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Tags: israel | un resolution | cease-fire | war
OPINION

Israel Should See UN Resolution as a Diplomatic Opportunity

the un security council
The U.N. Security Council (AFP via Getty)

Mark L. Cohen By Wednesday, 27 March 2024 04:34 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Israel believes, as do its supporters in Congress and more generally the public in the United States, that President Joe Biden violated the trust and confidence that must exist between the two countries by not vetoing the Security Council Resolution on March 24. The failure of the United States to do so was made worse because Israel is fighting an existential war.

In this circumstance, Israel has the choice to fret that it is isolated and alone, or it can use the problem created by the Biden administration as an opportunity. This can be a time to use diplomacy as a tool, however difficult that may be, to turn around a bad situation.

Israel needs to demonstrate the wisdom of Solomon to work with what the Security Council did on March 24. Previous resolutions proposed by the United States, with no Israel objection, linked more explicitly the cease-fire to the ongoing negotiation for a release of some hostages in return for the release of a disproportionate number of Palestinian prisoners in Israel, more than 100 of whom were serving life sentences for assassinating Israelis.

Both Israel and the United States abhor that the Security Council has become an example of politics overriding any interest in achieving peace in the world. An example is that in a matter of hours the Council condemned the terrorist attack in Russia, while having continually refused to condemn the terrorist attack on Oct. 7 that caused more than 10 times the number of victims.

Aside from lamenting that the United States wavered in its resolve not to give in to the machinations of the United Nations, it is important to look at exactly what Resolution 2728 provides. It calls for "an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire, and also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages."

The word "immediate" is used for both the cease-fire and the release of hostages, but the cease-fire is linked to the period of Ramadan, which will end in two weeks.

Israel must understand that diplomacy implies something much more than continually underlining differences. 

In the same way that Hamas and Israel's adversaries are reading what they want into the resolution, Israel, instead of itself considering that is a victim of international opinion, can read the resolution in the way that it chooses.

Nothing in this resolution prevents Israel, and the United States as well, from empathizing with Palestinian victims, nor from considering that they are the victims of Hamas terrorism because Hamas started the war and used the population as human shields.

Additionally, Israel can highlight that in return for Israel prioritizing humanitarian concerns, it expects Qatar, Iran, and other countries that influence Hamas to secure the release of the hostages — all the hostages.

In the event the hostages are not released, Israel will be morally and politically in a stronger position to continue the war it believes it needs to wage in order to finish any expectation that Hamas will survive and be part of a new Gaza government. As an Israeli politician pointed out: "When you extinguish two-thirds of a fire, the fire will still rage if you leave one-third of that fire still burning."

In the event that the hostages are released, the United States and the world community in general will want this war to stop and will consider that international pressure has resulted in a great victory, eventually bringing peace to the region.

That will not give Israel what it really wants and what it may be justified in trying to achieve, but we will have before us a fair deal given that the global environment has become so disproportionately hostile to Israel.

And in any event we can keep in mind that given that Hamas is a terrorist organization that uses human suffering as its greatest weapon, the call in the resolution for the immediate release of the hostages will not be respected.

John Kirby, White House national security adviser, tried to put a positive spin on the present situation by saying that the Israelis were choosing to create a perception of distance between the United States when they do not need to do that.

He was right.

Mark L. Cohen has his own legal practice, and was counsel at White & Case starting in 2001, after serving as international lawyer and senior legal consultant for the French aluminum producer Pechiney. Cohen was a senior consultant at a Ford Foundation Commission, an advisor to the PBS television program "The Advocates," and Assistant Attorney General in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He teaches U.S. history at the business school in Lille l'EDHEC. Read Mark L. Cohen's Reports — More Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


MarkLCohen
Israel believes, as do its supporters in Congress and more generally the public in the United States, that President Joe Biden violated the trust and confidence that must exist between the two countries by not vetoing the Security Council Resolution on March 24. The failure...
israel, un resolution, cease-fire, war
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2024-34-27
Wednesday, 27 March 2024 04:34 PM
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