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Lebanon's Bankruptcy and UN Treachery:
The Shebaa Farms Mock-Dispute
by Jared Israel

[21 August 2006 - Rewritten 31 August 2006]

Note: if you've reached this page from footnote #1 in the Arutz Sheva article, "Shebaa Farms and UN Deceit," the information on the Golan Heights that you are looking for is here.

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You probably don't know the following because nobody quotes the relevant text.

On 22 May 2000, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan issued a report on implementing Security Council Resolution 425, calling for Israel to withdraw from southern Lebanon and for Lebanon to take charge of the area Israel vacated. That part is well known; whatís not is that Annanís report mocked Lebanon and Syria for clumsily fabricating the claim that Lebanon had sovereignty over a small but important area known as Shebaa Farms, part of the Golan Heights. (The militarily strategic [1] Golan Heights looms above northern Israel; Israel seized it from Syria during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.)

Kofi Annan's report, whose relevant section is reproduced below, did not discuss the motive for the bogus claim, but that became obvious after Israel withdrew: to enable Lebanon to argue that Israel still occupied some Lebanese territory, thus allowing Hezbollah (and Lebanon) to present Hezbollah's kidnapping and killing of Israeli soldiers and its shelling of and raids into Israeli communities as 'resistance' aimed at forcing Israel to relinquish Lebanese lands.

Syria supported Lebanon's claim for the obvious reason that it also wished to give Hezbollah a pretext for terror, but Syria's support has been weak, as Lebanese PM Siniora complained on US Television, because Syria doesnít want to actually surrender its own claim to Shebaa Farms. [2]

So, wherein lies the UN's duplicity? 

* Despite knowing - and, in diplomatic language, stating! - that the Shebaa Farms issue was the purest baloney;

* Despite the fact that Shebaa Farms has been used for six years by Hezbollah, with Lebanon's support, [3] to justify Hezbollah's ongoing war;

* Despite the fact that launching an unjustified war is the greatest war crime;

* Nevertheless, neither the UN, nor any of its members, including the US, ever even suggested that Lebanon is criminally guilty. Rather, Lebanon has been described as a victim of Israel and (to a lesser extent) of Hezbollah. The whitewash is so complete that Lebanon's Justice minister recently boasted: "During the term of this government, Lebanon has become the pampered son of the international community." [4] Everyone (the US included) competes over sending $$millions to rebuild Lebanon; not a cent is pledged to rebuild Israel, hit by thousands of missiles.

The deceit of the so-called international community has been extreme, with the UN Security Council a) every year expressing grave concern over the fighting around Israel's northern border, while avoiding Lebanon's criminal role and criticizing Israel for her (minimal) acts of self-defense; b) every year repeating that Lebanon should speedily (!) dispatch troops to take charge of southern Lebanon, in accord with Resolution 425, even though Lebanon not only sent no troops but openly  backed Hezbollah [5] and c) every year renewing the term of UNIFIL (the UN Interim Force in Lebanon), charged with certifying Israel's withdrawal (a dead issue after May 2000) and with helping Lebanon deploy to the border. By renewing UNIFIL at Lebanon's request every year, and never denouncing Lebanon for using Shebaa Farms as a pretext for war, the UN provided Lebanon/Hezbollah with a cover for jihad.

And now the UN's US-French-sponsored cease fire endorses negotiations over the Shebaa Farms 'dispute,' thus giving UN approval, after the fact, to six years of jihad by Hezbollah and Lebanon, with Iranian and Syrian support - jihad justified by an 'issue' the UN dismissed as a clumsy fraud six years ago.

Beyond belief.

Annan's May 22, 2000 UN report can be read here

The key paragraphs is #17:

[Excerpt from UN report starts here]

17. 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 Defence 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. On the basis of the Agreement on Disengagement between Israeli and Syrian forces of 31 May 1974 and its Protocol concerning the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which included maps initialed by Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic, the Shab'a farmlands fall within the scope of the area of operations of UNDOF. The area coming under the mandate of UNDOF has remained unchanged until the present time. It follows that in adopting resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978), the Security Council could not have included as part of the UNIFIL area of operations an area which had already formed part of the UNDOF area of operations. It is worth noting that, notwithstanding the conflicting evidence to which I have alluded, and whatever the present understanding between Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic, these farmlands lie in an area occupied by Israel since 1967 and are therefore subject to Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) calling for an Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory. (A total of 81 maps were available to the United Nations from various sources dating from before and after 1966; 25 of these were issued by the Governments of Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic.)

