Lakhdar Brahimi, the former Algerian foreign minister, has since August 2012 been both the Arab League and United Nations special envoy to Syria. That United Nations mission costs big bucks, but it has little to show for its budget, beyond a large expense account, frequent flier mileage, and 5-star hotel suite bookings. Certainly, Brahimi’s ministrations have not brought peace any closer to Syria; the death toll has escalated sharply over the past year. Neither the Assad regime nor the Syrian opposition appear to take Brahimi’s finger waving seriously.
So what is Brahimi doing? On July 22, along with Jimmy Carter, former Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari, and former Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher, Brahimi will be discussing… the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He is doing so as part of the Elders, a self-professed group of wise men and women who say they “offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity,” they are better known for espousing moral equivalence, selectivity, and legitimization of terrorists.
How sad it is that such a wise man—when tasked with the life-and-death mission of ending bloodshed in Syria—would instead choose to use his time to address the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Perhaps nothing symbolizes the international obsession with Israel more than Brahimi’s fiddling while Syria burns.