With the Mideast racing toward a potentially catastrophic war, it is too kind to say the United Nations is useless.
Worse than doing nothing, it is actually making everything worse.
The blame-Israel, justify-Hamas remarks by Secretary General António Guterres were outrageous, but hardly shocking given the UN’s historic hatred of Israel.
Not to be outdone, the other usual suspects rushed to ape his bias and make it policy.
The resolution calling for a Gaza cease-fire overwhelmingly passed the General Assembly — without mentioning the Hamas terror attack that started the war.
The 120-14 vote showed how warped the world is, with only the US, Israel, Hungary, Austria, Croatia and a few others on the right side of history.
The nonbinding resolution will not save a single life.
The outcome was also revealing about the 45 cowardly nations that refused to take a stand.
Those who voted present included such usual American allies as Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Korea, Sweden and — get this — Ukraine.
Et tu, Zelensky?
The push for a cease-fire rewards Hamas and could prolong the war, as the Biden administration forcefully argued.
US rep Linda Thomas Greenfield rightly said Hamas is “determined to destroy Israel and kill Jews” and that “Hamas has never cared about the genuine needs or concerns or safety of the people it claims to represent . . . To them Palestinian civilians are expendable.”
Sadly, those facts didn’t sway Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which are generally friendly with Israel and also suffered attacks by terrorists sponsored by Iran.
Yet with their votes in support of the resolution, they helped portray the victim of unspeakable horror as the guilty party.
Here’s the ultimate outrage: None of these paragons of virtue is willing to lift a finger to help the 2 million Gazan civilians they shed crocodile tears over.
They aim only to make Israel responsible.
Saudi Arabia tells American officials an Israeli ground invasion would be disastrous, but acts as if there’s nothing it can do to stop that outcome.
Jordan, which introduced the poisonous resolution, and Egypt are no better.
Each could open its border to take in Gaza civilians, but won’t consider it.
“No refugees in Jordan, no refugees in Egypt,” Jordan’s King Abdullah declared, insisting the humanitarian crisis be dealt with in Gaza and the West Bank.
That’s cold, but a reminder that Abdullah’s father, King Hussein, expelled Yasser Arafat in the bloody “Black September” crackdown of 1970 when the Palestinian Liberation Organization tried to overthrow the king.
Egypt’s UN ambassador offers only the fatuous claim that if Israel doesn’t stop the war, it “would inevitably fuel terrorism. It would push generations of young people towards extremist ideologies.”
That’s rich, as if terrorism happens because Israel defends itself from barbarism.
Hamas, Hezbollah and all the other Muslim killing machines murder Jews for one reason — because they are Jews.
Everything else is an excuse.
It’s not about borders.
It’s about Israel’s right to exist.
Palestinians could have had their state many times in the last 75 years, but each time chose the gun instead.
Still, while it’s obvious Hamas provoked the Israeli response, innocent Gazans caught in the crossfire, especially children, deserve better.
The way to a cease-fire
So what could be done to persuade Israel to stop its bombardment and not invade?
Here is one idea with two steps.
The first step is for other Arab states to work with Qatar, a mediator with Hamas, and get the terrorists to release all hostages.
Only four have been released in three weeks, and with more than 200 being held, many from countries other than Israel, including the US, the release would give Israel an incentive to pause its attacks.
Even with their troops massed at the border and carrying out incursions, the Israel Defense Forces would have to accept a brief delay in exchange for the hostages.
Brief means days, not weeks or months.
Ultimately, Israel has sworn to eradicate Hamas and its citizens will understandably accept nothing less.
What can’t and won’t happen is a replay of past crises, where Israel decapitated the terror leadership and destroyed weapons caches and infrastructure, then stopped, only to see the cycle repeat itself.
This time, Hamas changed the rules of the game with its savage slaughter of 1,400 Israelis, most of them civilians.
As a result, even if the hostages are released, there must be a second step to avert an invasion.
Hamas leaders and fighters must disarm and surrender.
That’s the resolution the UN should pass and it’s the outcome the Arab states will make happen if they truly care about Gazan civilians.
Disarmament and surrender is not just the best way to protect Gaza’s civilians, it’s the only way.
And it’s up to Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to make it happen.
To be clear, I don’t think it will happen.
First, because Hamas fighters and leaders know surrender would mean a lifetime in an Israeli prison — if they aren’t killed.
So they are almost certain to fight it out.
Reports that they have hoarded months worth of food, water and fuel in their tunnels show they prepared for a siege — and how little they care about the suffering they are causing their people.
Second, surrender won’t happen because the Arab states won’t dare intervene.
To do so would be to put the onus on Hamas and Iran, and they are terrified of both.
Arab leaders are also terrified of their own citizens, many of whom are impoverished and sympathetic to the Islamist radicals.
That’s why Egypt and Jordan are adamant about not accepting Gazan refugees.
They’re afraid Hamas — or ISIS — will form inside their own tents.
Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which took over Egypt a decade ago until a military coup overthrew it.
Among the results of Brotherhood rule were frequent attacks on Christian Coptic churches.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi played a major role in the coup and was later elected.
He is increasingly autocratic, but has kept the peace treaty with Israel and prevented the exporting of terror.
But Sisi, Jordan’s Abdullah and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman must watch their backs.
Each must contend with a domestic Islamist element and dreads Iran igniting a revolution among his citizens.
Indeed, Hamas attacked when it did in part to stop Saudi Arabia’s plan to normalize relations with Israel.
That’s why the Arab nations feel compelled to publicly gang up on Israel and demand a cease-fire.
Whatever they privately want to happen in Gaza, beating up on Israel publicly is the price they must pay to keep their populations in line and save their own skins.
Unfortunately, that means there won’t be a release of all hostages or a Hamas surrender.
And that will leave Israel no choice but to enter Gaza and crush Hamas, which it has every right to do.