[Excerpt ends here]

Even as Kofi Annan mockingly dismissed the Shebaa Farms claim, his duplicity is evident in the above remarks about Security Council Resolution 242 and the Golan Heights. Israel seized this 400 square miles strategic area from Syria during the Six Days War in 1967. Aside from the question of whether Syria ever had a legitimate claim to the Golan Heights [6], from the time Israel and Syria signed an armistice agreement in 1949 until the 1967 war, "Syria used its position on the Heights to shell Israeli farms and settlements in the Galilee below and to attack Israeli water projects in the Huleh Valley." [7] Indeed, Syria's shelling of northern Israel was one of the root causes of the '67 war.

 

Contrary to Kofi Annan, Resolution 242 does not dictate Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. Enacted after the 1967 war, it calls for "the application of both the following principles..." One is Israel's withdrawal from (unspecified) territories "occupied in the recent conflict". But the other and clearly central principle is the "Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force." (My emphasis.) [8]

 

Notice that  Resolution 242 did not call for Arab states merely to make a verbal show of peace in exchange for territory, but to "respect" Israel's right to a secure existence.  How did Syria respond? In the 33 years between the passage of Resolution 242 and Annan's 22 May 2000 report, Syria's state-controlled media continually broadcast calls to destroy Israel, while the government granted arms, money, free transit and a base of operations for terrorists acting on that call. Syria continually violated the central point of Resolution 242, its call for Arab regimes to stop trying to destroy Israel. How grotesque for Mr. Annan to cite Resolution 242 to bash Israel in the very report where he mocked Syria and Lebanon for Lebanon's bogus claim to Shebaa Farms, a claim whose only purpose could have been, and has proven to be, providing what Resolution 242 called a "[claim] of belligerency," that is, a pretext for six years of war on Israel's northern border, in direct contradiction to Resolution 242's  assertion that every Mideast country must be allowed "to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."

 

Shame! 

 

 

[Footnotes and Further Reading follows the fundraising appeal]

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Footnotes and Further Reading

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[1] The Golan Heights looms above northern Israel and southwestern Syria.  Seized by Israel from Syria during the Six Days War in 1967, it is militarily strategic. This is noted in an important US military document.

In June 1967, shortly after the Six Days War between Israel and the Arab states, US Secretary of Defense McNamara asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff for an appraisal of Israel's minimal needs to defend against Arab attack.  In the report, which was kept secret until the early 1980s, one of the areas the Joint Chiefs described as vital for Israel was the Golan Heights, just seized from Syria. (This includes the Shebaa Farms area.)  Here's what they wrote:

"b. Syrian Territory Contiguous to Israel. Israel is particularly sensitive to the prevalence of terrorist raids and border incidents in this area. The presently occupied territory, the high ground running generally north-south on a line with Qnaitra about 15 miles inside the Syrian border, would give Israel control of the terrain which Syria has used effectively in harassing the border area."
--- Earle G. Wheeler, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, "Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense", JCSM-373-67, 29 June 1967, published in Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Winter, 1984), University of California Press, p. 123 (pp. 122-126)Posted in full at
http://emperor.vwh.net/israel/pentagon.pdf

[2] The transcript of Prime Minister Siniora's remarks about Shebaa Farms and his complaints about Syria, which could have been written by the Marx Brothers, are posted as part of a comment by Jared Israel, at
http://emperors-clothes.com/archive/nightline.htm#groucho

[3] Lebanon's Minister of Information endorsed Hezbollah's terror on US TV in October 2000, as quoted here:
http://emperors-clothes.com/archive/nightline.htm#kidnap
The Lebanese Daily Star reported that the Lebanese parliament voted to back the Siniora government's call to support Hezbollah's 'war of resistance' in July 2005. The Star article is archived in full at
http://emperors-clothes.com/06war/29july.htm

[4] The BBC Worldwide Monitoring translation of the 27 August 2006 interview with Lebanese Justice Minister Charles Rizq, published by the London-based newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat, is posted at
http://emperors-clothes.com/interviews/rizq.htm

[5] http://emperors-clothes.com/archive/nightline.htm#kidnap

[6] The question of the strained legality of Syria's claim to the Golan Heights is discussed in the "The Peace Encyclopedia" at http://peace.heebz.com/golan.html#whatis

[7] ibid.

[8] Resolution 242 can be accessed here.


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