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United Nations, The U.N.

- The Peace FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

● Wasn't the UN created to promote peace and human rights?

● Has the UN displayed a double standard against Israel?
● Does UN resolution 242 require Israel to withdraw its forces back to
the June 4, 1967 lines?
● What are the obligations of the Arabs under UN resolution 242? What
about the Palestinian Arabs in particular?

Wasn't the UN created to promote peace and human rights?

● "...the United Nations was established...to promote peace. [But] It

consists of a welter of sovereign states whose ambassadors use the
devious language of peace as a fig-leaf for national self-
aggrandizement. How any human organization can promote genuine
peace or prevent war when egoism is the basic motive of mankind
[strikes me] as ludicrous".

- Prof. Paul Eidelberg is the Co-founder and President of the

Foundation for Constitutional Democracy in the Middle East

● Even though the UN has clearly failed in most conflict situations to

promote peace and security -- its primary function -- at one task it is
really unmatched. It excels at legitimizing or delegitimizing targets
chosen for political reason by a coalition of dictators who dominate
the world body and whose tainted authority the UN launders.

- Dr. Harris O. Schoenberg , President of the Center for UN Reform

Education, author of A Mandate for Terror

● Arab slave trade continues. U.N. condemns Israel. World thirsty for

Nur Muhammad al-Hasan emerges from the Sudanese bush. His

loose, once-bright white jalabiya flutters as he strides towards me. I
in turn step through the long, dry grass towards him, stooping
slightly as I walk under the weight of a U.S. army kit bag full of
grimy Sudanese bank notes. It is April 1999 and the midday sun is
oppressive. Nur and I greet each other with a handshake and "Salam
'alaykum." We slip under the shade of an enormous mango tree

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where we have some important business to discuss: The liberation of

slaves, mainly women and children.

Our enterprise is not to everyone's liking. Last spring, Sudan's

government, the radical Islamist regime of the National Islamic Front
(NIF) headed by Hasan at-Turabi and Gen. 'Umar al-Bashir,
protested to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights about
our work. The regime claims that my organization, Christian
Solidarity International (CSI), is the main source of the abduction
and kidnapping of children in southern Sudan. In April, the Khartoum
regime also initiated proceedings to deny CSI its consultative status
at the United Nations (U.N.), alleging that we act contrary to the
purposes and principles of the U.N. charter.

About the same time, the world's richest and most influential child
welfare organization, the United Nations International Children's
Emergency Fund (UNICEF), ended its long silence on the
enslavement of Sudanese woman and children. Instead of
condemning the slavers, UNICEF-whose mandate requires it to work
in partnership with the government of Sudan-echoed Khartoum by
calling our liberation of slaves "absolutely intolerable," and by
accusing us of violating the Slavery Convention. Others, with
agendas of their own, perhaps working with the Sudanese regime or
trying to salvage their own tarnished reputations, have spread
rumors of fraud about these activities.

Then in late October, the U.N. Economic and Social Council voted by
a tally of 26 to 14 (with 12 abstentions) to withdraw our consultative
status, thus effectively excluding CSI from the U.N. system. Yet if
anything is "absolutely intolerable," it is that the international
community has allowed slavery and other crimes against humanity to
be institutionalized by a member state of the United Nations.

All of this campaigning has had some effect, making the "out of
sight, out of mind" attitude less tenable. In February 1999, soon
after Dan Rather of CBS News highlighted the plight of Sudanese
slaves and CSI's role in freeing them, UNICEF broke its silence and
admitted: "Slavery in Sudan exists." Even as it said this, however,
UNICEF appeased the Khartoum regime by condemning the
redemption of slaves as "absolutely intolerable."

...UNICEF's executive director Carol Bellamy made a series of

widely publicized press statements attacking CSI's antislavery
campaign, claiming that Dinka efforts to retrieve their enslaved
women and children contravenes the Slavery Convention and is not
in their own best interests.

...The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson,

has also kept mum on the issue, despite her own staff and

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independent U.N. special rapporteurs confirming the existence of

slavery in Sudan and the government's key role in abetting the slave
trade-in particular, the reports submitted by the former Special
Rapporteur on Sudan Gaspar Biro and his successor Leonardo
Franco. The 1999 Sudan Resolution of the U.N. Commission on
Human Rights failed even to mention the word "slavery." The U.N.
secretary-general, Kofi Annan, has also never publicly condemned
the revival of slavery in Sudan.

