Far from fulfilling its founding mandate to stop aggression and protect human rights, the U.N. “makes matters worse,” argues Gold (Hatred’s Kingdom), Israel’s U.N. ambassador from 1997 to 1999. In this vigorous if one-sided polemic, Gold contends that the U.N. has proved unable to forestall or resolve international conflicts: its peacekeeping forces allowed genocide to proceed in Rwanda and Bosnia; it has failed to curb terrorism and nuclear proliferation; and it has allowed the General Assembly to become a forum for the anti-Western demagoguery of authoritarian regimes. The U.N.’s rigid stance of “impartiality” leads it to accord “moral equivalence” to every party, no matter how stark the contrast between aggressors and victims–a lack of “moral clarity” that Gold finds particularly galling when the U.N. has criticized or obstructed Israel or the U.S. Gold covers many of the salient international crises, from the U.N.’s founding to the current war in Iraq, paying special attention to the Arab-Israeli conflict. His indictment is sometimes telling and sometimes tendentious. His criticism of the U.N. inspection programs and sanctions against Iraq, for example, obscures the fact that they succeeded in disarming Saddam. And his assumption that moral clarity alone should be sufficient to unite the world’s democracies behind American leadership will strike some as willfully naïve. Photos. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
September 24, 2020