Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (right) abstains from voting on a U.N. Security Council resolution which was her brainchild…
On Friday, the U.N. Security Council approved on a 14-0 vote a badly flawed resolution calling for a cease-fire inÂ Gaza. Instead of vetoing the measure, as it should have done, the United States abstained, even though the resolution failed to mentionÂ Hamas‘ practice of launching missiles intoÂ Israel.
Instead, the measure “condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism” – implicitly equating Hamas attacks targeting Israeli civilians with Israeli strikes against Hamas gunmen operating out of densely populated civilian areas in Gaza. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice explained the abstention by stating that WashingtonÂ supported the text of the resolution, but objected to the Security Council’s refusal to give Egyptian mediators a chance to broker a Gaza cease-fire. The resolution marked a retreat by the Bush administration, which had previously refused by its veto power to allow passage of a cease-fire resolution without ironclad assurances that Hamas would halt its rocket attacks against Israel.
The resolution is just the latest example of how the United Nations depicts Israel rather than Hamas as the villain in Gaza – with or without evidence. U.N. officials in New York blamed Israel for a pair of incidents on Thursday in which humanitarian aid workers came under fire. John Ging, director of operations for the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, accused Israeli forces of “firing at and now hitting convoys” providing aid in Gaza. But Mr. Ging acknowledged that he could not be completely certain that Israeli forces were to blame, stating: “There is a conflict going on.”
But the differences between Israel and the terror groups it is fighting in Gaza could hardly be more stark.
Israel has continually transmitted messages through leaflets, telephone calls and breaking into local radio transmissions made by Hamas and other terror groups, urging civilians to stay away from locations where weapons are stored and smuggling tunnels have been dug. By issuing these warnings, Israel Defense Force soldiers lose the element of surprise, placing themselves at greater risk in order to save Palestinian civilians.
Hamas and its allies, on the other hand, are perfectly happy to use their fellow Palestinians as cannon fodder.
On Thursday, a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad arrived at Shifa Hospital in Gaza with shrapnel in his leg and demanded immediate treatment. “When we fire we run, but [the Israelis] hit back so fast. We run into houses to get away.” “Why are you so happy”? a New York Times reporter asked the 21-year-old man. “Look around you” at the suffering families in the hospital, the man replied. “They lost their loved ones as martyrs. They should be happy. I want to be a martyr, too.” That statement illustrates the dark mindset motivating the Palestinian terrorists fighting Israel in Gaza. But the Security Council resolution neglected to recognize such distinctions. It is shameful that the Bush administration failed to stand on principle and veto the measure.
While Hamas representatives were in Cairo negotiating a cease-fire agreement, the terrorist group’s leader, Khaled Meshaul, declared Saturday in Damascus that peace with Israel was impossible. Mr. Meshaul labeled Israeli military strikes in Gaza a “holocaust” and called for “another intifada in Palestine and on the Arab street.” Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, visiting Damascus last week, labeled the cease-fire efforts pushed by Egypt and European nations as “honey injected with poison.” Iran, Syria and Hamas are perfectly willing to see Palestinians suffer in order to have the West force Israel to capitulate.
Israel rejects one-sided resolution of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva
The Council’s decision passed without the support of the Western and democraticÂ states.
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
Israel rejects today’s (12 January)Â irrelevant and one-sided resolution of the Human Rights Council, that was adopted without the support of the western and democratic states.Â The Council, dominated by Islamic and non-aligned states, adopted the resolution which condemns Israel following the “Cast Iron” operation. The resolution was accepted in the framework of a special session of the Council, which was convened at the request of the Organization of the Islamic Conference member states. This was the fifth special session called since the establishment of the Council to discuss condemning Israel, out of a total of nine special session meetings held by the Council so far.
Following intensive diplomatic activity by the Foreign Ministry (including with the foreign embassies in Israel), the Mission of Israel to the UN in Geneva and Israeli embassies around the world, the western and democratic countries of the world refused to support the resolution.
Canada opposed the resolution, while thirteen other states including the EU members of the Council (France, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia) as well as Japan, Korea, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine, Switzerland and Cameroon abstained. The German Ambassador, in the name of the EU and additional states, explained before the vote that the motion was absolutely one-sides and therefore they could not support it.
The resolution contains elements that are completely unacceptable to Israel. It ignores the terrorism being conducted against Israel, Hamas’ responsibility for events, the fact that for years Israeli citizens have been exposed to rocket and mortar fire launched by Hamas and other terrorist organizations, the use of civilians as human shields by the Hamas terrorist organization, in violation of international law, and its total unwillingness to assist the political process and the true interests of Israelis andÂ Palestinians alike.
This one-sided resolution is nothing more than an extension of the 18 resolutions condemning Israel that the Council has adopted so far, in regular and special sessions. The politically-motivated, almost exclusive focus on Israel has become a repulsive habit of the Council, exposing once again its true face as a body exploited by states whose behavior is far from ideal where human rights are concerned. This allows the Council’s attention to be diverted from most of the regions of the world, while the fate of their residents is left to criminal negligence or abuse by Council members or their allies.
Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary-General, expressed his opinion on the multitude of decisions of this kind when he said (/1212/2006) to the Security Council:
“Some may feel satisfaction at repeatedly passing General Assembly resolutions or holding conferences that condemn Israel’s behavior. But one should also ask whether such steps bring any tangible relief or benefit to the Palestinians… other than to strengthen the belief in Israel and among many of its supporters that this great Organization is too one-sided to be allowed a significant role in the Middle East peace process?”
It is therefore no wonder that the western worldÂ – that has yet to abandon totally its hope that the Council will succeed in fulfilling its designated role in the area of human rightsÂ – refused to give their support to this resolution or lend it moral credence.