U.N. Resolutions on Iraq, Israel Not Comparable

In his March 21 column, Rami Khouri, executive editor of the Beirut-based Daily Star, misrepresents the facts concerning Iraq, Israel and United Nations resolutions. He states that the Arab world is aggrieved by “an Anglo-American armada to enforce U.N. resolutions in Iraq, while applying no comparable political, economic or military clout to implement 50-year-old U.N. resolutions on the Israeli Palestinian conflict. . . .” (“For Arabs, a Cruel Echo of History”).

The Western world has not applied comparable pressure on Iraq and Israel because the U.N. resolutions concerning these two countries are not comparable. All of the Security Council resolutions concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict fall under Chapter Six, and are non-binding. In contrast, the resolutions regarding Iraq are binding under Chapter Seven, which gives the Council the right to take broad actions, including use of force.

Furthermore, resolutions concerning Israel cannot be implemented unilaterally. Resolution 242, for example, calls on Israel to establish its borders through negotiations with its neighbors. Resolutions about Iraq, on the other hand, call on that country’s leader to take steps that he is able to fulfill on his own. Thus, while Iraq’s conflict is with the United Nations itself, the resolutions concerning Israel cannot be fulfilled alone by Israel.


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