03 March 2008

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.


At 4:00 AM, Blogger Krishna109 said...

Here's an interesting related satirical article- Israel: Options for proportionality in Gaza.[Be sure to vote in the accompanying poll ;-]

At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. What a wonderfully rational and logical argument. I don't know where to start.

Let's go with Gaza -- where there were, as I recall, 8,000 colonists being protected by 12,000 military personnel. So Israel UNILATERALLY withdrew (the idea is supposed to be MUTUAL steps toward peace, so that both sides have confidence in each other, as opposed to one side imposing its terms on the other -- which is what the Gaza withdrawal amounted to) and then, essentially, locked all the doors on its way out. You aren't actually surprised this failed, are you? The blockade choked the life out of Gaza and the withdrawal -- since it was unilateral-- did nothing to inspire Palestinian confidence; it wasn't part of some larger plan for real autonomy.

Are you actually interested in what Palestinians (and most of the rest of the world) saw re: Gaza? If you are, here's the answer: Israel was devoting far too many resources to protect a very small number of colonists in a very crowded sliver of land. Therefore, they decided to cut their losses and sell it as a peaceful gesture. But, of course, it wasn't, and the walls and security points and eventual blockade ravaged what little economic hope Gazans had. Life was even worse for them than before.

Israel is FAR more interested in holding onto (and eating even further into) the West Bank. So the idea was, give the Palestinians Gaza -- where basically no colonists lived -- tell the world that it was for peace, and then have an excuse never to give up the West Bank colonies -- where 95% of the colonists have always lived.

That's what much of the rest of the world saw, and still sees.


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