It is no secret that Brits and Americans do not, as a general matter, see eye to eye on the issue of Israel. For the purposes of this discussion, however, it is only important that broad and bipartisan American support for Israel is a fact. After Resolution 2334 sanctioning Israel and the reported machinations that made it happen, the UN is in more peril than it realises.

The UN is not a favored institution in the US. Any appearance of a rosy reputation is a bubble-illusion from the urban elites, the ones who just discovered, or should have, how out of touch they are with American sentiment.

When Americans off the Clinton Archipelago (go ahead, Google that term) think of the UN, they think of absurdities such as the composition of the UN Council on Human Rights, of wasting time to seek an 18th resolution, or, as in this case, of international mob hits on Israel, a tiny democracy that has the audacity to think it has a right to exist.

In the Loftis household, we have more specific UN knowledge. My husband was the senior lawyer on the oil claims tribunal for the United Nations Compensation Commission in the late 1990s. Then-Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina had been calling out the bloated UN bureaucracy, and my husband wanted to have a drink with him to explain, “Senator, you have it all wrong. It’s much worse than you think.”

President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry might have arranged the vote intending to present President Trump with a two-state solution fait accompli upon his inauguration, but this is one last flourish of foolishness from politicians who neither understand American views on Israel nor how American government actually works.

None of it is binding. Executive orders or guidance can be undone. The Left is only now discovering their live by the sword, die by the sword predicament, which is exacerbated by President Obama’s habit of using Executive Orders to force (temporarily, as he is about to learn) his unpopular positions on the American public when their elected representatives refuse to do what he wills.  “Fundamental transformation” of America isn’t on the menu at the Congressional cafeteria.

I’ve seen multiple options about the UN up for discussion after the Israel vote. There are old and bipartisan options, such as a league of democracies, or as National Review had it, “A UN with Standards.” Frankly, some such organisations already exist and the US could simply divert its time and money to working with those organisations first. For other options, I saw calls for Congress to pass a resolution to defund the UN or for President-elect Trump to do so after the inauguration.

Do not object that the idea is just too preposterous. We’ve done it before. Congress did not authorise chunks of dues payments to the UN from the mid 1980s to the late 1990s. The 1999 Helms-Biden Act (yes, the Republican Helms mentioned above and Joseph Biden the current Democratic Vice President) imposed limitations on US funding of the UN. Member states called the US a deadbeat for balking at footing a third of the international body’s budget, despite being one of almost 200 members, or one of five Security Council permanent members.

The sentiments Sen Helms explained in his historic address to the UN Security Council in 2000 have not changed. In fact, they’ve gotten worse and President-elect Trump is not the patient politician that Helms was. (And that is saying something.) He very well may encourage Congress to defund the UN dues, in toto, and be met with cheers. The UN is hardly effective with US funding. How will it fare on an austerity budget?

Yes, this would have long-term consequences. For all of the UN’s flaws it does one thing very well, it provides a space for nations to vent and cool, rather than rush to violence—or in pithy Churchillian phrasing: “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.”  (My husband says that it does do some other things very well — like refugees and the WHO — but the permanent UN staff really wants to be in the business of dictating to member states.  I hear that plan isn’t working out so well for the EU.)

Still,long-term consequences will come to everyone else first. Two oceans, energy independence—oh, did the news of Texas’s new oil field discovery make it across The Pond?— and weariness of constant berating have only fed the isolationist corner of our soul.

Donald Trump is a true iconoclast. And the UN is an icon much of America would not cry over should it shatter.  Would that be good? Perhaps, perhaps not. But, do not think it couldn’t happen.

(Image: sanjitbakshi)


  1. ‘UN Women’ is that gynocentric and misandrist part of the UN that seeks to put a nice, female face on world tyranny.

    The Globalists attempted the same by trying to push Clinton into the White House. UN Women is enough reason alone for the UN to be defunded.

    • No, I think that an organization concerned about women’s rights globally is necessary. The “UN Women”, however, have proven themselves a desperate embarrassment by accusing ISRAEL of being the “only violator of women’s rights.” Yes, you read correctly. ISRAEL, where women have the vote, equal rights, serve in the military and participate in all parts of the work sector.

      • No, it is the compassion and empathy gap between women and men that makes most people only ever here about the plight of women. The corresponding conditions for the plight of men are rarely mentioned. If an organization for women’s rights is necessary, so is one for men’s rights.

        UN Women are more than an embarrassment all round.

      • No, it isn’t. You’ve fallen into the trap of progressivism, by advocating what you deem ‘the common good’, or the blanket notion ‘women are oppressed, men are their oppressors’ (which you didn’t state outright, however the implication is there, eg, a priority victim class).

