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Israel Puts Its Foot Down

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Israel has refused to allow countries that do not recognise it be part of the UNIFIL force mandated to guard the ceasefire in southern lebanon.

As the UN’s efforts to build the force continued, Mr Gillerman (Israeli Ambassador to the UN) made clear Israel’s unhappiness with some of the contributors.

“It would be very difficult if not inconceivable for Israel to accept troops from countries who do not recognise Israel, who have no diplomatic relations with Israel,” he told the BBC. He said they would be “very happy” to accept troops from Muslim countries they have friendly relations with. “But to expect countries who don’t even recognise Israel to guard Israel’s safety I think would be a bit naive,” he said.

It’s about time Israel stops being apologetic about its existence and makes clear that shunning it for the sake of theatrics on the world stage will have consequences too.

In this case it is the juicy bone called the UN peacekeeping assignment. The UN pays $1,028 per month per soldier/peacekeeper. So for countries from the third world that’s a good money spinner. Now Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh aint getting that dough. No wonder they are whining loudly.

Gillerman’s comments were dismissed by Malaysia, which, along with Indonesia, has a Muslim majority population.

“We’re going to be on Lebanese territory … We’re not going to be on Israeli territory,” Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said.

Well Israeli PM Olmert just repeated it again today.

“We will not agree that countries which do not have relations with Israel will participate in the multinational force,” an official quoted Mr Olmert as saying.

He has also asked Italy to lead the UNIFIL force instead of the French who developed cold feet at their moment of truth after hopping madly in front of the cameras for a ceasefire.

“It is important that Italy lead the international force, as well as send troops to oversee the border crossings between Syria and Lebanon,” Olmert told Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, according to a statement posted late yesterday on the Web site of the Israeli leader’s office. Olmert also said it is important the force arrive “as soon as possible.”

With this firm stand Israel has proved beyond a shadow of doubt that it won’t sit and watch passively as the terrorists use the ceasefire as a timeout to recover and rearm for the next round while the UN and the international community dither around trying to find some way to enforce their “ceasefire”.

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  • gautama

    Seems like comments from shallow person who does not have a clue what the conflict is about.

  • ok gautama can u enlighten us “ignorant masses” again with ur pearls of (probably left-wing)wisdom 🙂

  • Gautama, it reads to me like a listing of facts with associated quotes. Perhaps reading would give a shallow person like yourself a clue.


  • Dean

    Are the Italians dumber than the French?

  • Dean

    “The French commander of UNIFIL, Maj.-Gen. Alain Pellegrini, said Tuesday that his peacekeeping force will not attempt to disarm Hizbullah.

    Dealing with Hizbullah, Pellegrini said, was an internal Lebanese matter, and the 15,000 UN troops to be deployed under his command would not get involved. It was up to Lebanon, he said, to deploy its army in the south and deal with the Hizbullah presence.”

    — JPost.com

  • @Dean, This was posted by a commentor on desicritics.org.

    “It was up to Lebanon, he said, to deploy its army in the south and deal with the Hizbullah presence”

    right from the outset israel wanted lebanese army to patrol south lebanon

    here is an interesting quote:

    WITH A few words, a Lebanese army officer destroyed, the day before yesterday, the illusion that Israel had achieved anything in this war.

    At a televised Lebanese army parade that was also broadcast on Israeli TV , the officer read a prepared text to his assembled troops, who were about to be deployed along the Lebanese-Israeli border.

    This is what he said in Arabic: “Today, in the name of the comprehensive will of the people, you are preparing to be deployed on the soil of the wounded South, side by side with the forces of your Resistance and your people, which have amazed the world with their steadfastness and blown to pieces the reputation of the army about which it has been said that it is invincible.”

    —uri avnery

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Sorry for the multiple publishings – even if I do think it worth repeating. I had trouble with the “publish” button…

  • Ruvy, i can understand ur sentiments. but i’am taking a long term view here. israel for long has accepted its diplomatic isolation as a fait accompli.

