Whenever there's talk about the Middle East, someone mentions international law. Now as to the current unpleasantness, the relevant piece of 'legislation' is UN Security Council Resolutions 250 and 251, from May 1968. It's rather obscure, partly because there was a revolution in France at the time. But it's quite relevant.
The idea goes back a long way, to the great ancient Greek writer Aesop, a teller of tales of a no -epic nature. One of his greatest short works was the story of the boy who cried: "Wolf!"
It was about a shepherd boy who would like to punk his neighbors by crying out for help when a fictitious wolf would attack his herd. The neighbors, as we all know, got wise to this, and when a REAL wolf showed up, everyone thought he was kidding, so nobody came to help, and the boy's herd was devoured.
Israeli Independence Day, or Yom Ha'atzmaut is usually a joyous occasion. There is dancing, singing, fireworks and parades. It has been that way since the beginning. One thing that they used to do for Yom Ha'atzmaut that they don't do anymore was a huge military display that would take place in a different city each year.
Now the big show in Jerusalem was announced years in advance. Everybody knew it was coming. However, this year was different. Eleven months before it was to take place, every single one of Israel's neighbors was preparing to pounce on it and kill it's entire Jewish population and Israel managed to kick their collective ass in just six days. This was going to be a parade to remember!
King Hussein of Jordan didn't like the idea. It seemed like a victory parade for the 6-day war and damn it! The Arabs hadn't actually surrendered! In fact, they were demanding Israel go back to the pre-war borders and let them have another go.
The king complained to the UN Security Council, which despite the absurd and petty nature of the request, decided to take it seriously. With the US and Canada abstaining, the Security Council solemnly issued resolution 250 (a nice round number) demanding that Israel not hold a parade in it's capitol city because it would annoy the neighbors, who, by the way, still were publicly advocating destroying it and killing all of them. This annoyed the government and people of Israel big time, who made this the most splendiferous entertainment in their history to date.
The UN responded by issuing a denunciation entitled UNSC res. 251. Three years before, when Indonesia killed over a million of its Chinese citizens, what did the UN do? Not a peep was heard.
Since then, the UN, in both the General Assembly and the Security Council have been denouncing Israel again and again unfairly. It's a kabuki dance: the Arab would complain, and the US would veto it. This would give the French and the British a chance to act hypocritically in such a way as to keep the oil flowing.
Sometimes, as in the case of the 1976 Entebbe raid, Britain and France would actually decide to do the right thing. The Soviet and Arab blocs unanimously wanted to denounce the Israelis for rescuing innocent Jews from the clutches of Idi Amin. That's 250 for you.
There was the 2001 Durban Hate Fest in South Africa, which denounced Israel and almost no one else. It was ugly. The spirit of 250 lives on. It's okay to shoot at Jews but not okay for Jews to defend themselves.
Like the boy who cried wolf, 250 has stripped the UN of any credibility where Israel is involved. It can ignore it and do what it thinks is right. Many people around the world wonder why Israel won't listen. The answer is clear. When you say everything someone does is always wrong no matter what it is, then that someone stops listening. It's as simple as that.