July 26th, 2006

Those infallible Israelis: through the fog of war, Annan jumps the gun

The killing of the four UN observers in Lebanon is a tragic and regrettable event, to be sure. But it’s the sort of event that occurs with some regularity in war, and is one of the many reasons why war is universally regarded as a very bad thing–although not always the worst of things.

The expression “the fog of war” is a cliché for a reason, and that’s because it’s a useful and descriptive term for the confusion that inevitably occurs on all sides in a war–for the commanders, the fighting forces, the civilians, the obervers, and the commentators.

When events such as the shelling of the UN post, and the resultant deaths of the UN personnel, occur–and occur they will, almost without fail, in every hot war, no matter how careful the military might be–each side makes statements about what has happened. It’s understood that all such statements are preliminary. An investigation can help dispel the fog, but only imperfectly, and only over time.

In this instance Israel has said that this was a tragic accident–no surprise there. One would also imagine that the UN–an institution at least theoretically dedicated to damping down conflicts, judicious restraint, withholding judgment until all the facts are in–would avoid making premature statements about what happened and what Israel intended.

But in this case, the UN is also the injured party, which makes the fog even thicker. And Kofi Annan’s response has been to interpret this action in the worst light for Israel. At the same time that Annan said he is “trying to get the details” of the attack (a reasonable response), he also called it an “apparently deliberate targeting” on the part of Israel.

It seems clear to me that the latter statement is so excessively inflammatory that it should never have been uttered by any UN official in the absence of strong and incontrovertible evidence that it was true.

So, what gives? Annan was clearly upset by the deaths–as well he might be. In moments of strong emotion, people often let words slip out that would otherwise–and should otherwise–have remained unsaid. And in those moments, people often reveals their biases. However, none of this is the sort of behavior the Secretary General of the UN should display.

It’s not as though Annan’s biases–or those of the UN–were hidden prior to this, though. Case in point: this article, written by Alan Dershowitz on July 20 (prior to the deaths of the UN observers), lists some examples for Annan. And anyone familiar with the history of the UN and Israel since the 1970s knows the sad story there (see also this).

What happened at that UN outpost, and why? I don’t pretend to know. If this report is true–and I have no reason at the moment to think it isn’t–the fog of war must have been unusually thick at the time, allowing some sort of total breakdown of communication that led to the incident.

But, as Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor has said, the accusation that Israel would have deliberately targeted UN officials simply makes no sense:

“Why on earth would we deliberately target U.N. observers?” he asked. “What good would that do either on the military or the political level, because it so obvious that this would be harmful. Of course it is a tragedy for the observers and their bereaved families and we truly share their sorrow and we deeply regret the incident. It was obviously a fatal mistake.

Palmor has said it’s obvious that the accusation makes no sense “on the military or political level,” and I agree. So where does the accusation come from? The charges do make sense in one way, and that is on the emotional level of those making the accusation.

To those who are predisposed to believe that Israel and Israelis are not demonic Nazis, but merely citizens of a country that’s been fighting for its very existence ever since the beginning of that existence, it would seem obvious that this was an error rather than a top-down policy of the Israeli government. But it’s not obvious at all to those who have bought their own rhetoric about Israeli evil.

Those who believe that this was a case of deliberate targeting of UN personnel are not only operating under the supposition of Israeli evil intent, but of Israeli infallibility. The latter two characteristics–evil coupled with genius, as in “evil genius”–have been part and parcel of anti-Semitic thought for centuries. Now that type of thinking has been transferred to those who demonize Israel.

Israel–unlike its enemies–attempts to be a country that fights wars in a relatively humane way. It tries to avoid killing civilians; it does not deliberately target them. This, of course, is in contrast to its enemies, whose main stock in trade is to deliberately target civilians–both Israel’s and its own. And that is no secret; it is obvious and up-front. The enemy targets Israeli civilians directly by methods such as suicide bombing in pizza parlors and restaurants, as well as firing unguided Katusha rockets into Israeli cities. And it targets its own civilians by hiding weaponry and “insurgents” among the civilian population (see this for a discussion).

Israeli weaponry (like that of the US) has developed a remarkable degree of sophistication. In an effort to kill only the guilty, amazing advances have been made. Smart weaponry and good intelligence cannot, however, be infallible, and they can never dispel the fog of war entirely, nor protect innocent civilians (or UN obervers, or reporters), who will always remain at risk.