    It has played the goody-goody guy for too long only “urging” those very countries indonesia, malaysia, bangladesh etc… to consider recognising it. This was one act that should have been done aeons ago.

    U underestimate the boost that this act of firmness has done for Israel’s public image.

  • In India it makes this possible for pro-israeli voices like us to openly take a stand and balance out the leftist anti-israeli voices that dominate our media and establishment.

  • Dealing with Hizbullah, Pellegrini said, was an internal Lebanese matter, and the 15,000 UN troops to be deployed under his command would not get involved. It was up to Lebanon, he said, to deploy its army in the south and deal with the Hizbullah presence.”

    Well, that renders the UN deployment utterly pointless, as usual.


  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I will repost my comment from before because Chris managed to knock out all of the multiple comments, leaving only a lame apology for something…


    I realize that you feel you take the long view here, but in the final analysis, the issue revolves around what we Israelis must do at home.

    Your descriptiuon of Israel “putting its foot down” is laughable. Our pathetic prime minister, more accurately called a crime minister, heads a government that is open to be investigated for criminal malfeasance, treasonable prosecution of a war, financial irregularities, dsenial of due process to its own citizens and sexual harassment. He is looking for the UN to bail him out of a war that he started and could not prosecute and that he managed to lose.

    Because there is no effective way to ditch these idiots and traitors, they need to be thrown out the old fashioned way and replaced with people who love their country, and not America’s money.

    These people need to have the spine to jail the secular elite that has ruined this country coimmercially and which has poisoned our culture with the pornographic trash of America and Europe and

    a) – kick out the UN from Israel enirely;
    b) – kick out American and other foreign forces from Israel entirely;
    c) – END the Palestinian Authority and annex all of Judea and Samaria to Israel;
    d) – reconquer Gaza and southern Lebanon by all means necessary;
    e) – destroy Damascus, and Anjar;
    f) – destroy HizbAllah;
    g) – destroy Iranian nuclear and missile capacity, and if necessary, nuke Qom and Teheran
    h) – destroy Riyadh and break the Saudi grip on Arabia;
    i) – establish unilaterally borders for the country with the clear warning that trespassing those borders would mean destruction for the trespasser.

    Finally, the foreign press needs to be tossed out of here. Let them do their lying from Nicosia.

  • Ruvy that’s exactly the feelings we Indians have towards our own pathetic government. The way they handled the 7/11 Mumbai blasts and the terrorist issue at large has really infuriated most indians.but what can we do? the elections are atleast 2 years away.

  • I haven’t been around for the last eleven hours Ruvy…

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Sorry, Chris. Logic dictated that you had knocked them all out, but if I’m wrong, I apologize.

    It’s awright, mate. The second comment came out saying more precisely what I wished to say. Write and rewrite, you know…

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    You have a bigger society to deal with and far more severe problems than we have. Your nation tried dictatorship for a while, if I remember right, and it was not the most pleasant experience – in the end the dictator got shot, if I recall…

    Israel is a different kettle of fish. But I’m not suggestiong a dictatorship be imposed here – rather a regency council that will govern justly until the royal ruler does arrive.

    But governing justly means actually establishing the country on firm ground, something the State refuses to do.

  • Logic can be a tricky bugger, Ruvy. We’re out in the country for the annual Feria de Antequera which goes on all this week, and that’s where we’re off to right now. Laters.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    This was received in the inbox frfom Aryeh Zelasko – another hardhitting piece by Caroline Glick. He received this courtesy of IMRA

    < Tuesday, August 22, 2006
    War hero Emanuel Morano’s legacy vs Olmert’s war against the Jews

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525919686&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull“>Our World: Emanuel Morano’s legacy
    Caroline Glick, THE JERUSALEM POST Aug. 22, 2006

    At around 4 a.m. Saturday, Lt. Col. Emanuel Morano, a senior commander in the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit (Sayeret Matkal), was killed in a fierce battle with Hizbullah fighters near Baalbek in the Bekaa valley not
    far from the Lebanese-Syrian border.

