On Tuesday, the dozens of us who tuned in to watch the United Nations Security Council’s 8,183rd meeting (yes, that’s the real number) were rewarded with a great breakthrough in the long hoped-for dream of peace between Israelis and Palestinians!
Just kidding. With the exception of the truly remarkable American ambassador, Nikki Haley, it was a bunch of self-satisfied bureaucrats engaged in a farcical insult to the United States and Israel in particular and liberal democracy in general.
As different countries’ ambassadors spoke, I checked their ratings with Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world. For reference, the United States scored an 89 of 100 in 2017. Israel scored an 80. China scored a 14.
The Ambassador from Russia (Freedom House rating: 20) — a man representing a country reportedly currently using chemical weapons against Syrian civilians — expressed concern about the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza. Not the ones in Syria, though. They’re (ahem) fine.
The Ambassador from Equatorial Guinea (Freedom House rating: eight. That’s not missing a “y.” It’s just eight.) referred to the need for justice and fairness. Not for his own people, though. They’re also (ahem) fine.
The Ambassador from Kazakhstan (Freedom House score: 22) was very concerned about cuts to the budget of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, an organization that has been called “the greatest obstacle to peace.” Worth noting: the Kazakh government isn’t concerned enough to contribute to UNRWA’s budget, but, rest assured, they’re concerned.
As the parade of kleptocracies, paper tiger strong-men, and penny-ante dictators rolled past, one could be forgiven for laughing a little. But only a little. Interspersed among the knaves and ne’er-do-wells were some of the greatest democracies in the world. All of them mouthing the same empty pieties. All of them still married to the same disastrous fantasies that have failed for 25 years.