Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WINEP: The View from Israel

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy presents a 3-part series examining the status quo along the Lebanese-Israeli border two years after the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1701.

Below is an abridged version of the first article in the series, written by Oded Eran, and detailing the "view from Israel". Read it for yourselves and decide, but for this blogger, the view from Israel continues to be one of misplaced confidence; unchecked, undeterred, and nonconstructive military chauvinism and aggression, and a failure, once again, for that state to seize the opportunity to place itself within the fabric of the international community of states and nations - which is exactly what Hizballah and other hardliners in the region want.
In a September 29 interview, outgoing Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert defended UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1701 ... by asserting that it had quieted Israel's northern border. Although the resolution ended the fighting, it did not end the conflict, and its failure to incorporate specific stipulations and mechanisms to disarm Hizballah makes future violence between the two sides inevitable.

Missed Opportunities

When the Security Council adopted Resolution 1701, the international community missed an opportunity to provide UNIFIL the legal sanction to extend its territorial responsibility and functional mandate. As a result, Hizballah has more than doubled its prewar arsenal of long- and short-range missiles and rockets by way of the porous Syrian-Lebanese border.

Furthermore, since Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, Hizballah has built a massive military infrastructure, both above and below ground. Among Israel's 2006 war objectives was the destruction of that infrastructure, yet whatever was destroyed during the war has been reconstructed and fortified in the past two years, regardless of UNSCR 1701 and the presence of UNIFIL and the Lebanese Army.

Hizballah Undeterred

Hizballah's buildup over the last two years accentuates Israel's desire to undermine the organization's position in Lebanon. Logic suggests this can only be achieved by a successful military operation followed by a clear diplomatic solution. Such an outcome would close the loopholes of UNSCR 1701 and force the Lebanese government and the international community to take concrete measures to implement UNSCR 1559, which calls for the disbanding and disarmament of all militias inside Lebanon.


Another war with Hizballah appears inevitable, and the Israeli military currently is making preparations to ensure that the next round is decisive. More importantly, however, is the diplomacy that would follow the conflagration. Not only is it important to secure a meaningful UN resolution, it is also critical that the international community implement that resolution.
Read Blacksmith commentary on the view from Lebanon and Israel at the height of the July War here.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:13 PM

    So long as Israelis continue to behave with the belief that they are endowed with some sort of exceptionalism that allows them to quash the rights of neighboring states and peoples (or even the peoples within their borders), then they will continue to feed the popular support for those groups which seek to deprive them of their rights.


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