by Tom Chartier
Israeli Defense Minster Ehud Barak is upset. He has screamed: “foul play” to the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL). What pray tell is all the hoopla about?
According to the IDF and Ehud Barak, the cross border boogey men of Hezbollah have been… and I shudder at the thought… violating a UN resolution, UN Resolution 1701 to be precise. Say it isn’t so!
Just what is UN Resolution 1701? Well, it’s that peacekeeping resolution designed in 2006 to put a stop to all the bloodletting over the handful of captured IDF soldiers. Both Israel and Hezbollah were ordered to cease-fire and withdraw back to each other’s corner while UNIFIL would hang out in the “no ruckus zone” and keep all the peace loving terrorists and freedom fighting guerillas away from each other’s throats.
So far UN Resolution 1701 seems to have worked… sort of. However, according to Defense Minister Barak, something is rotten in Shebaa Farms. You see one other stipulation in UN Resolution 1701 is that Hezbollah must disarm. But the IDF claims Hezbollah has been running guns across the Lebanese/Syrian border!
Well, now that just ain’t cricket now is it?
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The fact is, we really do not know if Hezbollah has or has not been rearming. We just have Ehud Barak’s word on it. And frankly, the IDF has a history of seeing threats, making up threats, lying about threats from every corner of the falafel stand. The Israelis could simply be setting the stage to justify some payback. They’ve done that before. And the idea that the IDF and Hezbollah are ready to make nice is preposterous. Both parties are gearing up to go at each other at the first opportunity they can come up with. After all, there are people on both sides of the border still alive!
Nevertheless, I suspect there’s a degree of truth to Ehud Barak’s claim. Not that Hezbollah is a rabidly crazy group of murderous religious fanatics and terrorists. They’re not. They’re a well-regulated militia… hm… where have I heard that phrase before? Anyway, Hezbollah is a guerilla organization and the first and possibly only line of defense against another brutal IDF invasion of Lebanon, like Operation Litani in 1978 and Operation Peace For Galilee in 1982.
Don’t misunderstand me. I do not approve of the methods Hezbollah has employed, like cross border kidnappings, firing rockets into kibbutzim and suicide bombers blowing up embassies or marine barracks. These things don’t really do their cause any good.
But neither have the actions of the IDF been any less reprehensible. Ariel Sharon’s 1982 siege and destruction of West Beirut to destroy Arafat’s PLO once and for all, his support of the Sabra Chatila massacre, the repeated destruction of Southern Lebanon, the 1996 bombing of the Qana refugee camp, etc., etc., etc. Well, all of these adventures were a bit shall we say? Heavy handed?
You bet they were. If anyone is to blame for the creation of Hezbollah and their desperate tactics, it’s overly aggressive Zionists and Ariel Sharon.
So now Ehud Barak is screaming about possible Hezbollah weapons smuggling in violation of UN Res. 1701. Did anyone in Israel or the UN or Lebanon seriously expect Hezbollah to disarm? The concept is laughable. I don’t recall a UN resolution demanding that Israel disarm. And if memory serves, the month long war between the IDF and Hezbollah in 2006, caused a great deal more damage to Lebanese civilians than anybody across the border in Israel.
Considering the threat of Israel over reacting to another border skirmish, if you were a Lebanese Shi’ite would you be so eager to throw down your weapons? Americans won’t give up their guns under any circumstance.
What is even more laughable about Ehud Barak’s complaint is the hypocrisy and double standard. UN resolutions are not binding and Israel has a history of ignoring them when it serves their purpose.
Here are some highlights:
1948, UN Resolution 194 resolved that refugees displaced in Israel’s war of independence be allowed to return, compensation should be paid to those choosing not to return and free access to the holy places assured. What? Let the 700,000 – 800,000 Palestinians they were so thoroughly cleansed from the land back in? Camel dung! That would be a waste of all that effort and upset the carefully managed demographics in The Kingdom of David. This resolution has never been honored and it’s not likely it ever will be.
1967, UN Resolution 242 declares Israel’s acquisition of captured territories inadmissible and calls for Israel’s withdrawal, the right of all states in the region to live in peace within secure recognized borders and a just solution to the refugee problem. Oh humbug! Give up what they “rightfully” conquered and follow that pesky UN Res. 194? Hardy-har-har. No Way. As we all should know, Israel did give up the Gaza Strip but only to blockade it creating the world’s largest open prison. I’m not sure that was the idea of UN Res. 242.
1973, UN Resolution 338 confirms UN Resolution 242, which has so far been ignored, which also confirms UN Resolution 194. Best to ignore this one too. And that the Israelis have done.
Unfortunately for Israel, UN Resolution 242 keeps popping up as it did at the Camp David Accords and Oslo. And even the Arabs are ok with peace with Israel after all these years… as long as they recognize UN Resolution 242 and withdraw behind the pre-1967 borders! And somehow, I don’t think any Israeli hawks are too receptive.
On the subject of UN Resolution 242 and the Palestinian West Bank, Ariel Sharon so “eloquently” stated to Winston Churchill III in 1973: “We’ll make a pastrami sandwich of them. We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlements in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlements right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years, neither the United Nations, nor the U.S.A, nobody, will be able to tear it apart.”
So… Just why is Israeli Defense Minister Barak whining about the violation of a quaint little UN resolution?
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