Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Shebaa Farms "dispute"

The UN resolution Security Council resolution 1701 (2006) takes “ ...due note of the proposals made in the [Lebanese/Arab] seven-point plan regarding the Shebaa farms area ...". This is a prime example of "clutching at straws..."

The following exerpt is from Wikipedia's article on the subject [my emphasis added]...

....The United Nations agreed with Israel that the area is not covered by United Nations UN Security Council Resolution 425, which governed the withdrawal from Lebanon, inasmuch as the Farms are not Lebanese territory, and the UN certified Israel's pullout.[15] At the same time the UN noted that its decision was "without prejudice to future border agreements between the Member States concerned," referring to Israel, Syria, and Lebanon.

The United Nations stated: "On 15 May 2000, the United Nations received a map, dated 1966, from the Government of Lebanon which reflected the Government's position that these farmlands were located in Lebanon. However, the United Nations is in possession of 10 other maps issued after 1966 by various Lebanese government institutions, including the Ministry of Defense and the army, all of which place the farmlands inside the Syrian Arab Republic. The United Nations has also examined six maps issued by the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, including three maps since 1966, which place the farmlands inside the Syrian Arab Republic."[35]

In a June 18, 2000 statement, the Security Council noted that Israel and Lebanon had confirmed to the Secretary General, that identification of the withdrawal line was solely the responsibility of the United Nations and that both sides would respect the line as identified. Moreover, the Security Council took note, "with serious concern," of reports of violations - by Hezbollah[36] - that had occurred since June 16, 2000, and called upon the parties to respect the line drawn by the United Nations.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in remarks to the press with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Foreign Minister of Spain Josep Pique, Foreign Minister of Russia Igor Ivanov, and European Union Senior Official Javier Solana in Madrid, Spain, on April 10, 2002, said: "With reference to the disturbances along the Blue Line emanating from Lebanese territory, I call on the Government of Lebanon and all relevant parties to condemn and prevent such violations. The Security Council itself confirmed in June 2000 that Israel had withdrawn from southern Lebanon in compliance with UN Security Council resolutions 425 and 426. Attacks at any point along the Blue Line, including in the Shebaa Farms area in the occupied Golan Heights, are violations of Security Council resolutions. Respect for decisions of the Security Council is the most basic requirement of international legitimacy."

More recently, the January 20, 2005 UN Secretary-General's report on Lebanon stated rather emphatically: "The continually asserted position of the Government of Lebanon that the Blue Line is not valid in the Shab'a farms area is not compatible with Security Council resolutions. The Council has recognized the Blue Line as valid for purposes of confirming Israel’s withdrawal pursuant to resolution 425 (1978). The Government of Lebanon should heed the Council’s repeated calls for the parties to respect the Blue Line in its entirety."[37] Timur Goksel, a spokesman for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) told the BBC that: "on all maps the UN has been able to find, the farms are seen on the Syrian side [of the border]."[38]

Along similar lines, John Bolton, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, said on April 26, 2006: "I think the overwhelming preponderance of the evidence is that Shebaa Farms is Syrian territory."[39]

Nancy Soderberg, the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, made a similar observation on July 21, 2006. She wrote that: "When it was clear the Israelis were going to withdraw fully from Lebanon, Syrian and Lebanese officials fabricated the fiction that this small, sparsely populated area was part of Lebanon. They even produced a crudely fabricated map to back up the dubious claim. I and United Nations officials went into the map room in the United Nations and looked at all the maps of the region in the files for decades. All showed the Shebaa Farms clearly in Syria."[40]

On May 19, 2005, an off-the-record discussion with an unnamed senior diplomat from an unidentified country at the Washington DC-based Brookings Institution luncheon reported that: "in drawing the 'Blue Line' in 2000, the United Nations looked at more than ninety different maps of the region. Only one of them — which was deemed a forgery — showed the Shebaa Farms as Lebanese."[41] ...
For more on the subject, go to the full article, or follow links below ...

Wikipedia Contents
1 Origins (1923–67)
1.1 UN Resolution 242 (1967)
2 Analysis of the dispute
2.1 Coastal Road massacre
2.2 Operation Litani and UN Resolution 425 (1978–2000)
2.3 Lebanon's claim (2000)
2.3.1 Lebanese media reaction to Lebanon's claim
2.4 Syrian position
2.5 UN reaction to Lebanon's claim
2.6 Reaction of the rest of world to Lebanon's claim
3 Miscellaneous
4 References
5 External links

External links
Bregman, Ahron (2002). Israel's Wars: A History Since 1947. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415287162
Shebaa Farms (5/25/000) BBC News
Security Council endorses Secretary-General's conclusion on Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon as of 16 June (6/18/00) UN
Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon given UN's endorsement (6/19/00) Telegraph
Thin Blue Line (6/23/00) Ze'ev Schiff, Ha'aretz
Fighting erupts over Shebaa Farms (4/14/01) BBC
Syria and the Shebaa Farms Dispute (5/01) with map) Middle East Intelligence Bulletin
Where is Shaaba Farms and why is there fighting over it? Palestine Facts
The key to Shebaa (4/25/05) Al Jazeera
Hezbollah to drop arms if Israel quits Shebaa (9/4/05) Ha'aretz
Shebaa farm history polemic (10/3/05) Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council
CIA World Factbook entry for Lebanon, referencing the dispute CIA

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