Gaza Not Hard To Solve

I’ve been involved in a few debates about Gaza over the last couple of weeks – on Twitter, in Facebook, and on a variety of blogs.

And I keep hearing people say “it’s complex”. I don’t think it is.

Israel is a member of the United Nations. It has been since 1949. In fact, it owes the United Nations for its very existence.

Article 2 (points 3 and 4) of the United Nations charter states:

# All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
# All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

If Israel has issues with The Palestinian National Authority or the PLO, it should take those grievances up with the UN and the let UN decide how to deal with them. Unilateral military actions on behalf of Israel are in direct conflict with the UN charter which they have sworn to uphold. If Israel continues to fail to abide by the UN charter, then it should be evicted from the UN and declared a rogue nation.

Sounds simple to me.

15 thoughts on “Gaza Not Hard To Solve

  1. It’s true. It isn’t as complicated as people like to believe. The UN has passed several resolutions but Israel doesn’t comply. And unlike any other nation in the world, that does not have any consequences. Why? The US stops any action against Israel.

    So to solve this, the US has to start treating Israel as it would any other country. Doesn’t look like that will change.

  2. One thing I learned from a lawyer recently is using the word “must” instead of “will” or “shall” because the latter are weak and open to interpretation … so might be tricky to argue for eviction – has the UN ever evicted a member nation?

  3. By that same argument, the US should have been evicted a long time ago. Australia would also have to be evicted for our participation in Iraq and Afghanistan, and so on. And Britain, and …

  4. In theory that is simple if the UN actually worked. The problem that I see with the UN is that with the veto power of the US, the whole system is broken.

    The US veto every resolution that criticises Israel. The US abstained from voting in the security council last week. Every other nation voted for the resolution for the immediate cessation of Israeli military force against the Palestinians and the US abstained! That’s revolting!

    I think that the real issue is the US attitude and unequivocal support for Israel. If you have read the Mearsheimer and Walt paper (http://tinyurl.com/33a4bz), THE ISRAEL LOBBY AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY you will see how the US foreign policy is distorted and actually works against the US and invariably Palestine the region and the greater international community. Lets hope that Obama actually starts making decision in the best interests of his country.

    If the UN had not been invalidated so much by the current administration and Israel was held to account, then your proposition would be valid. It could maybe help the like of Zimbabwe. Until then, let’s hope the death toll does not rise rapidly.

    P.S. What I also find disgusting is the silence from the Australian government and opposition. Surely our government is not totally controlled like the US administration.

  5. Jim, I agree that the US obviously uses its veto on a regular basis in favour of Israel. That certainly makes any attempt at UN military action against Israel almost impossible.

    However, that’s not what I am suggesting. I am suggesting that Israel goes to the UN if they have grievances against the Palestinian National Authority. So the permanent seat the US holds on the UNSC would actually work in their favour.

    If, on the other hand, Israel continues its unilateral action, the UN General Assembly can declare them a rogue nation and instigate an economic blockade and there is nothing the USA can do about it. They don’t have a veto over votes in the General Assembly.

  6. Cameron, I agree with you here. Unfortunately, another loophole I haven’t seen addressed here is that most of the world does not recognize Palestine as a state, and so Israel can claim it is not bound to follow that UN Charter in the matter.

  7. @Ian – well I’m fine with that. If member of the UN break the terms of the charter, they should be thrown out. And then the people of those countries might think about who is governing them and the decisions they are making.

  8. @Nicholas, Article 2 of the UN charter says “All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means”. I don’t think that just means with officially recognized states. But you make a good point. Why isn’t Palestine recognized as a state? Why do they still have “observer status” in the UN?

  9. @wolfcat – I actually don’t think religion is really to blame. Wars are usually about economics – religion is just the smoke screen they use for the dimwitted. Although if we can teach the masses not to BE so dimwitted, they might ask harder questions of the people who are leading them into war. I think the current conflict in Gaza has nothing to do with religion though. Israel and the Palestinians are both fighting over real estate.

  10. Real estate with a huge ass’d religious history to it. I don’t think you can separate the two. The chiefs are fighting for control and the people are fighting for God.

  11. Cameron, first, I work relatively frequently with the UN Charter as a member in my school’s Model UN program so I know much of what it has to say. I also think that all disputes disputes should be settled peacefuly. Still, in all technicality the Charter applies only to signatories. Still, I do not forsee Palestine gaining member status anytime soon, so long as the US is as dominant of a force as it is now and is allied so tightly to Israel. Israel has lost a bit of support, more or less, in much of Europe more recently, but in the US there is no indication of a change in the opinion of the ruling elite. It seems too many people here, many of which have openly stated this forthcoming opinion to me almost verbatim, believe that the overwhelming majority (most use a percentage in the high 90s) of Arabs and Middle Easterners except for Israel are terrorists. This xenophobic, racist, and discriminatory statement continues to go unsubstantiated and pervades all levels of society. The rest argue that war has no rules, that such rules are devised by politicians rather than generals, and any causualties regardless of whether military or civilian are acceptable. Disturbing, yet still the general consent.

  12. Nicholas, thanks for the clarification (I keep forgetting you’re a UN guru!). However, even if Palestine not being a member state means that Israel can bomb the crap out of it whenever it likes, the UNSC just passed a legally binding vote (the one that the US abstained from) for the conflict to stop and Israel is plain ignoring it. That makes them a rogue nation, correct? What does the Charter say about members who ignore Security Council resolutions?

  13. You are absolutely right, Cameron. The only defense Israel could use is that the UN might attempt to, in its own mind, “infringe upon its [Israel’s] national sovereignty.” However, the Human Rights crisis is apparently great in Gaza, and so the Israel should be more accepting of AT LEAST the judgment of the United Nations Human Rights Council and their activities in the region. And even when dealing with non-member nations the UN members are called upon to have proportionality and discrimination (not bigotry but careful aim concerning military/civilian targets, just to clarify) in all military ventures. And your point is well taken, that the UN legislated the creation of both Israel and Palestine, which Israel’s occupation of Gaza in in violation of, as Gaza was defined as part of Palestine. Israeli presence or claim there is based upon the idea of “spoils of war,” although the UN shot that down shortly after WWII as well. In conclusion, at least for the moment, Hamas actions do not warrant a war on civilians of a territory where they [Israel] are an illegal force of occupation, and for that matter civilians should never be the targets of warfare. Aid to the suffering people of Gaza should be the main concern now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *