I spent some time this evening reading the United Nations’ Press Release concerning yesterday’s vote demanding that Israel comply with the International Court of Justice non-binding advisory opinion that Israel must dismantle its security barrier. That opinion was outrageous. It failed to recognize that Israel is at war and has every right to protect itself in this manner.
The fact that 150 nations voted in favor of this myopic unbalanced resolution leaves me little hope that the UN can do anything other than inhibit progress towards peace and against terrorism.
I agree with the Israeli representative whose post-vote statement is partially described this way:
He said that a total disregard of Israel’s “bold initiative” to withdraw from parts of the West Bank and Gaza could only be seen as disengagement by those States who agreed with the text from the reality of the situation in the region. That did not bode well for efforts to achieve comprehensive peace. “We should not be so quick to treat advisory opinions as if they were binding and binding Palestinian obligations were voluntary.”
Israel was not above the law and would continue to review the route of the fence, in order to protect humanitarian law and human rights for those Palestinians living along the route of the security barrier, as
well as the lives of those Israeli citizens whose lives it was protecting. But, Israel would nevertheless reject wholeheartedly the attempts to use the law as a political weapon, as if it applied to Israel and no one else. It was outrageous to respond with such vigor to a strategy that saved lives and treat a campaign that took lives with such indifference. By buying onto a “mock narrative” that failed to provide any remedies aimed at convincing the Palestinian side to reverse its catastrophic strategy, he believed the Assembly had compounded the error it had made last December when the opinion had been requested from the International Court of Justice. Both sides were worse for it.
By way of contrast, take a look at the recent decision of Israel’s own Supreme Court. The Court seems to have carefully weighed Israel’s security needs against the real harm caused to residents affected by the fence. It used a reasonable rule of proportionality to decide in favor of mandating some changes to the fence’s route, and against others. This seems to have been a well-considered and difficult decision that is very unpopular with many Israelis.
If the nations of the UN wanted to express their support for reasonable accommodation of affected Palestinians, they should have passed a resolution praising Israel, and its Supreme Court for addressing this issue in such a bold and even-handed manner.
I commend the nations that showed the moral awareness to oppose the awful resolution that was passed:
Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States
I don’t recall having heard of Palau before, but I feel better about it right now than I do about most other countries.