Commentary Magazine


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UN Reality

Thursday night’s UN Security Council resolution on the Gaza war barely made headlines in the West. That’s probably because it was really bad news, all in all, for Hamas.

True, it calls for an “immediate” cease-fire in Gaza. Yet the whole phrase is “immediate, durable, and fully respected” — which is just the kind of cease-fire Israel has been calling for as well. This is only the beginning. Consider:

1. Israel is not condemned anywhere in the resolution. The only condemnation is against “all acts of violence and terror directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism.” Simply read, this is a condemnation of Hamas alone.

2. The resolution does not demand the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, but only that the cease-fire “lead… to the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. ” Again, Israel has no problem with this.

3. The only country mentioned by name in the context of efforts to achieve a cease-fire is Egypt. Yet Egypt wants, probably more than any other Arab country, the utter removal of Hamas from the scene. Any cease-fire brokered by Egypt will see to Egyptian interests as a first order of business.

Of course it would be nice if the diplomats of the world could speak freely, and just say what they actually believe: that Israel is acting fully in its right to defend itself against months and years of Hamas’s attacks on its civilians.