The United Nations
UN in the News
But Seriously: Behind the Scenes at the UN
By Sam Orbaum
April, 30 2001
The world assembly works tirelessly at resolving global issues - namely, condemning Israel.
"An emergency? I'll be right there," the Paraguayan ambassador to the UN told the caller.
This better be very important, grumbled Indonesia's UN ambassador as he got into his limo.
"Honey, wake up! I have to go to the office, something's happened," the Bermuda ambassador to the UN told his wife. "Must be really big, or why would they be calling at 3 in the morning?"
The Latvian ambassador put down the phone and immediately called the Tahiti ambassador. "Did you hear?" Of course he heard; every representative of the world's 188 member nations was summoned by the frantic call. "It could only mean one thing," Tahiti told Latvia, a tremor in his voice. "War. World War Three. Why else would they call us at this hour?"
(It would turn out the reason was much worse.)
The speeding Pakistani limo cut in front of the Indian limo on the way to the UN building, and a war very nearly did break out right there on the streets of New York. But within an hour, 188 ambassadors had arrived.
Speculation was rife.
A man approached the microphone, and a buzz raced through the hall: it's the Palestinian ambassador to the UN!
"Unspeakable tragedy," he blurted. He trembled. Then he fainted.
The ambassadors were hushed. One word pulsated in their minds: Israel!
Then two more words came to mind, with miraculous coincidence at the very same moment, to each of the diplomats: Excessive Violence.... Automatically followed by: Disproportionate Response.
(Look, diplomats are individual thinkers representing staunchly independent nations whose very sovereignty would be compromised if anyone tried to influence their strictly autonomous policies. It would be unjust to suggest a herd mentality, but just as ice makes one think of the word "cold," Israel immediately brings to mind the words "Excessive Violence" and "Disproportionate Response" in each and every impartial person.)
"Let's vote on it now!" shouted Belgium.
The Palestinian, revived, was helped to his feet. Feebly, obviously crazed with grief, he forced out the words. "Holocaust," he said hoarsely. "My people are ... are being ... ex ... exterminated. It has begun. The final solution to the Palestinian problem. You must stop the murderous Zionists now!"
"Damn Jews!" the United Kingdom snarled, and who could disagree?
Well, except for Micronesia. "Uh, I don't think -"
"SHUT UP!" the rest of the world roared.
The Palestinian could have left it at that. But no. Gaining strength, he continued with the horrific news.
"Pregnant women, innocent babies, Christian priests, even a little boy from my village, the Israeli terrorists have spared no one. You can't imagine. My own, aged mother..."
Germany was white with rage.
The world community had heard enough.
"It is time to act, once and for all!" France exclaimed.
But Palestine was not finished.
"What is this world coming to?" he sobbed to, essentially, the world. "The United Nations must hate my people, truly. Palestinians have been oppressed since the time of Adam and Eve, and still we have no country!"
"Throw the Jews into the sea," cried one, which was a bit much, but it was Syria who said it, so what could you expect? No one said anything.
"I say we decide here and now on the establishment of the new, democratic State of Palestine," roared Austria, "and the hell with protocol!"
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, their approval rang out.
Except for Micronesia. He cleared his throat. "Now, hold on a sec -"
The Palestinian took out his pistol and fired a shot into the ceiling.
"Let the honorable representative from Palestine speak!"
He could hardly get out a word through the sobs. "It would be fine and good to have our own country, finally, after 2,000 years of waiting," he rasped. "But your promises are empty. My infant daughter, suckling at her mother's breast in a holy mosque, ya'ani, may be murdered this very moment by barbaric settlers. While you talk, talk, talk, there is mass slaughter."
"And excessive violence and disproportionate response," Nicaragua called out helpfully, which brought on a big cheer, not only because everyone agreed with him, but because the Nicaraguan had just begun to learn English, and these were the first words he learned to say.
It was by now well known that the Israeli genocide of the innocent, peace-loving Palestinians was under way - "They do not even have the decency to first put us in concentration camps," the aggrieved Arab pointed out - because highly respected Palestinian officials had said so.
(They were lying, of course, and everyone knew that, but these were diplomats, and it would have been unthinkably indecent to accuse the Palestinians of lying.)
Palestine was still not finished, which was foolish, because what more could he say?
Plenty. And too much.
"They say we are all terrorists! Does anyone here believe I am a terrorist?" Nobody said yes. "Aha, so another Zionist lie is proven. I personally know many, many Palestinians, and not even one has ever harmed a fly, or beat his wife. Jewish brutality has a long and vicious history, and it continues even until this very hour, as I am sure you have heard."
Frankly, nobody had, because they were all asleep.
"What have they done now?" Lithuania demanded.
The Palestinian paled. "They ... uh -"
"They used excessive force?" Canada suggested helpfully.
"Yes, that's it, excessive force. And disproportionate response. Against unarmed children."
A murmur ran through the hall.
Did he say racism?! This was more than they could bear. Pandemonium broke out. A dozen new UN resolutions were now being formulated. The civilized world, Iraq pointed out, would not tolerate this.
The Palestinian, emboldened, was not about to let it go at that. He quickly checked his mental list.
"We are starving, I tell you, and the Zionist settlers are building Burger Kings all over our land, even on holy Moslem al-Aksa! That is why we are maybe throwing a few stones at their tanks, because what can we do when they spread hoof and mouth disease to us, and give our little girls aphrodisiac gum and then kidnap them for terrible experiments while
dropping mustard gas on our homes and then say that we are the terrorists!"
OK, it wasn't true, but this was the UN, and he was the honorable representative, so what could anybody say?
Not that Micronesia didn't try.
"- But don't you think," he soldiered on, "it would be fair to permit Israel to respond to the charges of the, uh, honorable ambassador?"
Funny, no one had thought to invite Israel.
But it didn't really matter, because everyone knew that Israel would respond predictably with barefaced innocence and furthermore accuse the Palestinians of heaven knows what, which would have enraged all mankind, so in fact by not inviting the ambassador they spared Israel a lot of embarrassment.
"Well, what have they done now?" Belgium demanded. Whatever it was, they were going to break relations with Israel, that's for sure.
"Tell us!" a chorus arose.
"They - they ..." Conveniently, the Palestinian swooned again.
Well! It must have been really excessive, and very disproportionate.
And it was.
"Our Mecca ..." the half-crazed Palestinian cried. "The Israelis ... forbidden access to ... no one is allowed..."
Denmark was formulating a draft censure (filling in the blanks on the standard UN anti-Israel censure form), and needed a few facts (optional). "Then, the Israelis are barring the Palestinians from praying at the Aksa Mosque?"
"No, worse! The Israelis are barring Israelis from playing at the Jericho casino. It is economic terrorism, I tell you, they are imposing poverty on us. We even promised not to kill their Jewish gamblers, but still they are stiff-necked, which proves who wants peace and who wants war."
The resolution condemning Israel for crimes against humanity passed by a vote of 187-0 (Micronesia's vote was discounted, due to a technicality), followed by another unanimous vote, condemning Israel for ruining a good night's sleep.
©2001 - Jerusalem Post
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