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UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Ceasefire

When (Z) is lecturing, his least favorite kind of history to cover is economic history. And almost as bad is diplomatic history. What those two sub-types of history have in common is that there's a lot of nuance and subtlety, and it's usually all important, and it's very hard to communicate in an efficient way.

We note that because yesterday, after fifteen attempts, the U.N. Security Council managed to approve a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. We would have liked to read the document, to evaluate the exact verbiage used, but the good people at the U.N.—the same folks tasked with preserving world peace—screwed up the link such that it's not working. What we do know is that the vote in favor was 14-0 with the United States abstaining. Given that the U.S. rejected more strongly worded versions of the resolution, while China and Russia rejected a more weakly worded version, the final version was presumably somewhere in the middle.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not pleased about this result, and in response, he canceled several meetings that high-ranking Israeli officials were scheduled to have with high-ranking American officials. The White House claimed it was surprised by Netanyahu's decision. This is where the complaint about diplomatic history comes in; who the heck knows which side is telling the truth? Is the Israeli PM overreacting here, or did the White House know full well this was a shot across his bow, and now they're putting on a little theater for the benefit of the voting public?

Whatever is going on in terms of this particular chess game, it's clear that Israel's international support is slipping. Netanyahu said there will be no ceasefire this week, no matter what the U.N. thinks. He can surely deliver on that promise right now, but give it a few more weeks or months, and... well, we continue to suspect that he'll have no option but to accept a ceasefire, whether he wants to or not. (Z)

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