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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Tragedy mars escape from besieged Lebanon village by Sammy Ketz

Tragedy mars escape from besieged Lebanon village

by Sammy Ketz 2 hours, 1 minute ago
JEB JANNIN, Lebanon (AFP) - As she was preparing to flee from her native village of Marjayun, Violette Ablah had insisted on taking with her the essential ingredients used by any good Lebanese coo
Now her four jars of olive oil-drenched cheese and a dozen damaged boxes of tahini (sesame paste) lie in a Mercedes with a flattened roof, smeared with blood.
Violette, her daughter and her brother-in-law were part of a convoy of vehicles carrying 4,000 mainly Christian refugees fleeing their village of Marjayun when they were attacked on Friday by Israeli air strikes.
The convoy of 1,300 cars, which included 350 soldiers whose barracks had been occupied by Israeli soldiers a day earlier, was heading towards Beirut via the Bekaa Valley.
In the middle of Lebanon's famous vineyards, at the junction between Jeb Jannin and Kefraya, two Israeli drones launched eight rockets at around 2130 (1830 GMT) at the convoy, killing seven people and wounding 36 others, including a Lebanese soldier and rescue worker.
"I had the feeling of being crushed, then being ejected into the air and finally being shattered by a shockwave," said Violette's daughter Abir, 29, lying in the bed next to her mother's at the Farhat hospital in Jeb Jannin.
Both women have broken jaws and could hardly speak.
Other survivors of the convoy attack were thunderstruck.
"I can't explain it. The only thing I can say is that it is totally incomprehensible," General Adnan Daoud, who leads the 350-strong joint police and army force whose barracks was occupied by
Israel on Thursday, told AFP.
Daoud spent all of Friday negotiating the departure of the convoy. Early in the morning, troops from the
United Nations
Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) had arrived to escort the column of vehicles towards Hasbaya in the south of the Bekaa Valley.
Then, UNIFIL announced that Israeli forces had bombarded the road and that the convoy had to wait.
After negotiations with the United Nations, the Lebanese interior minister told General Daoud that the Israeli forces had given a green light to make the trip, and he was given assurances that nothing would happen to the convoy.
"The minister told me to take to the road, and I left at the head of the column of 1,300 cars," he said.
"When we got to the intersection of Kefraya and Jeb Jannin, a drone fired four rockets. There were dead people and wounded everywhere. It was complete panic," Daoud said.
Cars tried to escape by the Jeb Jannin road, but a second drone destroyed several stationary vehicles at the entrance of the famous "Chateau Kefraya" vineyard.
"We followed the road they (the Israelis) chose. We didn't deviate by one bit. We had been authorized to go. No one was armed, since they confiscated all our weapons before leaving the barracks," said Daoud.
"I don't understand anything. All I know is that innocent people died," he said.
On Saturday, the survivors, their suitcases full, resumed their journey towards the capital.
"We spent the night in the open air, but anyway after yesterday's nightmare, we could not sleep," said an elderly man who was part of Friday's convoy.
"May God grant us life until we reach Beirut," he said, visibly moved.
"They left Marjayun, leaving everything behind to save their life. But their life was taken from them," said Greek Orthodox Archbishop for south Lebanon Elias Kfouri.
"It is a crime committed by the Israelis while the United Nations was voting for a ceasefire. It defies humanity," he added.
The Israeli military said the convoy had been bombed after it "identified suspicious movement along a route forbidden for travel which had been used by Hezbollah to transport rockets and other weaponry."
"It is important to note that a request for the passage of the convoy was submitted to the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) coordination apparatuses prior to its departure and was not authorized," the army statement said.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Saturday, August 12, 2006

On Israel, Lebanon and Palestine

Noam Chomsky interviewed by Kaveh Afrasiabi

Do you agree with the argument that Israel's military offensive in Lebanon is "legally and morally justified?"

Noam Chomsky:
The invasion itself is a serious breach of international law, and major war crimes are being committed as it proceeds. There is no legal justification. The "moral justification" is supposed to be that capturing soldiers in a cross-border raid, and killing others, is an outrageous crime. We know, for certain, that Israel, the United States and other Western governments, as well as the mainstream of articulate Western opinion, do not believe a word of that. Sufficient evidence is their tolerance for many years of US-backed Israeli crimes in Lebanon, including four invasions before this one, occupation in violation of Security Council orders for 22 years, and regular killings and abductions. To mention just one question that every journal should be answering: When did Nasrallah assume a leadership role? Answer: When the Rabin government escalated its crimes in Lebanon, murdering Sheikh Abbas Mussawi and his wife and child with missiles fired from a US helicopter. Nasrallah was chosen as his successor. Only one of innumerable cases.

