I can’t recall ever whatsoever (never) watching a UN Security Council session and walking away pleased. There has always been a crap sensation in the stomach spurred by a sense of being cheated and maligned.
But tonight’s Security Council session/unanimous vote was a feel-good. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Kofi Annan, Condoleezza Rice, Greek Foreign Minister Theodora Bakoyannis and the UK’s Margaret Beckett. Chinese Ambassador Liu Zhanmin’s speech was predictable in its exclusion of Israel’s concerns or recognizing Israel as anything but the aggressor (Did I see Condoleezza Rice not sporting a translation headset during his speech?) but Vitaly Churkin’s (Russia) address was surprising in its slightly forthcoming acknowledgement of Israel’s security needs and civilian losses. Japan’s Ambassador Oshima was eloquent and smooth.
In general an overall shift in tenor seems to have taken place. Weeks ago when G. W. was caught on mike suggesting Kofi Annan do something to force Syria’s hand in the crisis, it was a semi-faux pas. Tonight, Syria and Iran’s roles in the current situation were openly acknowledged and addressed. And France mentioned not once but twice Israel’s legitimate right to sustained security. And nearly all speakers talked about a necessary comprehensive solution in the Mid-East that will encompass addressing the dire Palestinian situation.
Oh pleez, pleez, pleez adopt this, vote favorably, all parties play nice, stop fighting, return prisoners, negotiate and stop the war. It feels like the opening of a door to an outer courtyard where things could be very, very positive. Amen. Hallelujah.