Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922

Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922
Jordan is 77% of former Palestine - Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza comprise 23%.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Lemmings or Lions?

[Published August 2006]

The ceasefire brokered by the United Nations in Lebanon offers possibly the last chance for political stability to be restored in Lebanon and for Lebanon to rid itself forever of forces over which it has no control.

Will the United Nations and the Lebanese Government seize this opportunity and finally act like lions or will they, like lemmings, continue to rush towards the edge of the abyss into which both have already started to slide and from which both may never get out?

Judging by what is happening, it appears that the lemmings will again prevail over the lions.

Woe betide Lebanon if this is allowed to happen.

The United Nations appears to be balking at giving its 15,000 strong force being sent into Lebanon clear rules of engagement to disarm and disband Hezbollah as Security Council Resolution 1559 demands.

Failure to do so will confirm that the United Nations is not prepared to translate its Security Council resolutions into concrete action.

It will send a clear message to terrorist groups world wide and their sponsoring States that Security Council resolutions are not worth the paper they are written on and that terrorists can continue to operate with impunity from any member's sovereign territory free of international intervention to forcibly remove them.

The United Nations force must be given the right to search for and destroy all armaments not under the control of the Lebanese Government, to stop the delivery of armaments into Lebanon unless expressly approved by the Lebanese Government and to take all steps including armed intervention to disband the structure and organization of Hezbollah's military arm.

Anything less will be a waste of time and lead to Israel intervening once again with even more devastating force to defend its own sovereign territorial integrity.

Hezbollah has justified its continuing occupation of 2400 square kilometres of Lebanon -- one quarter of the country -- as necessary to drive Israel from, and gain Lebanese sovereignty over, 25 square kilometres of desolate land called the Shebaa Farms.

Lebanon condoned this situation by continuing to dispute a ruling by the United Nations in 2000 that this small piece of land belonged to Syria, from whom it was captured by Israel in 1967.

Trading sovereignty over 2400 square kilometres in order to gain sovereignty over 25 square kilometres must surely be the most bizarre decisions ever made by any Arab nation in their ongoing conflict with Israel.

This abdication of its national security and foreign policy has cost Lebanon dearly and has become the catalyst for the abject position in which Lebanon finds itself today.

15000 Lebanese homes have now been totally destroyed, a large section of Lebanon's roads, bridges and other vital infrastructure has been reduced to rubble, its economy set back for 20 years and its environment devastated by an oil spill that threatens the rich marine life in its territorial waters.

A thousand deaths, many more thousands injured and maimed, and countless others traumatised by constant and incessant bombing raids testifies to Hezbollah's foolhardy action in entering Israel to abduct two soldiers, kill three others and then fire a barrage of 3000 rockets into Israel.

It appears Lebanon has not learnt the lesson of the Sheba Farms folly and is still obsessed with gaining sovereignty of the area.

It was deemed so important an issue that it was included in the seven point plan prepared by Lebanon as it urgently sought the current ceasefire, calling on the United Nations to place the area under United Nations jurisdiction until the Lebanese claim to sovereignty was fully settled.

Instead of rejecting that call, the United Nations has stood its decision in 2000 on its head by agreeing to once more deal with Lebanon's claim to the Shebaa Farms within 30 days of the ceasefire resolution.

What will happen if the United Nations reverses its decision? What does this say about the competency of the organization? Will Syria accept such a reversal? Will Israel withdraw? Why did Lebanon have to wait six years and subject itself to such destruction and humiliation before asking the United Nations to review its earlier decision?

Lebanon needs to let go of this issue. It has and will continue to bring Lebanon to its knees if it persists. A loss of face is far preferable to further loss of life and limb.

Lebanon or Lezbollaland?

That is the question that both Lebanon and the United Nations need to answer without delay if Lebanon is to end the suffering and bloodshed inflicted on it for the last 30 years because of its loss of control over its sovereign territory to others with different agendas.

No comments: