Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922

Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922
Jordan is 77% of former Palestine - Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza comprise 23%.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ending The Ping Pong Game In Gaza

[Published March 2008]

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon seems unable to comprehend that Israel is at war with Hamas - declared a hostile entity by Israel and a proscribed terrorist organisation by America and the European Union.

He regards the conflict as a game of aerial ping pong - or - as it is couched in diplomatic language - “an unending cycle of violence” - where Israel and Hamas trade shot for shot against each other backwards and forwards over the border in a deadly serious contest that steadily escalates in intensity and then ends for a short time until the next game begins.

The Secretary-General believes Israel is not playing by the rules, that its shots are hit with “disproportionate and excessive use of force” in its struggle to defeat its sworn enemy. From Hamas’ point of view this is also a game with no result other than the comprehensive and total elimination of its opponent from ever playing any further game of any kind in the Middle East.

Cowardly Hamas terrorists hide behind the burkas and chadors of Gaza’s female population (sometimes even donning them as disguise) and secrete their rockets in the rooms where their own children sleep - resulting in innocent women and children being killed and injured as Hamas terrorists use this civilian cover as a human shield to resist Israel’s attempts to uproot and remove the terrorists from their midst.

The television and media images are not pretty. Hamas callously exploits these civilian deaths and suffering to promote international outrage and condemnation of Israel.

The Secretary-General is rightly disturbed at the large number of Gazan women and children who - as spectators - become innocent victims of this deadly game being played by these two arch rivals.

Mr Ban’s only solution is to proclaim his concern “at the possibility of violence escalating.” He has offered “our strong support for all efforts to bring about an end to the violence and a period of calm.” He calls “on all parties to step back from the brink of even deeper and more deadly clashes.”

In other words all Mr Ban can offer is a polite request that it is time to end the current game, have a drinks break and start the next game when the time bell rings.

This spineless display of leadership is pathetic.

There is something far more positive that Mr Ban should be doing to galvanise the United Nations to end this abysmal state of suffering and despair by Gaza’s non-combatant civilian population.

Mr Ban has to his credit condemned the Gazan rocket attacks as “acts of terrorism” and has called for an end to these attacks. He has said that they “serve no purpose, endanger Israeli civilians and bring misery to the Palestinian people.”

Mr Ban knows the rocket attacks and counter attacks by Israel will not stop. He therefore has an obligation to immediately implement a solution to end the misery of Gaza’s innocent civilians.

This can be achieved by taking the following steps:

1. The Secretary General should call on each member of the United Nations to offer temporary shelter to Gazans wishing to leave Gaza and to indicate the number of people they are prepared to take. The 22 Arab States and 35 other Moslem member countries in the United Nations should be among those who first step forward to help their Arab Moslem brothers and sisters escape the horrors of Gaza.

2. Egypt should be asked to open its border with Gaza at a special “exit only” crossing point to permit Gazans wishing to leave Gaza to pass into Egypt to escape the conflict raging in Gaza.

3. UNWRA should set up a temporary transit facility in Egypt to receive the departing Gazans and process and facilitate their emigration to the countries offering them temporary residence.

4. Any funds required to implement these arrangements should be levied on all UN members in proportion to the contributions they currently make to fund the operations of the UN.

5. If Hamas should seek in any way to prevent civilians leaving Gaza, the UN should send an armed force there to open up a safe passage to the Egyptian border to enable those civilians to leave.

The temporary emigration of innocent Gazan civilians will relieve their suffering, give Israel the opportunity to end Hamas’ terrorist rule in Gaza and pave the way for the departing Gazans to return to their homes when this has been accomplished.

It will not be easy for Gazans to settle as temporary residents in another country but it will certainly afford them the chance of life - rather than the continuing possibility of death or injury,

This is a meaningful response to ending the humanitarian crisis faced by Gaza’s innocent civilian population and Mr Ban should be shouting it from the rooftops of the UN Headquarters in New York..

If few Gazans avail themselves of this lifeline, one can only assume they endorse and fully support the actions of Hamas and wish to remain in Gaza to express their loyalty and belief in Hamas and its goal to eliminate the State of Israel. They cannot then claim the status of “innocent civilians”

Mr Ban must stop wringing his hands and making pious and empty declarations. He is the umpire in this deadly game of aerial ping pong and he should start calling the shots - not sit by idly with nothing more than a murmured and muted response which neither side is going to listen to.

The UN has the opportunity with Gaza to show that it knows how to combat and defeat terrorists.

If it adopted this approach it could prove to be game, set and match for good against evil and set an example for other regions such as South Lebanon - where terrorists are similarly allowed to operate at will in such a barbaric and cowardly manner amid a civilian population unable to remove them.

The game isn’t over till the last point has been played. The UN needs to win it or we will all be losers.

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