Posted by: sean | August 18, 2006

Brahimi’s plan for peace

Lakhdar Brahimi, former special adviser to the United Nations Secretary General, weighs in on the war in Lebanon with a five-point plan:

1. ensuring Lebanon’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity and the full implementation of the 1989 Taif accord

2. encouraging Hizbollah to play a responsible role in the internal dynamics of Lebanon and expecting it to accept the Lebanese state?s exclusive right to possess armaments and use force

3. demanding that Syria and Iran, as well as all other states in the region and beyond, respect Lebanon’s sovereignty and abstain from interfering in its internal affairs

4. telling Israel to withdraw its troops from all the territory it currently occupies, including the Shebaa Farms

5. focusing urgent and sustained attention on the problem that underlies the unrest in the Middle East: the Palestinian issue.

He also expresses his disgust at the the loss of life in this war, the destruction of Lebanon and the short-sighted analyses that seem so commonplace:

Wat a waste that it took more than 30 days to adopt a United Nations Security Council resolution for a cease-fire in Lebanon. Thirty days during which nothing positive was achieved and a great deal of pain, suffering and damage was inflicted on innocent people.

The loss of innocent civilian life is staggering and the destruction, particularly in Lebanon, is devastating. Human rights organizations and the United Nations have condemned the humanitarian crisis and violations of international humanitarian law.

Yet all the diplomatic clout of the United States was used to prevent a cease-fire, while more military hardware was rushed to the Israeli Army. It was argued that the war had to continue so that the root causes of the conflict could be addressed, but no one explained how destroying Lebanon would achieve that.

And what are these root causes? It is unbelievable that recent events are so regularly traced back only to the abduction of three Israeli soldiers. Few speak of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, or of its Lebanese prisoners, some of whom have been held for more than 20 years. And there is hardly any mention of military occupation and the injustice that has come with it.

What most people don’t seem to understand is that the only way to disarm Hizbollah is to do so politically and diplomatically, and the only way to do this is to take away their raison d’être, which is Israeli occupation of Lebanese and Syrian land. I say Lebanese and Syrian, because the foreign policy of these two countries (at least insofar as Israel is concerned) is inextricably linked. Syria is willing to negotiate peace for land, but Israel doesn’t seem interested. Ironically, the very land that Israel occupies for “security reasons” is making the country that much less secure.



  1. Just out of curiosity, given that there are many dispossessed Palestinians residing in Southern Lebanon, does Hizbullah allow them to join their essentially shi’ite organization? There is a grave lack of information regarding *who* composes Hizbullah.

  2. Israel is following the Bushite theme, of not speaking to anyone.

    Both the US and Israel, are on the suicidal path of changing the Middle East, in its own image.

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