Tuesday, August 29, 2006

No more clandestine deals

From Ynet News, 28/8/06, by Yoel Bin Nun ...

We must not lift sea blockade on Lebanon as long as our abducted soldiers are not released. For this we need national and international pressure, not quiet diplomacy

Although a ceasefire is in force, the current campaign is not yet over. ...The Israeli navy is maintaining the sea blockade on the shores of Lebanon, and this is really exasperating the Lebanese people. This is the only thing that truly bothers them, testimony of this is their call on the entire international community to help lift it....Officially, Israel is saying that the blockade will only be lifted once it is replaced by an [arms] embargo .... However there is another important matter – the two abducted soldiers.

Don't believe in clandestine diplomacy
... I don't believe in clandestine diplomacy. This has never produced anything positive, just look at the secret agreements reached with the help of European mediation – the Olso Accords and all the ensuing tragedies that were forced on Yitzhak Rabin because of such clandestine diplomacy. Even the Elhanan Tenenbaum deal and other shady prisoner exchanges were formulated in this manner. The Egyptians and Hizbullah are reporting that such a deal is currently in the making, and common sense says that this is probably the case.

Strengthening evil Sheik's power
Any clandestine deal strengthens the evil Sheik's power, and this could ruin the little we achieved in this war ...It is crucial, therefore that we demand that the abducted soldiers be transferred to the Lebanese government and that only Lebanon as a sovereign state will have the right to negotiate for their release.

...In other words: The sea blockade of the Lebanese coastline will not be lifted unless the two abducted soldiers are transferred to the Lebanese government ... The prime minister can argue his case for accepting the ceasefire..... However, he cannot stand up against the captives' parents and the public and argue the case of lifting the sea blockade without at least transferring the soldiers to the Lebanese government.

Foreign agent on behalf of Syria and Iran
The only thing that's really pressuring the Sheikh is the increasing accusations in Lebanon that he is acting as a foreign agent on behalf of Syria and Iran (which of course is true).

Therefore, Nasrallah will find it very difficult to refuse specific demands made by Beirut's government. Beirut, on its part, is not too eager to enter into a conflict with the Shiite organization and will only do so if it has no choice.

Perhaps it will do so if UN Secretary General, heads of European states and the US Secretary of State make it quite clear to the Lebanese government that there is no other way to lift the Israeli imposed sea blockade – and they on their part will do so if the Israeli government will abide by a sharp and hardened stance......

Also from Ynet News, 28/8/06, by Associated Press ...

UN Chief urges Hizbullah to release Israeli soldiers

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan chided both Israel and Hizbullah on Monday, saying they could not "choose and pick" parts of a UN ceasefire resolution to implement. He demanded that the organization release two captured Israeli soldiers and Israel lift a blockade on Lebanon ....."Without the full implementation of resolution 1701, I fear the risk is great for renewal of hostilities," he continued

The top UN diplomat also said he was renewing his "call for the abducted soldiers to be free." He urged Hizbullah to transfer them to the Lebanese government "or a third party" under the auspices of the international Red Cross. "We, the UN, will be prepared to play a role if we are required to do so. And I offer our services," he added.

....Annan obliquely renewed the U.N.'s call for Hizbullah's disarmament. "In Lebanon there should, as we have all agreed, be one law, one authority, one gun," he said.

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