And the U.S. government? It too is reluctant. In 1999, for the first
time in six years, Washington declined to serve as the main sponsor
of the Commission on Human Rights' Sudan resolution, leaving this
responsibility to the lukewarm European Union; and the Clinton
administration assented to the commission's "slavery-free"
resolution. Why the change? Because in return, the Sudanese were
prepared not to press hard for a condemnation of the United States
for the rocket attack on Khartoum's Ash-Shifa pharmaceutical factory
in August 1998. However, with an eye on the abolitionist movement
at home, the State Department tried to maintain the moral high
ground by condemning the (U.S.-supported) Sudan resolution as
"deeply flawed" for failing to "confront fully the practice of slavery."
This did not convince; just four days later, the Clinton administration
announced a weakening of sanctions on Sudan (by allowing the sale
of agricultural goods and pharmaceuticals).

...The sad truth must be acknowledged: Sudanese slaves and other

victims of the NIF's genocidal jihad count for little in a world
preoccupied with other matters. Millions of lives have been lost and
disrupted while the world has largely turned a blind eye toward gross
violations of human rights in Sudan.

Whatever may be the future of the international abolitionist

movement, the Dinkas are right not to wait for help from the U.N. or
any state but to find their own ways to liberate their people from
bondage. Still, they can count on my colleagues and me, as well as a
growing number of abolitionists for support until the last slave is

- John Eibner, historian and human rights specialist, assistant to

the international president of Christian Solidarity International. He
has led over twenty fact-finding visits to Sudan and neighboring
countries and has pioneered CSI's antislavery program. Source: The
Middle East Quarterly

Has the UN displayed a double standard against Israel?

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● Since Israel is the only nation in the world that is denied the right to
hold a seat on the U.N. Security Council on a rotating basis, the
Jewish State is uniquely reliant upon the influence -- and, if
necessary, the veto -- of the United States to prevent its security
and vital equities from being compromised by that body.

- Center for Security Policy, Washington, D.C, 17 March 1994

● ...Meanwhile, Israel, in deference to World Opinion, is using rubber

bullets to hold back the mob. In Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya or Sudan the
mob would have been shot to pieces; the riots ended; and the World
would have kept its collective mouth shut. The World, what a
disgusting gaggle of hypocritical corrupt nations who kill when it suits
them. Now, like maggots feeding on a corpse, they congregate in the
United Nations, caressing each other in a pit that can only be
described as the Sodom of New York. Even as 500,000 Africans are
butchered without a single conference of the General Assembly,
these sluggards found the time to convene at least three General
Assemblies just to castigate Israel for building houses on land that
the Jews own and which is part of their capital Jerusalem.

- Emanuel A. Winston
Middle East Analyst & Commentator

● Fifty years ago enlightened mankind through UN resolution 181

grudgingly agreed to allow the re-creation of the Jewish State. The
dream came true, the Jews were again to become free people in a
free country. Blinded by the happiness, they did not notice that the
UN was already regretting its move. During the first cease-fire, after
the Arab attack on the newborn Jewish state, UN mediator Count
Bernadotte, on June 27, 1948, in the suggestion to resolve the
crisis omitted all reference to resolution 181. As one of the Hebrew
newspapers wrote at that time, he was planing to squeeze Israel into
boundaries "the size of a coffin" (Avi Shlaim, The Politics of
Partition). His proposal was reminiscent of what the Peel Commission
had recommended in 1937, when it "generously" allocated 4% of
Mandated Palestine for the re-establishment of the Jewish state.

● Efforts to delegitimize Israel have also been part of the record of the
specialized agencies, especially UNESCO, the UN's Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization. In the 1970s, the Arabs in
UNESCO raised questions about archaeological excavations in
Jerusalem. Director-General A.M. M'Bow sent a specialist, Belgian
Professor Raymond Le Maire, to investigate. Le Maire found the
digs were carried out in accord with established international
standards. Muslim holy places were protected, and archaeological
relics from all periods of antiquity were preserved.

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Le Maire's report was suppressed by M'Bow, and UNESCO voted

sanctions against Israel and refused to admit it to a regional group.

Similar to experiences in UNESCO have been developments in WHO,

the World Health Organization. A positive report by an expert, Dr. A.
Bellerive, on health conditions in the Israeli-held territories was
rejected by the WHO Assembly in 1973, and a "special committee"
was created to replace him. The following year Israel was
condemned for refusing to admit the biased special committee. By
1976 Ambassador William Scranton declared that "the absence of
balance, the lack of perspective and the introduction by the WHO of
political issues irrelevant to the responsibilities of the WHO do no
credit to the United Nations. Indeed, this is precisely the sort of
politicized action which decreases respect for the United Nations
system." Twenty years have passed, there is a new Director-
General, and the only population in the whole world whose health
conditions were debated this May at the annual WHO Assembly was
the Palestinian Arabs.