        This dynamic only persists, rest assured, due to the accentuation and repetition of one side of a narrative (female victimhood), and the omission, contextualisation or rationalising of the other (male victimhood).

        Progressivism assigns rights to collectives, liberalism assigns rights to individuals. John Stuart Mill didn’t argue, in the 19th century, for universal suffrage for women, he argued for universal suffrage. The distinction between the two is the difference between opposing sexism (actual liberalism) and opposition to sexism stopping at the border of male victims (women’s rights).

        The world doesn’t need identity (equality for women) to be prioritised ahead of principle (equality). I would question the very notion of equality, however aside from that it’s evident that the manner the debate is framed – identity rights (collective) vs. individual rights (individualism) – is a very large part of the problem.

        It’s nothing more than the exploitation of identity as a proxy for class warfare (by internationalists, eg, communists, as per the Communist Manifesto); ‘the common good’, as advocated by progressivism, is a fallacious beast, one which has been extended, by progressives, to incorporate everything from pro-white eugenics to support for Italian fascism.

        Its modern iteration is only concerned with shoring up proxy support, among its new under-class (women, non-white people, non-British/American people, non-Christians, non-heterosexuals, etc.), or the imagined collective (‘women’, which is actually 32 million individuals), for the only battle it has ever been concerned with: global government vs. nationalism.

        Identity rights will always be swept aside by this movement in the name of the more pressing ‘common good’. This was particularly evident recently when its opposition to homophobia stopped at the border of a homophobic communist revolutionary. The entire endeavour – identity politics – is merely a smokescreen for internationalism.

        There is no common good, there are just 7 billion individuals. Progressivism, and such groups, undermine the very principles of liberalism and the individual experience.

  2. The UN is an absolute embarrassment, clearly acting on the anti-Semitic whims of Arab Muslim member states, many of whom perpetrate some of the worst human rights violations on the planet. For the avoidance of doubt, Israel’s settlements are COMPLETELY LEGAL. The Jews, and only the Jews have complete sovreignty over historic Palestine which was recognized in 1922 and 1937, and which has never been abrogated. Prior to 1948, many Arab leaders and Arab nationalists recognized the Jewish rights in Palestine. The UN is illliterate in this conflict and needs desperate reform. Defunding from America and Israel should be the best option– at least until they recognize the absurdity of Saudi Arabia being on the Human Right’s Council, thanks to David Cameron’s cowardice and lack of a moral compass. What is missing from this article is the British government’s treachery towards the Jewish people surfacing once again, given that they helped pass this farcical resolution.

    • If what you say is true, then the Israelis must recognise that with sovereignty and freedom also come duties and responsibilities. For many years it has appeared to behave as a petulant child behaves when it cannot get its own way. But it cannot disregard the Palestinian people it displaced in the 1940s. Israel must have the wisdom and courage to signal to the Palestinians and their extremist leaders that they are willing to work together without pre-conditions to achieve peace, as part of one state if not a two-state solution, and the Palestinians must respond accordingly. The vast majority of Palestinians (and Israelis) want only peace, while their leaders demonise their enemies and lead their gullible followers astray. But Israel, too, has its extremists. They will have learned from the Jews’ experiences with Hitler’s Nazis, and one can only contemplate with horror whatever alternative solution those extremists may have in mind for the Palestinians.

      • There will never be peace with with Palestinians and Israel, while only Israel is ‘leaned on’ to compromise. Palestinian leaders use every ‘ceasefire’ as an opportunity to rearm and prepare for the next round of ‘negotiations’. They (the Palestinians) play the International community like a violin. They place rocket batteries in school and hospital courtyards with the express purpose of running up the civilian body count when those batteries are destroyed. Imagine for a moment, Ireland(during the height of the IRA conflict) taken over by a deeply radical wing of the IRA with one of it’s tenets, ‘the abolition of the state of England’. Every couple of months, IRA rockets rain down on Liverpool. When the RAF retaliates and destroys those batteries, CNN is right there with pictures of dead kids for the world to see what monsters you all are. The UN,in all it’s tinpot glory, is quick to threaten and condemn you because, much of their voting membership is made up of former colonies, who wouldn’t mind seeing England humiliated a bit. This goes on, year after year, decade after decade.

        • Your IRA analogy simply doesn’t stand up. It was the UN which brought the modern state of Israel into being, and from the outset Israel has ignored and sidelined the Palestinians as if they did not exist. All those faults and evils for which the Israelis blame Palestinians are, as often as not, projections of their own sins onto their stated enemies. Israel should look in the mirror and try to improve its own shortcomings. There will never be peace between Palestinians and Israelis, for as long as Israeli leaders suffer from the ‘we are always right so blame anybody and everybody except ourselves’ syndrome. This goes on, year after year, decade after decade. A plague on both your houses.

