by Eli E. Hertz
As the Wall Street Journal noted: “Israel has nothing to show for its 1701 Resolution”, so why is Livni touting it as her great "achievement"?
Much controversy is being generated as to Minister Tzipi Livni's ability to lead Israel. She advocates honesty and accountability, but when it came to drafting Resolution 1701 those principles may have left the room.
The Government of Israel found itself making the wrong decisions based on faulty information.
Is it ignorance or blatant falsehood? You decide.
1. Livni: “Security Council Resolution 1701 is an Israeli achievement”
Fact: Adopting Resolution 1701 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which makes it enforceable, was a clear goal of Israel. But it did not materialize!
Hesham Youssef, chief of the cabinet of the Arab League Secretary-General, speaking to Al-Ahram Weekly, stated it simply: “The resolution is issued under Chapter VI rather than Chapter VII of the UN Charter … [This] is a diplomatic achievement” of the Arab League." In other words, the Arab League welcomes the weakness of the resolution, which lacks enforcement power to “ensure implementation” of Resolution 1701.
Unable to have the resolution adopted under Chapter VII, Livni invented a new Chapter when she claims: We got “VII minus”, a statement which is injudicious and fundamentally wrong. There is no room in international law for a loose interpretation of the Charter and “VII minus” is not a recognized provision in international law.
Livni and Olmert's claim that the cease-fire, that brought the fighting to a halt, is somehow indicative of a success, either militarily or diplomatically, is highly erroneous. The Government of Israel failed to protect its citizens - it was unable to stop the daily barrage of Katyushas landing in northern and central Israel, with nearly a million Israelis displaced; Israel's urgent need for a cease-fire was obvious. If the war would have kept going at its pace, Israel would have suffered the greatest military humiliation in its history. As the Wall Street Journal noted: “Israel has nothing to show for its 1701 Resolution”
2. Livni: “A decision was reached by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense to approve the start of a military operation and just as it was starting to go into action late Friday [August 11, 2006] we began to strengthen the resolution and return it to the level at which we felt it should originally be.”
Fact: John Bolton, who was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during the Second Lebanon War, rejected Livni and Olmert's version of the failed ground offensive during the war's final days: "The Israeli military operation did not play a role in the talks on drafting the UN Security Council Resolution 1701."
It appears that Prime Minster Olmert, Foreign Minister Livni, and Defense Minister Peretz - all in concert - have failed to this day “to come clean” and with clarity, explain to the nation's families and soldiers what precisely was the "improvement" attained as a direct result of the IDF expansion into Lebanon on August 11, 2006 - a move that cost the lives of 33 Israeli soldiers!
3. Livni: “We wanted to ensure that this embargo would be enforceable and substantive, preventing the transfer of arms … to Hezbollah. … Now the embargo is part of the UN resolution and the terms and formulation of this article are acceptable to Israel and express our opinion - a proper embargo.”
Fact: Resolution 1701 never even mentions the word “embargo” and does not set forth an enforcement mechanism or any enforcement power. It seems as though Minister LIvni did not read the resolution.
Fact: UNIFIL - a Paper Tiger - is not authorized to use armed force or to impose in any forceful manner the implementation of the recommendations of UN Resolution 1701.
UNIFIL's right to use force is strictly limited to self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter. Major General Alain Pelligrini [France], then the Force Commander of UNIFIL, made it clear: “The disarmament of Hezbollah is not the business of UNIFIL.”
Unless otherwise stated, Livni's statements are taken verbatim from her briefing to reporters following Israel's acceptance of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, 13 Aug 2006.
Eli E. Hertz
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