Principled peace

Self-defense is essential for a nation’s survival, which was what the United States veto of the United Nations resolution calling for “humanitarian pauses” in Israel’s campaign against Hamas was all about.

Based on a formula that Brazil and Russia drafted, the resolution was meant to allow aid delivery to the war zone, mainly in northern Gaza.

Under United Nations rules, a “no” vote by any of the five permanent members of the Security Council stops action on any proposal. The body’s permanent members are China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Russia had proposed two amendments to the UN resolution seeking a ceasefire that the SC rejected.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia’s proposal came with its warning that anyone who did not support Russia’s draft resolution “bears responsibility for what happens.”

Coming from Russia, the call for moral responsibility in Israel’s war against terror was somewhat off, considering its ongoing campaign to occupy Ukraine.

In delivering the veto, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the “resolution did not mention Israel’s right of self-defense.”

“Israel has the inherent right of self-defense as reflected in Article 51 of the UN Charter,” she said.

Thomas-Greenfield noted that the Security Council had reaffirmed the right in previous resolutions on terrorist attacks. “This resolution should have done the same,” she said.

UK Ambassador Barbara Woodward said her country abstained from voting on the resolution as the text needed to clarify Israel’s inherent right to self-defense.

She pointed out that the resolution also ignored that extremist group Hamas, which controls Gaza, uses Palestinian civilians as human shields.

“They (Hamas) have embedded themselves in civilian communities and made the Palestinian people their victims too,” she said.

She reiterated the UK’s support for Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas, to rescue hostages, and to strengthen its security in the long term while calling on Israel “to take all feasible precautions” to avoid harming Palestinian civilians.

The argument of the UK is the source of the dilemma in the current conflict — saving civilians but with the responsibility falling solely on the shoulders of Israel.

Hamas, a terrorist organization, is not bound by, therefore is not expected to follow, UN resolutions.

Directing Israel to implement a ceasefire, even momentarily, puts it at a disadvantage since Hamas and its terror allies will continue to fire their rockets while consolidating their forces.

War indeed brings horrors that should not happen in a civilized world. Human frailty is brought to the fore by the greed and ambition of the terror organization, stripped of religious embellishment.

Hamas wants to drive out the Israelis and establish a kingdom to rule over the Palestinians.

A spokesperson of the Israeli Defense Forces said resolute action is necessary against Hamas to end its reign of terror and prevent the recurrence of its recent attack on civilians.

The surprise assault on 7 October resulted in the slaughter of 1,400 mostly civilian Israelis.

Israel then declared war on Hamas, which rules the Palestinian government, vowing to hold it accountable for the massacre.

Hamas uses treachery and guile, digging bunkers and underground communities in civilian areas to evade the Israeli forces.

The terror group uses the propaganda mill to elicit tacit support from countries with anti-Israel sentiments. It uses the Israeli airstrikes on its facilities that cause civilian casualties as leverage to get the Israeli operations to stop.

The UN, as the organization relied on to keep the peace in the region, has failed to provide a fair and rational solution to the conflict.

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