The Security Council is precisely the institution that could give the peace process a dignified burial.
The secretary general of the Arab League, of all people, expressed the truly good tidings brought by the war in Lebanon. Amr Moussa announced to "the world" that the peace process was dead and there was no choice but to refer it to the United Nations Security Council. Apparently, Moussa has quite the sense of humor. The Security Council, after all, is precisely the institution that could give the peace process a dignified burial. It only need get in line behind resolutions 242 and 338, or the stillborn resolution 1559, or the fading 1701, all of them brand names for international impotence.
Never mind that the Arab League is complaining, but when Israel complains that UN Security Council resolutions like 1701 or 1559 are not being implemented, it is difficult to swallow the smile. Innocent Israel is disappointed with the Security Council? Israel the Just is complaining about non-implementation of UN decisions? After all, real countries sit at the Security Council, not utopias seeking world peace. This is a club of interests in which everyone, but everyone, like Israel, specializes at batting their eyelashes and winking. There is not a single country there that sins by being naive. Resolution 1701? Okay, as long as it is not implemented. A multinational force? Sure, as long as it comes from countries that don't care about its soldiers.
And what about the permanent members? Maybe when they speak outside the "council" their commitments are weightier? It is difficult not to remember British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the eve of the Iraq war. He promised then, with all Britain's prestige, that in exchange for British agreement to fight against Saddam, resolute political action would be taken to advance the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Has anyone heard from Mr. Blair lately? Does anyone know what the famous Quartet looks like, the very same Quartet that is supposed to push the sides into a peace process? And what about Bush's commitment to creating a new Middle East?
It's nice to make fun of French President Jacques Chirac's hypocrisy. But it seems there is no more honest politician. Chirac is not telling tales about the peace process. As far as he is concerned, Iran is a dangerous country, but also one of opportunity. He prefers signing fat contracts with Saudi Arabia over useless jabbering about applying pressure on Syria or Iran. One will never hear hollow statements from him about a new Middle East or the Road Map. It's not that other European or American leaders don't know the truth, but Chirac is the only one to state it without blushing.
That's why it has become impossible to put up with the bluff that comes up over and over again when the need for a new political initiative arises, with Israel evading it by asking how Europe and the U.S. will respond - as if the U.S. and Europe hold the moral political level and the key to political wisdom. Will Bush, for example, be pleased with an Israeli initiative to negotiate with Syria or should we wait until Washington changes its tone; is it okay to recognize Hamas, or would that insult Washington, which has adopted Israel's position that the movement is a terrorist organization.
The results are miserable. A third intifada is developing in Israel's hands while the second is still not over and Israel is behaving as if it has nothing to do with it. It, after all, belongs to the "international community," which this week will look into what should be done with Iran. And what's an intifada compared to a nuclear Iran? This is a flawed argument. Because Israel alone cannot accomplish anything against Iran, and even with other countries, it is doubtful its help will be of any use. On the other hand, Israel can do something to neutralize the threat of intifada. Israel might get a resolution resembling 1701 passed against Iran. However, Israel holds the solutions to the intifada - not Washington and certainly not the UN Security Council.