...In April 1983 the PLO claimed that Israel had undertaken a
campaign of genocide against the Palestinian Arabs. Complaints
submitted at the same time by Arab states accused Israel of
responsibility for "mass poisoning" based on an outbreak of
headaches, dizziness, and nausea, particularly among Arab school
girls on the West Bank. Although the International Committee of the
Red Cross and the United States Centers for Disease Control both
confirmed the findings of Israeli doctors that there was no mass
poisoning, the Security Council demanded an inquiry and the
Assembly of the World Health Organization condemned Israel in
connection with the "mass poisonings." In a totally unprecedented
move, it called for direct WHO control over health programs in the
Israel held territories.

- Dr. Harris O. Schoenberg , President of the Center for UN Reform

Education, author of A Mandate for Terror

● "This international masquerade, if we look closely, marks a definite

decline into earlier, barbarous standards. Playing up the problems of
Israel helps to distract attention from the excesses of savage
dictatorial regimes".

- Jacques Givet, in The Anti-Zionist Complex

● In short, "anti-Israeli" sentiment at the UN is often a surrogate for

two other predilections: anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism.

- John R. Bolton, Senior Vice President, American Enterprise

Institute, July 14, 1999

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● [the UN's PLO observer] "can almost always get the majority to
support ... [his] accusations, justified or not."

- Jane Rosen, Manchester Guardian correspondent, in the The New

York Times Magazine, September 16, 1984

"It is the tool of those who would make Israel the archetypal human
rights violator in the world today. It is a breeding ground for anti-
Semitism. It is a sanctuary for moral relativists. In short, it is a

- Professor Anne Bayefsky of York University, Canada, writing of

the UN Human Rights system

Does UN resolution 242 require Israel to withdraw its forces back

to the June 4, 1967 lines?

● That Resolution, the bedrock legal reference contained in the 1993

Declaration of Principles, is said by the Palestinians to require Israel
to leave the entire West Bank. Palestinian commentator Gassan
Khatib, for example, said in a July 11 segment of ABC's Nightline "for
the Palestinians, we're talking about implementing Security Council
Resolution 242, which calls for ending the illegal occupation of Israel
over the Palestinian occupied territories."

Is Israel legally compelled to exit from all the land it has controlled
since the conclusion of a war that was launched to destroy it? The
language of 242 was hammered out with great precision to take
account of Israel's vulnerable pre-1967 borders and to avert future
aggression. Britain's UN ambassador in 1967, Lord Caradon, an
author of the Resolution, argued that: "It would have been wrong to
demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because
those positions were undesirable and artificial."

The American UN ambassador at the time, former Supreme Court

Justice Arthur Goldberg, said 242 omitted reference to Israel's
withdrawing from "the" or "all" territories in order to enable "less
than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territory,
inasmuch as Israel's prior frontiers had proved to be notably

- from EYE ON THE MEDIA: Stumbling on Resolution 242, by Andrea


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● "The former British Ambassador to the UN, Lord Caradon [the chief-
author of 242], tabled a polished draft resolution in the Security
Council and steadfastly resisted all suggestions for change...
Kuznetsov of the USSR asked Caradon to specify 'all' before the word
' territories' and to drop the word 'recognized.' When Caradon
refused, the USSR tabled its own draft resolution [calling for a
withdrawal to the 1967 Lines] but it was not a viable alternative to
the UK text...Members [of the UN Security Council] voted and
adopted the [UK drafted] resolution unanimously..."

from UN Security Council Resolution 242, The Washington Institute

For Near East Policy, 1993, pp 27-28

● Arthur J. Goldberg, an author of U.N. Resolution 242, U.S.

Ambassador to the United Nations (1965-1967):

"It calls for respect and acknowledgment of the

sovereignty of every state in the area. Since Israel
never denied the sovereignty of its neighbouring
countries, this language obviously requires those
countries to acknowledge Israel's sovereignty."

