The Foreign Ministry has advised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to initiate the drafting of a United Nations Security Council resolution on the terms for ending the war in the Gaza Strip, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday.
He said the ministry believes such a move would minimize Hamas’ international legitimacy and advance Israeli interests, such as disarming Gaza and returning the Palestinian Authority to the Strip.
The ministry’s director general, Nissim Ben Shetrit, sent a document to National Security Advisor Yossi Cohen last week in which he proposed a “diplomatic exit plan” from the conflict in Gaza. The document was drafted by a ministry task force comprised of representatives from the diplomatic planning department, the international affairs department and the political research department. The senior official said the document was sent to Netanyahu for his perusal.
In the document, the ministry proposed an Israeli diplomatic initiative to end the fighting via a Security Council resolution, similar to the way the Second Lebanon War of 2006 was ended.
Resolution 1701, which ended that war, called for southern Lebanon to be disarmed of all rockets and heavy weaponry, stated that the Lebanese army, which answers to the government in Beirut, would be the only legal military force south of the Litani River, and significantly expanded UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon.
The ministry suggested two ways of advancing a similar Security Council resolution on Gaza. The first is to reach an agreement on Gaza with several countries that have interests in common with Israel, such as Egypt, the United States, the major European countries and the Palestinian Authority, and then bring it to the Security Council for approval. This is similar to how the agreement to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons was reached.
The second option is simply to draft a Security Council resolution together with the United States, Britain, France and other friendly council members.
The Israeli official said the Foreign Ministry believes that if Israel initiates such a move and acts in coordination with the U.S., Egypt and the PA, it can advance several of its diplomatic interests: first, setting up an international mechanism to disarm Gaza and supervise the entry of building materials, money and arms into the Strip; second, returning the Palestinian Authority to Gaza and stationing security forces loyal to PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the border crossings; and third, strengthening the alliance with Egypt.
The idea of using a Security Council resolution to end the war in Gaza was raised by several ministers during meetings of the diplomatic-security cabinet, including Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is also studying this idea as one possible way of ending the war. Ya’alon believes that if efforts to reach a cease-fire via Egyptian mediation fail, America should take the lead in passing a Security Council resolution.
Livni was foreign minister in 2006, and was the main Israeli drafter of Resolution 1701. I would expect such 'brilliance' from her. But Resolution 1701 has been a disaster for Israel, and has left Hezbullah with 40-60,000 rockets sitting on our northern border. It has worked out no better than Ehud Barak's unilateral withdrawal from Southern Lebanon in 2000.

For those with time, I did a paragraph by paragraph analysis of 1701 and everything that was wrong with it here. But let's look back at some things 1701 did not do. From here:
In a meeting tonight with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, Ehud Olmert showed how little he understands of the resolution to which his English-and-diplomacy deficient foreign minister Tzipi Livni agreed in the UN. During his meeting with Lavrov, Olmert said the following:
Until the kidnapped soldiers are released, there will not be full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1701. Israel is implementing its side of the resolution, and thus, Lebanon must do the same and release the two kidnapped soldiers immediately.
There are two problems with Olmert's formulation. First, it's not Lebanon that is holding the soldiers but Hezbullah, and Hezbullah doesn't regard itself as being bound by UN Security Council resolution 1701. It's not a state, not a UN member, and the resolution was not addressed to it. Second, UN Security Council resolution 1701 would not require Lebanon to release Regev and Goldwasser (the two kidnapped Israeli soldiers) even if it held them. The only time Regev and Goldwasser are mentioned is in Preparatory Paragraph 3, and that paragraph is not part of the substantive resolution. In my comments on the resolution on August 12, I noted the following:
PP3. Emphasizing the need for an end of violence, but at the same time emphasizing the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crisis, including by the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers, [Note that this is in the Preparatory Paragraphs and not in the Operational ones. It doesn't mean anything. We have two more Ron Arad's. CiJ]
This evening, Olmert put only one of the final two nails into Regev's and Goldwasser's coffins: He lifted the aerial blockade on Lebanon, but left the naval blockade intact "because the international force was not yet in a position to enforce the arms embargo to Hizbullah." So if Hezbullah wants to move Goldwasser and Regev to - for example - Iran, they will have to fly them out of Lebanon or move them overland and cannot put them on a boat. The bottom line is that if (and it's a big if) they are still alive, Olmert pretty much signed their death warrants this evening. By lifting the blockades on Lebanon, he is giving up the last bit of (admittedly flimsy) leverage he had to win their release.
There's more.
Caroline Glick correctly called 1701 the "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."
In another post the same day, I wrote:
In today's Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer reminds us that Hezbullah won the propaganda war but lost the military battle on the ground. Krauthammer believes that Israel inflicted enough damage - despite Olmert's weak leadership - to prevent Hezbullah from initiating a second round, if what he calls the resolutions to disarm Hezbullah are implemented. The problem is that UN Security Council Resolution 1701 is not self-executing with respect to disarming Hezbullah, and all indications so far have been that the world does not plan on doing the job. Therefore, I cannot share Krauthammer's apparent optimism.
And the weekend that Resolution 1701 was adopted, I blogged this article by Barry Rubin:
Barry Rubin has a cold analysis (not an emotional one like I would write) of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. The entire analysis is worth reading, but here's what I consider the most important part:


