Monday, December 7, 2009

Lebanese Hizballah to be on UN Security Council

By Barry Rubin

On January 1, Lebanon will become a member of the UN Security Council, having been elected last October by the General Assembly for a two-year term. The Lebanese government now includes a majority of ministers who are nominees of either Hizballah or of President Michael Suleiman, a Syrian and thus Iranian client. Hizballah also has a veto over government decisions.

This means that Hizballah will have a say in resolutions condemning Israel, managing peace-keeping operations in Lebanon, dealing with sanctions against Iran, and so on.

It was bad enough that a Libyan official chairs the General Assembly while Sudan, Algeria, and Iran virtually run the Human Rights Commission.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband stated in an interview that his government has concluded that "carefully considered contact with Hezbollah's politicians, including its MPs, will best advance our objective of the group rejecting violence to play a constructive role in Lebanese politics."

What does this “constructive role” mean? To say such a thing he has to ignore:

--Its refusal to disarm the Hizballah militia which is used for terrorism and intimidation within Lebanon.

--Forcing the government to agree that Hizballah can launch a war with Israel whenever it chooses.

--Sabotaging the UN peace-keeping effort in Lebanon through refusal to cooperate, including threatening, and sometimes carrying out, attacks against the UNIFIL troops.

--Kill the international tribunal examining Syrian and Hizballah involvement in terrorism within Lebanon including the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

--Representing Syrian and Iranian influence in Lebanon which is gradually becoming dominant.

---Blocking peace with Israel and Lebanese cooperation with the West.

--Ignoring the fact that there is no distinction between Hizballah “politicians” and gunmen. They both take orders from the same leaders and themselves deny any difference between the two groups.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books. To see or subscribe to his blog, Rubin Reports.

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