Commentary and Newsletters

Anne Bayefsky


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

In a direct challenge to free societies everywhere, a report from the UN-sponsored Alliance of Civilizations (an oxymoron if there ever was one) was released this week. What do the members of the "high level group" who drafted the report, such as former Iranian President Khatami, have to say about the needs of civilization? Khatami's expertise on the subject presumably comes from his reign as president of the leading state sponsor of terrorism. His personal presidential experience, for instance, includes the pursuit of nuclear weapons, the biggest crackdown on the Iranian media since the Iranian revolution, and rounding up and imprisoning Jews on trumped-up charges of spying.

Not surprisingly, therefore, the report's recommendations begin with the "Israeli-Palestinian conflict" and the claim that this is the leading situation on earth today that "colors cross-cultural and political relations among...faiths." And why the conflict? "Israel's continuing occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories and the unresolved status of Jerusalem...are primary causes of resentment and anger in the Muslim world toward Western nations." Not, mind you, the rejection of the mere existence of a Jewish state by its Muslim and Arab neighbors for over half a century. In other words, their recipe for improving cross-cultural and political relations is to fix the Jewish problem.

Another day, another UN report, irrelevant for anyone seriously interested in tolerance and co-existence.