Thursday, July 13, 2006

Two and a half cheers for the United States

Given my generally pro-Israeli sentiments -- with reservations, of course -- this is one case where I agree wholeheartedly (well, almost) with the U.S. and find the U.N. to be, as some find it often to be, an apologist for terrorism and authoritarianism. From the AP:

The United States blocked an Arab-backed resolution Thursday that would have demanded Israel halt its military offensive in the Gaza Strip, the first U.N. Security Council veto in nearly two years.

The draft, sponsored by Qatar on behalf of other Arab nations, accused Israel of a "disproportionate use of force" that endangered Palestinian civilians, and demanded Israel withdraw its troops from Gaza.

The United States was alone in voting against the resolution. Ten of the 15 Security Council nations voted in favor, while Britain, Denmark, Peru and Slovakia abstained.

If what Israel is using in Lebanon against Hezbollah is "disproportionate" force, what exactly would proportionate force be?

Consider Israel's position. Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, captured two Israeli soldiers in Israel. Another was taken hostage last month. Suicide bombers have killed innocent civilians on Israeli soil and overseas. Many of Israel's opponents -- and it faces Hezbollah in Lebanon/Syria and Hamas in Palestine, as well as the nuclear madman Ahmadinejad in Iran -- would like to wipe it from the face of the earth. Sure, Israel may at times act with excessive force, and perhaps that's even the case here, to a point, but the U.N. was looking to condemn Israel altogether. How is that in any way productive? How is that not a reflection of deep-rooted anti-Israeli sentiment?

So: Two and a half cheers for the U.S. And, for good measure, one and a half for the U.K., Denmark, Peru, and Slovakia.

I don't want to see Israel use excessive force (or the wrong kind of force) in Lebanon as it tracks down its enemies, and I certainly don't want this offensive to escalate into a broader war in the Middle East, but criticizing Israel for defending itself and for refusing to stand idly by as its enemies plot its demise makes little sense to me. You may not always approve of what Israel does, but at least show some understanding of Israel's predicament and some empathy for the Israelis themselves.

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home