Thursday, July 15, 2004

 

"Likely to undermine its reputation"

Allow me to refer readers to House Resolution 713. The stated purpose of this Resolution is as follows:
Deploring the misuse of the International Court of Justice by a majority of the United Nations General Assembly for a narrow political purpose, the willingness of the International Court of Justice to acquiesce in an effort likely to undermine its reputation and interfere with a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and for other purposes.
I think it would be appropriate at this time to point out the irony of the words "undermine its reputation and interfere with a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict." It would be in the interest of those who support this resolution to consider exactly how the US is percieved around the world. How has US reputation been doing recently, especially in regards to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? What actions have, perhaps, undermined US reputation? Do actions and positions such as those expressed in this resolution undermine any positive reputation we may have left? I think there is a strong case that this is so. Again, though, so much of the discourse in the US focuses solely on the Israeli right and the Pro-Israel lobby in the US. True the ICJ has undermined its reputation with these parties. But did it have much of a reputation to begin with - the UN is not thought of positively in such circles. In terms of a resolution to the conflict, the resolution continues to come back to the US backed Roadmap. The Roadmap has been pretty much abandoned by all parties except the Palestinians, ironically enough, who have called on the Gaza withdrawal plan to be placed in the context of the Roadmap in the hopes that a West Bank withdrawal could be next. Where are the US efforts to push the Roadmap forward? Saying that the ICJ conflicts with the road map is a pretty bogus argument if one looks to what the Roadmap has accomplished so far. The resolution ends with a threat:
(5) cautions members of the international community that they risk a strongly negative impact on their relationship with the people and Government of the United States should they use the ICJ's advisory judgment as an excuse to interfere in the Roadmap process and impede efforts to achieve progress toward a negotiated settlement.
I would hope that the House of Representatives would be able to look at this with a clear head. The US and its "reputation" (or what remains of it in a positive light in regards to this conflict) would be better served by some efforts to "progress toward a negotiated settlement" (possibly working towards re-establishing negotiations, for starters) instead of bickering over the ICJ. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

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