Not so surprisingly, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) failed to take action against Hamas. The UNSC’s non-permanent Arab representative Kuwait blocked the U.S. drafted statement, which condemned the Islamist organization’s attacks on Israel. Considering the Saudi led coalition of Gulf countries against the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, and Iran in recent years, Kuwait’s departure from the alignment seemed odd to me. Would not it have been in Kuwait’s interest to condemn terrorism backed by Iran?
In the 1990’s and 2000’s, the UNSC had no problem in adopting resolutions under Chapter VII of the UN charter addressing Taliban. Chapter VII is very important here, for unlike resolutions under Chapter VI, those of under Chapter VII are binding on all members of the United Nations.
The United Nations have passed numerous resolutions on terrorism, but to my knowledge, none of them have never condemned Hamas or Islamic Jihad without simultaneously hinting that the victim of both groups is even worse. This is a position held by many individual activists, NGO’s and mainstream church bodies, for they often tend to explain terrorism in terms of Marxist class struggle. Hence, they argue, the root cause for terrorism is poverty, or when making the case against Israel, terrorism is caused by the “occupation.”
Who are the victims of Hamas anyway? Hamas bans sinful books and music. They criminalize dog walking and, at least in the early 2010’s, they banned women from being pillion riders on scooters. There is no free speech or freedom of religion in the Hamas ruled Gaza Strip. They terrorize not only Israeli civilians by missiles and tunnels but, what is largely kept ignored, by its strict Sharia legislation, Hamas terrorizes non-fundamentalist peaceful Palestinian Arab Muslims too. Its revised charter (2017) ignores any reference to the Jewish history in the region, which makes it a product of self-centered imagination. In its own documents, the goal of Hamas is not to resist the “occupation” in terms of 1949 hudna, that is, the so-called green line. The goal of Hamas is to erase what its charter calls a “racist, anti-human and colonial Zionist project.”
In the last few days, Hamas has sent flaming kites into Israel resulting thousands of acres burning. Earlier, Hamas burnt 30.000 car tires, committing an unprecedented environmental crime in the movement’s history, causing a giant carbon footprint. However, since I am lazy on Twitter, I did not notice the World Council of Churches eco-justice group ever issuing a statement condemning the crime.
In normal circumstances, activists and church leaders emphatically condemn Hamas, but when violence escalates, they never consider it responsible. There are bishops who are unwilling to admit Hamas treats Gazan Christians as dhimmis. In 2013, Hamas closed five Christian schools in Gaza due to their failure to follow Sharia gender rules. If this is not apartheid, then what is?
In 2009, during the operation Cast Lead, the UNSC passed resolution 1860 under chapter VI, which stressed the “urgency of and calls for an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.” The resolution mentioned “terrorism” only once, as it stated that the council “condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism.”
Many terrorist organizations hold significantly large territories under their control. In each case, that means that there are huge civilian populations under brutal oppression by illegal terrorist occupiers in parts of Africa and, for example, in Lebanon. To my knowledge, however, there is not a single resolution demanding that those who defend themselves against terrorism should end their necessary military counter operations and leave civilians unprotected. However, as the Security Council’s resolution 1860 alone showed, there is one sharp exception, Israel. The problem with resolution 1860 is that it creates a morally and fatally false balance between terrorist groups and Israel.
After the November 2015 Paris attacks, former president of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari, who is the founder of Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), stated that the reason for violent unrest in the Middle East is that the “Palestinians have been treated poorly.” Thus, he accused Israel for wars in Syria, Libya, and Yemen.
In reality, we suffer from terrorism only because the world’s richest countries and private donators fund fundamentalist religious educators and arm Jihadists directly. Moreover, since the war of Afghanistan in the 1980’s, the situation has been compounded by the United States financing of Jihadist proxies. Soon after the Syrian civil war broke out, the Obama administration decided to support the Free Syria Army. Over the years, however, the widespread meme of “moderate rebels” has proved to be false, and the FSA has shown its true face as an al-Qaeda and Isis linked Islamist syndicate.
The catastrophe has already happened. Three years ago in social media, there were photographs of female Kurdish fighters tearing down Isis propaganda posters of burkas. Just the other day, I saw similar pictures from Afrin, which is now under the FSA rule. Again, there were burka poster stands installed by the FSA. In the pictures that I saw, some of the posters had been teared down presumably by female Kurdish fighters.
The lesson of all this seems to the most difficult to learn: It is easy to arm Jihadists, but it is almost impossible to demilitarize them. This is tragic, for only few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, the Security Council passed a resolution 1373, which today has largely been forgotten. However, in the aftermath of the 2014 Protective Edge operation, there was a Europe–Israeli panel at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Jerusalem, during which there was some talk of double standards applied for Israel. At one point, Danish Ambassador Jesper Vahr stated that Israel is treated by the same standards as any western democracy. In response to that, analyst Caroline Glick sharply pointed out that the UNSC resolution 1373 under Chapter VII makes it illegal to support Hamas or any other designated terror group in any imaginable way.
The resolution makes it clear that no member of the United Nations can stay apart from the issue. The resolution calls on all states to modify their national legislation on terrorism. Then it decides that all states shall “deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens…”
Thus, the resolution 1373 obligates governmental and non-governmental bodies to do everything to get all terrorist groups demilitarized, including Palestinian ones.
However, as Glick pointed out, resolution 1373 is constantly broken by western governmental and non-governmental bodies, which directly or indirectly funnel billions of dollars to terrorist rulers in Gaza. Further, it is a well-known fact that the BDS movement, which is supported by many NGO’s and churches, is coordinated by a council of which the membership is held by numerous terrorist organizations such as Hamas and PFLP.
None of the Western actors involved in the BDS has taken seriously the resolution passed by the Security Council in September 2001.
In December 2017, the Politico magazine revealed that while President Obama was busy securing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuke deal, he halted the DEA investigation on Hezbollah drug trafficking business. Obama administration of course said, not true. The DEA agents uncovering the Hezbollah cartel said otherwise. The stark truth is that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are now marionettes of which trucks are pulled by Iran.
Obama was perceived as a dove. During his two terms as the president, however, only few people questioned, if arming Jihadists is actually dovish.
Despite disastrous choices by previous U.S. administrations, it seems that many people went into shock only after when President Trump rode on the scene. Since then, there has been an uninterruptible lament about Trump throwing a match onto the Middle East fire. While Trump is hailed for his actions in Israel, many people in Europe and Americas think he is nothing but a bumpkin, who endangers the Middle East peace process.
I cannot but agree with a taxi driver I spoke with recently in Tel Aviv. He said me, “Maybe Trump is… you know… a bit crazy. But so far he has not made any mistakes in the Middle-East.” Today, U.S. Middle-East policy is about setting limits on the nonsense.