There is, after all, a good reason why last February, 70% of Lebanese called for the capture of Israeli soldiers for prisoner exchange.
The conclusion is underscored, dramatically, by the current upsurge of violence, which began after the capture of Corporal Gilad Shalit on June 25. Every published Western "timeline" takes that as the opening event. Yet the day before, Israeli forces kidnapped two Gaza civilians, a doctor and his brother, and sent them to the Israeli prison system where they can join innumerable other Palestinians, many held without charges -- hence kidnapped. Kidnapping of civilians is a far worse crime than capture of soldiers.

The Western response was quite revealing: a few casual comments, otherwise silence. The major media did not even bother reporting it. That fact alone demonstrates, with brutal clarity, that there is no moral justification for the sharp escalation of attacks in Gaza or the destruction of Lebanon, and that the Western show of outrage about kidnapping is cynical fraud.

Much has been said about Israel's right to defend itself from its enemies who are taking advantage of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, thus causing the latest chapter in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Do you agree?

Israel certainly has a right to defend itself, but no state has the right to "defend" occupied territories. When the World Court condemned Israel's "separation wall," even a US Justice, Judge Buergenthal, declared that any part of it built to defend Israeli settlements is "ipso facto in violation of international humanitarian law," because the settlements themselves are illegal.

The withdrawal of a few thousand illegal settlers from Gaza was publicly announced as a West Bank expansion plan. It has now been formalized by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, with the support of Washington, as a program of annexation of valuable occupied lands and major resources (particularly water) and cantonization of the remaining territories, virtually separated from one another and from whatever pitiful piece of Jerusalem will be granted to Palestinians.

All are to be imprisoned, since Israel is to take over the Jordan valley. Gaza, too, remains imprisoned and Israel carries out attacks there at will.
Gaza and the West Bank are recognized to be a unit, by the United States and Israel as well. Therefore, Israel still occupies Gaza, and cannot claim self-defense in territories it occupies in either of the two parts of Palestine. It is Israel and the United States that are radically violating international law. They are now seeking to consummate long-standing plans to eliminate Palestinian national rights for good.

The United States has refused to call for an immediate cease-fire, arguing that this would mean a return to the status quo ante, yet we are witnessing a "back to the past" re-occupation of parts of Lebanon, and Lebanon's rapid decline to political chaos by the current conflict. Is the US policy correct?

It is correct from the point of view of those who want to ensure that Israel, by now virtually an offshore US military base and high-tech center, dominates the region, without any challenge to its rule as it proceeds to destroy Palestine. And there are side advantages, such as eliminating any Lebanese-based deterrent if US-Israel decide to attack Iran. They may also hope to set up a client regime in Lebanon of the kind that Ariel Sharon sought to create when he invaded Lebanon in 1982, destroying much of the country and killing some 15-20,000 people.

What will be the likely outcome of this "two-pronged" crisis in Lebanon and the occupied territories, in the near and long-term?

We cannot predict much. There are too many uncertainties. One very likely consequence, as the United States and Israel surely anticipated, is a significant increase in jihadi-style terrorism as anger and hatred directed against the United States, Israel, and Britain sweep the Arab and Muslim worlds. Another is that Nasrallah, whether he survives or is killed, will become an even more important symbol of resistance to US-Israeli aggression.

Hezbollah already has a phenomenal 87% support in Lebanon itself, and its resistance has energized popular opinion to such an extent that even the oldest and closest US allies have been compelled to say that "If the peace option is rejected due to the Israeli arrogance, then only the war option remains, and no one knows the repercussions befalling the region, including wars and conflict that will spare no one, including those whose military power is now tempting them to play with fire." That's from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who knows better than to condemn the United States directly.

What steps do you recommend for the current hostilities to be brought to an end and a lasting peace established?


The basic steps are well understood: a cease-fire and exchange of prisoners; withdrawal of occupying forces; continuation of the "national dialogue" within Lebanon; and acceptance of the very broad international consensus on a two-state settlement for Israel-Palestine, which has been unilaterally blocked by the United States and Israel for thirty years. There is, as always, much more to say, but those are the essentials.

