This says it all
There is a good reason that Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah has accepted UN
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 Hizbullah 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 Hizbullah’s military
While the resolution was not passed under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter and so
does not have the authority of law, in practice it makes it all but
impossible for Israel to defend itself against Hizbullah 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 UN 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 Hizbullah will not
be forced to disarm and that Israel will be forced to give up the right to
The resolution makes absolutely no mention of either Syria or Iran, without
whose support Hizbullah could neither exist nor wage an illegal war against
Israel. In so ignoring Hizbullah’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 aggression.
The resolution presents Hizbullah with a clear diplomatic victory by placing
their erroneous claim of Lebanese sovereignty over the Shaba Farms, or Mount
Dov – a vast area on the Golan Heights that separates the Syrian Golan from
the Upper Galilee and is disputed between Israel and Syria – on the
negotiating table. In doing so, the resolution rewards Hizbullah’s
aggression by giving international legitimacy to its demand for territorial
aggrandizement via acts of aggression, in contravention of the laws of
Moreover, by allowing Lebanon to make territorial claims on Israel despite
the fact that in 2000 the UN determined that Israel had withdrawn to the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 Shaba 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 Hizbullah
of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive
military operations,” the resolution treats as equivalent Hizbullah’s
illegal aggression against Israel and Israel’s legitimate military actions
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
Hizbullah. The government also insisted that the international force it
wished to have deployed along the border would work to dismantle Hizbullah.
However, paragraph 8 puts both the question of an arms embargo and
Hizbullah’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 Hizbullah in the hands of the
Lebanese government, of which Hizbullah 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 Hizbullah 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
Hizbullah. By relegating their fate to a paragraph in the preamble, which
then immediately turns to Hizbullah’s demand for the release of Lebanese
terrorists held in Israeli jails, the resolution all but eliminates any
possibility of their returning home.
Aside from the resolution’s egregious language, the very fact that the US
has sponsored a resolution that leaves Hizbullah intact as a fighting force
constitutes a devastating blow to the national security of both Israel and
the US, 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 Hizbullah and Syria. Moreover, the Lebanese army is paying
pensions to the families of Hizbullah fighters killed in battle, and its
forces have actively assisted Hizbullah in attacking Israel and Israeli
Indeed, the seven-point declaration issued by the Lebanese government, which
the UN resolution applauds, was dictated by Hizbullah, as admitted by
Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and Nasrallah last week.
* It incites Shi’ite violence in Iraq. From a US perspective, the
resolution drastically increases the threat of a radical Shi’ite revolt in
Iraq. Hizbullah is intimately tied to Iraqi Shi’ite terrorist Muqtada
al-Sadr. In April 2003, Hizbullah 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 Hizbullah, and expressed a genuine desire to
participate in Hizbullah’s war against the US and Israel.
It should be assumed that Hizbullah’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
Hizbullah victory will severely weaken moderate Shi’ites in the Maliki
government and among the followers of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
* It empowers Iran. Iran emerges as the main victor in the current
war. Not only was it not condemned for its sponsorship of Hizbullah, 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 UN resolution does not strengthen the US 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 Hizbullah’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 UN 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 UN to contend with the Iranian threat
has been vastly increased.
Many sources in Washington told this writer over the weekend that the US
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.
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 US by forging the
cease-fire agreement will come back to haunt the US, Israel and all forces
fighting the forces of global jihad in the coming weeks and months.
By handing a victory to Hizbullah, 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 US out of the Middle East.