    From the details of the commando raid that have filtered into the media, we learned that Morano and his men were airdropped into the area by helicopter along with their two Hummer vehicles, with the mission of attacking a Hizbullah base in the nearby village of Bodei used by the Iranian-sponsored guerrilla fighters for weapons smuggling.

    Iran is now working steadily to replenish Hizbullah’s surface to surface and anti-tank missile stocks and augment them with anti-aircraft missiles.

    Israel’s continued sea and air blockade of Lebanon, which Kofi Annan is pushing the Olmert government to lift, forces Iran to resupply Hizbullah by land through Syria and into the Bekaa valley.

    Morano and his men were discovered by Hizbullah fighters around the heavily guarded enclave and a pitched battle ensued. Morano was killed, another officer was seriously wounded and a third was wounded lightly. At least three Hizbullah fighters were killed and two were reportedly taken prisoner.

    Close air support from helicopters and fighter planes prevented Hizbullah reinforcements from participating in the battle or encircling the IDF commandos who were extracted – with their casualties and prisoners – after a prolonged firefight.

    Morano, 35, was a hero. He was admired and respected by his soldiers and officers. Those who knew him well agree that his most outstanding features were his humility and his Zionism. Morano lived modestly with his wife Maya and three young children in Moshav Tlamim by Sderot. He never wore his uniform in his community – he wasn’t interested in people knowing how senior an officer he was. He was in the IDF to serve his country and his people,
    not for the glory. He was a loyal son of Jerusalem.

    EXACTLY A year before his death, Morano’s humility and dedication to serving his country brought him to perform a different sort of nocturnal mission.

    Every night last August – until precisely 52 weeks before his death – he snuck into Gush Katif to bring food to his brother David and his family who were besieged along with the rest of the residents of Gush Katif by a force of some 50,000 IDF and police forces. These forces, who outnumbered the forces sent into Lebanon to fight Hizbullah a year later by 20,000, were
    under orders not to fight Israel’s enemies, but to expel loyal, patriotic Israeli citizens from their homes and communities, destroy their homes and communities and abandon their land to Hamas and Fatah control.

    David Morano is a major in reserves in another elite IDF unit. Last year in Neve Dekalim he challenged the IDF to find one soldier who would be capable of throwing him and his family out of their home. Taking David’s point and seeking to avoid embarrassment, the senior brass of the IDF beat a steady path to his door, attempting to convince him that he must leave. Sitting in a modestly furnished, book-lined living room, David repeatedly demanded to be told the strategic rationale of the expulsions. Why were
    these senior commanders following orders to surrender land to terrorists? Why were they turning 8,500 Jews into refugees in the Land of Israel in order to carry out a mission conceived by a prime minister desperate to avoid a felony indictment on corruption charges from the radical leftist state prosecution? David kept repeating over and over again that this was
    not the reason he and his four brothers served as combat officers in the IDF. He warned over and over again that expelling the Israelis from Gaza would strengthen Israel’s enemies and lead directly to another war.

    NONE OF the officers who spoke to David could provide him with answers. The most they could do was lend a sympathetic ear as they suggested he start packing his bags. They could not convince him to leave.

    In the end, the events had their own momentum. By Friday afternoon, David and his family were more or less the only family left on their street.

    Everyone else had been expelled Thursday. Over the Sabbath, the remaining Jews of Neve Dekalim darted around in the shadows avoiding arrests by
    soldiers and police. When they gathered in the synagogue, they were momentarily heartened to see that a couple hundred were still on hand.

    But their spirits were broken. By the end of the next week, they were all refugees, their homes and communities laid to waste by IDF bulldozers. Their abandoned synagogues awaited destruction at the hands of Palestinian mobs which came three weeks later.

