Friday, August 11, 2006

Israel: Here They Go Again

Just breaking: Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert apparently doesn’t like the latest peace deal Condi Rice and John Bolton were working on, so he's announced--again--an expansion of Israeli operations in Lebanon.

The sticking point seems to be over whether the proposed UN peacekeeping force will have an ROE that will allow it to conduct offensive operations. Olmert insists they must have that authority and the other guys aren't buying that condition.

Here's the problem: if a peacekeeping force conducts offensive operations, it isn't a peacekeeping force, it's a peace enforcement force, which is another way of saying it's a proxy for one side or the other of the conflict.

The Hezbollah members of Lebanon's parliament aren't going to go along with a set up like that, and there is not, nor was there ever, any reason to expect them to.

This still looks like a set up for the "See, we tried diplomacy and it didn't work" punch line.


  1. Since the unanimous UN Resolution seems to have been invoked under Chapter Six rather than Chapter Seven of the UN Charter, it's unlikely the "peace keepers" will have authorization to conduct offensive operations other than in self-defense or defense of civilians, and thats an iffy condition.

    As of 1100 GMT, it appears that France and New Zealand are up for membership in the "new UNIFIL" or whatever they're going to call it. There also seems to be discussion of a 15,000 man Lebanese participation.

    This is going to be interesting.

  2. Lurch,

    Just got up, am catching up with the situation. Looks like the fighting's still going on. The Knesset doesn't vote until tomorrow?

  3. I'm pretty sure that's right, Jeff, although they COULD meet tonight, after sundown, when Shabbas is over.

  4. Well, we wouldn't want to interrupt Shabbas to vote for peace, would we?

  5. In Israel for politicians to meet during Shabbas is the kiss of death. Not only would the ultra-orthodox Haredi condemn it, but so would the "moderate" Orthodox, and most likely the majority of the newspapers.

    Israel is not like the US. The citizens are educated, literate, and they read newspapers.

    And let's face it. What's the big difference between 10 AM and 830 PM? Maybe the IDF will grab a little more ground. There are news reports that Israel will halt in place at 0500 GMT Monday. I guess this will give the Maronite Christians in Lebanon a chance to pray on Sunday. It probably also means Israel expects to be at the Litani by then, which was one of their major goals.

  6. "It probably also means Israel expects to be at the Litani by then, which was one of their major goals."