I don't suppose the world needs to remember Rwanda to note how sluggish in the face of imminent horror the UN is and can be. But on one subject, and toward one state, the UN acquires a strange and uniquely transformative power.
Bring Israel under its gaze and the diplomatic sloths at UN headquarters morph into the swiftest of gazelles. Quite amazing, really. When the so-called "freedom flotilla" roared into the headlines, the UN reacted at the diplomatic equivalent of the speed of light.
The Security Council issued its "condemnation," and in a wonderful reversal of cause and effect also called for an investigation into what it had "condemned." When Israel is in the dock, protest rage goes epidemic. When Israel acts in its self-defense, the response is extravagantly "disproportionate." I truly do not know why this is so. Israel is a sanctuary state established after one almost successful attempt just two generations ago to rid all the world of Jews. And Israel is now in the shadow of a fundamentalist, ferociously anti-Israel theocracy which is about to equip itself with nuclear weapons.
Yet somehow Israel is the rogue, the barbarian nation, the only state on earth that can energize the lethargic diplomats in the great tower of hypocrisy on the Hudson River.