Friday, October 20, 2006

Now we'll use force

Is it any wonder that many Israelis - and those who sympathise with them - consider the UN anti-Israel? After repeatedly and shrilly insisting that the UNIFIL forces would never dare disarm Hezbollah, we've finally found a case in which they would be willing to use force: against Israel!
Ha'aretz reports (via lgf):
Commanders of the French contingent of the United Nations force in Lebanon have warned that they might have to open fire if Israel Air Force warplanes continue their overflights in Lebanon, Defense Minister Amir Peretz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.
Peretz said that nevertheless, Israel would continue to patrol the skies over Lebanon as long as United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 remained unfulfilled, adding that such operations were critical for the country's security, especially as the abducted IDF soldiers remain in Hezbollah custody and the transfer of arms continue.
Over the past few days, Peretz said, Israel had gathered clear evidence that Syria was transferring arms and ammunition to Lebanon, meaning that the embargo imposed by UN Resolution 1701 was not being completely enforced.
Quelle surprise!
Meanwhile, I am sorry to have to admit that my previously cautiously optimistic view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, seems to be showing some cracks. If the Second Intifada dashed any hope of reviving the Oslo Accords, this summer's war with Hezbollah makes it much harder to argue in favour of Israel's unilateral withdrawal from any further territory. I was a firm supporter of the withdrawal from Gaza and the policy objectives that came with it, and although I still think it was a good idea, I think the argument that such moves put Israeli security in jeopardy has been strongly boosted by the discovery of Hezbollah's covert activities in the Lebanese territory Israel returned to Lebanon in 2000.
This month's Commentary magazine has some interesting reflections on these points, by Hillel Halkin, in Israel's New Reality (requires subs. after the end of the month; see here for free version).

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