Powered by WebAds

Friday, September 01, 2006

Eleventh hour for Israel and the reconstituted UNIFIL

It's already the eleventh hour for Israel and the reconstituted UNIFIL. That's my conclusion anyway from reading Caroline Glick's column in today's Jerusalem Post. I'm going to give you a few excerpts, but it's got so much packed into it that you simply must read the whole thing:

Resolution 1701 restricts Israel's freedom of action in three additional ways. First, the resolution named Ahmadinejad's solicitor, Kofi Annan, as arbiter of the sides' compliance. Annan revealed how he will be using this authority two weeks ago when he condemned the IDF's commando raid in Baalbek while beginning his calls for Israel to lift its air and sea blockade of Lebanon and so enable Hizbullah to rearm, not only by land, but by air and sea as well.

Second, although Olmert and Livni loudly champion the European forces being deployed to Lebanon as an important diplomatic achievement, the fact is that the decision to empower the EU to dominate UNIFIL is disastrous for Israel. While protesting their "love" for Israel, the Europeans are making no bones about the fact that their decision to lead UNIFIL is motivated by their intention to prevent Israel from defending itself.

Italy's Communist Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema made this point clearly in his interview last Friday with Ha'aretz. There he explained that the EU goal in Lebanon is to "prove to Israel that it can ensure its security better through the politics of peace than through war."


So by deploying troops to UNIFIL, the Europeans will show us that the only way to contend with enemies who wish to destroy us is by appeasement and more appeasement.

The Europeans and Annan also do not hide the fact that they plan to use their deployment in Lebanon as a springboard for achieving greater influence on Israel in its dealings with the Palestinians. In this vein, D'Alema stated, "I think if things go well in Lebanon, a similar positive process could also begin in the Gaza Strip: The release of [Israeli hostage Cpl. Gilad] Shalit, a Palestinian unity government that meets the criteria set by the international community, and the presence of a UN force to bolster the Palestinian government."
But the big bombshell is the troops from Muslim countries. Those of us who keep up with events in Israel have been vaguely aware - for example - that Indonesia and Malaysia are implacably anti-semitic countries. Some of us were even aware of the Choudhury case (discussed below). This goes well beyond that:

IF THE above is insufficient to convince us that the expanded UNIFIL force, whose arrival is so eagerly awaited by Olmert-Livni-Peretz, is not a good thing for Israel, there's also the Islamic element of the proposed force. Both Annan and the Europeans are insisting that a force of up to 7,000 soldiers from Muslim countries be included in the UNIFIL force. These soldiers are set to be sent by Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey. All of these countries are commonly referred to as "moderate Muslim countries." This assertion bears investigation.

The jihadist party Jamaat-e-Islami is a member of Bangladesh's coalition government. Its student activists recently sent death threats to two prominent intellectuals for teaching the country's youth the values of secularism, democracy and science.

Furthermore, in November 2003, Bengali journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury was arrested as he waited to board a flight to Bangkok with continuing service to Tel Aviv. Choudhury, who was set to attend a conference in Israel about how the media can promote peace, was accused of sedition and spying for Israel. He was repeatedly tortured during his 17-month incarceration. Bangladesh plans to send 2,000 soldiers to Lebanon.

Then there is Indonesia, the largest Muslim state. As punishment for inciting the terror bombings in Bali in 2002 that killed 202 people, the not-particularly-independent Indonesian judiciary sentenced Jemaah Islamiyah leader Abu Bakar Bashir to 30 months in prison, the last five of which were commuted in June.

In May, Ahmadinejad was received by roaring crowds during a visit to Jakarta. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal Tuesday, Indonesian Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono said he believed the best way to secure south Lebanon was for Hizbullah forces to be "absorbed" into the Lebanese army.

As the war in Lebanon raged, the Malaysian government called for all nations of the world to cut off diplomatic relations with Israel. This week, senior Malaysian officials said that there was no justification for the West's opposition to Iran's nuclear program.

Of all the Muslim countries who are planning to contribute forces to UNIFIL, Turkey is the only one that has diplomatic relations with Israel. As a result, to date, its forces are the only ones the Olmert-Livni-Peretz government is willing to see deployed in Lebanon. Two weeks ago, during a visit with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Olmert said, "Turkey plays an important role in the Middle East and will continue to do so." He added, "Israel has confidence in Turkey."

While until the formation of the AKP's Islamist government in 2002 it made sense for Israeli prime ministers to say such things, today such statements are unjustified. Over the past four years, Turkey has been transformed from a stalwart US and Israeli ally into one of the most overtly anti-American and anti-Semitic states in the world. By the same token, Turkey has gone to great lengths to warm its relations with the Arab world and Iran.

During the war, IDF Military Intelligence discovered that Iran was shipping weapons to Hizbullah through Turkey. After Hamas's electoral victory in January, Turkish Prime Minister Recip Erdogan was the first international leader to host Hamas terror leaders in an official visit. During the war, Erdogan announced Turkey's support for Hizbullah, saying that "nobody should expect us to be neutral and impartial."
For those who missed it, there were three terror attacks in Turkey this week. Kurdish rebels took responsibility for two attacks in Istanbul and Marmaris on Sunday. There was a third attack in Antalya on Tuesday, for which no group took responsibility. Antalya is a very popular resort with Israelis (many Israelis visit Istanbul as well, but nowhere near as many as visit Antalya). I'd bet on the Islamists for that one. Read it all.


Post a Comment

<< Home