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Peacekeeping in Palestine: How Fifa Is Bigger Than UN?

Updated on September 26, 2019
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Yusrat is a high school student from Bangladesh. She writes about Science & Technology.

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Today the world is facing more hassles than ever in the history of mankind. Life in earth have been painfully troublesome from every perspectives. From personal life to national life, politics to economy, literally everywhere troubles and woes are finding us. We cannot be getting rid of them overnight because we are the one who are blameworthy. But interestingly, problems were never the same for us. They changed their type every decade. Events and problems came and went. Solutions were made, Tea was drunk. But the most drastic of them, the one will never sink in, the one that hunted down millions of lives is World War One. WWI changed the world completely forever, which lasted from 1914 to 1918. World War One was one of the deadliest conflicts in the history of the human race, in which the total number of both civilian and military casualties is estimated at around 37 million people. So it is needless to say the damage was immense. That was one the scariest examples of how civilians could be scapegoated due to the egregious conflicts between political figures. To prune this massive problem, world leaders were thinking about an organization that would be able to minimize problems between/among countries. So that “league of Nations” was formed on 1920. But it was unable to work according to its expectation. So that Second Worlds war occurred. The Blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed more than 2 lakh peoples and many were injured. Eventually, League of Nations were dissolved and after a long debut among world leaders, the United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 after Second World War in order to prevent further conflicts and warfare.

Most interestingly, Nuclear boom Blasts and their aftermaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki couldn’t stop countries from straightening themselves with nuclear energy. But with time, the strategical definition of “War” and “Conflict” has changed even though the consequence have been more or less the same. In post-WWII age, the world have witnessed geopolitical tension like Cold War and again armed warfare like Vietnam War. The role of UN was almost inert in every conflict but it was going alright. But it WASN’T alright as it seemed. The aggravation began with decades long Afghan War.

Afghanistan has turned into battle zone of the United States and its allies and Taliban and other terrorist groups. United Nation still didn’t take any fruitful step to bring an end to the conflicts. If there is one conflict which has constantly defied the UN's efforts at conflict resolution it is that in Afghanistan. The UN's political response to this conflict has been profoundly imperceptive. The impact of civil war is worse than ever. A report titled Body concluded that 106,000–170,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting in Afghanistan at the hands of all parties to the conflict. The education system collapsed, drug trade has increased by an alarming rate. By 2000 Afghanistan accounted for an estimated 75% of the world's opium supply and in 2000 produced an estimated 3276 tonnes from 82,171 hectares (203,050 acres). In 2009, the BBC reported that "UN findings say an opium market worth $65bn (£39bn) funds global terrorism, caters to 15 million addicts, and kills 100,000 people every year". UN has done nothing but making statements about the war condition and asking “All parties to calm down”!

Putting a pause on afghan talk here, let us move to the Middle East. The Middle East is one of the most conflict-prone regions. Syrian Civil War took away millions of lives. Air strikes by US and Russia have blown hospitals to schools, mosques to home of innocents. The regime launched a brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters who took to the streets in March 2011, with its leader Bashar al Assad saying, referring to the pro-democracy protesters, he would “relentlessly fight terrorist groups” Soon he asked help of his Russian allies and war kicked in. In the year that followed, the UN Security Council tried to pass several resolutions to address the conflict, but Russia utilised its veto power no less than a dozen times to protect its ally, Assad. Syria's conflict alone had, by the end of last year, outcast more than 6.3 million people out of the country, accounting for nearly one-third of the global refugee population. The death toll continues in Syria. According to the pro-opposition Syrian Network for Human Rights, 223,161 civilians had been killed between March 2011 and March 2019. The failure story of United Nation continues. Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar, the civil war of South Sudan, Srebrenica Massacre in 1995, Rwandan Civil War, Somali Civil War or the ongoing confrontation in the disputed Kashmir region, Israeli occupation in Palestian ever since the creation of the Jewish state in 1948. Palestinians have been fighting against what a UN investigator once described as Israel’s ethnic cleansing.

"We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of Palestinians."

— Nelson Mandela

5,100,000 Palestinians have been killed since 1948and today Israel controls 85 percent of historic Palestine. and In 2018, Israeli security forces killed 290 Palestinians, including 55 minors. Of the casualties, 254 were killed in the Gaza Strip, 34 in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and two within Israel. What Israel has done in Palestine is absolutely modern day's robbery. It has imposed a crippling blockade on West Bunk in Gaza City and continues its construction of illegal settlements on occupied lands in defiance of several UN resolutions calling for an end to those activities as US has, like Russia, utilized its veto power several times to counter UN Security Council resolutions. Meanwhile, Israel continues to maintain its more than decade-long effective closure of Gaza, exacerbated by Egyptian restrictions on its own border with Gaza, limiting access to water and electricity (households in Gaza received power between four and five hours a day on average during most of the year). Israel also restricted access to medical care and educational and economic opportunities. In July, in response to the launching of incendiary kites from Gaza, Israeli authorities banned the shipment of most goods out of Gaza, limited entry to “humanitarian” items and temporarily reduced the fishing zone off the Gaza coast from six to three nautical miles, measures that amount to collective punishment. Gaza’s unemployment rate stood at 55 percent during the third-quarter of 2018, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, and 80 percent of Gaza’s nearly 2 million people depend on humanitarian aid, according to Human Rights Watch. Violation of human rights at its best and world is silent. Palestinians are dying for their right while leaders are laughing over their cup of tea. Recent annexation announcement of Benjamin Netanyahu has jeopardized the regional security again, while deepening the tension in the middle east.

These are nothing but shame on UN, shame on the hawkish leaders who are ruling the world. shame on us. But interesting there are bright sides

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However, the bright side is totally the opposite. That’s brought by FIFA. Comparison between FIFA and United Nations is bit unusual yet effective. FIFA is working more prominently across the world for peacekeeping through football. Countries are playing football with each other, connecting their people more effectively to create friendship and brotherhood. Football gathered billions of people of different ages, nationalities, political views and colours in a point. They think, love and enjoy same sports. They say, 'we love football, eat football, drink football'. Creating peace and friendly relationship among countries through sportsmanship seemed easier and beneficial. Even though FIFA’s main workplace and activities are centering football yet it is working on youth leadership, environment, Humanity, HIV/AIDS education, conflict resolution, gender equality, social integration of people with intellectual disabilities and peace building. Number of members of FIFA is 209, where UN consists 193 states. Due to political power of big countries, UN fails to take correct steps to established peace in affected areas/countries. On the other hand, for the exercised power over members FIFA can take any action over conflict/corruption. They are also playing a vital role in peacekeeping via football. e.g. - Palestinian Football Team is playing very well in international football due to the effort of FIFA in Palestine. FIFA’s recognition of Palestine was a major diplomatic achievement, fiercely opposed by Israel. In the past few years, the Palestinian team has witnessed a remarkable development thanks to coach Jamal Mahmoud and Abdel Nasser Barakat. In the beginning of this year, Palestinian national soccer team topped Israel in FIFA world rankings! Football is a craze among Palestinians. Football has breathed air of temporary relief in war effected Palestian, what UN stumbled to do over and over again. Football gives Palestinians glimmer of hope of better and free life.

There may be plenty success stories of United Nations of providing humanitarian aids in war effected area across the world which is evidently admirable, even though its ability of conducting peace process has been questioned. But money or aid wouldnt come to any use if one do not have the peace of mind. that is what FIFA has been doing for decades: promoting peace and harmony across the world for better life.

© 2019 Yusrat Sadia Nailat

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