Saturday, July 29, 2006

Any takers?

Any takers for a
proxy war for Israel?

EVERYONE else is wrong and only Israel is right. This is what the Israeli ambasador clearly stated on Thursday when he ruled on major UN involvement in any potential international force in Lebanon.
Dan Gillerman's declaration is an open slap on the face of the UN and underlines Israel's blatant defiance of the international conventions and legitimacy represented by the world body.
Of course, it is not the first time — nor would it be the last time — that Israel stand almost alone in the international community arguing against the very concept and principles that went into creating the world body.
An overwhelming majority of the UN members have always opted to side with justice, international legitimacy and code of conduct and that is why Israel has found itself at the receiving end of UN criticism. The almighty US to could always use its veto power block any meaningful action against Israel for its refusal to abide by mandatory UN Security Council resolutions. However, in the larger General Assembly, Israel has no such protective umbrella and has to take on transparent and unbiased criticism of its actions although the General Assembly is a toothless tiger when it comes to decisive and effection action not only in the Middle Eastern context but also anywhere else in the world. Israel has to grit its teeth and listen to truth as truth is and to criticism as harsh as criticism could be coming from the world community in the General Assembly (although that is the extent to which UN members could go within the context of the world body).
In the latest spat, Dillerman is arguing that the UN should not have any involvement in Lebanon and that more professional and better-trained troops should be deployed on the Israeli-Lebanese border. He has also vowed not to allow any UN role in investigating the Israeli attack on a UN post in Lebanon that killed four UN observers last week.
He made an interesting observation when he said that "I don't think that if anything happened in this country (the US), or in Britain or in Italy or in France, the government of that country would agree to a joint investigation." Again, no one pointed out to him that no other country he mentioned, with the exception of course of the US — which is occupying Iraq —  was/is running a military occupation of neighbour's territory and therefore forced to be subject to UN observers.
The Israeli ambassador made fun of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which was deployed on the border following an Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1978.
"Interim in UN jargon is 28 years," he said.
Well, he was not asked nor did he volunteer any explanation as to why Israel remained in southern Lebanon for 18 of those 28 years. Was it an "interim" occupation? Is it not true that Israel had no option but to quit Lebanon only because the resistance put up by Hizbollah?
His summary assumption is that the UN force did not do the job, but he conviently overlooked that the very mandate of UNIFIL did not allow it to use force except in self-defence, and then the UN force would have to had take action against Israel in self-defence since the force had suffered the worst from the Israeli military and not from Hizbollah or any other group present in the area of its operations.
In sum, Dillerman was only alluding to the US-backed Israeli desire that any force to be deployed in Lebanon should come from Israel-friendly countries from Europe, it should be independent and should not only be armed with the mandate and weapons to fight Hizbollah and all other forces resisting Israel but also engage in action to "neutralise" the resistance.
More simply, Israel wants the Europeans to lead the Jewish state's fight its war to eliminate Arab resistance in Lebanon.
Any takers?