Ok, been trying to stay away from the Israel-rest of the middle east conflict but it’s startying to really piss me off. Not the coverage, which I have found to be mostly on the side of the Israeli’s for once, not at the ridiculous calls for restraint, but rather at something that I think is being left out of the terms of a cease fire. That is the recognition of Israel.
What I have been seeing the most of is Olmert saying 3 conditions must be met for a cease fire:
- Return of all kidnapped soldiers.
- Stopping of rocket fire from southern lebanon
- UN resolution 1559 being enforced. That’s the one with the disarming of Hezbollah and the Lebanese army on the southern border.
I think there needs to be a 4th. That is that the Lebanese government sit at the table with Israel. There have been calls for the US to be involved in the talks as a proxy. This is bull. Any negotiations between states in the middle east involving Israel, should be conducted with Israel there as a government, acknowledged by all parties. Any “peace” achieved without the other governments of the middle east acknowledging Israel will be short lived and false.
I look at Egypt as an example. There has been not only peace between Egypt and Israel but real commerce that benefits both sides since Egypt’s acknowledgement of Israel in the Camp David Accords. Look at Article III of the those accords.
They recognize and will respect each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence;
They recognize and will respect each other’s right to live in peace within their secure and recognized boundaries;
They will refrain from the threat or use of force, directly or indirectly, against each other and will settle all disputes between them by peaceful means.
These are important. These should be mandatory in any future peace deals that Israel makes. Look at this part of those accords also.
Each Party undertakes to ensure that acts or threats of belligerency, hostility, or violence do not originate from and are not committed from within its territory, or by any forces subject to its control or by any other forces stationed on its territory , against the population, citizens or property of the other Party. Each Party also undertakes to refrain from organizing, instigating, inciting, assisting or participating in acts or threats of belligerency, hostility, subversion or violence against the other Party, anywhere, and undertakes to ensure that perpetrators of such acts are brought to justice.
This also should be mandatory for any agreement with Lebanon or Palestine. It’s about responsibility for actions that occur within your borders. A change in diplomatic actions like this won’t happen overnight but if Israel pushes now it can happen. You can see the potential for it there now.
The Saudis and Egypt (among others) have come out and condemn Hizbollah’s actions. This is HUGE and it is something that needs to be capitalized on. There is some small signs of a schism between Sunni and Shia muslims and it must be utilized for peace. The Arab nations that have condemned Hizbollah must now be pressured to restore regular diplomatic ties with Israel. The message would be huge and it would also be a postive sign that not all Arab countries are full of terrorists who want to destroy peace. Will it all happen, no of course it won’t, at least not now, but if you had asked me last year if Egypt and Saudi Arabia would condemn Hizbollah for attacking Israel I would of laughed at you. So there’s always hope.