Yesterday I included a link for an analysis by Dore Gold of the US-French proposal for ceasefire. Dr. Gold, who now heads the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, served as Israeli ambassador to the UN some years ago and is frequently called upon to provide comments about the UN. Today, I would like to share yet another, far more jaundiced, view of the proposed resolution. This is by Anne Bayefsky, who monitors the UN on a regular basis and runs the website http://www.eyeontheun.org/.
Says Bayefsky: "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is on the brink of handing President Bush the worst diplomatic disaster of his presidency. She is poised to agree to two United Nations resolutions that will tie the hands of both Israel and the United States in the war on terror and, in particular, inhibit future action on its number one state sponsor — Iran.
"The catastrophe is the brainchild of Secretary General Kofi Annan, who has effectively turned the United Nations into the political wing of Hezbollah. Rice and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns are working furiously to satisfy a timetable dictated by Annan, not by the interests of the United States.
You can find her National Review Online article, "Dealing with the devil," at:
And what IS happening at the UN? I’m tempted to say, "Darned if I know…" but I’ll resist. Lebanon has now made an offer to put 15,000 of its forces in South Lebanon. All of a sudden there’s eagerness to do this, when they avoided responsibility in this respect until now. In The Jerusalem Post was a comment about how the Israeli government wants to be sure this isn’t just a ruse to get the IDF out of the country. Wants to be sure? But of course it is! Get real. But, sigh, our prime minister pronounces the proposal "interesting."
Yes, yes, we’ve been calling for the enactment of UNSC resolution 1559, which calls for the Lebanese army in the south of the country. But understand that there’s no will there to take on Hezbollah. Especially is this so as a good part of the Lebanese army consists of either Hezbollah sympathizers or active supporters of Hezbollah. The Lebanese force would have to be backed up by an empowered and armed international force, for there to be even miniscule accomplishment. Otherwise, we’ll be back where we started.
The Arab nations are pumping for a placement of the Lebanese army by itself, without any international force (except perhaps the less than worthless UNIFIL). But it is my understanding that the Security Council is not on board with this and expects that there will be such a multi-nation force. Certainly Israel and the US would fight this all the way.
Yet another issue of contention is when Israel will actually leave — as soon as the ceasefire is called, or only after other forces are in place. I’m hearing that the US knows better than to cave on this issue.
The vote on all of this is supposed to take place on Thursday. The best thing that could happen to us would be a stalemate.
And what is going on with the fighting? We’re gone about eight miles into Lebanon, and are engaging guerillas in fierce battles in several places. We’ve called for a ban on all road traffic in southern Lebanon, except for relief vehicles, in an effort to stop transport of additional arms to Hezbollah.
Many additional troops are amassed at the border and there is no end of speculation as to what this means. Tomorrow the Cabinet meets to make a decision on whether the IDF advice to move north to the Litani will be approved. There is vast discontent with Olmert here at this point because he hasn’t been forceful enough in fighting this war, and with it comes speculation that he will resist the move northward. But I’m going to try to resist speculating and wait to see what actually transpires. Has Olmert exaggerated our military gains and, in a political spin, claimed victory prematurely? Indeed he has. But a whole lot of people want this war to be decisive.
Ephraim Levy, former Mossad head, made a statement today: "In the end we will emerge successful. But we have to make sure that our enemies will not be able to project the image that they are similarly successful. This is very important for Israel’s deterrence image. We must engrave in the mind of the enemy that it has suffered a grave and serious setback."
And Environment Minister Gideon Ezra (Kadima), who was previously deputy head of Shabak (General Security Services), said: "Hezbollah is showing signs of breaking down. The Hezbollah members (captured by the IDF) reveal that the organization is tired. We should…continue the fighting. I estimate they can be broken down…If we stop now, it’s like we didn’t do a thing." (emphasis added)
The captured Hezbollah member involved with the kidnapping of a soldiers has turned out to be a goldmine of information under interrogation. Hussein Ali Sliman, 22, from the UNRWA refugee camp of Burj Al-Barajneh (which, if Arutz Sheva is correct on this, makes him a Palestinian!!) described on video his training process, which involved time in Iran. A group of some 50 Hezbollah members, he said, went into Syria, without passports, in land rovers that are recognized as belonging to Hezbollah and were taken by unofficial channels to the Damascus airport and flown to Iran.
Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora has turned out to be marvelously adept at crying for the press. Recently he cried because, he explained, 40 innocent Lebanese had been destroyed in an Israeli bomb attack. Turns out he was a tad off on the numbers. It wasn’t 40 who were killed. The correct number was one. Now Israeli Foreign Minister Livni says it’s time for him to stop crying and start acting.
This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2006/8/8/posted-august-8-2006.html