At UNHQ, Min. Ya’alon Begins ‘Real’ Gaza War

Analysis: Defense Minister will have to describe to Ban Ki-moon the war crimes Hamas committed, and defend Israel against false claims.

Mark Langfan, A7 UN Reporter ,

Yaalon with Ban
Yaalon with Ban
Sarah Brittany Somerset/UN

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who is on a five-day visit to the US, came to the United Nations’ headquarters in New York City Monday to begin to fight the ultimate battle of the Hamas-Israel War that began in the summer of 2014.

Now, long after the guns fell silent in Gaza, Ya’alon has perhaps the toughest of all fights: explaining to an extremely skeptical and biased United Nations that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fought the Gaza War in accordance with “international law.”

Here, on a beautiful, crisp, sunny autumn day, on the 38th Floor of the UN Secretariat Building with spectacular views, thousands of miles from Israel and Hamas, Ya’alon first shook hands with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Then, as is the custom, he signed the guest book. And then, both men sat down across from each other at the UN Executive Board Room Conference Table, flanked by their aides.

The Secretary General didn’t waste any time starting the discussion. And it is here, in the peaceful serenity of New York City, protected by the full might of the United States of America, Ya’alon will have to describe the terrible war crimes Hamas committed against Israel and against its own Gazan citizens, and defend Israel against the myriad of false claims of war crimes.

Ya’alon will have to explain Israel’s position to Ban Ki-moon, who already called the ruins of Gaza, “beyond description.”

Israel can’t just win its battles on the actual battlefield with a hardened Islamist enemy armed by the entire Islamic world. Israel must also win its battles on the diplomatic battlefield with even more hardened, biased world diplomats from the entire world.

It doesn’t particularly matter that the UN’s buildings in Gaza were being used as missile warehouses. The fact that Israel’s army is the most moral army on earth doesn't matter, since Israel’s army is expected to be perfect – or, the one mistake made in the fog of war will be used against Israel to extract concessions that will ensure the next war.

Signing guest book. Mark Langfan