Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
Parents in UK Terror Plot Planned to Blow Up Themselves and Their Baby - Andy Soltis (New York Post)
Costa Rica to Move Israel Embassy Out of Jerusalem (Reuters)
Foreign Fighters Swell Taliban's Ranks - Michael Evans (Times-UK)
Hollywood Stars Blast Hizballah, Hamas - Yitzhak Benhorin (Ynet News)
Police in Tehran Remove Satellite Dishes - Nazila Fathi (New York Times)
Campus Groups Brace for Anti-Israel Campaign - Gary Rosenblatt (New York Jewish Week)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
The Lebanese government on Wednesday ordered army troops to deploy across southern Lebanon under a compromise arrangement that allows Hizballah to retain some of its arms caches near the border with Israel. (Washington Post)
See also Israel Wants UN to Block New Arms for Hizballah - Edith M. Lederer
Israel wants an expanded UN force to help monitor the Lebanese border to prevent Iran and Syria from replenishing Hizballah's weapons, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday in New York. "We expect that the international community, or that the new international force, will assist the Lebanese government to monitor the international borders in order to prevent Iran and Syria from rearmament of Hizballah," Livni said. She also accused Hizballah of violating the resolution's call to unconditionally release two Israeli soldiers whose capture sparked the conflict.
"We must ensure that the end result of the process will be the full and complete disarmament of Hizballah," Livni said. Earlier Wednesday, Livni met with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and said, "The war is not over yet....At first there was the military battle, then there was the diplomatic battle, and now it is crucial that the international community and the Lebanese government will implement fully Resolution 1701." (AP/Washington Post)
White House Spokesman Tony Snow said Wednesday: "The Lebanese armed forces are still preparing to begin to move south and it is going to be their job eventually to make sure that Hizballah is disarmed and is no longer functioning as an independent militia. And we expect that to happen, but it's going to take some time....But it's important to realize that the Lebanese government will be in charge of disarming Hizballah, and we expect that to happen." (White House)
See also Hizballah Says Disarmament Not an Option (Reuters)
As the returnees to Ainata in southern Lebanon took in the scope of the destruction, the victorious mood of a day earlier as they streamed back waving Hizballah flags quickly evaporated. In its place rose something new and rarely voiced: anger at Hizballah for having brought the ire of the Israeli army raining down on their village. Despite Hizballah's propaganda, there was no victory for the Lebanese people to celebrate, said local resident Ali Arbid. (Globe and Mail-Canada)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Wednesday that the IDF would halt its withdrawal from southern Lebanon if the Lebanese army did not deploy in the area within days. A senior General Staff officer told the committee, "The deployment of UNIFIL troops in south Lebanon is likely to take several months....Until then, IDF forces will be forced to stay in the field."
Halutz also said Israel was "successful in destroying 90 percent of [Hizballah's] long-range missiles." (Ha'aretz)
It was one of the most impressive battles in the war against Hizballah. Dozens of terrorists were killed, many weapons - including a 24-head rocket launcher - were destroyed, and not a single IDF soldier was hurt as a reserve paratroop brigade surprised Hizballah. Just days before the cease-fire, almost a thousand IDF soldiers were positioned behind enemy lines, attacking from the north against Hizballah positions that faced south toward Israel. (Ynet News)
St.-Sgt. Avraham, a paramedic with the Air Force's elite 669 search and rescue unit, was trained to treat the wounded while flying in a helicopter in complete darkness under enemy fire. The unit flew over 100 operational sorties into Lebanon during 33 days of fighting and evacuated and treated over 300 wounded soldiers. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Despite being cheered by many in the Arab world for its willingness to confront Israel and its ability to make life miserable for civilians in northern Israel, Hizballah's actions have only created greater fear among Arab leaders of Iranian attempts to create a "Shiite Arc" stretching through Iraq and ending in Lebanon. Moreover, in the coming months, Hizballah will discover that it has alienated most of the Lebanese population, including large numbers of Lebanese Shiites, because its aggressive actions produced a harsh Israeli response that has brought the destruction of significant areas and infrastructure in Lebanon, as well as a major loss of life. Ultimately, Hizballah will come out of this conflict considerably weakened. (Christian Science Monitor)
Forget about Hizballah being disarmed. It is just not going to happen. Hizballah doesn't want to be disarmed and there is nobody else willing to do it. Even if the Lebanese government had tried to force the army to do it, I think the army would have refused. A lot of its senior officers are loyal to President Emile Lahoud, the last leading ally of Syria to remain in office in Lebanon. Many people regard the Lebanese army as almost a proxy of Hizballah. The Shia contingent, which represents about 60 percent of all soldiers, would have refused to take on their Shia brothers in Hizballah.
It is clearly understood that the last thing that foreign countries sending troops to maintain the cease-fire want to do is to get involved in disarming Hizballah - or even in preventing Hizballah from reaching the border and attacking Israel. The countries willing to offer troops for the new UN mission want a political understanding to be in place at the start, that Hizballah won't attack Israel and that when they arrive in south Lebanon they will not find Hizballah still deployed in bunkers along the border. In effect, they want the UN force to be mainly a PR stunt to reassure the international community that the situation in Lebanon is under control. (Times-UK)
In 1978 France was the only country in the world that offered warm and sympathetic political refuge to the spiritual leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini. French Foreign Minister Douste-Blazy declared during a recent visit to Beirut that: "Iran constitutes a stabilizing force in the Middle East and it should be taken into account and included in any arrangement for restoring quiet to our region." He told Le Monde on August 12 that the purpose of the enlarged UNIFIL in southern Lebanon would not include the disarming of Hizballah by force.
Recently, French Maj.-Gen. Alain Pellegrini has commanded the UNIFIL force. Hizballah fortified its positions and brought in huge quantities of weapons and ammunition right under his nose. Did he warn of the arming of Hizballah by Iran and Syria? Did he prevent the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers? In any multinational force, France will not take upon itself the task of disarming Hizballah. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
A Cease-Fire Reality: Dealing With Syria - Dennis Ross (Washington Post)
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