Friday September 4, 2015
Israel Hayom
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Dr. Gabi Avital

The UN, an empty presence

On Friday, April 7, 1967 our warplanes engaged the Syrian Air Force. Six Syrian MiG-21s were shot down. Syria, which signed a defense pact with Egypt, was angry that its ally did not come to its aid. The Egyptian response did not take to long to arrive, however. Large contingents of Egyptian armor and infantry entered the Sinai Peninsula. The large U.N. force deployed along the border, from Eilat to the Gaza Strip, were ordered to leave. The United Nations accepted the maneuver unconditionally. Two months later, the Six-Day War broke out.

Some 25 years later, on June 6, 1982, the first Lebanon War began, the pace of which was not hampered in any way by the U.N. forces deployed on Israel's border with Lebanon. And if we go back nine years, the U.N. forces had posed no obstacle to the Egyptian-Syrian spearhead in the Suez Canal and Golan Heights during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The U.N. troops abandoned their posts right about the time Soviet advisors were "thrown out." The blue helmets returned after the cease-fire agreements and have been on the Israel-Syria border since May 1974, for 40 years now.

The U.N. observers, especially in the Middle East, continue to conduct themselves in this cycle. These forces are comprised of soldiers from various nations who enjoy good pay and comfortable conditions. They drive top-tier cars and their official vehicles are years ahead of what we see on Israeli roads. Not to mention the romantic relationships between U.N. soldiers and Israeli women, which point to how little necessity we have in having them on our border.

Back to the northern border. It as a sad sight that the U.N. soldiers which are supposed to monitor and mediate, and in some cases serve as a safe asylum for warring forces, are finding themselves in fire fights, being persecuted, taken captive and falling in battle.

Aside from a few entirely technical reports by the U.N. observers about a fire fight here or there, their activity can largely be summed by up the opening and closing of a gate.

This brings us to the question -- what is the need for these observers? Even more so, how are there still public officials who believe that U.N. troops should be the ones supervising, for example, the border crossings with the Gaza Strip?

Israel should not have any interest in advising the U.N. how to deploy its forces around the world. Israel's accumulated experience on its borders should be studied by those who believe that a peace accord means giving up land in return for international monitoring. It would behoove them to study the ever-repeating history, now more than ever. Because it is not too hard to picture Islamic State fighters routing the unfortunate U.N. soldiers.

I doubt that anyone in the United Nations, with its known hostility to Israel, gave thought to the fact that its soldiers, who open the gates before wars, are escaping to Israel. Israel, the country vilified by almost every one of the U.N.'s institutions. The country which time after time put its faith in the U.N. and got nothing. If that's enough to convince people to drop the idea of international observers in Judea and Samaria, well then, good enough.

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