U.N. Ceasefire 'An Unmitigated Disaster' for Israel and America
By Caroline Glick
August 13, 2006
Israel - Original
There is a good reason that Hezbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah has
accepted U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which sets the terms for a
cease-fire between his jihad army and the State of Israel.
The resolution represents a near-total victory for Hezbullah and
its state sponsors Iran and Syria, and an unprecedented defeat for Israel and
its ally the United States. This fact is evident both in the text of the
resolution and in the very fact that the US decided to sponsor a cease-fire
resolution before Israel had dismantled or seriously degraded Hezbullah's
While the resolution was not passed under Chapter 7 of the U.N.
Charter and so does not have the authority of law, in practice it makes it all
but impossible for Israel to defend itself against Hezbullah aggression without
being exposed to international condemnation on an unprecedented scale.
This is the case first of all because the resolution places
responsibility for determining compliance in the hands of U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Annan has distinguished himself as a man capable
only of condemning Israel for its acts of self-defense while ignoring the fact
that in attacking Israel, its enemies are guilty of war crimes. By empowering
Annan to evaluate compliance, the resolution all but ensures that Hezbullah
will not be forced to disarm and that Israel will be forced to give up the
right to defend itself.
The resolution makes absolutely no mention of either Syria or
Iran, without whose support Hezbullah could neither exist nor wage an illegal
war against Israel. In so ignoring Hezbullah's sponsors, it ignores the
regional aspect of the current war and sends the message to these two states
that they may continue to equip terrorist armies in Lebanon, the Palestinian
Authority and Iraq with the latest weaponry without paying a price for their
The resolution presents Hezbullah with a clear diplomatic victory
by placing their erroneous claim of Lebanese sovereignty over the Shebaa Farms,
or Mount Dov - a vast area on the Golan Heights that separates the Syrian Golan
from the Upper Galilee and which is disputed between Israel and Syria - on the
negotiating table. In doing so, the resolution rewards Hezbullah's aggression
by giving international legitimacy to its demand for territorial aggrandizement
via acts of aggression, in contravention of the laws of nations.
Moreover, by allowing Lebanon to make territorial claims on Israel
despite the fact that in 2000 the U.N. determined that Israel had withdrawn to
the international border, the resolution sets a catastrophic precedent for the
future. Because Lebanon is receiving international support for legally
unsupportable territorial demands on Israel, in the future, the Palestinians,
Syrians and indeed the Jordanians and Egyptians will feel empowered to employ
aggression to gain territorial concessions from the Jewish state even if they
previously signed treaties of peace with Israel. The message of the
resolution's stand on Shebaa Farms, is that Israel can never expect for the
world to recognize any of its borders as final.
By calling in the same paragraph for the "immediate cessation
by Hezbullah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all
offensive military operations," the resolution treats as equivalent Hezbullah's
illegal aggression against Israel and Israel's legitimate military action taken
in defense of its sovereign territory.
Operational Paragraph 7, which "affirms that all parties are
responsible for ensuring that no action is taken contrary to paragraph 1 [which
calls for a cessation of hostilities] that might adversely affect the search
for a long-term solution, humanitarian access to civilian populations,
including safe passage for humanitarian convoys, or the voluntary and safe
return of displaced persons," all but bars Israel from taking military
action to defend itself in the future. Any steps Israel takes will open it to
accusations - by Annan - of breaching this paragraph.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had let it be known that Israel's
conditions for a cease-fire included the institution of an arms embargo against
Hezbullah. The government also insisted that the international force it wished
to have deployed along the border would work to dismantle Hezbullah.
However, paragraph 8 puts both the question of an arms embargo and
Hezbullah's dismantlement off to some future date when Israel and Lebanon agree
to the terms of a "permanent cease-fire." In addition, it places the
power to oversee an arms embargo against Hezbullah in the hands of the Lebanese
government, of which Hezbullah is a member.
While the resolution bars Israel from taking measures necessary to
defend its territory and citizens, by keeping UNIFIL in Lebanon it ensures that
no other force will be empowered to take these necessary actions. Furthermore,
paragraph 2 "calls upon the government of Israel, as that deployment [of
the Lebanese military and UNIFIL] begins, to withdraw all of its forces from
southern Lebanon in parallel. This means that Israel is expected to withdraw
before a full deployment of Lebanese and UNIFIL forces is carried out. As a
result, a vacuum will be created that will allow Hezbullah to reinforce its
positions in south Lebanon.
Finally, the resolution makes no operative call for the release of
IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev now being held hostage by Hezbullah.
