Only Israel has been willing to curb Hizballah’s advance. Not the UN, and not Lebanon itself. With the double standards that have long been in place, Israel is vilified for doing what the putatively sovereign state to the north and international “peacekeepers” simply won’t. “Hezbollah Readies for War as UN Peacekeepers Can Only Observe,” by Daniel Williams for Bloomberg, August 21 (thanks to Sr Soph):
Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) — In a Lebanese village 10 miles west of the Israeli border, black-capped Hezbollah militiamen stand guard in front of a suspected weapons cache.
Even though they are unarmed, their presence deters United Nations peacekeepers from approaching the house in Khirbet Silim, preventing the UN troops from fulfilling their mission, which is to stop Hezbollah from rearming.
“The UN can’t just come around here and go into people’s houses,” said Rassan Salim, a municipal official in the village and a Hezbollah militia member. “Our weapons are to defend Lebanon.”
Hezbollah’s efforts to stockpile arms became obvious on July 14 when weapons hidden in a house in the village blew up, according to officials from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon. Four days later, peacekeepers looking for arms tried to raid the house the militiamen now guard, about a kilometer from the one that exploded. Villagers stoned the soldiers, injuring 14, and blocked the incursion.
Hezbollah, which has the backing of Iran and Syria, is rebuilding its force in the south, undaunted by its loss in Lebanon’s June elections, in which a pro-U.S. coalition won a parliamentary majority. The peacekeepers” stay in south Lebanon expires on Aug. 31 and the UN Security Council must decide whether to extend it without change or authorize them to impose the weapons ban by force even without the support of the Lebanese army. […]
After the fighting ended, the Security Council passed a resolution prohibiting “weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state.” The peacekeepers were deployed to keep south Lebanon free of Hezbollah’s militia and arms, a role they have to perform with the cooperation of the Lebanese army.
The Lebanese military can’t disarm Hezbollah, said Elias Hanna, a former Lebanese army general and political science professor at Beirut’s Notre Dame University. “Half the army is Shiite and will not fight Shiites,” he said.
The military sat out the 2006 conflict. Prime Minister- designate Saad Hariri has said Hezbollah’s disarmament will be subject to a “national dialogue.”
Timur Goksel, a former spokesman for the peacekeepers, said the problem is that the UN operates under passive rules that depend on the host country”s consent.
“In the south, Hezbollah, not the government of Lebanon, is the real host,” he said.
Israel is also violating the UN resolution with daily air surveillance flights over Lebanon, according to Andrea Tenenti, the peacekeepers” spokesman.
Not at all equivalent. One is a sovereign state defending its borders against a terrorist state-within-a-state. One is conducting surveillance, while the latter stockpiles arms in civilian areas to manufacture casualties.
Israeli Defense MinisterEhud Barak told Army Radio on Aug. 4 that Hezbollah has stockpiled more than 40,000 rockets and “if there is a conflict on our northern border, we will use all necessary force.” […]
Analysts in Beirut say Hezbollah is buttressing its defenses based on part-time village units supplemented by full- time militiamen who operate anti-tank weapons and inaccurate short-range rockets. The group is gathering Russian-made SA-8 radar guided anti-aircraft missiles and SA-18 shoulder-fired missiles for use against helicopters, said Saad-Ghorayeb. Hezbollah plans to send commandoes into Israel and obtain long- range missiles to hit towns south of Haifa, she added.
“In the next war, Hezbollah will want to use counter- offensive methods,” she said. “Hezbollah is setting the bar high for itself.”…