Cluster attacks and international law

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Cluster attacks and international law


As if the ruthless air attacks on Lebanese civilians weren't enough, Israel has been using illegal cluster munitions in populated areas of that country. Human Rights Watch researchers working on the ground in Lebanon confirmed that an attack with cluster weapons was carried out on the village of Blida on July 19, killing one and wounding at least 12 civilians, including seven children. According to Human Rights Watch, the use of such munitions in populated civilian areas may violate international humanitarian law.

What makes those munitions particularly lethal is that they consist of a container that breaks open in mid air and disperses smaller sub-munitions. Those weapons are designed to explode on impact, right before and immediately after impact, saturating an area with flying shards of steel. These sub-munitions generally have a higher explosive charge than anti-personnel land mines.

The failure rate for cluster weapons is between 5 percent and 30 percent. Failure to explode on impact doesn't mean they are harmless. On the contrary, they may explode with the slightest touch by a child or an innocent passerby. What makes them even more dangerous is that they become more unstable with each passing year, according to bomb-disposal experts working in Laos.

Human Rights Watch said it has not found any evidence that Hezbollah is using cluster munitions.

Currently, no treaty specifically regulates cluster munitions. However, Additional Protocol I of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions has some internationally accepted legal standards to assess the problems caused by those weapons. Although that protocol recognizes the inevitability of some civilian deaths, it also says states cannot legally target civilians or engage in indiscriminate attacks.

Cluster munitions have the potential to be indiscriminate because they cannot be precisely targeted. In that regard, Article 51 (4) (b) specifically prohibits attacks "which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective." Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, states, "Cluster munitions are unacceptably inaccurate and unreliable weapons when used around civilians, and should never be used in populated areas."

Lebanese security forces have denounced Israel's use of cluster munitions in its attacks not only on Blida, but also on other border villages, including attacks earlier this year around the contested Shebaa Farms area.

Because of the high proportion of civilians killed or injured by those weapons, they are opposed by many organizations including the Red Cross, the Cluster Munition Coalition and the United Nations. There is now a growing international consensus to stop the use of those weapons.

In February 2006, Belgium became the first country to ban cluster munitions; Norway announced a moratorium on the same weapons in June. Presently, more states are calling for a new international instrument to deal with it, as it is felt that existing humanitarian law is not sufficient to respond to the issues associated with cluster munitions.

In a recent report titled "Fatal Strikes: Israel's Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon," Human Rights Watch states, "By consistently failing to distinguish between combatants and civilians, Israel has violated one of the most fundamental tenets of the laws of war: the duty to carry out attacks on only military targets ... the extent of the pattern and the seriousness of the consequences indicate the commission of war crimes."

In that context, the use of cluster munitions adds only a further note of desperation. Israel should accept widely recognized norms of civilized behavior, even in times of war, and renounce the use of those weapons.

As a significant deterrent to what easily can become a regional war, Francis Boyle, a law professor at the University of Illinois, indicates that the U.N. General Assembly should establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel along the lines of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia, which was established by the Security Council.

As Boyle says, "The establishment of the ICTI would provide some small degree of justice to the victims of Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the peoples of Lebanon and Palestine -- just as the ICTY did for the victims of international crimes committed by Serbia and the Milosevic regime throughout the Balkans."

César Chelala is an international public health consultant and a winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award for an article on human rights.

