The United Nations Security Council recently voted unanimously to demand an unconditional cease-fire in the current violent conflict between Israel and the terrorist organization, Hamas. The message sent, however, is that treating Hamas and Israel the same legitimizes Hamas.
Since when should terrorist organizations receive the same respect as sovereign, legitimate and civilized nations? Is Hamas a member of the United Nations? Has Hamas demonstrated over time a propensity towards human rights and responsibilities?
Palestinians hold Hamas flags during the funeral for Ahmed Abdel-Jawad in the Askar refugee camp in the West Bank on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Abdel-Jawad, a 19-year-old Hamas militant, was killed by the Israeli military in 2002 after storming a Jewish settlement and killing four Israelis. Israel has been returning the remains of dead Palestinian militants in recent days. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)
To the first question, it is obvious that the recent U.S. negotiations with the Taliban, through the Islamist-leaning Qatar, helped legitimize that radical Muslim group, the same group that harbored the Al Qaeda leaders and operatives who planned and then carried out the most devastating attack ever on the United States of America on Sept. 11, 2001. These negotiations resulted in the release of five notorious and dangerous Taliban leaders from the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a suspected American military deserter from Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in the global war on terror.
When the leader of the free world negotiates with terrorists, it opens the floodgates for others to do the same with impunity.
Now, the United Nations has entered the game in calling for an unconditional cease-fire. The result of which may aid international desires to attend to humanitarian concerns in the Gaza Strip, but would also result in a pause in military activities that would favor and benefit Hamas, who would surely use the cease-fire to resupply, maneuver and regroup.
Hamas is not a member state of the United Nations. Hamas is not a state. Hamas is an admitted terrorist organization, elected to head the government of the Palestinian Authority and who is supported unabashedly by Iran. This does not in and of itself legitimize Hamas, but it comes close when the United Nations treats it like a civilized nation.
This posture by the U.N., a veiled admonition of Israel as much as it legitimizes Hamas, works against peace in the Middle East.
Peace can only come when all Islamists are dead, or no longer have the means or will to kill. Until that time, sovereign, legitimate and civilized nations must defend themselves.
Training at the government-run Hamas camp included firing weapons (Photo: Hamas interior ministry website)
Israel is on the stated mission of removing the means by which Hamas kills. Tunnels used to funnel deadly supplies and equipment are being destroyed. Israeli counter-battery radar extrapolates the exact point from which Hamas missiles are launched, feeds that information to artillery and other weapons systems which use the information to strike at the launch sites, sometimes within just two minutes of the launch, in an attempt to destroy the enemy launchers.
The U.N. should be admonishing Hamas for its constant harassment of Israel. The U.N. should be passing resolutions requiring human responsibility on the part of Hamas. Indiscriminately firing explosive projectiles into Israel goes against the very nature of the United Nations charter, yet the body refuses to condemn specific Hamas actions.
The result is the questioning of the value of the United Nations. If the body is more likely to lump together legitimate and illegitimate political entities, what legitimacy can it bring to calls for a cease-fire, especially if those calls ignore blatant violations of international law by Hamas?
- Using ambulances as getaway cars
- Setting up headquarters at Gaza’s main hospital
- Using mosques to hide rockets
- Using mosques to protect tunnel entrances
- Using United Nations schools to hide rockets
- Dressing up as Israeli soldiers
- Dressing up as women
- Swaddling weapons in baby blankets
- Using donkeys as suicide bombers
- Planting attack tunnel entrances in private homes
Legitimate, civilized nations would negotiate peacefully while a cease-fire is in place; protect innocent civilians, not pretend to be innocent civilians in order to murder them; they would respect and take responsibility for their actions, not hide behind women and children while indiscriminately firing missiles into civilian populated areas.
The IDF says this tunnel was built for Hamas militants to infiltrate into and attack Israel (Image source: IDF spokesman)
Terror begets terror and horror. Negotiating with terrorists legitimizes their existence. Human rights do not exist without human responsibility. And the U.N. is on the wrong side of legitimacy if it thinks lumping Hamas together with Israel will protect the innocents Hamas repeatedly threatens and kills.
By insisting both parties are equally at fault or wrong the United Nations has declared all forms of terror legitimate. The result will be an escalation of chaos, not the creation of order and peace.
Terror is to Hamas as fire to a pyromaniac. Hamas is the arsonist, and Israel is the firefighter. Israel must extinguish every spark and ember this time, lest they condemn themselves to repeat over and over again the horror of war.
Israel must be willing to end for all time the aggression of Islamists. True friends of Israel must not inadvertently support Hamas through support of the U.N. resolutions requiring unconditional cease-fire. Hamas has proven time and again that they are not serious about peace, but that they are serious about pain, suffering and murder.
Israel would do well to ignore all overtures from the U.N. for unconditional cease-fires. To be credible, the U.N. must first announce it will in no way, shape or form give credence to overtures from terrorists. The U.N. must insist only on conditional cease-fire resolutions, which demand Hamas’ verifiable demilitarization. Only then should Israel take notice - without abdicating even one iota of the right to self-defense.
If Hamas were to violate such a conditional cease-fire they would subject themselves to overwhelming force and Israeli or non-Muslim third party occupation for the purpose of ensuring effective demilitarization. Only in this way can there be hope for credible peace, and never in the face of wanton murder and mayhem.
I am the author of "Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior," and three times mobilized U.S. Army Reserve Major (Retired). Twitter ID: @mjgranger1
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