    Some of the most charged moments at David’s home last summer came when he expressed his indignation over the way that IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz and his generals daily insulted the religious Zionist
    community. Halutz threatened to bar the youths who protested the expulsions from serving in the military. Maj. Gen. Dan Harel, who as then OC Southern Command commanded the expulsions, talked about “a lost generation,” and
    demanded an accounting by the heads of the religious Zionist public for their children who refused to accept the legitimacy of the expulsions. Maj. Gen. Benny Ganz, who then served as OC Northern Command, claimed that the
    youth who protested the expulsions were a greater danger to Israel than Hizbullah.

    And yet, over the past year, after in many cases having to submit to humiliating interrogations by the Shin Bet, and repeated rejections by draft boards due to their “ideological fervor,” thousands of the youths who protested last summer’s expulsions were drafted into the army. Like Emmanuel and David Morano and their three older brothers, these soldiers make up the
    backbone of the IDF’s regular combat and Special Forces units. Like Emmanuel Morano, a disproportionate number of religious Zionist soldiers have died in the past month of war.

    LAST WEEK, Vice Premier Shimon Peres tried to silence the growing calls for the government and the members of the General Staff to resign by saying that this is no time for a war between the Jews. His statement is an insult to
    the intelligence. Demanding accountability from incompetent political and military leaders who
    led us into defeat against an enemy we could and should have beaten is not opening a civil war. It is the proper response from a responsible public that understands our leaders are incapable of defending the country.

    Indeed, if Peres is concerned about the possibility of a war between the Jews, then he should be the first one calling for the government to resign.

    The Olmert government was elected with a platform explicitly committed to carrying out a war against the Jews through the conduct of mass expulsions of up to 100,000 Israelis from their homes and communities in Judea and Samaria.

    In the midst of this month’s Lebanon war, as it became increasingly clear that he lacked the will to prosecute the war to victory, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attempted to buck up his support in Europe and among the radical
    Israeli Left (of which his children and wife are proud members), by saying that the war in Lebanon would pave the way for the mass expulsion of Israelis from Judea and Samaria.

    Saturday, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni appointed a senior diplomat Yaacov Dayan as her point man for future negotiations with Syria. Her decision to appoint an envoy for talks on surrendering the Golan Heights to Syrian dictator and Iranian toady Bashar Assad came just days after Assad announced that he hates Israel, wants nothing to do with peace and is committed to Israel’s destruction. In light of Assad’s statements, there are two logical explanations for Livni’s move. First, like her colleagues in the Olmert government who also are pushing peace talks with Assad, Livni may be stupid.

    Second, Livni may have appointed Dayan in the hopes of stirring up internal fissures over the issue of land for peace. Already the radical leftists who run Israel’s media are engaging in surrealistic debates about the possibility of making peace with Assad the warmonger. These debates immediately place religious Zionists on the hot seat for their stubborn insistence on settling the land which makes giving it to Israel’s sworn enemies all the more difficult for people like Livni and her friends.

    Last summer in Gush Katif, there was no war between the Jews. Last summer, under orders from Ariel Sharon and Olmert, the IDF and the police fought a war against the Jews. David and Emmanuel Morano didn’t fight against Israel.
    They didn’t fight against the IDF.

    The Moranos fought against insane policies that victimized 8,500 patriots for no reason other than Leftist anti-religious prejudice, and that caused Gaza to become a new base for global jihad. And then, when war came from our
    emboldened enemies, as they warned it would, the Moranos loyally served beside their brothers and countrymen in defense of Israel.

    When the outraged Israeli public sends this incompetent government and General Staff home, it will not be starting a war between the Jews. It will be preventing another war against the Jews.

  • William Dufkin

    Concerning some of your comments in post #11 Ruvy…I think the majority of the citizens of the United States secretly agree with your list of do’s. I openly agree, as do many practicing Christians. My son lives in Jerusalem off and on because he loves it. He is keenly aware of a certain amount of disdain toward US citizens and the US government…and Christians as well. I’ve always wondered why many Jews dislike us so ardently when very many of us dearly love Israel, despite the disdain, and clearly understand what is at stake.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    Please do not take this the wrong way.