Francis Boyle: Prosecuting Israel

Wednesday August 02, 2006

Francis Boyle: Prosecuting Israel

Without such a deterrent, Israel might be emboldened to attack Syria with the full support of Bush Jr. Neocons, who view Syria as low-hanging fruit ready to be taken out.
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The Palestine Chronicle is 100% reader-supported. If you find our publication worthwhile and valuable, we urge you to subscribe to our online edition today. Without your voluntary subscription the Chronicle cannot survive. Subscribe Now By Francis A. Boyle PalestineChronicle.com The United Nations General Assembly must immediately establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI) as a "subsidiary organ" under U.N. Charter Article 22. The ICTI would be organized along the lines of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY), which was established by the Security Council. The purpose of the ICTI would be to investigate and prosecute Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine--just as the ICTY did for the victims of international crimes committed by Serbia and the Milosevic Regime throughout the Balkans. The establishment of ICTI would provide some small degree of justice to the victims of Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine--just as the ICTY has done in the Balkans. Furthermore, the establishment of ICTI by the U.N. General Assembly would serve as a deterrent effect upon Israeli leaders such as Prime Minister Olmert, Defense Minister Peretz, Chief of Staff Halutz and Israel's other top generals that they will be prosecuted for their further infliction of international crimes upon the Lebanese and the Palestinians. Without such a deterrent, Israel might be emboldened to attack Syria with the full support of the Likhudnik Bush Jr. Neoconservatives, who have always viewed Syria as "low-hanging fruit" ready to be taken out by means of their joint aggression. The Israeli press has just reported that the Bush Jr administration is encouraging Israel to attack Syria. If Israel attacks Syria as it did when it invaded Lebanon in 1982, Iran has vowed to come to Syria's defense. And of course Israel and the Bush Jr administration very much want a pretext to attack Iran. This scenario could readily degenerate into World War III. For the U.N. General Assembly to establish ICTI could stop the further development of this momentum towards a regional if not global catastrophe. -Francis A. Boyle, Professor of Law, University of Illinois, is author of Foundations of World Order, Duke University Press, The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence, and Palestine, Palestinians and International Law, by Clarity Press. He can be reached at: FBOYLE@LAW.UIUC.EDU

Analysis: Pact won't improve U.S. image

Analysis: Pact won't improve U.S. image

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - A U.S.-backed diplomatic pact to end more than a month of war between Israel and Islamic militants in Lebanon may stop the worst of the killing and retire the daily television images of burning buildings and suffocated children.
It will not do much to improve the image of America in the Arab world.
This war is widely viewed as a joint U.S.-Israeli venture that slaughtered innocents and wrecked homes, roads and businesses in a fragile democracy the Bush administration has said it supports.
President Bush on Saturday urged world leaders to turn the words of a U.N. cease-fire deal into action, even as Israel staged wide-ranging airstrikes across Lebanon and sent commandos into the Hezbollah heartland.
Airstrikes killed at least 19 people in Lebanon, including 15 in one village, while Hezbollah rockets wounded at least five people in Israel in the hours after the unanimous U.N. vote. Israel says it may fight another week despite the cease-fire deal.
Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, who has become a folk hero across the Arab world for taking on Israel, agreed to the deal Saturday, but said the militants will continue fighting as long as Israeli troops remain in south Lebanon.
The Lebanese Cabinet was in session to vote on whether to agree to the U.N. resolution. And Israel's parliament is to take it up Sunday.
The deal would stop the fighting, perhaps next week, and authorize deployment of 15,000 foreign troops to help the Lebanese army control the country's southern swath, along the Israeli border.
Israel would begin withdrawing the forces that have invaded Lebanon over the past five weeks "in parallel" with deployment of the peacekeeping force. Hezbollah is directed to stop all attacks, but Israeli forces could defend themselves so long as they are there.
The terms of the peace deal may only reinforce twin perceptions in the Arab world: The United States did too little too late to rein in Israel and end the fighting, and friendship with the United States is worth little because the United States will back Israel no matter what, foreign policy analysts said.
"The U.S. reputation as an honest broker has been eroding under this administration for some time. This just crystallized what the Arabs thought," said Jonathan Clarke, a former British diplomat now at the Cato Institute. He said the Arabs had grown to believe "the U.S. and Israel had become one country."
The United States backed Israel without public reservation from the first moments of the war, when Hezbollah militants crossed the Lebanon border and killed and captured Israeli soldiers on July 12.
Bush laid blame on the militants and their Syrian and Iranian backers in his statement welcoming the cease-fire blueprint.
"The loss of innocent life in both Lebanon and Israel has been a great tragedy," Bush said. "Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian sponsors have brought an unwanted war to the people of Lebanon and Israel, and millions have suffered as a result."
The Bush administration has set expansion of democracy and freedom in the Middle East as the signal call of a foreign policy that Arab, European and other governments still view with suspicion more than thre years after the widely unpopular U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Athough inspiring to some Arab reformers, the Bush policy was always seen as naive by many leaders in the region and elsewhere.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was ridiculed in the Arab press when she taled about the war as the "birth pangs of a new Middle East" during a diplomatic trip to the region that outwardly accomplished little.
The Lebanon conflict has heightened anti-U.S. sentiment in the region, with frequent protests in moderate U.S.allies like Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait.
Saudi Arabia and other U.S. allies in the region say the bloodshed only fuels radicalism.
"We would like to return to the old Middle East, because we don't see anything in the new Middle East apart from more problems," Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal remarked.
The war has undermined the Arab reformers and political moderates Washington has courted.
The democracy movements in Egypt and other countries were already struggling as their governments rolled back on promises of change.
"The Americans are shooting themselves in the foot," Abdel Moneim Said, head of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, based in Cairo, said last week, before the U.N. deal. "The only beneficiaries of the ongoing conflict are the fundamentalists."
The United States pushed for the peace deal approved by the United Nations Security Council on Friday to stop fighting that threatened to topple Lebanon's tenuous democratic government.
The deal does not accomplish the disarmament of Hezbollah, the key goal that Bush and Rice said they sought.
The deal also does not guarantee that Lebanon can extend political control to the southern part of the country where the armed Hezbollah movement held greater power than the Beirut government.
Nor does the deal make Israel more likely to cooperate toward the wider Bush administration goal of peace with the Palestinians and a viable independent Palestinian state. Analysts said they see little prospect that Washington can help broker a real peace settlement for years to come.
"Condi talked about a new Middle East," said Aaron David Miller, a former adviser ton the Middle East to both Republican and Democratic administrations. "There will be new Middle East, but it will be a nastier and messier one."

