On August 11, the UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution
1701 jointly proposed by the US and France and with all provisions in it signed
off on by Israel before it was put to a vote. Neither Lebanon nor Hezbollah
was afforded that same right. In a UN dominated by the world's only superpower
and having to operate within the constraints it sets, only US client states
are allowed that privilege. It's victims never are. Resolution 1701 was a revised
version of the one the US and France first proposed on August 6 which the French
then backed down on because of strong Lebanese government and Arab League opposition.
The new resolution only guarantees one thing - no end to the conflict and no
justice for its Lebanese victims. It doesn't even address the concurrent hostilities
ongoing against the Palestinians outrageously ignoring the fact that they're
raging daily with no end in sight.
Resolution 1701 calls for a full cessation of hostilities on both sides but
leaves in it a glaring loophole big enough apparently to get Israel to accept
it. It calls on Hezbollah to cease "all attacks" immediately and implies,
but doesn't explicitly state, Hezbollah must disarm. It won't because doing
so would be to surrender. It only asks Israel to stop "all offensive military
operations" without defining what that means or making a comparable disarmament
demand on the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). It thus gives Israel the right to
"respond" if, in its judgment, it faces what it believes is an imminent
threat. In other words, Israel can attack Lebanon at will any time and claim,
true or not, it's only responding to such a threat. It also proposes no fixed
timetable for Israel to withdraw its troops from Lebanon and only "calls
on the government of Israel" to do so once a UN mandated force is in place.
It thus gives Israel what it wanted - more time for the IDF to continue its
assault by air and to try on the ground to seize more territory so when both
sides agree to halt hostilities, Israel will be in the strongest bargaining
position. The resolution also authorizes the deployment of up to 15,000 UN (UNIFIL)
troops in southern Lebanon from countries willing to supply them to assist an
additional 15,000 Lebanese force.
The resolution is a litany of outrage ignoring why the conflict began
and falsely accusing Hezbollah of starting it by launching "the attack
on Israel on 12 July" which it did not. It mentions nothing about
Israel's incursions into Lebanon by air and on the ground prior to the July
12 date when Hezbollah forces captured (not kidnapped) two IDF soldiers who
it's believed illegally crossed the UN-monitored "blue line" into
the country - something the IDF routinely has done almost daily since it withdrew
from the country in May, 2000. It absolves Israel of any responsibility by failing
to acknowledge it's been waging a war of illegal aggression against the country
and thus, according to the Nuremberg Charter, is guilty of the "supreme
international crime" for which convicted Nazis after WW II were hanged.
It doesn't even mention the word "war" in its text or indicate in
any way that Israel is guilty of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity
against the people of Lebanon.
This is a resolution only an aggressor would love. It will
do nothing to deter further aggression any time Israel believes, on its say
alone and with no evidence, an imminent threat exists. Resolution 1701 blatantly
violates the UN Charter which permits a nation to use force only under two conditions:
when authorized to do it by the Security Council or under Article 51 that allows
the "right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack
occurs against a Member....until the Security Council has taken measures to
maintain international peace and security." In other words, necessary self-defense
is allowed, which does not justify what the IDF initiated on June 25 and again
on July 12. Israel's extreme response on both dates following the capture of
its soldiers, known in both cases to have been planned well in advance awaiting
only convenient pretexts to undertake them, are no acts of self-defense. They're
acts of premeditated illegal aggression.
In sum, UN Resolution 1701 is little more than an outrageous and illegal expression
of victor's justice. It allows Israel the right to resume hostilities any time
it wishes and for any reason so long as the Israelis claim an imminent threat
exists regardless of whether or not it's true. It gives no rights to the victims
who remain vulnerable and are likely to come under further assaults just as
they have almost daily since Israel first invaded Lebanon in 1978. And it does
nothing to try to end the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinians
or address their long-standing grievances now ongoing for nearly 60 years. The
resolution does guarantee one thing - no end to the conflict in either country
or justice for the beleaguered people of them both.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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