UN Security Council Resolution 2334 & Understanding Orientalism

In response to the December 23 anti-Israel UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and the Obama Administration’s decision not to use the US veto to defeat the resolution, Philip Marcus writes:

The abstention was indeed shameful and spiteful. But it is not only Obama who has been adopting an attitude against Israel and all it stands for.

From its very foundation, the UN, and many other transnational organizations (such as the EU and ICC) were based on the hubris of the Western powers, that their way of human rights and liberal democracy was the only way. Their way aimed for world peace, but assumed that all the nations of the world would agree, despite the fact that, for many religions and cultures, autocratic rule and world domination by any means, including war and terrorism, are deeply embedded, and world peace is the goal which can be achieved.

This mistaken idea has enabled the other nations cynically to exploit the Western powers, using slogans such as imperialism and colonialism to cow them into feelings of guilt, and give  excuses for, and thereby render them impotent against, terrorism and bloodshed.

This requires a fuller treatment – if I ever have time I will write an essay – but I recommend this article in the Middle East Quarterly: “Celebrating Orientalism” by Richard Landes. It describes well how Edward Said played into this hubris and cowardice, and carried with him the vast majority of academics and policy makers. He had, of course, a willing audience in the Arabists of the State Department, the British Foreign Office, and the Quai d’Orsay. Kerry and Obama swallowed it whole.

But the disgusting resolution has passed and, like everything, it is in G-d’s hands. At this time we celebrate the survival of authentic Judaism, and through it the Jewish people, despite the efforts of nations and empires innumerable. It’s sometimes tough – very tough – but no matter how hard they try, we are still here. Am Yisrael Chai – the People of Israel Live!