Weekly Commentary: Livni's Folly – UNSC 1701
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 27 December 2012
Fans of Tzipi Livni like to assert that she demonstrated her skills in
diplomacy when she ostensibly stood firm on the right of return in her talks
with Palestinians – refusing to allow any refugees in. But the fact is that
those talks were only a cover for the real negotiations the Prime Minister
Olmert was carrying out at the very same time with Mahmoud Abbas.
Negotiations during which Olmert offered incredible concessions – including
the return of refugees. So given that the Livni talks weren’t the real
talks, and that it is reasonable to assume that Livni also knew that this
was the case, it’s stretch to draw any conclusions about Livni's true
capabilities from these essentially fake talks.
UN Security Council Resolution 1701 that concluded the Lebanon war, on the
other hand, is a different story.
Then Foreign Minister Livni was Israel's point man on 1701.
1701 has been a farce. The international force never stopped the flow of
weapons. Hizbullah deployed up to the fence. In fact, when their weapons
blow up they bar the international force from even approaching the area.
It is interesting to read what Livni said herself about UNSC 1701 in a
briefing she held on August 13, 2006 following Israel's acceptance of 1701
(translated from Hebrew by the Foreign Ministry).
"…the Security Council resolution is good for Israel and, if implemented,
will lead to a substantive change in the rules of the game in Lebanon, in
the relationship between Israel and
True, the forces we are requesting will be effective…. The discussions
produced a result that is acceptable to Israel. We are not talking about the
UNIFIL forces we are used to seeing in southern Lebanon and on the northern
border of Israel, that is, a meager force of observers. We will now be
getting an expanded UNIFIL with more people. We will be getting UNIFIL with
a completely different mandate, which includes the right, the option and the
authority to use force when required, a mandate that is very similar to
resolutions passed under Chapter 7.
…The second problem that we expected to occur, one way or another, on
cessation of the military campaign, was a situation in which, within a short
time, Hizbullah would be rearmed by Iran and Syria, through Syria, so we
asked from the start, at our initiative, for an arms embargo on Hizbullah.
The initiative in this case came from Israel, and we placed it on the table
of the international community.
Even in the last hours before passage of the resolution, we wanted to ensure
that this embargo would be enforceable and substantive, preventing the
transfer of arms from these countries to Hizbullah, in fact, to anyone other
than the Lebanese army. 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.
Thus, even with a decision or request by the Lebanese government, it will be
possible to monitor the international borders of Lebanon, not only by means
of the Lebanese army and security forces but also with the help of
international forces. And it is important to say that, one way or the other,
responsibility has been imposed on the Lebanese government to ensure that
arms do not enter in order to prevent the rearming of Hizbullah.
… From our standpoint, any entire process that involves placing power in the
hands of the Lebanese government so that it can enforce its sovereignty is a
positive one which, of course, creates a genuine change in the situation in
… It is also clear that the entire process is intended to lead, in the end,
to the disarming of Hizbullah, not just to the Lebanese army moving
southward, not just to an embargo, but to a process completed by the
disarmament of Hizbullah, as was required from the start in the previous
resolutions, but today we are also creating the way to enforce this process
at a practical level.
..., in comparing the political situation on the day before and the chance
that this resolution will change the situation in Lebanon, with the goals we
set for ourselves here two days after the beginning of the conflict and what
we hope to achieve following termination of the military operation, without
addressing the question of when and how it will end, we have attained most
of the goals in the Israeli initiative which, in effect, we placed as the
first draft on the table of the international community."
If UNSC 1701 was Livni's achievement - we can ill afford to provide her the
opportunity to make similar achievements.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
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