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UNIFIL: Objectively Pro-Hezbollah

That’s the only thing one can conclude after reading things like this:

Ambassador Dan Carmon, head of Israel’s UN delegation, met with the commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Maj.-Gen. Claudio Graziano on Friday over the remarks he made about Israel.

On Thursday Graziano accused Israel of unilaterally violating United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, the cease-fire agreement that ended the 34-day Second Lebanon War between Israel and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah. . . .

The Italian general, meanwhile, said that Hezbollah recognizes Resolution 1701, and that the militant Lebanese group and UNIFIL forces enjoy excellent cooperation with one another. He added that apart from UN and Lebanese soldiers and local hunters, no one is armed south of the Litani River.

When asked about the smuggling of weapons into Lebanon, Graziano said he could not ensure that the area under his jurisdiction would be impenetrable, though he said there is no evidence of arms smuggling nor has there been movement of armed gunmen.

This is, of course, fantasy-talk of a high order. Even Lebanese groups are exasperated with Graziano’s constant apologies for Hezbollah. But I don’t think such statements are caused by any special animus toward Israel. They are caused by pure fear — the fear that if UNIFIL should say or do anything to upset the delicate and self-preservational dance between blue helmets and yellow flags in Lebanon, peacekeepers will be killed, and UNIFIL’s failure and corruption will become front-page news.

UNIFIL has long been captive to the familiar bureaucratic imperative of ensuring, first and foremost, its own survival, both physical and institutional. UNIFIL’s mission thus becomes not the implementation of UN Resolution 1701, but the prevention of a Hezbollah attack on its forces. This requires UNIFIL’s commander to say that Hezbollah is complying just perfectly with 1701, whereas the Israelis, who do not express their dissatisfaction by slaughtering peacekeepers, are violating it every time they fly a plane over Lebanon to take pictures of . . . well, of Hezbollah’s violations of 1701.



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