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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Questioning Tzipi Livni's Claims About The Second Lebanese War in 2006

In light of the fact that Tzipi Livni is joining Netanyahu's coalition, Eli Hertz writes about her role in Israel's Second Lebanese War and Livni's Misguided Sense of Accomplishments, noting questionable claims that Livni has made.

In brief, Hertz makes the following point:
  1. Livni: “Security Council Resolution 1701 is an Israeli achievement”

    Fact: Adopting Resolution 1701 under Chapter VII was a clear goal of Israel that did not materialize.

    Under international law, Resolution 1701 that was adopted under Chapter VI is at best a declarative statement that lacks the legal authority or enforcement power whatsoever. All the rest is wishful thinking and the results on the ground will attest to it.
  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."

  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 the Minister did not read the resolution.

  4. Livni: Israel “Will be getting UNIFIL with a completely different mandate, which includes the right, the option and the authority to use force when required.”

    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-defence 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.]

Read the whole thing.

On point 1, regarding the resolution falling under Chapter VI instead of Chapter VII, The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs put up a post in August 2006 on UN Security Council Resolution 1701, going to great lengths to claim the significance of the language of the resolution emulating the language of a Chapter VII resolution:
4. Comparison of Israel’s objectives and the components of 1701

...The need to pass a resolution under Chapter 7 and the UN forces’ authority of enforcement
  • Israel aspired to a Security Council resolution under chapter 7, primarily for the purpose of the enforcement authority of the multi-national force. However, Israel requested the right to act freely in the future, without being restricted.

  • Ultimately, the Security Council passed a resolution under Chapter 6, which contains binding sections identical to those used in resolutions under Chapter 7. The resolution contains wording characteristic of Security Council resolutions of a binding nature - the last  paragraph of the preamble, immediately preceding the operative part, states that the situation in Lebanon “constitutes a threat to international peace and security.”

    In its two key paragraphs, the resolution is worded with language taken from resolutions under Chapter 7:
    1. (a) in section 12, the resolution authorizes UNIFIL to implement enforcement measures not previously authorized, and
    2. (b) in section 15, the components of the arms embargo are identical to the language of resolutions under Chapter 7.
On the issue of the extent of the responsibilities of UNIFIL according to Lebanon French General Alain Pellegrini, though he did say that their job was not to disarm Hezbollah, it is still clear that General Pellegrini and UNIFIL failed to uphold UN Resolution 1701:
The commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon French General Alain Pellegrini said Monday that his troops will not try to disarm Hezbollah which is a matter for the Lebanese government.

"The disarmament of Hezbollah is not the business of UNIFIL. This is a strictly Lebanese affair, which should be resolved at a national level," Pellegrini told reporters.

The UNIFIL chief clarified that the main task of the beefed-up UNIFIL was to ensure that south Lebanon could not be used as abase for attacks against Israel.

"Our mission is to maintain a zone between the Blue Line and the Litani (River) where there is no illegal army and from which no one can launch hostile acts," Pellegrini said.

The Blue Line is the United Nations-demarcated border between Lebanon and Israel. [emphasis added]
Also check out Hertz's Is Security Council Resolution 1701 Good for Israel?

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