(Secretary-General Annan on Dec. 11, UN Photo)
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's final address to the Security Council is bound to raise eyebrows in the Middle East. For one, Annan scolded the Israel-bashers who have done so much to give the UN a bad name over the years:
Some may feel satisfaction at repeatedly passing General Assembly resolutions or holding conferences that condemn Israel's behavior," Annan said. "But one should also ask whether such steps bring any tangible relief or benefit to the Palestinians."More importantly, Annan seems to have dealt a blow to the rejectionists among the Palestinians and their allies:
Describing decades of resolutions and a proliferation of special committees, Annan asked if this had any effect on Israel other than to strengthen the belief "that this great organization is too one-sided to be allowed a significant role in the Middle East peace process," (Ha'aretz).
The two-state solution - Israel and Palestine - must respect the rights of the Palestinian refugees, but only within the context of preserving the character of states in the region.It remains to be seen what impact, if any, these parting words will have on the policy of Annan's designated successor, the South Korean Ban Ki Moon.