It is paradoxical, then, that those very advances in “smart” weaponry–and the intent behind those advances, which is the desire to avoid civilian casualties as much as possible–have backfired. Because Israeli attacks are targeted as opposed to indiscriminate, the Israelis are somehow assumed to be omniscient and omnipotent in this regard. And this, combined with the idea that they have evil intent, gives rise to statements such as Annan’s.

[ADDENDUM: Belmont Club offers his usual detailed and knowledgeable analysis of the situation. A must-read.

See also, this: Claudia Rosett on how the UN has grievously mishandled the Lebanese situation since the 2000 Israeli withdrawal from that country. Strong stuff.]

40 Responses to “Those infallible Israelis: through the fog of war, Annan jumps the gun”

  1. Susurrer Says:

    The UN observers should be pulled out—should’ve been pulled out at the onset. Kofi’s making a huge mistake, since his tenure is going to end soon. He needs to look to his legacy and try to appear like a bigger man than he really is. Anybody who’d blow his future on pigs like Hisballah, Syria, and Iran is a dimwit.

  2. JonBuck Says:

    This entire mess is the UN’s fault in the first place. When Israel pulled out of southern Lebanon in 2000 the UN had a mandate to 1) Disarm Hizbollah, and 2) Move the Lebanese army south to the border to prevent it from being used to launch attacks into Israel.

    They obviously did neither.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    You’re probably right about it being silly to think Israel was deliberately targeting the UN observers. More likely, they just didn’t really care how many non-Jews they accidentally killed – it fits their actions quite nicely.

    Unfortunately, racism, particularly anti-Arab, is rather more common in Israel than I’d like. There are still some unbigoted members of society, but not really enough – it’s all very depressing, really. Any attempt at peace will have to deal with it eventually, though it’s not exactly the most important thing to be done.

    I think I can still safely accuse people who are Jewish of racism, despite attempts in certain European countries to ban me from doing so (idiotic, not to mention an assualt on free speech – OTOH, I can understand them banning Holocaust denial, even though I’m not sure it’s smart).

  4. senescentwasp Says:

    anon @ 3:38:

    Racism has to do with race not cultures and/or religions. If animus is directed at, say Arabs, Arabs are not a race.

  5. WarBicycle Says:

    http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/pr010.pdf

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for outrage on the part of Kofi Annan, he demanded Israel probe the targeting of a UN post, when is he going to demand Hezbollah probe the using of UNIFIL soldiers as shields? The UN soldiers are armed; they should have used force to prevent Hezbollah from gaining access to its compound. However, once Hezbollah gained access, the UN soldiers should have abandoned their outpost and requested the Israelis provide them with a safe haven. They didn’t, therefore, the UN compound became a legitimate Target. Kofi received daily briefing from all UN outposts; it appears he abandoned these guys just as he turned his back on the Tutsis in Rwanda after being warned the Hutus were planning genocide. Kofi Annan is incompetent and should have been fired years ago.

  6. probligo Says:

    I can but wonder at the response had the UN Forces in southern Lebanon been fully and properly armed, including the right to shoot back in self defence.

    I can but wonder at the response from contributers here had the UN shot down Israeli aircraft in self defence, or shelled IDF positions in self defence.

    I have read the apologist analysis at Belmont. That is all it is; a full, detailed, and graphic description of why IDF was so right to get it wrong.

    If I were allowed to use the argument methods so frequently employed in these parts I would conclude by suggesting that the IDF action is part of a plan.

    That plan is to make it impossible for unarmed, neutral, peacekeeping forces to be stationed effectively between Israel and its “enemies”.

    That plan achieves two very important objectives -

    1. It removes any and all obstructions from continuing Israeli action.
    2. It “proves” once again just how ineffective the UN really is.

    Yeah, lock a kid in a lion’s cage with a popgun for protection. When the kid gets eaten by the lion, point out that the kid was incapable of defending himself. Sums it up I reckon.

  7. Nicholas Says:

    That would be a good plan since “unarmed, neutral peacekeeping forces” is not only an oxymoron (unarmed… peacekeeping?) but they’re also totally useless.

    Good riddance!

  8. gcotharn Says:

    Kofi is incompetent and, I suspect, corrupt. He is CYA personified, and his comments are designed to cover up his incompetent stewardship of the UN forces.

    Probligo’s thesis assumes UN forces would’ve been an obstruction to Israeli action. Since UN forces equate to zero military obstruction, Probligo must mean the UN forces – via video and first hand observation – would constitute an obstruction via getting word out about illegal Israeli actions in the area. I disagree. News media is everywhere. UN forces would be unlikely to observe and publicize anything the news media wouldn’t observe and publicize anyway. Note that Probligo assumes immoral motive/actions on the part of the IDF, while ignoring that Hezbollah is forcing Lebanese civilians back into their villages – and purposefully back into the line of fire, among other things.

