Thursday, March 31, 2011

The UNSC, the International Community, and the Media are Worse than Useless

The Washington Post yesterday carried a story about how Israel claims the Hizballah has built hundreds of military targets in Lebanese towns and villages all across Southern Lebanon.

Note that the paper didn't lift a finger to attempt to validate or disprove the story. Validation is apparently no longer part of the journalist ethos. Israel says yes, Hizballah says - well, it doesn't really say - and us journalists, what are we supposed to do? Send someone to poke around and try to report from the area? Inconceivable.

Note further that there's no mention in the news item of Security Council Decision 1701, which specifically proscribed the re-armament of Hizballah in this area. There's likewise no mention of the legality or illegality of storing rockets in folks' basements and garages. The Washington Post doesn't do "illegal according to international law".

Finally, note that Israel received a solemn and official promise from the International Community as expressed by its highest authority, the UNSC, in August 2006, and the promise was promptly broken and almost immediately forgotten. Keep this all in mind next time you hear some fool or prime minister or president or whomever chattering on about the risks Israel absolutely MUST take for the sake of peace.


Soccer Dad said...

Interestingly, the NYT reported today on the danger Hamas poses to civilians. The Times basically confirmed Israeli claims. While the WaPo is treating them as "Israel said" claims.

Silke said...

Elder of Ziyon followed the development of the story through several outlets - reading it made my head feel mushy.

Today, after other news outlets picked up on the story, the Washington Post ironically has the story as a headline - but based on an AP report, that was based on the JPost report, that was based on the WaPo report that was buried!

Victor said...

Everything comes down to enforcement. To enforce 1701 you need to go to war with Hezbollah, or have a strong enough Lebanese government who can do it for you. Neither is a viable option right now.

Remember back in 08 (?) when the Lebanese government moved against Hezbollah's spy equipment and communications network, and Hezbollah went out and conquered the capital in hours?

Syria is the key. Whatever happens with Assad, whether he pulls a Mubarak or a Ghaddafi, the disruption to Hezbollah's supply chain and political cover might create some wiggle room for reasserting a pro-Western central government in Beirut.

The fate of Syria is right now ten times more important than what happens in Libya. At the very least, Israel needs to be reaching out quietly to the Syrian Kurds, maybe through the Iraqi Kurds, and maybe even the Alawites. If Assad falls, Syrian minorities will face a reshuffled deck of cards, and might need some powerful allies.

NormanF said...

What's really stupid is Israel filing protests with that gang of visceral anti-Semites known as the UN. Don't they know in Jerusalem those protests go unread into the trash basket?

Israel needs to pay less attention to so-called world opinion and begin defending itself. No one else is going to do that job for Israel.

Paul M said...


It might be predictably ineffective, but it's not stupid. It allows Israel to say, if it needs to, "We tried going through channels; we did everything required under international norms. When we took action ourselves it was the only remaining option." Sometimes that kind of diplomatic cover is vital. That was why Israel waited so long before launching its preemptive strike in 1967 — so long that it gave the Chief of Staff, Rabin, a nervous breakdown.

Barry Meislin said...

Indeed (Warning: Gross Generalization Ahead---Proceed With Caution!) Everybody in Israel is suffering from one kind of nervous breakdown or another.


(A new category of Zionist disease?)

Which is a definite and essential part of the strategy of Israel's Partners in Peace (Inc.)

AKA "We'll wait. You'll fall eventually. So either agree to do it now or you'll find it'll occur later. Makes no difference to us. Yours, sincerely, in peace. Oh, and by the way, have we ever been wrong?"

Anonymous said...

You have mail.

peterthehungarian said...

Goldstone about his own UN sponsored fact finding mission:

Seems to me after causing the damage the hanging judge has second thoughts...

Anonymous said...

Paul M, and how exactly is the 1967 war portrayed these days? The Yishuv did the same in the run up to 1948. Israel pulled out to the mm from Lebanon and Gaza did that help with the international viewing of the subsequent wars?