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UN Watch Briefing

Issue 394

Hypocrisy exposed: U.N. ignored Israel's repeated pleas to act against Hamas rockets, then rushed to stop Israel's self-defense

UN Watch publishes 20 urgent letters sent
this year by Israeli representatives to the U.N.

Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin suddenly demanded U.N. action this week.

One of 20 Examples: Letter from Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor sent to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and to President of the Security Council, 17 February 2012
I write following another week in which Israeli citizens felt the evil of terrorism inside our country and around the world. As terrorist attacks shook cities from Bangkok to Tbilisi to New Delhi — rockets continued to rain out of the Gaza Strip, exploding in communities throughout southern Israel.
In letter after letter, I have made clear that the rockets fired from Gaza could ignite an escalation of conflict in our already volatile region. Yet, the Security Council has still not uttered a single syllable of condemnation against them.
In the past two weeks alone, 11 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israeli cities, landing in the areas of Sha'ar Hanegev, Sdot Hanegev, Eshkol and Ashkelon.
Today, terrorists fired two rockets into southern Israel — and attacked an Israel Defense Forces border patrol, using rocket propelled grenades and an improvised explosive device.
On the evening of 10 February 2012, two rockets were fired into the communities of Kibbutz Zikim and Kibbutz Alumim, injuring a woman. It is only by chance that these attacks did not cause a much larger tragedy, considering that one rocket exploded between two fully occupied homes as the residents were observing the Sabbath.
It is high time that the Security Council condemned these attacks fully and unequivocally, not only as grave violations of international law but also as serious threats to regional peace and security. Israel expects the Security Council, and all responsible members of the international community, to condemn the relentless rocket fire from Gaza without any further delay.
Each of these attacks reveals the character and intentions of the Hamas terrorist organization, which remains in de facto control of Gaza and continues to be supported, funded and armed by the Iranian regime. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh made this clear during his visit to Iran this week, when he said that “we can obtain our goals only through fighting and armed resistance.
Israel holds the Hamas terrorist organization fully responsible for all attacks emanating from Gaza. Israel has exercised and will continue to exercise its right to self-defence, as appropriate, and will take all necessary measures to protect its citizens.
I should be grateful if you would have the present letter distributed as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) Ron Prosor
Permanent Representative
GENEVA, Nov. 22 -- Although this past week saw U.N. agencies and high officials rushing to intervene the moment Israel began to defend its civilian population from hundreds of Hamas rocket attacks, letters published by UN Watch show that the same U.N. actors repeatedly turned a blind eye while Israel pleaded for action.

Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who for nearly two years now has blocked any U.N. Security Council action to stop the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad from murdering more than 30,000 of his own people, lashed out this week at "procrastination on Gaza."

In reality, it has been the procrastination, indifference and inaction of Russia and its Security Council allies that gave Hamas the green light to bomb Israeli civilians, finally prompting Israel's belated response.

On at least 20 separate occasions this year, the Israeli government turned to the U.N. concerning Palestinian rocket attacks, in identical letters sent to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council.

Israel urged the United Nations to act, and, at a minimum, to speak out and condemn the attacks.

“Inaction today could help ignite an escalation of conflict tomorrow,” Israel warned, while exercising astonishing measures of restraint that no country facing a similar onslaught of rockets has ever shown. Yet we are unaware of any U.N. action taken in response.

The letters constitute an important legal record that refute myths propagated by U.N. figures like Judge Richard Goldstone, author of the notorious 2009 report (which he later retracted) that excoriated Israel and exonerated Hamas. From an interview that year:

Israel TV's Yaacov Ahimeir: "Maybe this is one reason why the Israeli government decided not to cooperate with your commission: your commission, Mr. Goldstone, was established only after the Israeli military operation, which was a reprisal act, and not after seven or eight years of Palestinian shelling of innocent civilians in Israel."

Goldstone: "... I don’t believe this was an issue, the shelling. I don’t believe [it] was really taken to the Security Council by the Israeli government. I may be wrong but that’s my impression..."

As UN Watch noted at the time, Israel has repeatedly appealed to the Security Council -- which many in the world absurdly imagine to be in Israel's pocket -- yet to no avail. Indeed, here is a massive list of Israeli letters, from 2000 to 2008, completely ignored by the UN.


20 Israeli Appeals Ignored by U.N.

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