Letter: United Nations flawed

By The Daily Illini

David Johnson’s Monday article in which he confronted the United Nations was a very rare and bold move, one of which few newspapers have ever taken. The United Nations is assumed to be a very respectable, successful organization that promotes peace, feeds the hungry and protects the innocent. However, the original ideals that formed the basis for the United Nations have been corrupted by most of the nations that participate.

From 1971 until 1981, the U.N. secretary general was one Kurt Waldheim. During his reign, Israel received condemnation on a regular basis. In 1975, the United Nations went so far as to declare Zionism a form of “racism and discrimination” in resolution 3379. Interestingly, shortly after Waldheim left the United Nations, information arose concerning his past, particularly his actions in World War II. He turned out to have been a former Nazi intelligence officer who had participated in a massacre in the Kozara region of western Bosnia.

Unfortunately, the revelation of Waldheim’s criminal past was not the end of corruption in the United Nations. Syria – which destroyed the city of Hama in 1982, taking the lives of thousands of civilians and leaving an estimated 15,000 civilians missing – has held a seat on the U.N. Security Council.

Syria also currently occupies Lebanon, yet remains in the position to condemn Israel. Furthermore, I have not seen U.N. condemnation of countries such as Rwanda, which carried out mass genocide, at least not nearly the sort of condemnation that Israel received.

Establishing a system for which nations of the world can settle disputes through words and world opinion was a great idea, but it has clearly failed in the United Nations. We must be more critical of this organization, for the corruption of much of the world has now united against us.

Eric Cohen

junior in ACES