Israel welcomes the adoption of today’s resolution and the renewal of UNIFIL’s mandate. UNIFIL plays a vital role in promoting stability in our region. I would like to convey Israel’s appreciation to the UNIFIL troops, their commanders, the troop contributing countries, and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Israel is committed to cooperating with the United Nations to ensure the full implementation of resolution 1701.
Yet, as we convene here today, serious threats to peace and security in Lebanon stand in the way of fully implementing this resolution. I would like to highlight four of these challenges this morning.
First, Hizbullah continues to rapidly build up its arsenal of advanced weaponry – and expand its military presence throughout Lebanon, including south of the Litani River. Tens of thousands of sophisticated missiles and rockets are now in the hands of this terrorist organization. Its growing arsenal places the majority of Israeli civilians under the specter of attack.
Hizbullah seeks to acquire even more advanced weapons through joint and coordinated transfers of illegal arms supplied by Iran and directly facilitated by Syria across the Syrian-Lebanese border.
The United Nations and others in the international community are aware of the scope and magnitude of these transfers. Yet, the existing arms embargo has not been enforced – and there has been a lack of progress in the disarmament and disbandment of Hizbullah and other militias, as is mandated by Security Council resolutions. Israel views this stagnation with great concern.
Israel’s second issue of concern relates to the cynical Hizbullah tactics that use Lebanese civilians to further their terrorist activity targeting Israeli civilians. Since the deployment of UNIFIL forces in 2006, Hizbullah’s modus operandi has shifted towards intentionally embedding its military infrastructure within civilian villages and residential areas. These deployments are occurring in UNIFIL’s area of operations and throughout other densely populated areas of Lebanon. Hizbullah terrorist bases, firing positions and missile storage centers are located adjacent to – and sometimes within – schools, hospitals, homes and mosques.
Such exploitation of civilians as human shields stands in grave violation of international law. On numerous occasions, Israel has provided the international community with detailed information about these violations.
Yet, they continue.
Thirdly, Israel remains concerned by the violence directed at UNIFIL – and Hizbullah’s continued attempts to obstruct the movement and work of the force. From the periodic 1701 reports, it is clear that Hizbullah has long used so-called civilians to impede UNIFIL’s ability to operate. It employs a range of tactics, including throwing stones, threatening the force with weapons and confiscating equipment. The recent terrorist attacks against UNIFIL on May 27th and July 26th marked a serious escalation in the violence directed at the force – and should be taken very seriously.
The United Nations and the international community cannot stand by as Hizbullah continues to obstruct UNIFIL’s work. While Hizbullah’s fingerprints are all over these clear obstructions, its name is hardly ever mentioned in UN reports. The international community must also ensure that the force has the tools and soldiers necessary to carry out its mandate effectively.
Finally, despite its obligations under Resolution 1701, the Government of Lebanon continues to take provocative actions along the Blue Line. On August 1st, a soldier from the Lebanese Armed Forces fired on Israeli Defense Forces situated south of the Blue Line. This was not isolated incident – and it was only by chance that this event did not result in casualties. Let me remind this Council that on 3 August 2010, in a similar incident, the LAF shot and killed reservist IDF Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Dov Harari.
I tried to cut, believe me, but the Israeli diplomat wouldn’t say what I would say were I in his position. Something like, “Mr. President, your mother [bleeps] scurvy, leprous sailors for two bits a throw, and you are the product of her union with a one-legged sumo wrestler with incurable halitosis, terminal psoriasis, and a glandular condition.”
Now, wouldn’t the world be better off if Israel talked (and acted) that way? But nooooo, they have to be all polite.
So people like me have to translate.
Not only is Hizb’allah (The Party of God) violating every term of the ceasefire from the last war that brought death and destruction to Israel (and Lebanon, too), they are working overtime on gearing up for the next one. And they are doing so with the UN’s tacit understanding, if not approval. Lest there be any doubt on that last point, read the bold passages again: the UN is fully aware of what the Hezzies are doing. I am reminded of the old joke: what’s the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care. Only the UN could try to have it both ways.
The UN’s repeated crimes against humanity have come to bore even me. After importing cholera (from its Nepalese peacekeepers) into post-quake Haiti, the one plague from which that accursed nation was free, and after treating war-torn Africa as your personal brothel and kiddie-porn emporium, what do you do for an encore?
But this is a [bleep]storm of an even greater degree. The rain of missiles and mortars from Hamass-ruled Gaza will seem but a spring shower compared to the deluge of destruction that Hezbollah intends to launch from its territory, aka Lebanon. With UN complicity.
The UN wasn’t founded to bring about Israel’s destruction, but that has been its chief goal for a very long time now. And they’re just counting the days.