Asking the UN to help prevent bombing attacks is "embarrassing them." WTF?

Asking the UN to help maintain peace is “a clear bid to embarass them”? Maybe it’s a bid to get them to do their job. IIRC the UN was established for the purpose of maintaining peace.

If the UN refuses to help prevent bombing attacks in an area they help to administer, then they ought to be embarassed.

Or, is the highest priority to avoid putting the UN in a bad light no matter how badly they fuck up? Unfortunately, I think some people feel this way.

Sorry - forgot the link

Try this logic:
[li]U.N. officials aid Palestinians in refugee camps.[/li][li]Aiding Palestinians only encourages them (if you ignore them, they’ll go away).[/li][li]So they send out more suicide bombers.[/li][li]So it’s the U.N. officials who are responsible for the Palestinian suicide bombers.[/li][li]So it will embarrass them to try to get them to ask the Palestinians to stop the suicide bombings.[/li][/ul]

Does that fly?

Duck Duck Goose, that logic makes no sense whatsoever.

december, the relationship between Israel and the UN is a volatile one. Specifically, the fact that the establishment of a Palestinian state is something the UN generally subscribes to. Diplomatic comdemnation of this stance and its implications have been commonplace in Israeli politics, especially since Sharon came to power. To ask, under such circumstances, that the insititution you so despise help you out because of another one of their pillars (maintaining peace) is farcical.

This is not to say that the UN can’t play a role in the Israel/Palestine matter, but it would at the very least require a different diplomatic approach from the current Israeli government.

This is one of those total bullshit Pit threads, isn’t it?

I’m guessing that DDG was attempting to throw december’s particular brand of logic back at him.

For the record, Sharon needs to go just as much as Arafat needs to go.

Oh, totally. Don’t get me wrong. I’m an equal opportunity hater when it comes to the current frontmen in the Israel/Palestine debate.

Are you advocating UN peacekeepers in the West Bank or are you assuming every UN presence must equal ‘peacekeeping’ ?

We both know these UN people are not military personel but relief workers. You want these people to undermine their credibility and endanger themselves without any kind of protection or you want them to do a job for some non-existent peacekeeping force ?

Call me old-fashioned but asking the U.N. Relief and Works Agency to become embroiled in areas and issues a long way from their specialities would rather undermine their ability to do what they do. These are people who do their particular job because they have particular skills and, often, a natural affinity with their subject.

Yep reprise, it’s another one of his total bullshit threads.

I’m addressing the spin in the Reuters article.

ISTM that “a campaign to get U.N. officials to help stop suicide bombings” ought to be described as “a clear bid to get U.N. officials to help stop suicide bombings.” Why not assume that Israel request is sincere? It’s a reasonable request of the UN, not an attempt to embarass them.

When Reuters says this request is an attempt to embarass the UN, they are saying the request is insincere. They are implying that the UN obviously cannot be expected to help prevent suicide bombings. That seems like a bizarre assumption.

London_Calling has made a case for this POV, but I find it unpersuasive. I don’t know the capabilities of the UNRWA. Maybe they need help form some other part of the UN.

I think most Americans would be unhappy if they understood that their tax money was being used bomb Israeli civilians. I think they’d be furious if the UN agency giving out their money said they obviusly had no obligation to even try to monitor its misuse.


Even IF the UN workers currently in Israel were happily supplying Palestinian suicide bombers with semtex and wiring, the US tax payer still needn’t worry about his precious tax dollars, as can be seen in this graph depicting the US debt to the UN vs. the total debt to the UN.

december, you talk out of your ass. I’m done with you.

The Relief agencies DO NOT get involved in the political side of the UN’s business.

It would be akin to sending the Salvation Army into police a demilatarized zone.

Coldfire seems not to understand the difference between a point in time liablity as compared to an amount contributed over a period of time. Of course, his/her cite is spun to play on that misunderstanding among the financially naive.

In fact, in 2002, the US share of the UN’s regular budget was 22% or $283 million. The United States assessed share of UN peacekeeping expenses now accounts for 28%. In 2001, the US share was $875 million. These two figures indicate that the US contribution to the United Nations is over one billion one hundred million dollars a year.

I’m uncertain whether US contirubtions to UNRWA are included in the above figure. The US has been quite generous to the Palestinians. E.g.:

I’m not going to keep repeating the obvious. The point is these particular people are relief workers, not military personel, not peacekeepers, not trained to be peacekeepers, not the first idea about peacekeeping and without inclination to be peacekeepers.

I repeat; are advocating UN peacekeepers in the West Bank or are you advocating UN Relief Workers spy on behalf of the IDF ?

Just about sums you up, does it december – you concede you don’t know, but you’ll make assumptions based on your close-minded ignorance anyway.
There’s absolutely no debate here. End.

LC, the UN is a huge organization, with an annual budget of over a billioln dollars. If they are unintentionally supporting terrorists, it’s a feeble excuse to argue that this particular sub-agency isn’t equipped to deal with mis-use of their money.

First of all, one part of giving away money ought to be seeing that it’s used properly. So, UNRWA ought to be able to do that. A couple of posters have alleged that they can’t do that, but without cites or evidence.

Secondly, the UN could try providing additional support from other agencies, if need be.