New UN peace bid as Israelis close in on Beirut

New UN peace bid as Israelis close in on Beirut

August 11, 2006 Edition 4

Ibl el-Saqi, Lebanon - A UN ceasefire resolution which the US and France have been trying to work out for an Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon may be put to the vote today.
Since the war started, Israel has gained strategic high ground in south Lebanon and is moving ever closer to Beirut.
According to security officials, Israeli jets attacked the Abboudiyeh border crossing into Syria, killing at least 11 people and wounding 11 others early today.
A bridge was also hit in Akkar province, 96km north of Beirut. There was no immediate word of casualties, and an Israeli soldier was killed by anti-tank rockets in south Lebanon last night.
UN peacekeepers were dispatched today to evacuate about 350 Lebanese soldiers and police detained by Israeli forces in Marjayoun, a day after Israeli soldiers swept into the southern Lebanese.
An Israeli soldier was killed and two were wounded in fierce battles with Hezbollah guerrillas yesterday, a day after the Israeli military suffered its worst one-day loss, with 15 soldiers killed.

Lebanese interior minister, Ahmed Fatfat, said Lebanese soldiers and police had been taken into custody, but an Israel military spokeswoman said that they were only advising them to remain there for their own safety.
Diplomatic efforts had stalled as Lebanon and Israel could not agree on terms. However, key players in the peace process believe that the new proposal will be of positive significance.
Broadly speaking, the US-French draft Security Council resolution called for a cessation of hostilities and for the Israeli army to begin withdrawing as the Lebanese start deploying troops in the south.
More than 800 people (726 in Lebanon and 122 in Israel) have died since fighting erupted.
UN humanitarian official Jan Egeland said it was "disgusting" the way a plan for aid delivery was being hindered by Israel, Lebanon and Hezbollah. - Sapa-AP

