Sunday, August 20, 2006

Israel's unilateralism

Hardly anyone expected the UN cease-fire to last long between Israel and Hezbollah and Israel's blatant violation of the agreement was no surprise. They said they would do what they wanted and they did. The raid's effectivesness, of course, is hardly part of the equation. Accountability, too, is not a feature of Israeli foreign policy, mimicking as it does, Bush's own transgressions against international law. Hezbollah and Lebanon also appears well into violating the agreement, as The Osterely Times has noted. The Lebanese army was supposed to disarm Hezbollah as part of the cease-fire and not only are they refusing to so, but officers are advising Lebanese troops that "support for the resistance" is military doctrine.

But the madness, it seems, is not limited to reigniting the fighting in Lebanon, for Israeli forces have just abducted the Palestinian deputy prime minister, bursting into his home Saturday morning. Nasser Shaer now shares jail cells with eight cabinet ministers and a some 24 members of the Palestinian Authority parliament, along with 10,000 other Palestinians. Palestinians have little recourse in the matter, as Israel stomps about at will with apparently little restraint. The abduction of Shaer, considered to be a moderate and a "pragmatist," will certainly serve to alienate and radicalize him. There are reasons to do this if Israel's goal is to avoid future talks and act unilaterally. At this point, it seems clear that everything Israel is doing is designed for just this purpose.

Since Hamas' election victory, Israel and the US have been trying to undermine the government and Israel's initial raid on Gaza came just as the Fatah party and Hamas were consolidating an inter-party agreement, with Hamas apparently ready to reconsider its long-held position against the state of Israel, as it had been required to do in order to achieve "legitimacy" in the international arena. In the twisted weltanschaaung of the Cheney administration, this sort of agreement was entirely untoward, as a mitigated Hamas position would then actually produce "someone to talk to," which the Israelis have said was lacking with a radical Hamas government. What better way to remove the threat of negotiation than to simply round up the government -- especially the "pragmatists" -- and toss them in the can? Suddenly, and once again, there's "no one to talk to."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

well said.

1:49 AM  
Blogger Kel said...


I wonder how long the Israelis will be allowed to get away with this pretence that they have no-one to talk to. Surely, with her defeat in Lebanon, Israel should now more than ever seek to normalise relations with her Arab neighbours.

However, as you rightly say, this is about establishing a way for Israel to define her borders unilaterally, which only means the conflict will continue into another generation. Bloody scandalous. Bush and Olmert continue to treat the symptoms (Hizbullah) whilst ignoring the cause (the occupation). There are none so blind as those who will not see.

4:10 AM  
Blogger theBhc said...


Of course, this problem was voiced well by Bush when he said the "root cause" was Hezbollah. Either he is an idiot or he is disingenuous. Often Bush is both, a combination of stunning ignorance and profound larceny.

If you haven't seen this interview with Chomsky, check it out. It is an excellent summary of the course of events over the last short while, with an eye on the overall state of the Palestinian situation.

9:57 AM  

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