nations.  The U.S. must be contacted through this form.  Austria must be contacted through this form.  The other security council nations can be reached at the following email addresses: ChinaMissionUN@Gmail.com, france@franceonu.org, rusun@un.int, UK@UN.int, costarica@un.int, cromiss.un@mvpei.hr]

While I am in favor of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I strongly discourage the United Nations Security Council from considering Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat’s recent suggestion that the UNSC should recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip regardless of and separate from negotiations with Israel.  With Hamas ruling the Gaza Strip and murdering members of the Fatah opposition, the Palestinians are incapable of self-government at this time.  Furthermore, a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood would negate the nearly twenty year peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Furthermore, as Haviv Rettig Gur argues in an analysis published in the Jerusalem Post:

“[N]othing would be solved on the thorny issues that face negotiators, such as Jerusalem, refugees, Palestinian disarmament and borders.  These would simply transform from the subject of internationally backed (though not yet started) negotiations between Israel and the PA [Palestinian Authority] to bilateral negotiations between Israel and the state of Palestine.  The issues themselves would remain unchanged.”

Therefore, I urge you not to take Erekat’s suggestion seriously for the sake of both sides of the conflict.

Thank you,

G.H.

Sherman Oaks, CA