    As to “proving” the UN’s ineffectiveness once again – why would Israel believe one more proof would make any difference?

    At to Belmont’s analysis, Probligo calls it “a full, detailed, and graphic description of why IDF was so right to get it wrong.” Well, exactly. Belmont is superior reasoning. Probligo is less than superior.

  9. Don Says:

    More likely, they just didn’t really care how many non-Jews they accidentally killed – it fits their actions quite nicely.

    If the IDF didn’t care, they would have handled Hez like Syria handled the Muslim Brotherhood, and there would be piles of dead, not the scattered few we have seen so far.

    Unfortunately, racism, particularly anti-Arab, is rather more common in Israel than I’d like. There are still some unbigoted members of society, but not really enough – it’s all very depressing, really. Any attempt at peace will have to deal with it eventually, though it’s not exactly the most important thing to be done.

    Bigoted? Against those who send children as human bombs? Bombs specifically aimed at civilians?

    Wow, who would have guessed.

    I can but wonder at the response from contributers here had the UN shot down Israeli aircraft in self defence, or shelled IDF positions in self defence.

    Well, it seems the UN is fixing roads so the terrorists can move about, so they are aiding terrorists.

    They were supposed to prevent the terrorists from arming and attacking Israel, but they failed at that (or more likely, made no real effort).

    The question is, UN: irrelevent or terrorist aid?

    That plan is to make it impossible for unarmed, neutral, peacekeeping forces to be stationed effectively between Israel and its “enemies”.

    Neutral? No, leans terrorist…question is, how far?

    Peacekeeping requires the UN to keep Hez from killing and kidnapping IDF soldiers, and launching rockets into Isreal. In that they failed, assuming they ever tried . . .

  10. maryatexitzero Says:

    Yeah, lock a kid in a lion’s cage with a popgun for protection. When the kid gets eaten by the lion, point out that the kid was incapable of defending himself. Sums it up I reckon.

    Unarmed, neutral peacekeepers wouldn’t want a popgun, because guns are bad. Self defence is violence. Violence is bad. Only a deep love of peace, neutrality, diplomacy and generous goodwill will keep mankind safe.

    Gee, maybe the whole concept of neutral, unarmed peacekeepers being shielded by goodwill was wrong.

  11. Khalid Says:

    Extremists in the IDF are most likely responsible for the UN post strike. Judging by the hostility to the UN on this board, I can see where they get their support from.

    Why do you all hate Kofi so much? He’s as sympathetic to Israel and Jews as anyone. His girlfriend is(was) Jewish.

    Actually, come to think of it, that’s probably one of the reasons you hate him so much. A powerful black man with a white woman? Call the lynch mob. A pure Jew with a goy schwarz? The christianazis and the zionists must hate that.

    Too bad he’s going to be replaced this year, you won’t have him to blame when the US and the IDF run amok over some more Muslim countries.

  12. gcotharn Says:

    if only the US and IDF truly would run amok over some more Muslim countries. A boy can dream…

  13. senescentwasp Says:

    gcotharn,

    Amok works for me.

    Khalid is real big on “assumptions” isn’t he? And, we all know about assuming.

  14. Dusty Says:

    Well, let’s not discard the concept of “deliberately” completely.

    You do make a good case that the Israeli’s didn’t kill those UNIFIL troops deliberately. So now let’s look at why UNIFIL was deliberately left at their posts in a middle of the war. Reports have it that UNIFIL, or some specific units, had requested evactuating their posts. Approval was not forthcoming (as I have read, though I would like to confirm whether they did not receive a reply or the request was denied).

    While a saw one report that approval should have come from Annan, it seemed to be an aside comment and I am not sure it was his call to make. But if it was, why did he not approve evacuation of UNIFIL. I will not accept that the foggy bottomers in charge did not know of Hezballah’s use of UNIFIL’s posts as shields, either. So someone left UNIFIL coalition soldiers in an extrememly risky and dangerous situation. WHY?

    That is the question to put to Annan: why did you deliberately leave those UNIFIL troops as sitting ducks at their posts for them to be killed?

  15. Dave the Rabbit Says:

    Kofi Annan has said that the killing by Israel of the four UN obserers was “apparently deliberate”.

