Wednesday, July 30, 2003

UN Petition on Suicide Bombings. Why bother?

Susan, one of this site's would be bloggers, as well as a person of great moral and intellectual clarity, had this to say in response to an internet petition to the United Nations to treat suicide bombings as war crimes:
Even though it's for a facially good cause, it really bothers me to do anything that implies that the United Nations has any legitimacy. If I petition them to issue a resolution with respect to suicide bombings, aren't I saying that their resolutions deserve respect? And if that's true, then am I giving credence to any of the gazillion anti-Israel resolutions that they, in their idiocy, have passed over the years?
Stuart, another of this site's would be bloggers, husband of Susan, and a man of such strong convictions that he would rather make three right turns than ever turn left, had this unusually short but pointed endorsement of Susan's email:
= )

Although I have some mixed feelings about the whole thing, I have to agree with Susan and Stuey (as of course I do, on many things). The U.N. is morally corrupt in so many ways, with its treatment of Israel as the most obvious example, that appealing to it in any way clearly implies credibility. Where I have some ambivalence is the idea of getting things out in the record, so to speak. Having an institution, even as odious as the UN, call suicide bombing a war crime would be a remarkable victory of sorts. Yet we all know it wouldn't happen... couldn't; the fiasco of the Durban Conference on rascism tells us as much. And when has getting something in the record done anything to combat a thing such as anti-semitism. Bottom line: it is only when there is a UN that would call suicide bombing racism would such a petition be desirable.

Food for thought was provided by my sister and her husband, both of whom signed the petition. Although charges of 'multilateralism' and 'undue Belgian influence' went flying around, calmer heads prevailed and a good point was raised: a weak turn-out on voting may provide those who support suicide bombing against Israel with a kind of victory. I guess that is right. But then, how much value is this thing in either case? I tend to reject ALL internet polling or petitions out of hand --- I think of them as useless. But I make exceptions. Will need to think about this one a bit more. But for what it is worth, Susan checked out the group that launched this petition and it is from a pro-Israeli group that has Daniel Pipes on its Board. So, seems like a meaningful organization.


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