Kafka is Alive and Well

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Kafka is alive and well and lives in a building in Turtle Bay, New York, called the United Nations. The United Nations had been a very noble experiment. Conceived in the midst of the earthquake to the civilized world that was the Holocaust, the premeditative, systematic attempted total annihilation of the European Jewish community, and born shortly after Germany’s defeat in 1945, the United Nations was erected with the noble purpose of “saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime had brought untold sorrow to mankind.”

The horrific events of the 1930’s and 1940’s in the European theater composed the shock to humanity’s central nervous system that created the necessity for that august body.

The United Nations has disintegrated into a sheer travesty of its once noble purpose. There was a hope it would create a forum that would elevate nation states to rise above the fray of ancient prejudices like antisemitism. Rather than being a motivating factor to rise to humanity’s highest levels; it has descended to humanity’s lowest common denominator. It has created a forum to single out Israel, the Jewish state, for opprobrium. It has made Israel the apotheosis of the world’s Jew, assuming its rightful place in a heavily antisemitic world,

According to Ambassador Richard Shifter, and Sharon Wilkes of the American Jewish International Relations Institute, “For more than three decades, the United Nations has pursued actions to denigrate the United States and to de-legitimize Israel.  Year after year, nearly 25% of the UN General Assembly resolutions adopted by roll-call are directed against Israel and are opposed by the U.S.  More serious than the number of resolutions is the content of these decisions, which establish the foundation and provide the funding for a year-round, worldwide anti-Israel propaganda campaign administered by the UN Secretariat’s Division for Palestinian Rights.”

The anti-Israel apparatus at the United Nations was in full swing, this week, with the release of a report by Richard Goldstone, commissioned by the United Nations Council on Human Rights. (May I remind you that this is where that beacon of democratic liberty, Moammar Qaddafi’s Libya currently sits.) The report was written to investigate alleged human rights abuses during Operation Cast Lead.
Article 51 of the United Nations Charter states that it is the primary responsibility of every nation state to protect its civilian population.

From the time of the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza strip in August of 2005 until the end of Operation Cast Lead last winter, Palestinian groups including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and The Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and other spin off groups had launched a reign of terror on Southern Israel, particularly on the Israeli border town of Sederot.

After having endured more than eight thousand rocket attacks since the withdrawal, traumatizing the entire town and making life there a living hell.  How quickly people forget that the children of that town have been scarred for life with the daily trauma of the few minutes to find shelter when the “Seva Adom”, (Code Red) alarm went off. Adults are living daily with the anxiety of post-traumatic stress injury, and cannot internalize that a life without several daily rocket attacks is actually “normal”, and are still waiting for the sirens to sound. There had been several deaths and casualties, although it is nothing short of a miracle that there hadn’t been more.

In what can only be described as a case of selective amnesia, the report glosses over the nightmarish hell that the people of southern Israel had of living with this daily trauma.  It only focuses on the traumas of the Palestinian side, who were the attackers. It glosses over the twenty-first century reality of living with terrorism and unconventional, urban warfare.

Operation Cast Lead has been a success. Hamas and company has been greatly set back in its ability to do harm and inflict terror. The number of rocket attacks since Operation Cast Lead ended last winter, has been reduced to eight. Prior to the operation, the people of Sderot had endured that many attacks in a single day.

What does this set as a precedent for democracies and for those of us who are on the side of living within civilized norms and protecting its civilian population?

By casting Israel under this opprobrium it has legitimized the use of terrorism and tied the hands of all civilized nations trying to protect its civilian populations behind their backs. It ignores the reality that today’s method of warfare is a sinister, urban one that uses their own civilian population as human shields to hide behind, and makes it virtually impossible for a civilized nation to defend its civilian population from the scourge of terrorism, which is the sinister and cowardly way that war is currently being conducted.

The Goldstone commission had become a kangaroo court, as has much of the United Nations. This week it will yet again demonstrate just how low the noble idea behind its birth has fallen. It will, once again, provide a forum to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who just few days ago had called the Holocaust “a lie”, and as he works towards completion of its plans for a nuclear bomb in which to create another Holocaust.

The civilized world has had almost a sixty year reprieve from antisemitism, due to the Holocaust. That dread disease is alive and well and has infected much of the august body that had been created very much as a result of the horrific tragedy that had led to its birth. How far the mighty have fallen.

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About the Author

Sarah Stern
Sarah Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

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