But the central contradiction in the document is between OP11 and OP12. OP11 basically makes UNIFIL action dependent on the Lebanese government asking for help. In other words, only if the government asks UNIFIL to fight against terrorists in southern Lebanon or interdict arms smuggling can it act.

It should be noted that the Lebanese armed forces are a polite fiction. Just as Hizbullah is part of the government coalition, it has also deeply infiltrated the army. Half or even more of the soldiers sympathize with Hizbullah and will not do anything to - as they think of it - "protect" Israel from attack. It is not a highly disciplined military with a reliable chain of command. If a Lebanese soldier fires at Hizbullah, the entire army could split into two warring factions, something the government and politicians will want to avoid at any cost.

Yet OP12 says UNIFIL can take "all necessary action" in its area of deployment to fulfill its mission. This could be interpreted, for example, to mean that the UNIFIL units will attack terrorists south of the Litani without being explicitly asked to do so by the Lebanese government. Everything depends on who will command UNIFIL and what its rules of engagement are going to be. Will it honestly report violations or just look the other way? Will it only do what the Lebanese government expressly asks or take action to prevent cross-border attacks?

A lot will also depend on what strategy Hizbullah adapts and what Damascus and Teheran urge it to do. There is no chance of Hizbullah being destroyed, disarmed or moderated. But it can choose how high a profile it will have.
Would Hamas consider it bound by a Security Council resolution any more than Hezbullah did?

Who would disarm Hamas and make sure that it didn't rebuild? EUBAM, which fled when Hamas took over Gaza?
Does anyone remember the last time an 'international force' was supposed to protect a truce between Israel and the 'Palestinians'? How many of you remember EUBAM? (Some material quoted from here).

Earlier this week French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said, “We all understand why there must be no more arms in this enclosed Gaza Strip.” But he added that he believed the EU could help prevent that.

The EU “can easily monitor the cargoes of boats heading for Gaza. We can do this. We want to do it and we would do it very willingly.”

He also called for the EU to send its monitors, otherwise known as the European Border Assistance Mission, back to the Rafah crossing from Gaza into Egypt, which was built for pedestrian passage.

The work of those monitors was halted for security reasons, after the 2007 coup in which Hamas threw Fatah out of Gaza.

Fatah was stationed on the Gaza side of all four crossings: Rafah on the Egyptian border and the Israeli border crossings of Kerem Shalom, Karni and Erez.

All agreements relating to those crossings involved Israel and the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas.

EUBAM in Rafah operated under a 2005 agreement, which it had with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Since 2007 its representatives have sat in Ashkelon, under the terms of the 2005 agreement, in hopes that they would be able to return to Rafah.

Last week Egypt opened the Rafah borders, as it has done intermittently in the last three years, without EUBAM.

Diplomatic sources said if EUBAM returned it would be under the terms of the 2005 agreement. The sources did not address the the internal conflict between Fatah and Hamas, which to date has made it impossible to revive that agreement.

If anything, the sources said, the EU wants to also station EUBAM at the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings, where goods now enter the area. They did not mention the Erez pedestrian crossing.
Isn't this amazing: EUBAM inspectors have been paid for the last three years to sit in Ashkelon and do nothing. Sounds just like the Fatah 'employees' in Gaza, doesn't it? Nice work if you can get it. Oh, and also unmentioned is how the Europeans left Gaza in 2007 - they brush over that by saying it happened as a result of the Hamas coup. The truth is that the Europeans fled and no one would be surprised if they did so again.

Would you want to rely on these 'inspectors'?

What would the rules of engagement be for any international force in Gaza? Would they need someone else's permission to act? Whose? Fatah's? 

A 1701-like resolution is a really dumb idea.

But wait - our foreign minister is Avigdor Lieberman, who is one of the ministers who has been pushing to eliminate Hamas as part of the current operation. Did he authorize the foreign ministry to do this?

Oh wait, the foreign ministry is full of Leftists, and Israeli Leftists do whatever they can to undermine any government with which they don't agree, whether they are part of it or not.

What could go wrong?