A bizarre end to a bizarre war in Lebanon

Friday, August 11, 2006

A bizarre end to a bizarre war in Lebanon
(updated below)The unfolding events in the Middle East seem rather odd. Current reports suggest that the U.S. and France have agreed to a U.N. Resolution -- which Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has accepted -- and it will be imminently adopted (tonight) by the Security Council, probably unanimously.The Resolution calls for an immediate "cessation of hostilities." Hezbollah would be required to withdraw from Southern Lebanon and an expanded U.N force (led by French soldiers) would be deployed along with Lebanese soldiers to ensure that Hezbollah does not operate there. But that force would not have the U.N. charter authority the Israelis wanted -- which provide for rules of engagement where that U.N. force would actually militarily engage Hezbollah if it operated in the forbidden region (though it would be a "robust" force, say the Resolution's advocates).Hezbollah would not be disbanded nor disarmed, and its re-supply route from Syria would neither be destroyed nor impeded. Given the grand pronouncements with which this war began -- that Hezbollah would be destroyed, that it was the start of the epic war of civilizations -- any honest person (and even many who are not honest) would acknowledge that this is a defeat for Israel and for neoconservative dreams of a wider war. As a result, many in Israel are predicting, and vigorously calling for, the resignation of Israel's Prime Minister.The disappointment and anger of neoconservatives over this ignominious end must be severe, and it is almost certain to be a source of very intense conflict between them and the Bush administration. Already, Paul at Powerline -- one of the most loyal Bush supporters on the planet -- said:
The JPost says there's a good chance that the wobbly Olmert government will accept this resolution. Over at NRO's corner, John Podhoretz contends that this would mean the end of the Olmert government. I'm tempted to suggest that our government, having seemingly lost its will to oppose (or even to let others oppose) our deadliest enemies, deserves the same fate. But let's wait until the facts are in. Once he read the resolution, Paul said that "there is no excuse for bringing this matter to an end until the IDF has made much more progress than it has to date" and that the U.N. force would be a "joke." Rich Lowry (who, whatever else one might want to say about him, has excellent sources in the Bush administration and the Israeli government) quotes an Israeli source as saying that this is the "worst defeat for Israel since 1948," and adds:
when it comes to U.N. resolutions in the Middle East is that they either simply reflect the facts on the ground, or make the victor give away a little bit of his victory; they never let someone pull victory out of a hat from defeat. So Israel will utlimately (sic) get from this resoltuon (sic)what they won on the ground, which is to say not much. In another post, Lowry passes on the Bush administration's best propaganda as to why this is a good Resolution for Israel and the U.S., but I think Powerline Paul's reaction will be quite typical - neoconservatives are not going to be remotely convinced.In fact, John Podhoertz is flopping around over in the Corner in a way that reflects the distress and trauma neoconservatives will suffer from this result. Podhoretz first declared that the U.N. Resolution will mean that "Israel and the United States will be handing Hezbollah a victory. And Israel will have lost a war for the first time. And probably not the last." He then tried to keep his chin up and rationalized that "it's not a disaster," but then immediately thereafter posted again to say:
Olmert is still toast. My nephew, who is a veteran of the Israeli army but has not been called up because he's here in the States for a few months, writes:"I can't believe he's doing this. I cannot believe we are once again running from Lebanon with our tails between our legs. Olmert's picture will now appear in the dictionary next to the word 'coward.'"This will be a very common opinion across the political spectrum. When this all started, neoconservatives were in full bloodthirsty glory, salivating over the complete obliteration of Hezbollah and much of Southern Lebanon, as the start of the "great opportunity" -- "our war" -- in which we would do the same to Syria and Iran. Instead, they got a joint U.S.-French U.N. resolution engineering a cease-fire dependent upon French troops protecting Israel from the Hezbollah militia, and even Israeli hawks lamenting the humiliation suffered at the hands of Hezbollah (assuming Hezbollah, which clearly has the strongest hand here, agrees to all of this).Watching Fox News right now discussing this is like being at a wake. Paul at Powerline is calling for the downfall of the Bush administration. The neoconservative dream for broader war, at least for the moment, has collapsed on its shattered foundations. Nobody should consider a Hezbollah victory to be anything remotely a cause for celebration; that should go without saying. But the plan the neoconservatives harbor - and thought they were finally able to execute - is as dangerous a threat as anything else in the world, and anything which puts a stop to it, and which drives a wedge between them and their enablers in the Bush administration, is something which, independent of all else, is a constructive development.UPDATE: An e-mail correspondent, well-versed in Middle East affairs, suggests that an Israeli defeat does not necessarily mean a win for Hezbollah -- that is, while Israel plainly won nothing if the war ends pursuant to this resolution, Hezbollah was hardly in a good position itself, and needed an end just as badly as Israel did. His reasoning:
But I think the impression that things have gone badly for Israel is based on the Israeli perspective, which is saturated with the daily death tolls and unfulfilled (unrealistic) expectations. But from the Lebanese perspective, this has been nothing short of a catastrophe. And that can't be good for Hezbollah. So, my point is that notwithstanding Nasrallah's rantings, he may very well want this to be over because it's been a nightmare and the continuation of this war is a losing proposition for him.I view this war and the end of it as "bizarre" because the war's ambitions were so grand and sweeping from the start-- the amount of brutality and slaughter required to accomplish them were far in excess of what could be tolerated -- that it was almost designed to fail from the start. One could say exactly that of the general neoconservative view on all matters (Iraq, transforming the Middle East, regime change in Iran, etc.)
posted by Glenn Greenwald 6:30 PM

Gruesome search

Gruesome search
Lebanese rescuers search for the living and the dead following an Israeli air strike which damaged an apartment in Beirut. Photojournalist Alfred Yaghobzadeh, documents the search that lasted through the night and following day. Click "Play" below the image to hear the photojournalist describe the incident.


