The U.N. and the Obama Administration seem more interested in condemning Israeli settlements than in denouncing Arab dictators who commit atrocities against their own people, according to the Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh.
Settlements may be a problem, he writes, but they are not more dangerous than the massacres of Arabs by dictators such as Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Yet it took the U.N. Security Council more than a week to hold a closed-door meeting and issue a tempered statement condemning the violence in Libya and calling for its immediate end.
The Security Council members saw no need to vote on the slaughter of thousands of Libyans by the Gaddafi regime and stopped short of calling for Gaddafi's ouster before passing a resolution of condemnation Friday.
The Security Council was much more forceful in denouncing Israel, Abu Toameh writes. Last week, it held an open special session to condemn Jewish settlements, during which it voted 14-1 in favor of a resolution demanding that Israel "immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem." The United States, which vetoed the resolution, also denounced Israel, with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice stating that continued settlement activity "devastates trust between parties, and threatens the prospects for peace."
According to Abu Toameh, there's another double standard at work: the relatively deferential approach that Washington has taken toward Gaddafi when compared to its handling of the uprising against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Mubarak "who for over 30 years served Western interests in the Middle East and did his utmost to preserve the peace treaty with Israel and support moderate Arabs and Muslims, was thrown to the dogs by the Obama Administration as soon as his people started demanding regime change," Abu Toameh writes. "Obama and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seem to be more troubled by the death of 300 Egyptians than the brutal massacring of thousands of Libyans. Obama and Clinton seem to be more worried about construction in Jewish settlements than war crimes and serious human rights violations in the Arab world."
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