By relegating their fate to a paragraph in the preamble, which then immediately
turns to Hezbullah's demand for the release of Lebanese terrorists held in
Israeli jails, the resolution all but eliminates any possibility of their
Aside from the resolution's egregious language, the very fact that
the U.S. has sponsored a resolution that leaves Hezbullah intact as a fighting
force constitutes a devastating blow to the national security of both Israel
and the U.S., for the following reasons:
-- It grants the
Lebanese government and military unwarranted legitimacy. The resolution treats
the Lebanese government and military as credible bodies. However, the Lebanese
government is currently under the de facto control of Hezbullah and Syria.
Moreover, the Lebanese army is paying pensions to the families of Hezbullah
fighters killed in battle, and its forces have actively assisted Hezbullah in
attacking Israel and Israeli military targets.
Indeed, the seven-point declaration issued by the Lebanese
government, which the U.N. resolution applauds, was dictated by Hezbullah, as
admitted by Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and Nasrallah last week.
-- It incites Shiite
violence in Iraq. From a U.S. perspective, the resolution drastically increases
the threat of a radical Shiite revolt in Iraq. Hezbullah is intimately tied to
Iraqi Shiite terrorist Muqtada al-Sadr.
In April 2003, Hezbullah opened offices in southern Iraq and was
instrumental in training the Mahdi Army, which Sadr leads. During a demonstration
in Baghdad last week, Sadr's followers demanded that he consider them an
extension of Hezbullah, and expressed a genuine desire to participate in Hezbullah's
war against the US and Israel.
It should be assumed that Hezbullah's presumptive victory in its
war against Israel will act as a catalyst for violence by Sadr and his
followers against the Iraqi government and coalition forces in the weeks to
come. Indeed, the Hezbullah victory will severely weaken moderate Shiites in
the Maliki government and among the followers of Grand Ayatollah Ali
-- It empowers Iran.
Iran emerges as the main victor in the current war. Not only was it not
condemned for its sponsorship of Hezbullah, it is being rewarded for that
sponsorship because it is clear to all parties that Iran was the engine behind
this war, and that its side has won.
The U.N. resolution does not strengthen America's hand in future
Security Council deliberations regarding Iran's illicit nuclear weapons program,
because the states that object to any action against Iran - Russia and China -
will continue with their refusal to sign on to any substantive action.
Indeed, Russia's behavior regarding the situation in Lebanon,
including the fact that a large percentage of Hezbullah's arsenal of advanced
anti-tank missiles was sold by Russia to Syria and Iran, exposes that Moscow's
role in the current conflict has been similar to the position taken by the
Soviet Union in earlier Middle East wars.
Furthermore, because the resolution strengthens the U.N. as the
arbiter of peace and security in the region, the diplomatic price the US will
be forced to pay if it decides to go outside the U.N. to contend with the
Iranian threat has been vastly increased.
Many sources in Washington told this writer over the weekend that
the U.S. decision to seek a cease-fire was the result of Israel's amateurish
bungling of the first three weeks of the war. The Bush administration, they
argued, was being blamed for the Olmert government's incompetence and so
preferred to cut its losses and sue for a cease-fire.
Israeli Prime Minister Olmert prevailed upon his cabinet to approve
a U.N. cease-fire resolution on Sunday night, but is the agreement
Israel or the United States? Skeptics abound.
There is no doubt much truth to this assertion. The government's
prosecution of this war has been unforgivably inept. At the same time it should
be noted that the short-term political gain accrued by the U.S. by forging the
cease-fire agreement will come back to haunt the U.S., Israel and all forces
fighting the forces of global jihad in the coming weeks and months.
By handing a victory to Hezbullah, the resolution strengthens the
belief of millions of supporters of jihad throughout the world that their side
is winning and that they should redouble efforts to achieve their objectives of
destroying Israel and running the U.S. out of the Middle East.
International legal scholar Prof. Anne Bayefsky assisted the
author in analyzing the text of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701.
VIDEO FROM U.A.E.: 'IF AL-QAEDA WANTS TO
AL-ARABIYA TV, Dubai: Excerpts from an interview with Muhammad Nazzal, member of the Hamas Political Bureau,' July 28, 00:01:16, MEMRI
THE ISRAELIS, THEY ARE WELCOME TO PALESTINE
"If Al-Qaeda or any Palestinian, Arab, or Islamic faction wants to come to Palestine to fight the Israelis, we welcome this."
Muhammad Nazzal, of the Hamas Political Bureau