News Release

Will the UN Stop This War?


Naiman is national coordinator of the new D.C.-based advocacy group Just Foreign Policy, which issued a statement today saying: “Under international law the UN Security Council is supposed to act to stop crimes against peace but [it] cannot do so in this case because it is paralyzed by the veto of the Bush administration, which opposes an immediate cease-fire and is backed in this position by the United Kingdom. However, under resolution 377, ‘Uniting for Peace,’ the UN General Assembly can act when the Security Council fails to do so. This procedure has been used 10 times in the history of the UN, often at the initiative of the United States.” (See: “A Road to Peace in Lebanon?” Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith, July 27, 2006.)

Naiman said today: “We are circulating a petition calling for the UN General Assembly to act to bring about an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon, Israel and Gaza. Any UN member country could put this forward. Even a significant movement towards the convening of the General Assembly to consider an immediate, unconditional cease-fire will put significant pressure on the major powers to support an immediate cease-fire.”
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President Bush said yesterday: “We will work toward a plan in the United Nations Security Council that addresses the root causes of the problem, so that whatever comes out of the Security Council will be able to last.”

Jimmy Carter wrote in a piece published by the Washington Post this morning: “The Middle East is a tinderbox, with some key players on all sides waiting for every opportunity to destroy their enemies with bullets, bombs and missiles. … There will be no substantive and permanent peace for any peoples in this troubled region as long as Israel is violating key UN resolutions, official American policy and the international ‘road map’ for peace by occupying Arab lands and oppressing the Palestinians.”

Zunes is Middle East editor for Foreign Policy In Focus and author of the book Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism. He recently wrote: “The Bush administration and Congress correctly call for the disarming of Lebanese militias, such as Hezbollah, according to UN Security Council resolution 1559, but they conspicuously fail to also demand resolution 1559’s call for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon, such as Israel’s. The United States never called for the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 425 and nine subsequent resolutions calling for Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon during Israel’s 22-year occupation of the southern part of that country. Nor has the House ever called for the full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 446, 451, 465 and 472 calling on Israel to withdraw its illegal settlements from the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights or dozens of other UN Security Council resolutions currently being violated by Israel, Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan or other U.S. allies.” A list of some of the UN Security Council resolutions being violated by U.S. allies is available here.
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Professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Boyle suggests the establishment by the United Nations General Assembly of “an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI) as a ‘subsidiary organ’ under UN Charter Article 22. The ICTI would be organized along the lines of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY), which was established by the Security Council. … [T]he establishment of ICTY by the UN General Assembly would serve as a deterrent upon Israeli leaders such as Prime Minister Olmert, Defense Minister Peretz, Chief of Staff Halutz and Israel’s other top generals because they will be prosecuted for their further infliction of international crimes upon the Lebanese and the Palestinians. Without such a deterrent, Israel might be emboldened to attack Syria. … For the UN General Assembly to establish ICTI could stop the further development of this momentum towards a regional, if not global, catastrophe.” Boyle is author of the books Biowarfare and Terrorism and Destroying World Order.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167