US loves Israel, not UN
From The Guardian:
'American support for Israel has hindered international efforts to broker a peace deal in the Middle East, according to a hard-hitting confidential report from the outgoing UN Middle East envoy.
Alvaro de Soto, who stepped down last month after 25 years at the UN, has exposed the American pressure that he argues has damaged the impartiality of the UN's peace making efforts.
In Mr de Soto's "End of Mission Report", which the Guardian has obtained, he delivers a devastating criticism of both Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the international community.
The Quartet of Middle East negotiators - the UN, the US, the EU and Russia - has often failed to hold Israel to its obligations under the Road Map, the current framework for peace talks, he argues.
Over the past two years, the Quartet has gradually lost its impartiality. "The fact is that even-handedness has been pummelled into submission in an unprecedented way since the beginning of 2007," he writes.
He blames overwhelming influence exerted by the US and an "ensuing tendency toward self-censorship" within the UN when it comes to criticism of Israel.
"At almost every juncture a premium is put on good relations with the US and improving the UN's relationship with Israel. I have no problem with either goal but I do have a problem with self-delusion," he writes. "Forgetting our ability to influence the Palestinian scene in the hope that it keeps open doors to Israel is to trade our Ace for a Joker."'
'Mr de Soto speaks of his frustration in the job, not least that he was refused permission to meet the Hamas and Syrian governments in Damascus. "At best I have been the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process in name only, and since the election of Hamas, I have been the secretary-general's personal representative to the Palestinian Authority for about 10 minutes in two phone calls and one handshake," he writes.
He stepped down in May at the end of his two-year contract and left the UN. The "tipping-point" for his departure came after the new UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said future meetings with a Palestinian prime minister would depend on the actions of his government.'