    “Israeli warplanes bombarded a U.N. post in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, killing four observers in a strike that Secretary-General Kofi Annan termed “apparently deliberate.” ”
    — L.A. Times, July 26, 2006

    For the full article, see:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-fg-mideast26jul26,1,1131664.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

    Dave the Rabbit

  16. Dave the Rabbit Says:

    Dusty asks: “That is the question to put to Annan: why did you deliberately leave those UNIFIL troops as sitting ducks at their posts for them to be killed?”

    Annan’s comments provide an answer to that very question. The L.A. Times reports: “Annan said he had received personal assurances from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that U.N. positions would be spared, and the U.N. force commander for south Lebanon, Gen. Alain Pellegrini, had been in repeated contact with Israeli officers to ensure the post’s protection.”

    Source: Los Angeles Times, July 26.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-fg-mideast26jul26,1,1131664.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

    So, Annan had not withdrawn the observers because Israel had promised very specifically that they won’t be attacked. Why did Olmert and the Israeli officers promise to Annan and Pellegrini that the post would be protected, if they weren’t in a position to honor the promise?

    If Olmert has an ounce of honor in his body, he ought to resign. (He probably won’t, because he has none).

  17. Tatterdemalian Says:

    “That plan is to make it impossible for unarmed, neutral, peacekeeping forces to be stationed effectively between Israel and its “enemies”.”

    They never were stationed effectively. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the unarmed, neutral, peacekeeping forces were engaged in active collusion with Hezbollah, to help them kidnap and butcher Israeli citizens with impunity and launch rocket attacks throughout the supposed cease-fire between Lebanon and Israel.

    Since 9/11, the gloves are off. The UN will never be able to use unarmed, neutral, kpeacekeeping forces for anything beyond serving fries at McDonalds, ever again.

  18. snowonpine Says:

    First the League of Nations now the UN; “History repeats itself, first as tragedy then as farce.” It may have been started with good intentions and high hopes after WWII but the UN has now become a parasite with a bloated bureaucracy that is incompetent but still capable of great harm. I have described it as clown college with the most venal and malevolent clowns in charge and I think it an apt description. Expecting real justice or truth from this bunch is a lost cause.

  19. Adam Says:

    snowonpine: So petition the Congress government to have us withdraw from the UN.

    No, you won’t do that, will you? Because you need the UN to serve as a willing puppet for the US government’s will when the need arises.

    Show some guts and withdraw from the UN if you don’t like the UN, instead of just whining about it.

  20. Yehudit Says:

    I have a theory about all this. it is truly out of a John le Carre novel. But given what we know about the character of Mr Oil-for-Food, it isn’t an outlandish theory.

  21. Yehudit Says:

    “Why do you all hate Kofi so much? He’s as sympathetic to Israel and Jews as anyone. His girlfriend is(was) Jewish.”

    Unless Kofi divorced at some point, his wife is a Swede who is related to Raoul Wallenberg. Who wasn’t a Jew, he just helped Jews escape the Nazis. I guess that makes him a Jew to you. Whatever.

  22. Dusty Says:

    Dave:

    First, that is what Annan says. Let’s wait to see what comes out in the next few weeks about it. I don’t know much about Olmert, but Annan has little credibility in my book.

    Second, even if Olmert “promised”, and I greatly doubt he used that term, promise is not the same as guarantee, which I am sure Olmert didn’t provide. Only a diplomat that would never suffer the consequences of his foolishness would think that a telephone discussion between air-conditioned government offices, is all that is needed to spare, protect, … use whatever verbs you like … people in the middle of a war zone.

    Third, Israel has it’s objectives, responsibilities, and obligations. The UN has its own and one of them wasn’t having monitors sit in the middle of a war zone to observe ceasefire violations. PM Harper is asking the right questions and I hope he gets to the bottom of it.

    The UN is useless as it is now structured but people like Annan make it dangerous.

  23. Dave the Rabbit Says:

    Dusty wrote:

    First, that is what Annan says. Let’s wait to see what comes out in the next few weeks about it.

    Well, for “what comes out in the next few weeks” to have credibility, it needs to be an international investigation, not Israeli Defens Forces internal investigation, to eliminate the chance of cover-up. In other words, the world community shouldn’t allow the IDF to pull the trick it pulled off during the incident concerning the bombing at the beach of the Palestinian family in June. At that time, IDF carried out its own internal investigation and refused to share the evidence with international bodies like Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch. The world needs to be on guard against similar shennanigans.

  24. grackle Says:

     
    Dave: In other words, the world community shouldn’t allow the IDF to pull the trick it pulled off during the incident concerning the bombing at the beach of the Palestinian family in June.