          • There will never be peace betwen Israel and the Arabs. Period. Israel would very much like peace. The Arabs (or at least the leadership, including Abbas) want to extirminate the Jews. If the Arabs laid down their arms tomorrow, there would be peace. If Israel laid down its arms, it would be wiped out, to the last child and baby, within 24 hours.

          • Nonsense. Israel only ever wanted peace on its own terms, and has always contemptuously ignored the issues facing the Palestinians ever since driving the majority of Palestinians from their homes almost seven decades ago. The Palestinians only wanted an end to the state of Israel as it was then and is now constituted, in order to accommodate them as part of a greater state of Israel. It has been Israeli intransigence, arrogance, and hubris over the years, along with demonisation of the Palestinians, which has led to the emergence of extreme leaders on both sides, assisted by the intolerant religious ideologies of both Islam and Judaism. It has become obvious now that a two-state solution is not acceptable to Israel. It has got to the stage where one wonders whether Israel would love to implement a ‘final solution’ to the Palestinian problem, with only the watchful eyes of the civilised world holding it in check. And, actually, you could be right: perhaps the Muslims do feel the same about the Israelis. The Israelis are their own worst enemies. The Arabs are not far behind.

          • I think my analogy was spot on. Hamas was, is, and always will be a terrorist organization. They aren’t interested in peace and have instead an interest in perpetuating the conflict. I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember Yassir Arafat (not sure if the spelling is correct). He once headed the PLO, the early forerunner of Hamas and Hezbollah. In the twilight of his life he sat down with Israel in earnest. The moment he did, the PLO fractured into the half dozen terrorist organizations we have now. Diplomacy to Hamas is nothing more than a stalling tactic. It buys time for their Saudi bankers to come up with more gun money.
            The baseline purpose of a nation, when you get down to social contract theory, is to provide protection for it’s citizens. Israel is doing that. They have consistently acted in self defense, consistently reacted to the aggression of others.

          • There would never have been a Hamas if Israel had met its responsibilities to the Palestinians it displaced from their homes almost seven decades ago.

    • I was trying to be tactful, but the stories of the UK reps colluding and possibly acting as a go between so this didn’t look like Obama and Kerry have been noticed and discussed over here.

  3. The linked “New Yorker” article is a hoot.

    It talks about sex being “assigned at birth”, as if the doctor flips a coin to decide what sex the baby is going to be.

    • That is the view being pushed. Tragic really. But of course, I was linking for the intro revelation that everything done by Executive Order can be undone and even reversed with another EO. Dueling executives has been a problem since FDR, and unfortunately, it does not appear that Trump will fix that.

      • I did get that, well made, point.

        It seems, though, that Obama’s “scorched earth” policy is also making orders which will be more difficult to undo – like the prohibition against drilling for oil off Alaska, and turning Utah into one big federally owned national park.

        Giving an outgoing president 2 months to muck things up for his successor wasn’t the wisest thing the founding fathers did.

  4. Its hard not to be deeply cynical about the UN. Not just regarding the debacles of their efforts in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. I am highly dubious about why it needs a budget of 5.5 billion every two years?
    For me it is just another establishment gravy train packed with the sons and daughter of the global elite.
    Leslie’s comment about her husbands experience and those who consider it a bloated bureaucracy ring very true.
    I think a big budget cut would be a healthy thing for the UN indeed.

    • I almost agree with you. Scrapping the monster would be an improvement. It seems to achieve very little for the vast sums of money consumed. It seems to be in the same bracket as many big charities i.e. long on sinecures and short on solutions.

      • Solutions would mean no further need for the ‘Charity’
        But the Charities don’t want us figuring that bit out.

    • A feeding ground for our corrupt, south -east based establishment, that I had forgotten.

      Add it to bent charities, Quangoes, The EU, Q.E., the House of Lords, the Foreign Aid dollop, the CBI, the FSA, etc.

      • Absolutely. A never ending river of tax payer’s money that flows into the pocket’s of the elite.
        Jobs us and our families will never qualify for.

  5. There is much that is wrong with the UN and its various subsidiary bodies. It is in urgent need of reform. But it should be remembered that it is not an American or even an Israeli organisation, even if the USA provides much of its funding. The world needs now, as much as it ever did, somewhere to discuss the issues, problems, and crises of the day, and to agree upon solutions, including the formulation of international laws. In so doing, democracy, compassion, and our common humanity must prevail over self-interest, totalitarianism, tyranny, autocracy and oppression. And the UN’s failures must not blind us to the possibilities for good and the opportunities for the progress of humanity and civilisation in the future.