"The notable omissions in regard to withdrawal are the

word 'the' or 'all' and 'the June 5, 1967 lines' the
resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied
territories, without defining the extent of withdrawal....
There is lacking a declaration requiring Israel to
withdraw from all of the territories occupied by it on,
and after, June 5, 1967... On certain aspects, the
Resolution is less ambiguous than its withdrawal
language. Resolution 242 specifically calls for
termination of all claims or states of belligerency and
respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty of
every State in the area. The Resolution also specifically
endorses free passage through international
waterways...The efforts of the Arab States, strongly
supported by the USSR, for a condemnation of Israel
as the aggressor and for its withdrawal to the June 5,
1967 lines, failed to command the requisite support..."
- Columbia Journal of International Law, Vol 12 no 2,

"The Meaning of 242" - June 10, 1977

● Lord Caradon, an author of U.N. Resolution 242, U.K. Ambassador

to the United Nations (1964-1970):

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"We didn't say there should be a withdrawal to the '67

line; we did not put the 'the' in, we did not say all the
territories, deliberately.. We all knew - that the
boundaries of '67 were not drawn as permanent
frontiers, they were a cease-fire line of a couple of
decades earlier... We did not say that the '67
boundaries must be forever."

MacNeil/Lehrer Report - March 30, 1978

● Prof. Eugene V. Rostow, an author of U.N. Resolution 242, U.S.

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (1966-1969):

"Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338... rest on

two principles, Israel may administer the territory until
its Arab neighbors make peace; and when peace is
made, Israel should withdraw to 'secure and
recognized borders', which need not be the same as
the Armistice Demarcation Lines of 1949."

"The Truth About 242" - November 5, 1990

"UN SC 242 calls on Israel to withdraw only from

territories occupied in the course of the Six Day War -
that is, not from 'all' the territories or even from 'the'
territories...Ingeniously drafted resolutions calling for
withdrawal from 'all' the territory were defeated in the
Security Council and the General Assembly one after
another. Speaker after speaker made it explicit that
Israel was not to be forced back to the 'fragile and
vulnerable' [1949/1967] Armistice Demarcation

- UNSC Resolution 242, 1993, p. 17 [The USSR and the Arabs

supported a draft demanding a withdrawal to the 1967 Lines. The
US, Canada and most of West Europe and Latin America supported
the draft, which was eventually approved by the UN Security Council.
- the American Society of International Law, 1970]

"...The Egyptian model fits neither the Jordanian nor

the Syrian case...Former Secretary of Defense
McNamara has said that if he were the Israel's Minister
of Defense, he would never agree to giving up the
Golan Heights...UNSC 242 authorizes the parties to
make whatever territorial changes the situation
requires - it does not require the Israelis to transfer to
the Arabs all, most, or indeed any of the occupied
territories. The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty awards

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[to the Arabs] more than 90 percent of the territory

Israel captured in the Six Day War... permits a transfer
[of all the territories] if the parties accept it, but it does
not require it..."

- UNSC Resolution 242, 1993, pp 18-19, notes that the evacuation of

the Sinai does not imply a requirement to do the same in former
Syrian or Jordanian occupied territory.

● Lyndon B. Johnson, U.S. President (1963-1968):

"We are not the ones to say where other nations

should draw lines between them that will assure each
the greatest security. It is clear, however, that a return
to the situation of June 4, 1967 will not bring peace."

September 10, 1968

● U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 - A set of guidelines for Peace &

What does it say?

o "Termination of all claims or states of belligerency "
o "respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial
integrity, and political
independence of every State in the area "
o "[every State's] right to live in peace within secure and recognized
boundaries free from threats
or acts of force."
o "Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories in the recent
What does it mean?
o The Arab states must end the state of war initiated and maintained
by them since 1948.
o The Arab states must recognize Israel's right to exist.
o Israel is entitled to clearly defensible borders. This is not a
privilege, but rather a right
guaranteed by international law.
o Israel should withdraw from some, not all, of the territories
captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.
o Israel's indefensible pre-1967 borders provided no security.
o The Arab states should sit down with Israel, without preconditions,
to negotiate peace.

- Canadian Friends, International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem

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What are the obligations of the Arabs under UN resolution 242?

What about the Palestinian Arabs in particular?

A nearly forgotten article of UN Resolution 242 requires of the Arabs,

"termination of all claims and states of belligerency and respect for
and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and
political independence of every State in the area and their right to
live in peacewithin secureand recognized boundaries free from
threats or acts of force."

The Palestinians were not recognized as a "State in the area" by

Resolution 242, but if they aspire to that status, it is incumbent upon
their leadership to assume the same obligations toward Israel that
every Arab country has. And since obligations are generally honored
in the breech, an appropriate role for the United States would be to
insist that the Arab states, and the Palestinian leadership, change
both their behavior and their propaganda as a prerequisite to
changes to the borders of Israel.

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