Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘human development index

So many of such minorities…? Only in Israel counting is a sacred business…

“Liberal” Zionists have acquired this tendency of glorifying the apartheid nature of Israel by avoiding the occupation policies and the ever expansion of illegal settlements in the Palestinian Territories, and putting forth the “imaginary threats that Israel is facing or might be facing, without reminding the readers that these threats are the results of Zionism ideology of supremacy and heaping indignities on the “goyim” everywhere the Zionists are in majority and in control… This following article is an example.

AARON DAVID MILLER published on August 14, 2012 In the New York Times under “Preserving Israel’s Uncertain Status Quo”:

“If someone asked me to sum up in a sentence where Israel will be a decade from now, I’d paraphrase Dickens: It will be neither the best nor worst of times. The Israelis will prosper and keep their state, but the Arabs and Iranians will never let them completely enjoy it.

What drives many Israelis and the successive governments is not a Scrooge-like Christmas Eve glimpse of a terrifying future, but a strange mix of accomplishment, comfort and anxiety that reinforces the desire to maintain the status quo, particularly on the Palestinian issue.

And that attitude is not going to change anytime soon.

Mitt Romney’s stumble on the Palestinian question highlighted just how comfortable many Israelis are, and the sheer magnitude of what they have accomplished. Romney mistakenly lowballed Israel’s per capita G.D.P. (about $31,000 in 2011, according to the World Bank, rather than his misstated $21,000).

Israel has serious worries:

1. The gaps between rich and poor are growing.

2. The military conscription issue highlights the resentment toward the ultra Orthodox, their unemployment rate (60 percent for men) and the drain they place on state resources.

3. The country’s demographics look bad — too many ultra-Orthodox Jews, Palestinians and Israeli Arabs and not enough secular Jews.

4. The frequent mass demonstrations that have been organized for a year now by Israelis young and old protesting the extremes in wealth and poverty and the squeeze on the middle class were stunning reminders of the extent of general disaffection.

Still the demonstrations weren’t sustainable. Most likely, it’s because — all in all — times are just not that bad. Indeed, along with all the forecasting of gloom and doom there’s this: Per capita Israel gives rise to more startups than any other country in the world.

On the U.N.’s 2011 Human Development Index, Israel — a country of seven-and-a-half million people — stands 17th out of 187 nations. The discoveries of natural gas in the Mediterranean will not only take care of Israel’s needs but by 2017 make it a significant exporter.

As for the Palestinian issue that threatens to undermine Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic State, the dangers seem mitigated by the current situation.

The Palestinian Authority’s state-building enterprise and the security cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian services have generated more than a manageable status quo and all but eliminated terrorism.

The Arab Spring has left the Hamas leadership with few options and no real desire to wrangle with the Israelis militarily. And the approaching demise of the Assad regime in Syria will weaken Hezbollah.

If economic prosperity and a tolerable Palestinian problem seem to reinforce the status quo, the disquiet caused by instability elsewhere in the region validates Israel’s caution in not wanting to change it.

Israel seems bookended by two major worries that have all but subordinated the Palestinian issue to the back burner: Egypt’s future and Iran’s centrifuges.

The Israelis may have gotten over the shock of Hosni Mubarak’s ouster and the immediate fear that a Muslim Brotherhood president was going to abrogate the peace treaty. The Egyptian military and Cairo’s need for Western support will prevent that.

Yet the range of problems from security in the Sinai to support for Hamas in Gaza will introduce new uncertainty into Israel’s most important relationship with any Arab state and the only one based on the exchange of significant territory for the promise of normalized relations. Should that relationship deteriorate, the chances of a deal with the Palestinians on the same basis will recede.

The Iranian nuclear issue presents an even greater challenge and strategic priority. Israel is seeing its worst fears now realized. Sanctions hurt but won’t retard Iran’s enrichment of uranium, and negotiations aren’t capable now of producing a deal to stop that process at bomb-grade levels.

The fall of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria will help weaken Iran. But it could also serve to accelerate the Iranian nuclear program out of Tehran’s fear of Sunni encirclement.

One of the biggest losers from the Iranian nuclear program may well be the Palestinians. The Israelis never bought the argument that solving the Palestinian issue would weaken Iranian influence in the region.

For this Israeli government, Iran is a much bigger priority. And if there is an Iranian-Israeli conflict or one involving the United States, the resulting turmoil would make Israeli-Palestinian negotiations almost impossible.

Given the uncertainties in the region, the odds of resolving its most complex problems — Palestine, the Iranian nuclear issue, the Arab quest for representative government — seem very long indeed.

Even under more enlightened governments than the current one, the issue has never been about comprehensive solutions. Instead, Israel traditionally looks to buy time, pre-empt and prevent on the military side when necessary, and take calculated risks in pursuit of peace when possible.