      • You just lost your bet. I voted for Brexit. You should understand that the UN and the EU are organisations with completely different constitutions and aims. A reformed UN, even with the many failures it will undoubtedly continue to have, is vital for the future of human civilisation and world peace. The EU is an anti-democratic regional trading bloc with pretensions to be a totalitarian superstate.

        • Apologies for thinking you were a remoaner and although we agree about the EU, I have to disagree about the UN.
          The UN has done sod all for world peace, it does next to sod all in alleviating human suffering, it pushes right on agendas worthy of the vilest of BBC output AND it squanders vast sums. Scrap it and sell the buildings to a real estate developer. Jeez, I thought the League of Nations was bad!

    • Yeah, it is the jar-jar is better than war-war point that gets me every time. But then I’m with the crew from Jonah Goldberg to Ann Marie Slaughter (really) on the league of democracies idea.

  6. The idea of setting up a global international body to keep the peace was a noble one – but like its ugly twin sister the European Union (which was also created shortly after WW2 in an attempt to prevent further conflicts in Europe) the United Nations has become bloated, largely unaccountable and beset by a culture of corruption – I recall reading an article in the Washington Post that estimated that roughly half the workforce at the UN do nothing really useful at all for the largely tax-free inflated salaries they all receive. Like the EU, the UN has transformed from a noble cause into a bossy organization with delusions of grandeur which are reflected in the way it regards the billions it receives from taxpayers as an entitlement rather than a privilege – its pushy self-importance is one of the many reason that western public support for the UN is rapidly ebbing away – just like the EU.

  7. In the U.S., the establishment press never so much as mentions the UN when a Democrat is in the White House but, when the Commaner-in-Chief is a Republican, they demand that his every action be approved in advance by the UN Secutity Council.

    Previous Republican administrations played by the UN’s rules. Let’s hope Presudent Trump has the good sense not to.

    • Blair ran into this trouble when the left said that he had to be approved by the UN. He showed Saddam despite them.

  8. When we examine the history of the UN we observe some parallels that mimic the rise and fall of The League of Nations that was an intergovernmental organisation founded on 10 January 1920 as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first international organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace.

    The principle failure of the then “The League,” that the present day the UN is also afflicted with, is it lacked its own armed forces and depended on the “Great Powers” to enforce its resolutions, keep to its economic sanctions, or provide an army when needed.

    Yes, I do realise that, now there is, for instance agencies, organisations and departments in the UN such as the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in UN and its United Nations military personnel, the Blue Helmets on the ground. Today, they consist of over 90,000 military personnel contributed by national armies from across the globe.

    But the reality is that the so-called “Great Powers” still has to carry the burden financially, logistically and providing personnel and are even expected by some of the other member states to intervene militarily while many of the other states objects to such intervention and refuse to contribute to or support certain resolutions.

    The great disputes so far these last decades after the Cold War is around who deserve to be part of the security council, traditionally held by the “Great Powers, ” it is almost a central issue around which almost every issue is subject to posturing, power play and politicising issues.

    The common flaw is the central issue of the role of the so-called “Great Powers ” and their influence today in light of rising economies such as China and India yet the most enduring divide in views of the UN is “the North–South split” between richer Northern nations and developing Southern nations.

    Southern nations tend to favour a more empowered UN with a stronger General Assembly, allowing them a greater voice in world affairs, while Northern nations prefer an economically laissez-faire UN that focuses on transnational threats such as terrorism.

    Many voices within and outside the circles of those who do play an active role in regional politics and international relations agree it is time for a radical change, a shift in the thinking, policies and structure of the UN even putting an end to its bureaucratic inefficiency, waste, and corruption by liquidation, closing it down altogether and start from fresh a new intergovernmental organisation where members share the burden in a more equal manner.

    Just as at the 1943 Tehran Conference, the Allied powers agreed to create a new body to replace the League: the United Nations, now many feel the UN should have been replaced after the fall of the Berlin Wall or the end of the Cold War Era and its liquidation is long overdue.

  9. For the life of me, I fail to see why the UN is sited and indulged in New York.
    That great city needs its real estate, and is hated by those who pimp off its glorious culture whilst panhandling for US largesse and diplomatic privilege.
    No-the USA ought to clear them out, let Lagos or Bogota have the privilege of housing the runaways, the crooks, the lobby fodder for every basket case charity and green agitprop confection.
    The UN is just a Big Brussels-hope John Bolton is given the task to run the UN out to a more “inclusive, dynamic and culturally representative” part of the world that the Great Satans eastern seaboard.
    Ought to get a good deal if they book Mogadishus funky central BID early….

  10. It is important that we rise collectively and dismantle the UN and all its money and time wasting subsidiaries, the ECHR, charities such as the Red Cross and the RSPCA and so on, to replace them with nothing or with the privately expressed preferred option of the hard right, confused Confucius/Chinese thinking.

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