Gaza and the Dysfunctional UN

After two weeks of the Israeli onslaught against the civilian Palestinians in Gaza the United Nation Security Council came out with a shameful resolution, UNSCR 1630. The Council attempts to draft a resolution was twice sabotaged by the US in order to give Israel more time to finish off Hamas government in Gaza. But the Arab ministers insisted on not leaving New York City without taking a resolution back to their people, who are accusing them of betrayal and complicity in the Israeli massacres of Palestinians. Without a resolution the Arab ministers were afraid their regimes would face fierce popular uprisings in the streets of their capitols.

In its meeting, the UN totally ignored the Palestinian elected Hamas government; a major part of this conflict. Rather it listened to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who humiliatingly begged the UN for help, promising to do “everything” to secure peace. In an indirect way he blamed Hamas government and did not even criticize Israel’s aggression. Abbas is known by Palestinians, and many Arab nations, as a traitor rather than a moderate, who had abandoned the interests of his people. His complicity allowed the Israeli representative to give a list of lies accusing Hamas of violating ceasefire agreements and attacking Israelis. Yet the Libyan representative refuted these lies with facts showing that Israel itself has violated the ceasefire agreement by tightening the economic blockade choking Gaza, and by incursions into Gaza last November and murdering six Palestinians. He also noted that during the last year Israeli forces had killed 1250 Palestinians, while Gaza rockets, launched as retaliation and a response to these killings, had killed only 11 Israelis.

Resolution 1860 has ignored certain realities, exonerated the aggressor, blamed the Palestinian victims, and equated them with the Israeli terrorist army.

The core of the problem, that has been ignored and bypassed, is the 60 years long Israeli occupation of Palestine including Gaza. Israel had occupied Palestine since 1948. As a colonial power, Israel sought to ethnically cleanse Palestine from its rightful owners; the Palestinian population, through massacres, mass evictions and land theft. Although, Israel was forced to leave the Gaza Strip in 2000, it still keeps control of every aspect of life in the Strip. Israel encircled Gaza within an 8 meter high cement wall making it the largest concentration camp in the world. The Vatican, lately, had gathered the courage to describe Gaza as it really is; a concentration camp. Israel controls Gaza’s air, its shores, and its border crossings, even its border crossing with Egypt; another Arab country. Israel has been murdering Gaza’s Palestinians through air raids, starvation, thirst, and deprivation of all necessities of life.

Unfortunately, the UN’s Western members have been dealing with the situation in Gaza as a humanitarian crisis rather than an Israeli occupation. They deny Palestinians their right of self defense and offer them, instead, humanitarian aid in return for their complete surrender to the Israeli occupation.

The Security Council ignored the fact that the Israeli army is attacking Palestinian civilians within their own cities on Palestinian land. The Israeli terrorist army is a well equipped, well trained, and state sponsored murdering organization. It is not fighting another army in Gaza. It is murdering virtually unarmed civilians, who do not possess any fighter planes, tanks or the most sophisticated weapons. This is not a war between two armies. This is mere murder and a real holocaust.

The Security Council deals with this war as if two equal armies are fighting each other. The request of demanding the Palestinians to take first steps toward ceasefire is an unreasonable request, since Israel is the aggressor, who launched the war and thus must, first, stop its aggression and withdraw from Gaza. Israel is adopting a scorched earth war with white phosphorous bombs, chemical weapons, depleted uranium shells and other illegal weapons. Palestinians are just defending themselves.

The resolution calls for the cessation of what it calls the “smuggling” of arms to Hamas through tunnels across the Egyptian border. It calls for international force to monitor and to destroy such tunnels. This is a direct accusation to Egypt of not being able to control its borders. It is an insult to every freedom fighter and a contradiction to international law, which calls for the right of people under occupation to acquire arms to resist that occupation. Acquiring arms for the purpose of resisting occupation is an approved and accepted internationally as a duty to help the occupied and the oppressed. Let us remember that the US had shipped weapons to the Taliban in Russian occupied Afghanistan. We did not hear any objection then.

Israelis like to call this arms acquisition as “arms trade”. It is very well known to the whole world that Israel, itself, is an arms trader, reselling American made weapons to African countries and to China. The American President, Bush, called on countries (hinting to Iran and Syria) shipping weapons to Hamas to desist. At the same time we see his administration supplying Israel with two ships loaded with ammunition to continue its murdering orgy in Gaza. It seems that Israel has spent its stockpile of ammunition killing Gazans.

Palestinians have the legitimate right to acquire arms for self defense and resistance of Israeli occupation. Any denial of such right is hypocrisy.

The Israeli response to Resolution 1860 was expected. Similar to all the many previous Security Council Resolutions Israel has, also, rejected this resolution as “unworkable”. Israeli officials have arrogantly brushed the resolution aside.

The Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert showed his contempt to the international community stating that it “must not preach morals to Israel …what is acceptable for every other country is barely accepted when it comes to Israel”. Of course Israel is God’s chosen people and it is above any and every mundane law. Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Levni, second that attitude by stating “we’ll act only according to our calculations”.

With a criminal history, since its establishment, Israel had violated all UN resolutions, violated all human rights, and broke all international laws. What makes the UN believe that Israel would, now, respect the international community and abide by its laws and resolutions?

Faced with the Israeli arrogant intransigence the UN stood unwilling to do anything about it. It is understood that the UN is not really a democratic organization with one vote for each member since the veto power of the major players can annul any decision it may take. It is a historical fact that the US has used its veto power many times to stop the UN from drafting any resolution that would incriminate Israel’s war crimes and terror. The American political terror inflicted on member countries deems the organization dysfunctional and biased towards the American policies.

Paralyzed politically, the UN members had no choice but to point to the American supported Israeli-French-Egyptian proposal as the only possible workable solution for this aggression.