Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Rhetoric, like the Weather, is Hot

We are heading for another heatwave by the end of the week with temeratures here in Haifa heading for 37C (100F). The Palestinians in Gaza are suffering again at the hands of their leaders as the supply of electricity is the latest subject of conflict between Fatah and Hamas, while the European Union has frozen payments due to Hamas syphoning off some of the money for its own agenda. Meanwhile, some 600,000 citizens have little or no electricity.

Also a "hot" subject is the renewal of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, following the second Lebanon war last year.

Has it helped? I feel like most of my friends, very sceptical. Without getting into the siscussion of who won or lost, the fact is, that this resolution, like so many others has been only partially implemented, and the vital provisions have been left unattended :

1) South Lebanon was not demilitarized and Hezbollah and the other terrorist organizations remained and were not disarmed

2) Iran and Syria continue replenishing Hezbollah's arsenal and rehabilitating its military force

3) The arms embargo has not been effectively enforced and weapons are steadily smuggled into Lebanon from Syria

4) No significant progress has been made in the issue of the abducted IDF soldiers.

Further, Hizbullah is buying up large tracts of land owned by Christians and other non-Shias in southern Lebanon as the militant group rebuilds its defenses in preparation for a new war with Israel. The forested wadis, or valleys, north of the Litani River make ideal terrain for Hizbullah's brand of guerrilla warfare and, just 10 miles from the border, are within rocket range of Israeli cities.

"Christians and Druze are selling land and moving out, while the Shia are moving in. There is an extraordinary demographic shift taking place," said Edmund Rizk, a former Christian MP for the area. Wealthy Shia businessman Ali Tajeddine, who made his fortune trading diamonds in Sierra Leone, is said to be using Iranian funds to buy land from destitute villagers at up to four times the going rate.

Critics fear a grand scheme to create a strip of Shia-controlled land connecting southern Lebanon to Hizbullah's other power center in the Bekaa Valley. "It is part of Hizbullah's plan to create a state within a state," said Walid Jumblatt, a Druze leader. He also pointed to the four-lane road being built to connect the Hizbullah stronghold of Nabatiye in the south to the western Bekaa. Banners openly proclaim the source of the road's funding: "510 km of new roads paid for by the Iranian Organization for Sharing in the Building of Lebanon."

Yes, there is cause for concern not just here in the north but throughout the whole country

No comments: