Israel Defies World On Gaza

Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected international calls to end the “excessive” and “disproportionate” military operations in the Gaza area. UN Secretary Genral Ban ki-moon urged an end to the bombing of the Gaza strip and initiation of new efforts to attain a cease fire. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced he was breaking off the US brokered negotiations with Israel as long as the “aggression” continued. However, Olmert told the Israel Cabinet: “Israel has no intention of stopping the fight against the terrorist organizations even for a minute….no one has the right to preach morality to Israel for employing its elmentary right of self-defence.” Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, which just completed an invasion of northern Iraq, complained Israel was rejecting a “diplomatic” solution to the conflict. Turkey got out before arousing world public opinion against its invasion. Even the Bush administration urged an end to violence on both sides and initiation of cease fire discussions.

During the course of its history as a nation, Israel frequently has been guilty of numerous examples of inept diplomatic approaches to its problems with Arabs. No one denies the right of Israel to confront attacks on its territory. That is not the issue in Gaza. Hamas has offered to enter into a cease fire if Israel agrees to end assassinations of its leaders. Instead of taking up the offer and engaging in discussions to achieve a cease fire, the Israel government used the argument that Hamas could not be trusted to keep its word. Why not make an agreement and allow Hamas not to keep its word. That would prove to the world Israel is willing to negotiate and Hamas is the guilty party. Instead, Israel rejects the offer which makes Hamas into the injured party.

The ironic aspect of the Gaza situation is Hamas has been demanding that President Abbas end peace settlement discussions with Israel. Th government of Israel has assisted Hamas to obtain its goals.