UN ceasefire vote  on Israel failed!

Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

“There is a time for war and a time for peace.” -Ecclesiastes 3:8.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quoted this passage from the Holy Bible in refusing the call of some countries for a ceasefire in Israel’s war against the terrorist organization Hamas.

The prime minister addressed the most common concern --the one that seems to be the strongest argument for a call for a ceasefire in the war; the deaths of civilians. He claimed that what Hamas did was a deliberate murder of the innocent. He is determined to fight to the end, seeing no advantage in yielding to a ceasefire. He said: “Just as the United States would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor or after the terrorist attack of 9/11, Israel would not agree to a cessation of hostilities.”

Hamas has used human shields, apparently with the thought that Israel would have second thoughts about making counterattacks. Israel, a civilized country, has every reason to think about international condemnation, significantly if casualties on the part of civilians will grow. On the other hand, terrorist organizations like Hamas do not have the littlest regard for negative public opinion. Their purpose is to wreak havoc to achieve their objectives.

Netanyahu was confronted with two difficult choices: to stop the counterattack or to, in his words, “resign Hamas to the dustbin of history.”

In all fairness to Israel, it cannot be said that it is reckless concerning the lives of the civilians in the Gaza Strip. It urged the civilians to leave toward safe areas. Some heeded the call. Others did not or had no choice because they were used as human shields.

Israel did not initiate this war. The kind of brutality that the Hamas organization has inflicted on people, such as the beheading of men, rape of women, and murder of children, all helpless, deserves a strong response. Netanyahu has put it correctly when he justifies the response; thus, the deaths caused by terrorists are deliberate in contrast to the deaths caused by Israel’s response, which is unintentional and accompanies even just wars.

Many agree with Netanhayu that “this is a battle for civilization against barbarism.” The call for a ceasefire will give Hamas so much time for maneuver, and they will come back more brutal and more barbaric.

Netanhayu warned, “If Hamas wins, you will be the next target.” Nobody can say that we have not been warned if that time comes.

Hence, while many countries have called for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, the voting result at the United Nations General Assembly failed. The resolution calling for a ceasefire requires two-thirds votes of its members to make it binding.

The voting resulted in this: 120 states voted for a ceasefire, 14 states, including the US, voted no to a ceasefire, and 45 states, including our country, the Philippines, abstained.

In the voting, one state is entitled to one vote only. Considering that the United Nations member states are only 193 out of 195 states in the world, it needs 128 votes to get the required two-thirds of the votes to make the resolution binding.

Unlike when the UN passed the resolution calling Russia for a ceasefire against Ukraine, 141 voted for a ceasefire. The resolution is supposedly binding, yet the UN cannot enforce it upon a powerful state, Russia.

In the absence of a binding resolution for a ceasefire, Israel has every right to defend itself from their neighbor, terrorists.

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