    There are two issues that you face: Americans are a good lot (I used to be one) and their behavior overseas generally gets good credit for the United States. But your government then blows it. There is a basic understanding here that “the US is boss.” This is not a good thing. It means that Israelis die because of policies of restraint forced on the Israeli government by the States. It means that Israelis are under the effective corporate control of multinational (read US) corporations. It means that the high elites here worship American culture. Not all of us ar in those elites. In fact, the vast majority of us are not. So there is a resentment of Americans.

    Then there is a resentment of Christians. You’ve got to undserstand that our feelings about Christians are informed by the basic understanding the “good” and “Christian” do not necessarily belong together, and from our point of view, your religion has imposed an immense amount of misery and suffering on the Jewish people for 1,700 years at least.

    Now that is not your doing, nor your son’s. And for the most part Christians are welcome in Israel. But those who attempt to convert Jews to your faith in OUR country kill the good will that people like you attempt to generate. So the mistrust remains and the resentment for the 1,700 years of persecution remains. That will not go away quickly. That isn’t your fault. It’s just the way it is.

  • Ruvy, 1700 years of persecution? since the Roman emperor constantine gave christianity political power.

    I always wondered why the early christians promoted hatred of the jews. Was not jesus christ and all his disciples themselves jewish.

  • none

    Malaysia doesnt need to be part of this for the sake of $1028 – one’s life is more valuable than that. Perhaps if the natives kick you out and reclaim their soil only then you will know what it feels like

  • William Dufkin

    Ruvy, Your points are good. I understand that the US, at this time in history, is overly concerned with political correctness. We don’t always agree with the positions this government takes, especially when we feel Israel is being harmed. I hope Christianity has matured through the centuries, yet I feel certain that true Christians would love Israel and pray for the peace of it. To do otherwise would be a serious offence toward God.

  • Rohit

    Yes Israel is right in not allowing the troops from those countries which don’t recognize Israel.Even many Muslim countries openly talk about destrustion of Israel.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I have occasionally called the UN “useless nothings.” It seems I was wrong. A number of articles have hit my e-mail talking about how useful UNIFIL really is – to HizbAllah.

    Let’s have a look, shall we?

    This first piece shows just what wonderful folks UNIFIL have been so far, and just how objective they are in our wars for survival

    Beyond Farce

    By J. Peter Pham & Michael I. Krauss

    24 Aug 2006

    The following is not the outline of a rejected screenplay by an
    aspiring Hollywood writer trying to outdo 24. Nor is it product of a
    freshman political science student’s imagination, concocting a term
    paper after a weekend of partying. It is merely an introduction one
    of the most stunning aspects of contemporary international relations
    in the real world: the United Nations’ relentless campaign to
    undermine the security of Israel.

    Consider the following:

    *Israel receives actionable intelligence concerning a specific shipment of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah near Bekaa Valley. This
    shipment is in flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (August 2006), and also of predecessor resolutions, including Resolution 1559 (2004). It is also a clear breach of the Taif Agreement (1989), which ended Lebanon’s civil war. Finding that neither the 2,000 “peacekeepers” of the old, hapless UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) nor the new Lebanese forces deploying there are willing to interdict the shipment, Israel sends a crack commando unit to do the job. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan denounces the raid, of
    course, as a blatant Israeli transgression of the ceasefire resolution.

    *France, which supplies the general in command of the old UNIFIL force that allowed Hezbollah to rule over South Lebanon (as we
    previously documented), now agrees to lead the expanded and robust international force meant to implement 1701. After agreeing to spearhead the new force, what does President Jacques Chirac deem an appropriate contribution? A laughable contingent of 200 combat engineers who, according to French defense minister Michele
    Alliot-Marie, will remain in Lebanon for at most six months.

