The United Nation Security Council held an emergency session on Friday to address the escalation of violence between Gaza and Israel.
U.N. Undersecretary Jeffrey Feltman spoke at the beginning of the session. He announced that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will be arriving in the region tomorrow, Saturday, July 20, in an attempt to help rein in the hostilities.
Feltman also mentioned several points raised by acting leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. He said Abbas believes the PA should be ensuring security along the Philadelphi corrider, and that there has to be one entity in charge of both all Palestinian Arabs, including those in Gaza.
At the conclusion of his statement, Feltman waxed rhapsodic about the holy grail of the “peace process:” the creation of a Palestinian State so that the “Two State Solution” can herald the dawning of the era of peace and harmony.
And then, as if cynics were writing the script instead of people who actually believe this malarky, the U.N. ambassador from “Palestine” spoke, making it crystal clear that the Palestinian Arabs have no interest in anything like peace with Israel.
The representative from “Palestine,” Riyad Mansour, launched into an invective-filled diatribe accusing Israel of intentionally causing the murder of Arab babies, and insisting that the brutal occupation by the savage Israelis is the root cause of every problem in the region.
Mansour even stated that Israel “cynically used the deaths of three Israeli teenagers” as an excuse to restart its war machine in order to inflict the greatest harm possible on the poor Gazans who are in a stranglehold due to the illegal embargo and closure of its borders.
Not content to use every bloodthirsty adjective to describe Israel, Mansour also spent a good portion of his speaking time reading names and ages of children he claimed have been killed by Israel.
For his part, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor seized the opportunity to engage in rhetorical warfare, although of a far more subtle type.
“Hamas lives by violence and celebrates death. I want to be clear, our forces are fighting in Gaza, but they are not fighting the people of Gaza,” Prosor said.
Prosor also took the opportunity to castigate the nearly immediate, nearly universal international support for the Palestinian unity government. He said that simply allowed a fig leaf for Hamas to continue its violence and reign of terror against Israelis.
Neither of the parties’ spokespeople struck a surprising note. Perhaps the biggest surprise to wary observers was the statement made by U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.
Power’s brief statement was emphatic about the need to de-escalate the violence. However, she did not spin any fairy tales about how it is only the lack of a Palestinian State which is blocking the peace train from rolling through the region. Nor did Power equate the two parties to the conflict. Power said the indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into Israel had to stop, and she called on both parties to try their utmost to reduce civilian casualties.
At least at this point, given that there were no marches in the aisles of the U.N. demanding Israel cease so that Hamas can continue firing (a joke Prosor employed during his remarks), it was not an altogether terrible day for Israel at the United Nations.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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