A Message from the ADC Chairman, Hon. James G. Abourezk
FACTS AND COMMENTARY ABOUT THE CURRENT CONFLICT BETWEEN ISRAEL AND LEBANON.
Sen. James G. Abourezk
The Lebanese government has rejected the draft UN resolution on grounds that it does nothing to end the fighting between the Lebanese and the Israelis. Israel and President Bush have praised it, leaving no mystery as to which side the resolution favors.
Lebanon has proposed the following seven points as a means to a comprehensive peace (taken from a speech delivered to the United Nations by Lebanese Minister Mitri, July 31, 2006):
1. An undertaking to release the Lebanese and Israeli prisoners and detainees through the International Committee of the Red Cross.
2. The withdrawal of the Israeli army behind the Blue Line and the return of the displaced to their villages.
3. A commitment from the Security Council to place the Shebaa Farms and Kafr Shuba Hills under U.N. jurisdiction until border delineation and Lebanese sovereignty over them are fully settled. While in U.N. custody, the area will be accessible to Lebanese property owners there. Further, Israel surrenders all remaining land mine maps in south Lebanon to the United Nations.
4. The Lebanese government extends its authority over its territory through its own legitimate armed forces, such that there will be no weapons or authority other than that of the Lebanese state, as stipulated in the Taif national reconciliation accord.
5. The United Nations international force operating in south Lebanon is supplemented and enhanced in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operation, as needed, in order to undertake urgent humanitarian and relief work, and guarantees stability and security in the south, so that those who fled their homes can return.
6. The United Nations, in cooperation with the relevant parties, undertakes the necessary measures to once again put into effect the armistice agreement signed by Lebanon and Israel in 1949. And to ensure adherence to the provisions of that agreement, as well as to explore amendments to or developments of said provisions, as necessary.
7. The international community commits to support Lebanon on all levels and to assist it in facing the tremendous burden resulting from the human, social and economic tragedy which has afflicted [the] country, especially in the areas of relief, reconstruction and the rebuilding of national economy.
Provided Israel agrees to the following:
1. Israel must stop bombing and shelling Lebanon.
2. Israel must withdraw from Lebanese territory, including Shebaa Farms.
3. Israel must stop overflying Lebanese territory with its jets.
4. Israel must leave Lebanon alone.
5. Israel must swap its Lebanese prisoners.
The problem today is that none of the American news networks choose to relay what Lebanon is willing to do. CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and CBS have all been reporting a one sided story biased towards Israel. Political analysts on all of these channels continue to insist on an international force to insert itself into south Lebanon before there is any agreement with the Lebanese government. What they don't discuss is the complete unwillingness of any country to want to insert its troops in the south of the country before the Lebanese agree to it. No government in its right mind would want to take up the fight against Hezbollah that Israel cannot win.
Yet others also insist on the Lebanese Army disarming Hezbollah, forgetting that what they are proposing is a civil war in Lebanon. What many Lebanese see in Hezbollah is not an enemy, but a military group that has defended Lebanon against Israeli depredations. The Shia population (from which Hezbollah draws its numbers) make up about 40% of Lebanon's population, 100% of whom support Hezbollah. That figure has gone much higher since the Israeli invasion started.
The problem as I see it is that the American media, who have been cheerleading Israel since July 12th, refuses to allow anything but pro-Israeli opinion to grace their airwaves. We are bombarded with the Israeli Ambassadors here in America, with Benjamin Netanyahu, and countless reporters who are "embedded" amongst the Israeli military. The media certainly doesn't broadcast the Lebanese government's conditions for ending the fighting, allowing U.S. and Israeli officials to continue to lie about the facts in Lebanon, preventing the U.S. public from knowing who is shooting whom, all the while keeping the U.S. government position intact.
Except for Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, no one in Congress is willing to stand up to the Israeli Lobby and call for an immediate cease fire and for fairness for Lebanon. They, along with George Bush and Condi Rice have a lot of blood on their hands for remaining silent and for re-arming Israel which allows the slaughter to continue.
Lebanon may never be able to recover from the devastation made possible by U.S. weapons. Although it is likely that the American taxpayer will have to pay, not only for the bombs, shells and planes that destroyed that country, but for an