A Rocket from Gaza, and UN as Usual

Last year, for month after month, as hundreds of rockets from Gaza hit Israel, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, wrote letter after letter to the UN, asking for urgent, serious action to stop this terrorist bombardment. The UN did pretty much nothing. Finally, on Nov. 14, Israel moved to defend itself by launching Operation Pillar of Defense, targeting terror sites in Gaza. That produced great furor in the “international community,” with urgent calls for Israel to desist, an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, and, within the month, an internationally brokered ceasefire.


Now, Ambassador Prosor has had to take to his keyboard again, writing on Feb. 26 to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to inform him that “After only three months of relative quiet, the citizens of Israel awoke again this morning to discover the horrific reality of terrorism from Gaza.” Writes Prosor: “Earlier today, a rocket was fired at the Israeli city of Ashkelon. This is the first rocket that has been launched from Gaza since the conclusion of Operation Pillar of Defense last November…. This attack is an unacceptable breach of the ceasefire that ended our campaign against Hamas last year.”

Prosor asked,  as he asked again and again last year, that the Security Council “condemn this violation of the ceasefire, before the situation escalates.”

What has the UN done? Well, there was a briefing to the Security Council, at which UN officials “voiced their concern.” UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, a former U.S. diplomat (you may remember him from the photo last August, in which he accompanied Ban to pay court in Tehran to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei), stressed the “troubling” nature of the rocket attack, but, in a classic UN formulation, immediately yoked that statement to the notion that the Israelis are to blame for being attacked: “”We know that there are negative forces on both sides… .”


Bottom line: It looks likely that apart from voicing concern, UN officials won’t bestir themselves in the cause of stopping more terrorist rockets from Gaza. Israel’s Ambassador Prosor will be left to write more letters, until Israel’s next attempt to defend itself gets the UN’s full attention.

Meawhile, the UN is busy with other projects.  As Geneva-based UN Watch reports, the UN has just re-elected to a senior post on its decolonization committee a representative of the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.  (UN Watch is on a roll with UN news right now, including this report on a UN researcher for UNESCO and UNIFEM, who wrote for Al Jazeera about a UN meeting on Israel, that apparently never happened.)

On other UN fronts, Fox News reports that the UN (which says its sanctions lists are “updated regularly”) has just removed Osama bin Laden from its Al Qaeda sanctions list… almost two years after he was killed. Let no one say the UN can’t get something done when it really wants to.



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