    Sorry Dave, but the staging of the phony Mohamed al Dura incident by the terrorists puts the onus of proof on the terrorists. The “trick” at the beach was by the terrorists, but it didn’t achieve all the propaganda effect that was intended because people in the West are becoming more aware of their trickery. Fool me once, shame on you – fool me twice, shame on me. These creatures use their own innocents as shields hoping their shields will be killed for the propaganda effect. They are capable of any level of subterfuge. Of course, apologists and fans of the terrorists will always claim otherwise.

    The UN ‘observers’ need to be pulled out of the war zone immediately because they are ineffective, in the way and all of them are in danger. But they won’t be, will they? Do you wonder why?
     

  25. Dusty Says:

    Well, that leaves an investigation not connected in any way with the UN as cover-ups is the UN’s SOP.

    But I can’t slide let your insinuation that Israel covered up that incident for the purpose of hiding culpability. There is no evidence of that beyond ppl’s imaginations. So, too, refusing to kowtow to demands for information by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, are not shenaningans. AI’s and HRW’s credibility as an impartial assessor is zero when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict where their actions could be described as shenaningans if those actions hadn’t actually been so harmful.

  26. Steve Rosenbach Says:

    Until the Israeli investigation has completed, I wouldn’t even take it for granted that the UN compound was hit by an Israeli bomb. We know that Hizbullah people are right in the UN locations. A few kilos of Semtex or a previously-hidden IED could have also caused the damage and loss of life. This wouldn’t be the first time that deaths were blamed on the Israelis where it turned out to be the other side’s doing.

    History tells us clearly and repeatedly that initial reports about this sort of thing from the Palestinians, Lebanese, Red Cross, etc have been wildly innacurate, and in many cases, deliberatly so.

  27. Nate Says:

    But I can’t slide let your insinuation that Israel covered up that incident for the purpose of hiding culpability. There is no evidence of that beyond ppl’s imaginations.

    From Human Rights Watch’s website:

    “Human Rights Watch researchers currently in Gaza interviewed victims, witnesses, Palestinian security officers and doctors who treated the wounded after the incident. They also visited the site of the explosion, where they found a large piece of unoxidized jagged shrapnel, stamped “155mm,” which would be consistent with an artillery shell fired by the IDF’s M-109 Self-Propelled Artillery.

    “Some Israeli officials have suggested the explosion may have been caused by a mine placed by Palestinian militants, rather than one of their artillery shells, despite the fact that they cannot account for the final landing place of one of their six shells.

    “However, according to on-site investigations by Human Rights Watch, the size of the craters and the type of injuries to the victims are not consistent with the theory that a mine caused the explosion. The craters are too large to be made by bounding mines, the only type of landmines capable of producing head and torso injuries of the type suffered by the victims on June 9.”

    – Human Rights Watch,
    http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/06/13/isrlpa13544.htm

    Nate

  28. Don Says:

    Nate,

    You need to keep up; the HRW story (or at least that of their expert) has changed:

    On Monday, the Human Rights Watch, while sticking to its demand for the establishment of an independent inquiry into a blast on a Gaza beach 10 days ago that killed seven Palestinian civilians, conceded for the first time since the incident that it could not contradict the IDF’s exonerating findings.

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1150355528023&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    It is indeed curious that the Palastinian hospital appears to have removed the shrapnel before transferring the wounded woman to the Israeli hospital.

  29. Nate Says:

    The IDF’s theory has always been that Hamas mined the beach & thereby caused the deaths. In the news item you posted, Garlasco & HRW are NOT autheticating this theory of the event. They still maintain that an IDF shell killed the civilians. They are only modifying their findings to say that the IDF shell had lain unexploded on the beach, and then exploded killing them. This is a whole lot less grotesque than an IDF shell being fired upon them and killing them. But it nevertheless leaves the IDF culpable for the deaths.

  30. grackle Says:

     
    But it nevertheless leaves the IDF culpable for the deaths.

    Even if the cause of the explosion was Israeli-fired, say, from the offshore Israeli ship, I can’t agree that Israel is “culpable” in any sense of being blameworthy. Why? Because mistakes of this sort are inevitable in any war. To claim otherwise is logically tantamount to denying any nation’s right to wage war under any circumstances – a clearly ridiculous stance. And we all know how Hezbollah loves to perform military operations right in the midst of civilians, which makes civilian casualties all the more likely.
     