But, the OP doesn’t even claim that the UN can prevent their money from being used for terrorism or that they should. It simply maintains that it’s reasonable for Israel to ask them to try.

Can anyone (except Reuters) possibly disagree?

december: *Why not assume that Israel request is sincere? It’s a reasonable request of the UN, not an attempt to embarass them.

When Reuters says this request is an attempt to embarass the UN, they are saying the request is insincere. *

You seem to be mixing up two different issues here:

  1. whether it is reasonable to request UN Relief and Work Agencies officials in refugee camps to “help stop” suicide bombings;

  2. whether that request, reasonable or not, was made by Israel in all sincerity or as an attempt to “embarrass” the UN.

Taking issue (2) first, the article’s basis for describing Israel’s motive as intent to embarrass seems to be the following:

  • Israel and the UN are often at loggerheads: “Israel has a history of tension with the United Nations and is bitter about abortive U.N. efforts to send a fact-finding mission to Jenin.”

  • Israel is upset with the UN about their response to the Jenin events: “Israel […] was incensed at remarks by U.N. Middle East envoy Terje Roed-Larsen in April that the Israeli army used “morally repugnant” tactics in its assault on Jenin refugee camp.”

  • Israel is not just requesting assistance in this from UNRWA, it’s also accusing them of ignoring and/or fostering terrorism in refugee camps: “Israel says UNRWA turns a blind eye to militant activities…[Israeli foreign ministry advisor Alan] Baker [charged that UNRWA] was guilty of ‘emotional incitement’ in Jenin.”

Given this ongoing antagonism, you don’t need to be biased against Israel to come to the conclusion that if Israel is publicly making an official request to the UN, it’s probably doing so in order to score political points rather than as a humble plea for help. Governments and organizations do this kind of political fencing all the time; I’m rather surprised that you would think it an unusual and malicious diagnosis that could only have been inspired by prejudice against Israel.

I’m also a little surprised that you would consider a description of Israel as “attempting to embarrass the UN” as a negative reflection on Israel. From most of your threads on these topics, I get the impression that you don’t approve of UN policies and think they deserve to be embarrassed, so I would think you’d be pleased to see a newspaper article saying that Israel is attempting to do so.

As for issue (1), whether it’s reasonable to request UNRWA to “help stop suicide bombings”: well, what exactly do you think that they should do about them? As the article notes, UN Sec.-Gen. Kofi Annan has said that “no one, including Israel, wanted [UNRWA] to have security or intelligence functions.” If they don’t have security or intelligence functions, just what kind of action against Palestinian terrorism are you or Mr. Baker expecting them to take?

First of all, one part of giving away money ought to be seeing that it’s used properly. So, UNRWA ought to be able to do that.

They have a detailed budget of their income and expenditures by programme and field. What items of that budget are you claiming they are not using properly? If what you’re claiming is that recipients of UNRWA aid may be using the money improperly without UNRWA’s knowledge, exactly what do you expect UNRWA to do about that if they don’t have security or intelligence functions?

*Secondly, the UN could try providing additional support from other agencies, if need be. *

But Israel was not requesting the UN to “provide additional support from other agencies”; it was requesting UNRWA in particular to “help stop suicide bombings”.

Let us know exactly what specific actions you think UNRWA should take, or you think Israel thinks UNRWA should take, and then we can figure out if that constitutes a “reasonable request” or not. At present, Mr. Baker’s vague “Please do something” sounds at best completely unhelpful and at worst like a veiled accusation.

It was recently reported that Arafat had stolen some large amount of this money – $5 million IIRC. Let’s suppose Arafat were stealing even more of it. What should UNRWA do?

I’d say they would have an obligation to find out if large amounts of money were being misapplied. If they determined that such was the case, they’d have to find some way of seeing that the money got used for relief aid for the people. They might have to bypass Arafat and give the money out in some other way.

Similary, if they determined that their money was being used for warfare, rather than for relief aid, they should make some change. Since they control the money, they have the hammer.

It’s not pretty to see the UN behave like a lazy waiter of many old jokes.

I don’t understand your point here. Are you saying that since the US “owes” money to the UN, the US must not be giving the UN any money?

No, The Ryan, that’s not what I’m saying.

And no, I’m not gonna play Semantics for Dummies with you, either. Find someone else to play with, like december here. He seems to enjoy a nice bit of spin just as much as you.

Question for you, **Coldfire **:

Suppose If the Palestinians were spending UN relief money to bomb cities in the Netherlands. Would you think your government ought to ask the UN if they could do something about the situation? Or, would that be merely an “attempt to embarass the UN”?

There you go, The Ryan, that’s your cue. Tear him apart.

Me, I’m going to bed. I’m gonna dream of a plan to make the UN give me money so I can remodel my kitchen, and blame the Palestinians if I overshoot the budget.

Of course the UN is not diverting humanitarian relief funds to assist terrorists. It needs every US dollar it can grab to spread socialist/internationalist propoganda throughout America by dropping leaflets at night from black helicopters to impressionable children.

Seriously, what do you think the UN is about? Promoting terrorism or working to world peace, health and prospertiy? If you think that the UN promotes terrorism, you are a fool, and moreso if you believe that maintaining neutral humanitarian aid efforts constitutes bombing civilians.