The UN Is Preserving the Israeli Occupation

After the Gaza war report, every reasonable Israeli will think it's better to rule over another nation than to retreat, be attacked and be sent to The Hague when you’re defending yourself from the aggression.

Ari Shavit
Ari Shavit
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Palestinians stand in line at the Qalandiyah checkpoint, waiting to cross into Jerusalem in August 2010.
Palestinians stand in line at the Qalandiyah checkpoint, waiting to cross into Jerusalem in August 2010. Credit: Reuters
Ari Shavit
Ari Shavit

It’s perfectly clear what the proper legal answer to the United Nations report on the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict is – a thorough Israeli investigation of each and every incident that raises suspicion of unreasonable, improper or unjust use of force by the Israel Defense Forces against a civilian population.

This investigation is required, both so that we can be at one with ourselves and our values, and so that we can face the international community with a whole heart and clean hands. If Israel can prove it is making a supreme effort to remain as moral as possible, even when it’s fighting fanatics, it will have the ideological and legal upper hand and its image will improve comensurately.

It is perfectly clear what the proper strategic answer to the UN report on the 2014 Israel-Gaza confict is – a change of direction. Israel’s government must understand that a frozen peace process is dangerous, and that without a peace initiative we could find ourselves in more and more rounds of asymmetric conflict in the south and north, which will ultimately lead to overall international denunciation of the Zionist project.

The leaders of Israel’s army must understand that the strategy of massively bombarding inhabited areas is unacceptable, and that they must develop new, sophisticated fighting methods to deal with terror organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah.

But the truth must be told. The UN report on the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict is distorted and distorting, and should outrage every decent person. That is because the detailed, 183-page document has a serious flaw – it has no context.

It doesn’t give proper weight to the fact that in 1993 Israel opened its heart to peace, put its confidence in Yasser Arafat and enabled him to set up a semi-independent entity in the Gaza Strip. It doesn’t give proper weight to the fact that in 2000 Israel agreed to leave the Gaza Strip and set up a sovereign Palestinian state, there and in the West Bank.

It doesn’t give proper weight to the fact that in 2005 Israel destroyed 24 communities and uprooted 8,000 people from their homes so that the Palestinians would have (for the first time in history) an autonomous region of their own. It doesn’t give proper weight to the fact that all these Israeli gestures – intended to end the occupation and advance peace – resulted not in the appearance of a peaceful, humane Palestine, but in the creation of a totalitarian, violent Hamastan that oppresses Palestinians and attacks Israelis.

Many people in New York, London and on Salman Schocken Street have been wondering what happened to the Israelis. What happened to the Israelis is that time after time they tried to do the right thing, but when the right thing went up in flames nobody remembered what they did and nobody gave them credit for it. If that’s the case, they say to themselves, if the world and the left are against us anyway, we may as well live by the sword and keep our territories and not give our enemies another single inch of land.

Mary McGowan Davis, the American judge who led the UN probe into the events of last summer’s war in Gaza, and her colleague Doudou Dienne meant well. But their good intentions led them to a very bad place. Why? Because now, every reasonable Israeli will say to himself it’s better to rule over another nation than to retreat, be attacked and be sent to The Hague when you’re defending yourself from the aggression. Because now, every thinking Palestinian will tell himself that it’s better not to negotiate with Israel, but to grasp it with the iron vise of terror, on the one hand, and loss of legitimacy on the other.

Because now, every intelligent Hezbollah man will tell himself that the international community is shearing Israel’s tresses and turning it into a vulnerable entity, on which thousands of rockets can be showered from densely populated areas.

These three conclusions will have three repercussions – preserving the occupation, distancing peace and bringing war closer. If, heaven forbid, blood is spilled here again in the near future, the blind knights of political correctness will be the ones responsible.

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