Song: Needle Stuck on Lebanon

Checkpoint 303 has recorded a new track inspired by the ongoing injustice in Lebanon. A modest contribution to the efforts to raise international awareness about the suffering of the civilian populations in the region and the devastating effect of this illegal war.
The mp3 of the new track entitled “Needle stuck on Lebanon” can be downloaded from our website at:

# track --
Needle stuck on Lebanon although it really seems like one, the ongoing israeli attack on Lebanon is not a mere déjà vu. once again, lebanese citizens are under israeli fire. israeli bombings in southern, eastern, western and nothern Lebanon. once again. just like the sound of an old record, the needle is stuck on Lebanon. this checkpoint 303 track mixes recordings we made from radio, tv & internet news broadcasts by BBC, TG1 & TG3 (italian RAI), TV7 (tunisian news broadcast), Voice of Lebanon (VDL), ARTE (french news edition) and FOX (no comment).
[download track]


Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion

Informed Comment
Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion
Juan Cole is President of the Global Americana Institute
Saturday, August 12, 2006

Israeli Response to UN Ceasefire Call:Invades with 30,000 more Troops, Races for Litani The United Nations Security Council finally called for a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Lebanon late Friday.A "cessation of hostilities" means that Hizbullah has to stop its attacks, but Israel doesn't have to stop its attacks or withdraw from Lebanon.Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert responded to the resolution by promising to take it up (late) on Sunday but in the meantime to invade Lebanon with 30,000 more troops and to rush to the Litani river.Olmert also decided to destroy the power plant providing electricity to the city of Tyre, depriving ordinary people of potable water, medical care, the ability to preserve food from spoiling. This move at this point in the conflict seems especially petty. Since the reports are that Hizbullah safe houses and caves have their own power generators, it is hard to see how hitting this plant helps the Israeli war effort, and I think it is a war crime.The Israeli officer corps is apparently furious that the UN is now calling for a ceasefire of sorts, before they could accomplish their military goals. Gee, that is the problem with ceasefires, isn't it? Get in the way of further warmaking, if you pay attention to them.The Israeli public, especially in the north where they have been taking daily rocket fire, is on the other hand rather less gung ho now. Approval among the public for how Olmert is handling the war has plummeted from 80 percent early on to 48 percent in a recent poll. Some 40 percent of Israelis disapprove of the war now. While hawks are saying that if he stops now, he is finished politically, the trend line of the polling suggests the opposite. If he doesn't find a way to stop the war soon, it looks as though his support will go on down to zero.The Globe and Mail describes some other Israeli activities on the eve of "peace":
' Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes bombed southern Beirut and the south of the country again in the 31st day of violence. In the far north, one of the last remaining bridges to Syria was destroyed in a strike that killed at least 12 people; in the south, heavy fighting continued around the Christian town of Marjayoun, a key point overlooking the Litani River for Israeli artillery positions. A convoy of hundreds of civilians and about 350 Lebanese soldiers and police, escorted by UN peacekeepers out of Marjayoun, was hit by several Israeli missiles when part of the convoy detoured from the approved route, apparently to avoid traffic jams. At least four people were reported killed and 40 others wounded.Aid agencies tried again in vain to get supplies to cut-off towns south of the Litani River, and the mayor of Tyre warned the city would run out of food in two days. 'That's right. The Israelis bombed a civilian convoy attempting to obey their instructions, the departure of which had been coordinated with them through UNIFIL.
'In one of the most dramatic development in the fighting Friday, an Israeli unmanned plane fired at the convoy, which included a 350 joint Lebanese army and police force as well as 500 civilian cars. They left Marjayoun after hours of U.N. mediated negotiations which succeeding in receiving Israeli assurances for the convoy's safety.The attack came as the convoy was en route from Jib Jannin to Kefraya in the south of the Bekaa valley, security officials said. They said most of the casualties were civilians."The Israeli forces had been told in advance of the convoy's passage, and had given it the green light," UNIFIL spokesman Milos Strugar said. 'The famed Israeli intelligence can't be much good if they don't know hundreds of civilians are heading out of the south at their orders, especially after UNIFIL told them about it. I'm afraid this further attack on civilians is more proof that the Israelis just don't care if they kill Arab civilians. The Israelis launched 10 air raids on Baalbak, and hit south Beirut again.As with every day, Hizbullah fired over a hundred rockets into northern Israel. They wounded some civilians with shrapnel. On Friday, they killed two Palestinian-Israelis with their rockets. It cannot be said too often that deliberately targeting civilians in war is a war crime.Peace activists attacked the UNSC resolution as weak and favoring Israel, and criticized Olmert's decision to keep fighting for two more days.Mark Joyner cartoon: Deterrence.

