Beyond the Cusp

January 1, 2011

International Peacekeeping Troops? Stop the Joking Please!

The idea that United Nations or NATO troops be placed in the West Bank and Gaza to keep the peace, stop terrorist attacks, and enforce an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement would be a hysterical joke if the results of such a ridiculous plan would produce such tragic ends. It is not like this half-baked idea has not been tried and proven to be worse than useless because such is the case currently with the UNIFIL troops farcical ineffectiveness at reining in Hezballah from rebuilding and rearming without even a single reported action impeding their efforts. We saw exactly how effective international troops were in the build-up to the Six Day War in June of 1967. No sooner had Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser decided to attack Israel and wipe her off the map than did he demand all United Nations Peacekeeping Troops be removed from the Sinai Peninsula and especially the Israel-Gaza armistice line. Secretary General of the United Nations U Thant immediately complied and the nations whose troops were stationed to prevent a war evacuated them with the expressed purpose of allowing a war to be initiated.

Another reality that either escapes notice or is proven to be beyond peoples ability to understand, Israel does not desire even in the slightest to have the young men and women serving in other country’s militaries to become casualties defending Israel. Not once has Israel requested foreign troops be placed in harms way protecting Israel. Unfortunately, nations and organizations have insisted Israel accept foreign troops to act as peacekeepers. Fortunately, and this is a blessing, very few of these brave souls been killed or injured when placed in such a perilous position. Israeli military commanders are fully aware that the only troops who would go to any length and take any risk to defend Israel are Israelis. Ask most Israeli commanders for their view, they are very likely to quote Rabbi Hillel famous dictum, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?”

Truth be told, I doubt anyone could come up with an even more insane and problematic idea than to place innocent third party troops in the Palestinian areas with the completely misguided assumption that such troops could keep the peace. As has been proven repeatedly in Lebanon, where this plan failed so miserably in its initial implementation that the United Nations reached the brilliant idea to double down placing far more innocents in harm’s way who, when violence eventually does break out, will serve as human shields for Hezballah rocket, mortar and bunker positions. Examples of the problems caused by having peacekeepers caught in the crossfire was made evident in the Second Lebanon War where many times the Israelis refrained from targeting Hezballah positions due to their close proximity to UN buildings and personnel. This sad excuse of an idea should be rejected by Israel because peacekeeping troops’ presence makes the IDF’s tactical considerations extremely problematic. Furthermore, the last thing Israel needs to place her in a bad light and further erode any semblance of friendship with many countries would be having those countries soldiers coming home in caskets and body-bags. Please, remove placing peacekeepers to protect Israeli concerns from your list of bright ideas; it really is not that bright an idea. Thank you.

Beyond the Cusp

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