ZOA Supports Israel’s Opposition To U.N. Immediate Ceasefire Call While Hamas Retains Capacity To Shell Israel
January 12, 2009


ZOA Criticizes Bush/Rice For Not

Vetoing Anti-Israel Resolution




The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has supported the Israeli government’s opposition to a U.N. call for an immediate ceasefire while Hamas retains the capacity to shell and fire rockets into Israel and continues to do so. (‘Security Council calls for immediate, durable, fully respected ceasefire,’ United Nations, January 8, 2009).


The ZOA has issued the following statement:


UNSCR 1860 is a surreal, impractical and ultimately anti-Israel resolution, which regrettably the U.S. refused to veto, only abstaining instead. We are strongly critical of and appalled by the fact that the outgoing Bush Administration refused to veto such a retrograde resolution and that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice welcomed it without reservations, saying that the U.S. accepts the text, goals and objective of resolution. We beg to differ. UNSCR 1860 is defective in all three respects.


“UNSCR 1860 does not even mention Hamas, let alone identify its aggression as the cause of current hostilities. A proper resolution on a conflict cannot omit identifying Hamas as an aggressor whose belligerence over months and years has brought about Israel‘s current military operation in Gaza. In the past seven years, over 7,000 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza. UNSCR 1860 simply ignores this.


“Not only does UNSCR 1860 fail to identify Hamas – it fails to affirm Israel‘s right to self-defense. Instead, it simply calls for a ceasefire. The condemnation of ‘all acts of terrorism’ without identifying Hamas not only is a victory for that terror group but, in the context of the UN’s own failure to define terror and the Arab world’s refusal to condemn terrorism aimed at Israeli civilians, permits the unacceptable inference that it is Israel that is being condemned here.


“The Resolution refers briefly to ‘the refusal to extend the period of calm’ – but it does not mention that Hamas refused to abide by the ceasefire, violated it by attempting to build tunnels into Israel in order to launch attacks and kidnap Israelis, and also refused to renew the ceasefire. Hamas is a recognized terrorist group that has murdered hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombing, shootings and rocket attacks. It calls in its Charter for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the world-wide murder of Jews (Article 7). Since it seizure of Gaza in 2007, it has fired thousands of rockets into Israel.


“If UNSCR 1860 expression of concern for civilian loss of life was genuine, the Council would have condemned Hamas for its call for a genocide of the Jews. It would have condemned the hundreds of rockets fired into Israel over previous months when Israel did not strike back. And it would have condemned the direct cause of Palestinian civilian losses  – Hamas’ deliberate placing of its personnel and fortifications in civilian areas – a practice that is a war crime under international law and which makes civilian casualties inevitable, no matter how much care Israel takes. UNSCR 1860 does none of these things.


“Additionally, UNSCR 1860 calls for humanitarian assistance for Gaza, but none for Israel. Are Israeli civilians who have been injured and had their homes destroyed or damaged by rockets not at the least equally deserving of international help as Gaza‘s civilians? It is scandalous and unacceptable that the lives and property of Israeli civilians under wanton attack has never been an object of Security Council concern, let alone meaningful action.


The Resolution only issues a weak, vague call for unspecified ‘member states to intensify efforts’ to stop the smuggling of weaponry into Gaza. This is grossly inadequate. UNSCR 1860 did not identify Egypt‘s failure to stop the weapons smuggling in the three years since Israel ceded control of the Gaza/Egypt border. At that time, Israel agreed for the first time since the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty for Egypt to station an additional 750 troops in formerly demilitarized Sinai. The express purpose of this agreement was that these troops would be used to control the border area and prevent the smuggling of offensive weaponry into Gaza. Yet weapons smuggling increased exponentially. UNSCR 1860 makes no reference to this Egyptian failure which has contributed mightily to the current state of insecurity and Israel‘s response to it. It is also bereft of any meaningful, measurable call to action on the part of Egypt.


“UNSCR 1860 omits any call for Hamas to return Hamas kidnap-victim and Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It further makes no call upon either Hamas or the Palestinian Authority to abide by the humanitarian requirement under international law to permit a single visit to Shalit from the International Red Cross or any other international agency.


“UNSCR 1860 stresses the importance of the 2002 so-called Arab Peace Initiative. Yet the Initiative is in reality a non-starter. It demands Israel’s withdrawal to the indefensible pre-June 1967 armistice lines, contrary to language of UN Security Council Resolution 242; dividing and giving away half of its ancient religious, historical and present capital, Jerusalem; forcibly removing some 500,000 Jews, solely because they are Jews, from their homes in Judea and Samaria; setting up a Palestinian state which will be run by an unreconstructed terror-supporting regime; and Israeli acceptance of the morally and legally baseless so-called ‘right of return’ by Palestinian Arab refugees of the 1948-49 war and their millions of descendants to Israel, thereby inundating Israel with hostile Arabs and ending its existence as a Jewish state.


“In contrast, beyond a general call for diplomatic recognition of Israel, nothing is even asked of the Arab belligerents – no action to end support for terrorist groups striking Israel, no end to the Arab economic boycott, no action to prevent weapons reaching Palestinian terrorists, no end to the incitement to hatred and murder of Jews in their media, mosques and school systems.


“The Resolution includes an absurd statement that ‘a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be achieved by peaceful means.’ It is surely obvious that while one side is committed to the destruction of the other, as are both Fateh and Hamas in their respective charters, stability and deterrence is the best that can be achieved for the moment, not peace. To say that peaceful means will produce peace is as absurd as suggesting that the Second World War could be brought to a satisfactory conclusion before Nazi Germany had been defeated and rendered incapable of continuing its aggression. Yet UNSCR calls for further international intervention by means of a conference in Moscow later in the year.


Israel‘s legitimate goal is Hamas’ defeat, not a ceasefire, just as defeating Al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups is America‘s goal. (Not coincidentally, Al-Qaeda has established itself in Gaza, while Hamas figures have called for and welcomed the prospect of America‘s destruction). How is it possible that a UNSCR resolution calls for a ceasefire when a member state remains under missile attacks upon its population? After 7,000 rockets fired into Israel, a ceasefire observed only on the Israeli side, a massive weapons build up by a terrorist regime, the incessant peril and destruction rained upon Israeli cities and towns, making whole cities uninhabitable and leading to up to a third of their residents moving to other parts of Israel, how is it excusable that Israel be asked to curtail the exercise of it right to self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter?  


Even the Olmert/Kadima government, the most concessionary in Israel‘s history, had no difficulty in rejecting an immediate ceasefire and affirming that it is for the sovereign state of Israel to determine when its right to self-defense has been effectively exercised.


“We note and support the Israeli response to UNSCR 1860 which states, ‘The State of Israel has never agreed that any outside body would determine its right to defend the security of its citizens.  The [Israel Defense Forces] will continue operations in order to defend Israeli citizens and will carry out the missions with which it has been assigned in the operation.  This morning’s rocket fire against residents of the south only proves that the UN Security Council Resolution #1860 is not practical and will not be honored in actual fact by the Palestinian murder organizations'” (‘PM Olmert’s Reaction to Diplomatic Developments & UNSCR Resolution #1860,’ Independent Media Review Analysis, January 9, 2009).


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