03 March 2008 - Dershowitz to UN: OK, what should Israel do?
Alan Dershowitz, for whom I am working as a research assistant, recently made an interesting suggestion. Israel, he said should approach the United Nations Security Council and say something like the following (I am paraphrasing liberally):
"OK. So we're getting bombarded by rockets aimed at civilian centers with the goal of killing as many people as possible. We pulled settlers and soldiers out of Gaza, and that only made things worse. We killed their leaders, which seemed to work, but you told us to stop. We blockaded them, but you cried about a humanitarian disaster. Now we've invaded to root out the terrorists, and you claim we're being 'disproportionate' in our response. What, in God's name, do you suggest that we do?"
The answer would likely be something incoherent--either that Israel has no right to defend itself, which would make a mockery of the UN Charter, or that Israel has to offer the Palestinians a binational state, which would reverse more than 60 years of UN resolutions on the two-state solution. In short, the UN would fail to respond, and Israel would have a freer hand in dealing with Hamas.
The UN has utterly discredited itself on the Gaza issue. Thankfully, Israel's Supreme Court has appropriately balanced concerns about international law and human rights with security concerns. It says a lot about the legitimacy of Israel's own legal system when the defense minister says he's going to call the justice minister to get a legal opinion before launching attacks in civilian areas.
And it also says a lot about the UN when, after years of silence on Palestinian rocket attacks, it suddenly springs into action to condemn Israel's response.