In war, damage happens, lives are lost. You mitigate the damage by avoiding the danger zones...except if you are part of the war, part of the problem, part of the cause. For years, the United Nations has been more of a problem than a solution, more of an supporter than a fighter of terrorism in Gaza and elsewhere. That may be a harsh statement, but UN vehicles have been used to carry terror weapons; UN schools and "safe" houses shelter missile launchers.
During the Gaza War, and even during the Lebanon War before it, Israel made two things clear - "If you sleep with a missile," said our United Nations Ambassador, Dan Gillerman, "sometimes, you don't wake up." And, if from your home, your school, your hospital, your mosque, you launch a rocket, expect one of our missiles to be launched right back at you.
During the Gaza War...this happened numerous times from UN locations and Israel correctly hit back.
During the Gaza War, thinking themselves immune, UN personnel walked freely in Gaza without coordinating with the Israelis, without respecting Israeli leaflets that warned residents that certain areas would be targeted. UN personnel were killed because missiles know no honor, have no respect for children, for women, for innocents.
A missile doesn't care that it was fired into one of our schools, that it was used to target a city, a mall; and a missile seeking a specific target, such as a rocket launcher, will not care that United Nations personnel have decided to meander around in a war zone where civilians should be sheltered. In Israel, each building has a bomb shelter, most streets have a reinforced bus station. Hospitals and schools have reinforced safety areas...and on and on.
In Gaza, the leaders have bunkers dug deep in the ground to protect them. All the people of Gaza have is an enemy who warns them and does what it can to avoid hurting them.
"Lebanon and Gaza are very different," Elie explained to me. "In Gaza, there is no where for the people to run," he continued, and so the army of Israel did what it could. Good enough that the majority killed during the war WERE combatants, but not good enough to avoid civilian deaths entirely.
So during one bombing run, UN personnel were caught and in several cases, UN property was damaged and the UN demanded that Israel pay for the damage. Amazingly enough, it gave no blame to Hamas, but never mind - justice was never a strong point for the United Nations.
And Israel decided to pay. Last week, it paid the United Nations almost 11 million dollars...during the same period of time it was rescuing United Nations personnel from collapsed buildings in Haiti. The Arabs sent no one to Haiti, no supplies, no rescue teams - except a small force from Turkey. Nothing from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich Gulf States. Nothing from Iraq, Iran, Yemen...and on it goes.
So Israel sent in a team of rescuers, of doctors, of medical personnel...even police to help the security situation. And my comment to the Israelis - send the United Nations a bill for 11 million dollars for the cost of search and rescue and medical treatment of their personnel.
They can bill us, we can bill them. In Gaza, UN property was damaged because the UN allowed Palestinians to fire rockets from near and within their property. UN lives were lost because in their conceit, they thought they have impunity to travel where they wanted, even in a war zone.
In Haiti, lives were saved by Israel - as in Gaza lives were lost. If the UN is to blame Israel for the second, it should credit Israel for the first. If Israel must pay for the damage, Israel should be paid for the recovery.
Israel has saved countless lives, minute by minute, hour by hour, the number of people rises. Almost a thousand have been treated, hundreds of life-saving operations, more than a dozen births. Yet again, yesterday a man was pulled from the rubble - alive, after 10 days, by Israel's team.
Let the United Nations pay their bill - a bargain, for $10 million dollars...the lives of the truly innocent were saved. You cannot predict exactly when an earthquake will hit and what will happen when it does.
The damage to Gaza was easily predictable and easily avoided...had the United Nations spent less time on supporting the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza and more time on real education. Israel was not 100% responsible for the damage to UN property and personnel in Gaza, but it was 100% responsible for that which was retrieved in Haiti.
It's time to send the UN a bill!
(Personally, I'd recommend demanding a cash payment.)