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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Annan 'mediation envoy' is fiercely anti-Israel

UN Secretary General Kofi Goofy Annan wants to 'mediate' between Israel and Hezbullah over the exchange of prisoners terrorists for kidnapped IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. So he has appointed a 'mediator' who is fiercely anti-Israel.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has decided to appoint his former special adviser Lakhdar Brahimi to mediate a possible agreement for swapping Lebanese prisoners in return for freeing the reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, The Jerusalem Post has learned. Brahimi recently publicly expressed his support for talking directly with Hizbullah.

Annan announced his intention of taking on the prisoner swap mediation during a visit to Saudi Arabia Monday. "I will appoint a person to work secretly with the two sides... I will not announce his name today or tomorrow," Annan said. [How clever. That way he doesn't have to defend his choice. CiJ]

The Post has learned from UN sources that the person will be Brahimi, one of Annan's most trusted advisers.

Although Israeli officials repeated Tuesday that they did not ask Annan to appoint a mediator, and that Israel expected the unconditional release of the two soldiers as called for by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, they also did not rule out having talks with him.


Hizbullah officials did not turn down the UN's mediation offer and said they are willing to discuss a prisoner swap. [Of course they didn't turn it down. That's what they wanted from the day the war began. CiJ]

In an op-ed article published in The New York Times after the end of the war, Brahimi called on the international community to open talks with Hizbullah, arguing that it would be a much more effective policy than ignoring the group [The article requires that you be registered for 'New York Times Select.' I refuse to pay for anything from the Times, so I cannot get to the article. CiJ]. In a separate interview during the war, he claimed that Israel had killed more Lebanese children than Hizbullah fighters and said that Israel "can't say this is collateral damage."

Brahimi was the foreign minister of Algeria in the early 1990s and later served in several senior UN roles, among them special representative to Afghanistan after the war. He also compiled a report in 2000 dealing with the problems of the UN peacekeeping missions.

A UN spokesman in New York, Farhan Haq, would not address the question of the identity of the special envoy, saying he would have no comment on the issue.
This is beyond ridiculous. The UN was always anti-Israel, but I don't recall even Kurt Waldheim (whose Nazi past did not come out until years after he left the UN) being this blatant.


At 9:18 PM, Blogger Concerned UCI Student said...

Hope this makes it in its entirety: Back to Document View
LexisNexis™ Academic

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
The New York Times

August 18, 2006 Friday
Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section A; Column 2; Editorial Desk; Pg. 17

LENGTH: 829 words

HEADLINE: Start Talking to Hezbollah

BYLINE: By Lakhdar Brahimi.

Lakhdar Brahimi is a former special adviser to the United Nations Secretary General.


WHAT 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.

Rather than helping in the so-called global war on terror, recent events have benefited the enemies of peace, freedom and democracy. The region is boiling with resentment, anger and despair, feelings that are not leading young Arabs and Palestinians toward the so-called New Middle East.

Nor are these policies helping Israel. Israel's need for security is real and legitimate, but it will not be secured in any sustainable way at the expense of the equally real and legitimate needs and aspirations of its neighbors. Israel and its neighbors could negotiate an honorable settlement and live in peace and harmony. As often happens in complex conflict situations, however, the parties cannot do it alone. They need outside help but are not getting it.

It is perhaps too early to draw lessons from this month of madness. What is clear, however, is that Hezbollah scored a political victory and its leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, has become the most popular figure in the Muslim world. As for Israel, it does not seem to have achieved its stated objectives. Should these trends continue, it is hard to imagine stability coming to the region soon.

So what can be done? The international community should take several steps -- some concrete, some conceptual -- to address the current crisis.

First, priority must be given to ensuring Lebanon's unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity and the full implementation of the 1989 Taif accord, which I helped negotiate on behalf of the Arab League. This agreement specifically required that the Lebanese government, like all states, have a monopoly over the possession of weapons and the use of force.

Second, we must recall that Hezbollah came into existence as a consequence of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Like all movements, it has evolved: it was initially a militia and a resistance movement against foreign occupation. It then developed into both a political party and a social organization, providing valuable services to its impoverished community.

Rather than trying to isolate Hezbollah, we should be encouraging it to play a responsible role in the internal dynamics of Lebanon. It would then, in turn, be legitimate to expect Hezbollah to accept the Lebanese state's exclusive right to possess armaments and use force.

Third, it is something of a paradox to ask Iran and Syria to sever relations with Hezbollah while asking them to use their influence to obtain its compliance with the cease-fire resolution. Would it not be more effective to demand that both countries, as well as all other states in the region and beyond, scrupulously respect Lebanon's sovereignty and abstain from interfering in its internal affairs?

Fourth, the most valuable contribution Israel can make to lasting peace across its northern border is to withdraw its troops from all the territory it currently occupies, including the Shebaa Farms.

Finally, urgent and sustained attention must be focused on the problem that underlies the unrest in the Middle East: the Palestinian issue. A wealth of United Nations resolutions and other agreements already exist that provide a basis for a just and viable solution to the Middle East conflict.

One approach could be for a team of mediators to be mandated by the Security Council and an international conference (including the Arab League) to take on the formidable task of reviving the pre-existing agreements that work best and then seeing that they are put in place.

If the United States and other key countries could see this conflict through a different lens, there could be a real chance for peace. This would be the best way to signal genuine respect and atonement for the suffering inflicted on so many innocent people for so many years.

URL: http://www.nytimes.com

LOAD-DATE: August 18, 2006

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