During the Gaza war, the UN has been doing its best to provide political cover and support for Hamas. Apparently some UN personnel — either because of sympathy for or fear of Hamas — have provided more than political support:
Gunshots and an anti-tank missile were fired at IDF troops near the UN compound that was attacked by the IDF on Thursday, senior defense officials told The Jerusalem Post.
According to the officials, the IDF responded by firing artillery shells at the location of the gunmen, causing damage to the UN installations. At least three people were wounded in the attack and the building was set on fire…
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was in Israel on Thursday to promote a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, expressed “strong protest and outrage” at the reported shelling of the UN compound.
Ban also demanded an investigation into the shelling, and said Defense Minister Ehud Barak had told him it was a “grave mistake.” — Jerusalem Post
Either the “senior defense officials” were wrong, or Barak was. If IDF troops were fired on from the UN compound, the IDF is justified in returning fire. I’ll put my money on the “senior defense officials”.
The hypocrisy of the UN, which has consistently favored Hamas and repeated its propaganda, knows no bounds. But after all, the UN is dominated by Arab and third-world nations which have always opposed Israel. For example, the UN Human Rights Commission Monday passed a resolution called “The Grave Violations of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including the recent aggression in the occupied Gaza Strip” which does not even mention Hamas! (courtesy Eye on the UN)
It’s harder to understand Israeli organizations such as B’Tselem. Yesterday, several Israeli ‘human rights’ groups said that “heavy suspicion has arisen of grave violations of international humanitarian law by military forces”, and accused Israel of “making wanton use of lethal force”. These charges are untrue and constitute support for Hamas’ PR offensive to cause international pressure to shut down the operation on terms favorable to it.
The IDF has gone to great lengths to refute charges of deliberately targeting civilians, and has also presented convincing demonstrations of techniques, unprecedented in warfare, to reduce civilian casualties (for more, see the IDF Spokesperson Blog). And see Martin Sherman’s illuminating — I should say shocking — comparison of the IDF’s practices with those of NATO in Yugoslavia.
Israel is fighting a war that — unlike the conflict in Yugoslavia — could literally be characterized as a struggle of civilization against barbarism. A Western nation has not confronted such stark evil as Hamas since the Nazis. And as is always the case in all-out war, populations suffer. Israelis have certainly suffered from Hamas’ actions, which killed hundreds of civilians in suicide bombings as well as rocket attacks.
I guarantee that if NATO, the US, Britain, or Russia (!) were fighting Hamas, the strip would long since have been turned into a wasteland, with thousands upon thousands of dead civilians. Israel is judged by another standard.
But that’s OK — the IDF can handle the job of eradicating this cancer with the minimum possible damage to uninvolved people and infrastructure — which, by the way, is what is meant by ‘proportionality’ in war.
Just give them time to finish the job.