    * One nation that has volunteered forces for the new UNIFIL is Malaysia. But Malaysia refuses to recognize the legitimacy of Israel. The Malaysian government has been a major sponsor of Murabitun, an Islamist sect headed by former actor Ian Dallas (a.k.a. Sheikh Abd al-Qadir al-Murabit) and headquartered in a mansion in Scotland.

    Murabitun celebrates Hitler as a “great genius” one of the foremost jihadists of all times. In 2003 Prime Minister Mohamad distributed copies of Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic classic, The International Jew, to tens of thousands of delegates attending his party’s annual
    convention. [Even Ford himself ultimately recognized his book was a fraud and apologized to the entire world for it.] This is one of the
    neutral “peacekeepers” that Israel is supposed to trust to enforce 1701.

    *Not only is the UN delinquent, the Lebanese government appears utterly uninterested in fulfilling 1701’s foremost obligation, the
    disarming of the terrorist group that was using Lebanese territory to invade Israel. President Émile Lahoud, a Syrian-installed lackey and
    the constitutional commander-in-chief of the Lebanese Army assigned to secure the border with Israel, has stated that it would be “disgraceful” to disarm Hezbollah. Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr, another Syrian hanger-on in the patchwork quilt of Beirut’s
    coalition government, also declines to “strip Hezbollah of weapons and do the work that Israel did not.”

    *Meanwhile, Secretary-General Annan informs an Israeli television station that “dismantling Hezbollah is not the direct mandate of the U.N., which could only help Lebanon do the job.” One
    analyst told Britain’s Guardian (hardly a pro-Israeli publication), “All intelligence gathered by the [Lebanese] army is put at the disposal of Hezbollah, but Hezbollah does not offer the same
    transparency to the army. In a sense, military intelligence in the south [of Lebanon] is operating on Hezbollah’s behalf.”

    This sequence of events is neither “reality television” nor “virtual reality.” It is reality, a question of life and death for millions of Israelis, Lebanese, and others. The deeper tragedy is that, over time, men and
    women of good faith get used to such absurdities and accept it as “normal.” This is the international equivalent of the infamous “soft
    bigotry of low expectations” so aptly decried by President Bush as regards aspects of our domestic policy. Slowly but surely, the West
    gets used to Arab states in particular (and the UN in general) flagrantly breaking their word. Gradually some come around to defining, as Richard Cohen did recently in an infamous Washington Post op-ed, Israel itself as an historical mistake, because its creation assumed that Arab populations could be able to coexist with modernity. What an incredible insult to Arab Muslims this is.

    While she has not — at least so far — gone to the latter extreme, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Secretary of State Condoleezza
    Rice has traveled quite a distance down this path. First, like her predecessor Colin Powell, she has fallen for the well-worn French
    diplomatic trick of promising a future strong Security Council resolution in exchange for America’s accepting a weaker one now.
    Secretary Rice then played an important role in compelling Israel to accept the watered down 1701 just as the Israeli Defense Forces were
    beginning to seriously degrade Hezbollah.

    Rice then lowered expectations further by telling USA Today’s Susan Page last week that she didn’t “think there is an expectation that
    this [UN] force is going to physically disarm Hezbollah.” Thus did the Secretary of State put the lie to her own remarks at the Security
    Council one week earlier. At that time she had declared that the new UNIFIL “will have an expanded mandate, a greater scope of operations,
    better equipment, and much larger numbers” and would ensure that there were “no foreign forces, no weapons, and no authority in Lebanon other than that of the independent Lebanese government.”

