It's not hard to tell which side MSNBC's Joy Reid is regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas over the Gaza Strip. During Tuesday's edition of The Reid Report, she hammered the United States's staunchest ally in the region over an attack on a United Nations elementary girls' school that resulted in the deaths of 16 civilians -- including several children -- and injured more than 100 people.
During her “Reid Between the Lines” segment, the liberal host stated: “So far, the war in Gaza has left more than 1,800 Palestinians dead, the population equivalent to one hundred 9/11s -- mostly civilians, and including women and hundreds of children -- along with 67 Israelis, mostly soldiers.” She called these statistics a sign that “the U.N. is clearly not working.”
Reid began the segment by showing a video of Chris Gunnes, head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), sobbing uncontrollably over the deaths in the Jabalia school, which was under UN protection.
The scene then switched to Jan Eliasson, deputy secretary-general of the U.N., who said grimly: “Sometimes you run out of words. I was thinking on how to start this briefing, and I'm saying we have received with shock and dismay the news of the bombing this morning of a UN-designated shelter in a school.”
The MSNBC host then noted that Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, called the direct shelling of at least six schools where Palestinians were seeking protection from the war with Israel “a moral outrage and a criminal act.”
The UN keeps condemning the attacks on civilian facilities by the Israeli military and the compromising of U.N. facilities by Hamas, all to no avail.
It's been calling for ceasefires and getting basically getting nowhere. At this point, the U.N. can't even protect the civilians hiding in its elementary schools.
Meanwhile, she stated, the left-leaning Brookings Institute asserts: “These recent events are not isolated incidents. Frequent major military attack campaigns, the seven-year blockade and the resulting collective psychological trauma are destroying the hope and means of education and with it the future of Palestinian children and youth.”
Apparently, Reid hadn't read an article from United Nations Radio, which reported: “An Israeli spokesperson has confirmed that mortar fire had been coming from militants from the vicinity of the school and that Israeli troops had fired back in response.”
Instead, Reid gave her viewers a history lesson.
“When the United Nations was founded after World War II,” she explained, “the stated aim was to bring international stability and security and peace to a chaotic world by drawing together the world's established nations, 192 of them today, into a compact, whereby they would respect an international rule of law.”
“But for that compact to work, the countries that are signatories to the U.N. have to believe in the norms that it was designed to defend,” Reid added. “They have to believe in the U.N.'s authority or at least in the sanctity of its facilities. That is clearly not the case now.
“Since the U.N.'s founding, there are have been endless massacres and wars in the Congo, in Bosnia, in Rwanda and Darfur, not to mention the current proliferation of horrors in the Middle East, in Ukraine, in Nigeria,” she said.
However, “with five of the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council holding veto powers, including the United States (and Britain, France, Russia and China), it's easy for one nation to thwart the will of the entire body.”
Under this system, Russia and China have been “stopping the international community from intervening to stop the slaughter in Syria, which has killed more than 100,000 people, or the United States running interference for Israel,” Reid noted.
“The U.N. is clearly not working,” she asserted, “so what does the U.N. do, what does the world do when it's spinning out of control, and there's no moral authority, neither governmental, nor international, nor institutional that can stop it?”
“It may be time to revisit the question: What is the purpose of the United Nations?”
Judging from Reid's many examples of the U.N.'s impotence, including the current conflict over Gaza, it's long past time to acknowledge that the organization does not have a military or political role to play around the globe, though the United Nations has shown an ability to coordinate humanitarian assistance when disaster strikes.
And since she brought up 9/11, the MSNBC host must also admit that the United Nations did nothing to prevent that tragedy or bring the perpetrators to justice, yet another sign that the U.N. is not -- and never has been -- a major player in world affairs.