Friday, January 25, 2008


UN Human Rights Council Rebukes Israel on Gaza - Stephanie Nebehay
The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday demanded Israel lift its week-long blockade of Gaza. The 47-member council adopted a resolution presented by Arab and Muslim states by a vote of 30 in favor and one against (Canada) with 15 abstentions, and one delegation absent. Britain, France, Germany and Japan were among countries to abstain. China and Russia backed the resolution. Western countries abstained in bloc after criticizing the text as unbalanced for failing to even mention the rockets launched into Israel from Gaza by Palestinian militants. The Israeli army estimates about 250 rockets and mortar rounds have pounded Israel since last week.

U.S. Ambassador Warren Tichenor warned that the Council session and its "one-sided resolution" would only stoke tensions and erode chances for peace. "The Human Rights Council has far too often been used simply as a platform from which to single out Israel, while too often ignoring the other human rights situations. This unbalanced approach has squandered its credibility." (Reuters)

See also UN Security Council Debates Condemnation of Israel over Gaza - Michal Lando
As the UN Security Council discussed a draft presidential statement about the situation in Gaza Thursday for the third day in a row, Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman said the mere occupation of the council with this matter was "unjustified" and played into the hands of Hamas. "By engaging, they are rewarding terror, doing Hamas' work, and doing what Hamas wants, which is undermining Abbas and the peace process." "There is no way to balance terrorists and killers and a country trying to defend itself," he said. (
Jerusalem Post)

The Case Against Moral Inversion
Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, addressed the UN Human Rights Council on Jan. 24: "It is, after all, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the other Palestinian terrorist organizations, who deliberately fire rockets - over 200 in the past week alone - at innocent civilians in Sderot and other Israeli towns....It is they who reject the very notion of a distinction between combatants and civilians."

"Israel risks the lives of its own soldiers to avoid harming civilians. To Israel, causing a civilian casualty is an unintended tragedy; to Hamas, it is a cause for celebration. The world knows this. The supporters of those who fire rockets at nursery schools summoned us here to accuse Israel of violating international humanitarian law." (UN Watch)

The Enemy Within - Editorial
As always, Gazans look around, see how terrible conditions are, and point fingers. Many blame Israel. Or they blame the U.S. Or they blame Fatah, rival to Hamas. If things are to improve in Gaza, then that reflexive attitude is one of the first things that must change.
Until most Gazans fix the blame for their miserable living conditions where it belongs - on their elected leaders of Hamas - Gaza will remain poised on the brink of crisis, sending rockets into Israel and then complaining bitterly when its foe retaliates.

This really isn't all that complicated. It's quiet for quiet. If the Palestinians stop lobbing rockets into Israel, there will be no retaliation. This is not a matter of the "cycle of violence." Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. That was supposed to end the "provocation" of the settlements and stop the rocket fire. But it hasn't. There's also no doubt Hamas could stop the rockets. Unfortunately, the leaders of Hamas find it to their political and economic advantage to allow their people to suffer while they smuggle arms and money from Iran and elsewhere to continue the campaign of terror against Israel.

As long as Hamas is in power, Gaza will be driven further into misery, further from the path that would lead to an independent state. For Gazans, the real enemy is within. (Chicago Tribune)

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