    In the same USA Today interview, Secretary Rice gave voice to a perilous preference of process over policy that deserves an extended quotation:

    “You have to have a plan, first of all, for the disarmament of a militia, and then the hope is that some people lay down their arms
    voluntarily. You have cantonment areas where heavy arms are — but the disarmament of militias is essentially a political agreement and the Lebanese Government has said that it intends to live up to its obligations under Resolution 1559 and … the Taif Accord…– that they will not have any groups in Lebanon carrying arms that are not a part of the central security forces of Lebanon. So the political
    agreement is in place. Now the plan for disarmament is to be worked out. Kofi Annan is to present a plan. This will have to be worked
    with the Lebanese Government, it’ll have to be worked with the Lebanese armed forces, and I’m sure to the degree that support is needed for that, the international forces can help.”

    Rice seems almost content to let the farcical scenario orchestrated at Turtle Bay — including the suggestion that the IDF commando raid was a threat to peace — play itself out. Unfortunately, this time the victims will not only include Israeli and Lebanese, but also the
    tattered diplomatic credibility of the United States. Our nation must stand on principle and insist, even when the UN itself won’t, that
    promises are promises and rules are rules — even when the promises are made by Arab states.

    Currently, Israel is the canary in the coal mine. It fights mano a mano a battle that the entire West, diplomatic denials notwithstanding, is waging at a distance against terrorists and their state sponsors. If our foes sense that our will to fight is gone and that we are ready to accept lower standards for that region of the
    world, or if our allies sense a weakening of our commitment, then truly we are at the edge of the abyss.

    Michael I. Krauss is professor of law at George Mason University School of Law. J. Peter Pham is director of the Nelson Institute for
    International and Public Affairs at James Madison University. Both are adjunct fellows of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

    Then came the “good” news. This was received courtesy of IMRA.
    New rules of engagement for UNIFIL leaked

    [IMRA: It does not appear that Israeli officials have given any
    thought to how to insure that it does not find itself in the
    unfortunate situation that UNIFIL forces end up shooting at Israelis
    under the new rules of engagement as they protect Lebanese Hezbollah
    “civilians”, or fire at Israeli forces or equipment crossing the
    Lebanese border.]

    A 21-page document leaked to the French newspaper Le Monde has provided new details about what the rules of engagement for an
    expanded UNIFIL force in southern Lebanon might look like.

    The document is a copy of the proposed rules that were distributed last week at the UN to dozens of potential troop-contributing

    Troops would be allowed to use “deadly force” in order to impose the August 11 cease-fire resolution, according to these rules. They would
    also be mandated to defend themselves, protect civilians and – most critically for the Israelis – provide backup for the Lebanese Army in its effort to stop Hizbullah-bound arms from leaking over the Syrian border.

    Settling on rules of engagement has been a critical part of putting together the new UNIFIL force, and one of the greatest obstacles in
    its path. According to UN officials, some countries, like France, did not want the rules to include forcibly disarming Hizbullah. Other
    countries were worried about sending troops without strong enough of a mandate.

    These officials say the draft rules distributed last week are the closest they have gotten to a consensus position among the countries that are serious about contributing to the force.

    The proposed rules seem to strike a middle ground. Though “predominantly defensive in nature,” the draft rules mandate “use of
    force, up to and including deadly force, while assisting the government of Lebanon, at its request to secure its borders and other
    points of entry to prevent the entry into Lebanon, without its consent, of foreign forces, arms or related material.” This falls
    just short of confronting Hizbullah head-on, but still has the potential to set up a clash between UNIFIL and the militia. According
    to UN officials involved in the negotiations, the UN has received commitments of 3,500 troops for the force, though these are almost all from Muslim countries, some of which do not recognize Israel.

    As for the Europeans, France has disappointed many at the UN, officials report, because of its failure to live up to its promise of thousands of troops. So far it has only committed 200 soldiers and 200 engineers to be part of the mission.

    But as the Associated Press reported yesterday, the French might be reconsidering this position after Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi’s pledge of 3,000 troops earlier this week. A high-level meeting to take place Thursday between Jacques Chirac and his foreign and defense ministers might produce more of a commitment.

