Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin convened an emergency session of the UN Security Council this afternoon, in an effort to get the Council to issue a statement condemning the brutal Israeli attacks on Gaza, which kicked off with the assassination of Hamas’ top military leader and peace negotiator Ahmed Jabari. But the effort was apparently stymied by the U.S. refusal to issue any statement condemning the Israeli action.
An international diplomatic effort, led by Egypt, has so far failed to achieve a ceasefire in the week-long Israeli air assault on the Gaza Strip, which has already resulted in more than 100 deaths and many more injuries. Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon arrived in Cairo where he met with Egyptian President Morsi and Hamas secretary general Khaled Mashal. He will meet on Tuesday with Israeli President Shimon Peres. Tomorrow, the Turkish Foreign Minister will travel to Gaza with foreign ministers from Arab League states. The German foreign minister is also traveling to the region to meet with Palestinian and Israeli officials.
According to news accounts and sources directly involved in the attempts to negotiate a ceasefire, Hamas is demanding an end to the Israeli bombardment, an end to the naval blockade of Gaza, and the opening of the Rafah crossing. Israel is demanding an airtight guarantee from Egypt that there will be no more rockets fired from Gaza into Israel and an end to the smuggling of weapons into Gaza from Egypt. Israel is, according to sources involved in the negotiations, demanding that Egypt be the guarantor of the ceasefire, a role that Egypt is hesitant to play, unless there is some signficant concessions from Israel and the United States. Israeli officials have said that they are prepared to accept a ceasefire, but are prepared to launch a ground invasion of Gaza if necessary. The next days will be crucial in determining whether such a major military action can be avoided.
For his part, President Obama has continued to side with Netanyahu. Yesterday, he spoke to Egypting President Morsi and pressured him to get Hamas to halt all rocket fire into Israel. He then called Netanyahu to „get an update” on Israel’s thinking.
Vladamir Jabotinsky, father of revisionist zionism said in 1923, „There can be no discussion of a voluntary reconciliation between us and the Arabs… Any native people…view their country as their national home… They will not voluntarily allow, not only a new master, but even a new partner… Colonization can have only one goal. For the Palestinian Arabs this goal is inadmissible. This is in the nature of things. To change that nature is impossible… colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.”
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