Because the UN has long served as a valve for venting hot air, it came as no surprise when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Benjamin Netanyahu administered high doses of hypocrisy and self-righteousness to the General Assembly.
We can only hope, when it comes to Iranian nukes and Israeli settlements, that world leaders ignore the bloviating (for a change), and take serious steps to resolve the problems before they reach crisis proportions.
Though Ahmadinejad talks a good talk, his legitimacy as Iran’s president is in serious doubt. The world has not forgotten about the violent suppression of protests over the election, and is not about to ignore Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear arsenal, which is making nervous Nellys of the Israelis.
Netanyahu has reason to worry about Iran, but he can take small comfort knowing that his nation’s nuclear-tipped missiles could reduce Iran to rubble well before the mullahs finish their weapons program.
On the Palestinian issue, Netanyahu is (at best) disingenuous when he suggests that 3.7 million Israeli residents are the world’s problem. According to numerous UN resolutions and international law, the Palestinians living within Israel are its citizens, not citizens of the West or the Arab world.
The world is justly banding together to pressure Iran with crippling sanctions because of its nuclear ambitions. Now it’s time for those same nations to pressure Israel into freezing settlements, getting serious about creating a fully sovereign Palestinian state and improving relations with the Arab world.
In other words, we must insist that Israel, like Iran, fulfill its international mandates or risk losing global support. This is in Israel’s best interest and the world’s. (The US Congress, especially, should display a little backbone with Tel Aviv, as it routinely does with Tehran.)
Most important, it’s time that Iran and Israel call a halt to their hypocritical and dangerous rhetoric. It does nothing but fuel continued instability in the region.
This article is a shorter version of the one published on the Huffington Post. You can view the longer version here The Huffington Post.