  31. Adam Says:

    Don, The Jerusalem Post (formerly owned by Conrad Black, no less) is a right-wing, pro-Israeli-government, newspaper. Editorialising comments from this newspaper lack credibility. If you want to dispute the HRW’s findings, please cite from a neutral news source.

  32. Nate Says:

    Even if the cause of the explosion was Israeli-fired, say, from the offshore Israeli ship, I can’t agree that Israel is “culpable” in any sense of being blameworthy. Why? Because mistakes of this sort are inevitable in any war. To claim otherwise is logically tantamount to denying any nation’s right to wage war under any circumstances – a clearly ridiculous stance.

    The point is, this happened in Gaza — which Israel is illegally occupying in the first place. You’re right that a country has a right to wage war when attacked. But in this case, it is Israel which has no right to be in Gaza.

    Yes, I know you are going to say that this happened after Israel had “withdrawn” from Gaza. But the “withdrawal” was in name only — Israel continued to control all entry and exit into Gaza, what money could flow in and out of Gaza, etc. It was still de facto occupation, therefore.

    If Israel really and truly withdraws from the Occupied Territories, and if the Palestinians still persist in “resisting” Israel by armed means, then and only then would the moral-posturing on the part of Israel have any validity.

  33. grackle Says:

     
    The point is, this happened in Gaza — which Israel is illegally occupying in the first place.

    Obviously the main point of disagreement is this idea that Israel is “illegally occupying” Gaza. The anti-Israel crowd also declares this illegal status for the Golan Heights and will doubtlessly make the same declarations if Israel is successful in establishing any kind of buffer zone along the Lebanese border. Any reasonable security precautions by Israel, such as establishing security checkpoints or controlling strategic areas for defense from constant aggression and violence are always labeled “illegal” by the anti-Israel crowd. The Syrian army lobbed artillery into Israel for years from the Golan Heights before Israel put an end to the shelling by capturing it during the Six Days War.
     

  34. morris1782 Says:

    Grackle, United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967, calls for the “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied”.

  35. grackle Says:

     
    Grackle, United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967, calls for the “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied”.

    That was in 1967, when all the Western nations concerned, including the US, still believed that Israel’s enemies could be diplomatically reasoned with. It represents the passive, go-along-to-get-along failed Western foreign policy that ultimately produced 9/11, 3/11, the Madrid bombings, etc. We now know that the nature of the constant violence directed against Israel requires a less naive attitude, a perfect example being the current situation – Israel withdraws from the Palestinian ‘state’ and it is used as a platform to direct terrorist activities against Israel – Israel withdraws from Lebanon and it’s much the same. Withdrawal to bring peace doesn’t seem to work. That vote was a naïve mistake by the US.

    Resolution 242 has other provisions that the anti-Israeli crowd ignores: Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force … and affirms further the necessity for guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones …

    Israel’s enemies have always ignored those provisions and continue to ignore them. None of the provisions are worth a tinker’s damn unless all are complied with.
     

  36. Herbivorous Carnivore Says:

    Grackle: That’s not the only UN resolution. Israel has been condemned over 100 times by the United Nations. (The latest UN condemnation of Israel came from Kofi Annan himself (the UN General Secretary) asserting that the killing of four UN observers in Lebanon by Israel was deliberate.)

    No other nation comes even close to such a long record of condemnations at the UN.

  37. ilana Says:

    Herbivorous: that “record” can as easily be seen as proof of UN bias against Israel, unless of course you believe that Israel is the source of all the world’s woes. But since many members of the UN who vote on these resolutions would also vote for a resolution saying that Israel caused the Boxing Day tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, it is difficult to take this “record” very seriously.

  38. grackle Says:

     
     
    No other nation comes even close to such a long record of condemnations at the UN.

    Over and over again the obvious is breathlessly recited as if it had some significance. Yes indeed, the UN is chock full of Israel-haters. Don’t they think we know that?
     

  39. Tatterdemalian Says:

    Well, I’m willing to assume the majority of the “civilian casualties” inflicted by the IDF are actually dead terrorists. Once you strip the corpses of weapons, dead terrorists look exactly like dead civilians, and both the AP and UN have been caught posing dead bodies for photograph opportunities.

    (warning, graphic link)

  40. Don Says:

    No other nation comes even close to such a long record of condemnations at the UN.
    Herbivorous Carnivore

    I remember when Amnesty International lambasted either Switzerland or Finland for jailing someone who refused to serve in the military (and who could have chosen noncombat duties), while giving Pol Pot’s Cambodia good marks.

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