MURAT YETKİN > UN bound to fail again in Israel

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Before going to Egypt to carry out talks with President Mohamed Morsi, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan answered the questions of journalists on Friday in quite an upset tone. “There is no point talking to Israel,” he said, referring to the ongoing military operation against Gaza.“It is the duty of the United Nations Security Council to stop it.”

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to go to Gaza on Nov. 20 to observe the situation with his own eyes. It was only a few days ago that he warned world leaders that the Middle East was about to explode. It is one point to ask how many people will get killed on the Palestinian and Israeli sides by then. It is another point to ask whether the U.N. has any power to stop the operations, or any authority left to tell both Israel and Hamas to stop it.

The answer is a big “No” and everybody knows it, including Ban himself.

It is likely that the U.S. is not going to allow any U.N. Security Council resolution against Israel by using its veto power as it has been doing for a long time. Just like Russian and Chinese vetoes on any action against Syria enabled Bashar al-Assad to carry out more attacks on his own people, deepening the crisis there into a civil war and jeopardizing the already fragile security atmosphere in the Middle East.

That is why the U.N. is bound to fail again in stopping Israel conducting a wide-scale Gaza operation.

The U.S. is acknowledging Israel’s right to defend itself, which is normal, but fails to acknowledge the same thing for Palestinians. Hamas attacks on Israeli people (now able to hit Tel Aviv) are unjustifiable, but the same sentence should be valid for Israel’s disproportionate use of force on the Palestinian people.

Erdoğan pointed out the timing of the Israeli operations, saying the last big Gaza operation was started right before the elections in 2008. Israel will have early elections on Jan. 22, 2013 and Prime Minister Netenyahu wants to endorse his position without losing any ground to his coalition partner Avigdor Lieberman. Turkish President Abdullah Gül has called the Israeli operation “a bloody election investment”.

Erdoğan is upset about the unfairness of the U.N. system, about the abused veto power of the five permanent members of the Security Council. He has a point in that.

But there is no hope in the near future that this system will change. It is not only the U.S. and its policy of protecting Israel even when Israel does something wrong. Russia and China would never want to lose their veto power; they have used it three consecutive times to protect Syria this year.

Who would like that? The Yalta deal to share power was designed to protect the macro balances of world politics after the Second World War, plus the first five holders of the atomic bomb. For how long can it continue like this? Another 20, or 30 years? The top five and their unnamed sixth, Germany, will try their best to keep it as such. The lives lost in the meantime will just be a cost for them to keep the bigger system going when you look down from the Security Council.

Coming back to Israel, it is not only countering a terrorist attack by using excessive force and expecting an election victory out of it. It is also something to do with stopping Palestinians from getting U.N. recognition (in a vote scheduled to take place on Nov. 29) by hijacking the international attention from the Syrian crisis.

The next might be Lebanon, and it might spill into Jordan, as the two countries neighboring both Israel and Syria are up to their neck in Palestinian issues. Not many people are now interested in what is happening in Iraq, but it may not keep its critical balance for too long.

The U.N. system, unable to intervene in any crisis in which at least one of the five takes sides, is a source of pessimism for regional peace.


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11/19/2012 4:56:15 PM

@ Turk, Gaza has always been a part of Palestine. What has the ethnonym of Palestinian Arabs and the exact delimitation of Palestine to do with the fact that during the 20th century large waves of European immigrants came to Palestine and claimed it as their homeland, when the native people were openly hostile to them since the beginning? According to this logic, Turks could now claim Mongolia, or at least its Western part, as their land.


11/19/2012 4:50:18 PM

@ Danny, the presence of a small Jewish community in Palestine didn't give any right to European zionists to come there and claim it as their land. This is an absurd and irrational argument. And as for your claim about Palestinians being recent immigrants, that's a fringe theory which hasn't been widely accepted, except by people who find it convenient for their agenda. Sorry, but the European colonists came to Palestine and imposed their presence against the will of the native Arab population.


11/19/2012 4:46:34 PM

@ Johanna Dew, I am not talking about some medieval migrations but about the 20th colonization of Palestine by European colonists, who imposed their presence there against the will of the native population. How Palestinian Arabs called themselves is pointless, because they represented the vast majority of the population before the European zionist colonization (more than 90%). Sorry, but this is the truth.

Danny B Danny

11/19/2012 11:22:34 AM

Ayazid : Contrary to your wishful thinking the Jewish existance in Israe / Palestine never stopped since the Roman empire. While those called Palestinian mainly immigrated to Palestine in WW1 or brought by the Ottoman empire to cut the woods and forests required for the war efforts by fueling the locomotives. Other part immigrated in early 20s to look for work at Jewsih land lords or factories.

Turk down under

11/19/2012 5:56:05 AM

Sorry guys, Johanna is absolutely right here. For starters Gaza was from Egypt it was never Palestine. 2. What is considered historically Palestine (a name that was given to the region by the Romans when they expelled a large amount of Jews from Judea and Samaria) encompasses all of Jordan as well. I can't see any rockets fired into Amman. Hakan Yigit Jordan was also created by the British for a disgruntled Iraqi Royal! The Jewish presence there long before the term Palestine was used!


11/19/2012 5:18:49 AM

@Johanna Dew: So if there were never Palestinian people, where did they come from, thin air?? Names of lands/tribes/people change over periods of time due to wars and conquests however, The Palestinian people have existed for at least 2500 years. After WW1 the land was given the name Mandatory Palestine, 1947-8 Israel was established. Even the ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote of Palestine in 5C BC. However, technically the Canaanites were the earliest known inhabitants of Palestine

Johanna Dew

11/19/2012 4:21:06 AM

@Ayazid, the native people of Anatolian are not the Turks so the are occupying force in your way of thinking. And again, check the Ottoman archives, there was even not an Arab tribe called ''Palestinians'' living in in now called Israel. There were scattered some Bedouins and Jews, and some Christians an Muslims. Again. archeology, linguistics, philology, medical DNA and literature PROOF this


11/18/2012 10:27:32 PM

@ Johanna Dew, if Israelis were Eskimos, Palestinians would oppose their colonial occupation just as vehemently. And yes, I call it a colonial occupation, because that's what's zionism all about. Zionists imposed themselves in the region against the will of the native population, which was openly hostile. They are those who bear responsibility for this tragedy, not the Palestinians.

Aryeh Rapaport

11/18/2012 10:11:53 PM

Blue,"Hamas is democratically elected government "who are you kidding? Do democratically elected govt kill opposition? throw them from roofs? Support destruction, annihilation of other states? Support terrorism,Jihad, suicide missions? Not respect prior agreement? Not recognize official UN state? Not solve problems peacefuly? Maybe Hamas can fool you or other Muslims but anyone who lives in Democracy knows very well Hamas is Islamic extremist, terrorist group& must be stopped as Taliban,Al Qaida

Johanna Dew

11/18/2012 7:28:37 PM

@Mıurat: it were the Israeli's who offered solution after solution the last time by Olmert. What he offered is what Abbas now wants. Between the Oslo accords and September 2000 PLO was offered the same but Arafat walked last minute away. Palestinians wants to destroy Israel and Jews. Blood is on the hands of he Arabs with their eternal aggression. Happy that the rest of the world stands b Israel!
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