    The initial cease-fire resolution, 1701, called for 15,000 UN peacekeepers and another 15,000 Lebanese army troops to deploy to
    southern Lebanon. This was to happen as Israeli troops withdraw. The new UN force, an expanded version of the blue-helmeted UNIFIL already
    in place, was also authorized to help the Lebanese army create a buffer zone in the south. It was also instructed to secure Lebanon’s
    border with Syria to prevent arms smuggling.

    John Bolton, the American ambassador to the UN, said on Monday that the difficulties with establishing rules of engagement might stem
    from the compromises made to appease the Lebanese when the final version of the cease-fire resolution was drafted.

    “You’ll recall the original American position was we wanted a very robust multinational force, not even under UN command. The government
    of Lebanon made it clear they did not want a multinational force, they did not want a Chapter 7 mandate,” he said, referring to the
    part of the UN charter that would give a peacekeeping force robust enforcement capabilities. “They wanted pretty much what Resolution 1701 provides,” he added.

    “So those are the circumstances in which we’re operating, and that was known to all of the cosponsors of the resolution at the time it
    was adopted,” Bolton said.
    That’s where the good news ends. This was received yesterday, pulled from Haaretz.


    UN force won’t stop smuggling of arms into Lebanon
    By Assaf Uni, Shlomo Shamir and Aluf Benn, Haaretz Correspondents 27 August

    United Nations peacekeepers will not be stationed along the Lebanese-Syrian border to prevent arms smuggling to Hezbollah except
    at Beirut’s request, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said Friday (25 Aug.) during the press conference at which the European Union announced it would contribute around 7,000 soldiers to the multinational force in South Lebanon.

    According to Annan, Resolution 1701 does not require deploying the UN force to the border, unless the Lebanese government explicitly
    requests its help. Lebanon’s interior minister declared Saturday that the Lebanese Army alone would patrol the border, but it could accept
    “technical assistance from UNIFIL.”

    Annan’s announcement followed Syrian threats last week that it would view UN troop deployment as “a hostile act” and seal the border with
    Lebanon, which is likely to have grave economic consequences for Lebanon. Israel continues to demand UNIFIL’s deployment along the border, to cut off arms shipments from Syria and Iran to Hezbollah. A Foreign Ministry spokesman in Jerusalem said Saturday that Israel would not lift the air blockade on Lebanon unless UNIFIL troops were deployed to monitor its borders. This topic is expected to be the focus of Annan’s visits this week to Damascus and Tehran.

    However, the multinational force faces several additional problems besides the issue of the Lebanon-Syria border. Over the past two weeks, Israel has objected to the inclusion of 1,000 soldiers from Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh countries with a Muslim majority that do not recognize Israel. Annan, however, said that these countries had expressed “firm commitments” to contribute troops. “We will take the best peacekeepers where we can find them,” he said. “We don’t have pools sitting in barracks you can pick and choose from.”

    Annan added there were ways of using such troops while taking Israel’s concerns into consideration.

    Annan said thousands of UNIFIL soldiers would be on the ground within days, whereas France has pledged to send its troops within three weeks. Finland’s foreign minister estimated that the entire beefed-up force would be deployed over the next two to three months.

    Annan is scheduled to leave Sunday for a series of brief stops in eight countries of the Middle East and Persian Gulf, aimed at encouraging the parties involved to strengthen the cease-fire.
    According to sources at UN headquarters in New York, Annan is worried that shooting incidents and cease-fire violations will hold up deployment of the multinational force.

    Annan is set to arrive in Israel Tuesday for meetings with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

    Senior UN diplomats, speaking to Haaretz off the record, expressed surprise at Annan’s intention to visit Iran and Syria, considered Hezbollah’s backers. Several diplomats expressed skepticism regarding the results of those talks, adding that Annan, whose role is associated with global peace and stability, should have skipped
    visiting countries whose policies do not jibe with those values.

    So there it is folks – Israel putting its foot down – right into the shit-hole.

  • The UNIFIL is a big joke and i’am happy that India is withdrawing its contingent from this charade.