It’s not an ideal strategy — and one not always well-suited to the Silicon Valley of the Middle East and to a country that wants a more peaceful and prosperous future. But it’s kept a small country living on knife’s edge alive and in remarkably good shape. And that’s got to count for something…”

Philip Wiess replied: “Search for these phrases in the New York Times: Too many blacks in Alabama. Too many Jews in New York City.
Obama’s friend Eric Yoffie, a liberal Zionist, has used the same phrase, “too many Arabs.”  You don’t pay a price for such rhetoric in the U.S. No; you get into the New York Times!”

Aaron David Miller is a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the author of “The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace.”

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on August 15, 2012, in The International Herald Tribune.

Frequently, you have this revolting impression that the United Nations is not consistent and loyal to its Charters and conventions; you feel there is this dealing of two measures two weights against States that refuse to go along with unjust deals and not equitable consensus. You feel that the UN is but a symbol and a repository of resolutions that have been quickly shelved under pressures from the veto power “rights” of the five superpowers agreed on in 1946, when the UN included only 58 independent States.

The Charters for human rights were voted on in 1946.  Most States had no intentions of conforming to most of the articles in the Charters, but they signed on just to be among the victor States in the historical joint pictures.  Currently, the UN comprises 192 States and the conventions have accumulated and the Commission  was replaced in 2006 by the Council for human rights and headed by judge Mohammad Bedjaoul.  For example, the Goldstone’s report on crimes against humanity committed by Israel in Gaza in 2008, and the investigation of crimes in Guinea (Africa) in 2009 were commissioned by the UN Council.  There is also a Committee where individuals and groups can depose complaints and then, the Committee formulate recommendations, but the states are not obligated to conform or comply.

The International Penal Court was instituted in 2002 with competence of judging international crimes against humanity.  Its Attorney General Luis Moreno-Ocampo is studying the Goldstone report (that the US sided with Israel to denouncing the report!), the report on the State of Guinea, and the investigations into Darfur (Sudan).  The International Penal Court has already handled the criminals of ex-Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

There have been many conventions related to armed conflicts, genocide, torture, cluster bombs, land mines… Ironically, the US steadily refused to sign on to these conventions.  Thus, since members who did not sign on to a treaty cannot be prosecuted or investigated or controlled then, only the good member States are punished when the superpower States decide to dust off shelved resolutions.  The UN has established measuring sticks to accounting for the effectiveness of its various programs such as in human development (HDIndex), eradicating famine in 2015, assuring primary education, promoting equality between genders, reducing infantile mortality, improving health for mothers, combating common tropical diseases, preserving biodiversity, and investing in renewable energy resources, monitoring environmental degradation, and deforestation…

The UN had to be reminded of its responsibilities and obligations by civil mass protests in England concerning the case of the Chilean ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet and the mandated arrests of Israel Tzipi Livni and other Israeli leaders relevant to their roles in crimes against humanity in Gaza.  For the time being, international relations prime over violations on human rights.  For example, England and Belgium have rescinded and retracted their laws on apprehending State criminals.

The UN had been hijacked by the superpowers in selecting what States should be categorized as “rogue States and rogue organizations”.   During the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union, the US protected rogue States such as Tito of Yugoslavia, apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia (current Zimbabwe), Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Shah of Iran, Saddam of Iraq, Sudan, Morocco…  The Soviet Union protected Albania, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Egypt, Algeria…

The current rogue States are mostly the same with different political dictators, oligarchies, and theocracies.  For example, why Islamic Iran, Venezuela of Chavez, North Korea, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza (Palestine) are targeted as rogue States while Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, Putin of Russia, George W. Bush, Blair of England, and Burlosconi in Italy are to be safe from concerted maligning?

Why western States that bring up fresh political attacks at immigrants and minorities at every election campaign should not be reprimanded by the UN and allowing millions to cowing and suffering psychologically and physically?

Question: “If the superpowers with established institutions and financial means are flaunting basic human rights (such as torturing, using cluster bombs, land mines, chemical products, waging preemptive wars…) then, how can we expect weaker and unstable political States to complying with the UN Charter?  Shouldn’t the UN target first the big offender to give an example and be a catalyst for the smaller nations to outdo the larger States in compliance?”

Note: The UN is composed of 192 States and its overall personnel for all its many institutions is 85,000 employees (double the police force of the city of New York).  The General Secretary employs 40,000 and divided as follows:  Peace operations (excluding the Blue Helmets task force) are taken in charge by 22,000; those posted in key cities such as New York, Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi about 12,000; working in regional commissions about 2,600, and those recruited by the International Penal Court about 2,000 salaried.  The budget for 2009 was 2,5 billion (lower than any medium-size city in the US).  Most of the superpower States are frequently late for years in paying their dues (the US has yet to pay up its dues of 250 million).  The Blue Helmets task force keeping the peace in 15 operations (in Cyprus, Lebanon, Western Sahara, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Chad, Haiti, East Timor, Liberia, Sudan, Afghanistan…) numbers 100,000; half the task force is recruited from only six countries (Bangladesh,Pakistan, India, Nigeria, Egypt, and Nepal (mostly English speaking countries and poor).




January 2023

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