ViolationS of International Law

Francis A. Boyle
Law Building
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820 USA
217-333-7954 (voice)
217-244-1478 (fax)
(personal comments only)

ViolationS of International Law
Middle East International
Sept. 3, 1982, at 11

Francis a. boyle (univesity of illinois), Richard a. falk (princeton University), C. Clyde ferguson, Jr. (Harvard law School), Roger Fisher (harvard law school), Stanley hoffmann (harvard University), W. Thomas Mallison (George Washington University).

The invasion of Lebanon by the government of Israel constitutes a violation of UN Charter article 2(3), mandating the peaceful settlement of international disputes, as well as the article 2(4) prohibition on the threat or use of force in international relations against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. Despite the assertions of Israeli Prime Minister Begin before the General Assembly, the invasion cannot be excused as a legitimate exercise of the right of self-defense recognized by article 51 of the Charter and accepted principles of customary international law concerning the use of force.

The PLO is likewise bound by the article 2(3) and 2(4) obligations, and the Lebanese government must not allow its territory to be used in a manner violative of international law. Nevertheless, the PLO cannot be held legally responsible for every act of violence perpetrated against Israel that occurs anywhere in the world, but only to the extent that the Israeli government can produce clear and convincing evidence of specific actions sanctioned by the PLO. The evidentiary record establishes that during the preceding year, the PLO has in good faith adhered to the terms of the cease-fire applicable to the Lebanese-Israeli border that had been successfully negotiated last summer by President Reagan’s special envoy for the crisis. Consequently, the PLO has not launched any “armed attack” upon Israel as required by article 51 before the latter can resort to the use of force to defend itself. It is Israel that has “attacked” Lebanon and the PLO in violation of its international legal obligations.

Even assuming the contemporary international legal order still recognizes the regressive doctrine of pre-emptive self-defense, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon fails to meet that test as well. As definitively stated by U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster in the case of The Caroline, the “necessity of that self-defence [must be] instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation.” Furthermore, Israel cannot invoke the antiquated doctrines of intervention, protection and self-help to justify the invasion, because these were soundly repudiated by a decision of the International Court of Justice in the Corfu Channel Case (1949) as totally incompatible with the proper conduct of international relations in the post-World War II era.

Three seminal U.N. General Assembly resolutions have firmly established the fundamental proposition that non-consensual military intervention by one state into the territorial domain of another state is prohibited for any reason whatsoever: The Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention (1965); The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations (1970); and the Definition of Aggression (1974). At least the Arab Deterrent Force, composed primarily of Syrian troops, had been stationed in Lebanon with the consent of the Lebanese government and conducted its peacekeeping operations with the approval of the League of Arab States, which is the appropriate regional arrangement under Chapter 8 of the U.N. Charter for sanctioning such activities.

Finally, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon has violated the basic principle of customary international law dictating proportionality in the use of force, applicable to even a legitimate exercise of the right to self-defense. The massive scale of death, destruction, dislocations and suffering inflicted by the Israeli army in Lebanon is egregiously disproportionate to any harm that has been perpetrated upon Israel or to any serious threat to its legitimate national security interests posed by the presence of the PLO in Lebanon.

The four Geneva Conventions of 1949 apply in their entirety to the conduct of hostilities by Israel in Lebanon. Additional Protocol 1 (1977) indicates that the members of the PLO who have been captured by the Israeli army should be treated as prisoners of war within the meaning of the Geneva Accords. At the very minimum, captured members of the PLO and other individuals affiliated with them together with all Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, are entitled to the full panoply of protections set forth in the Fourth Geneva Convention and the customary international law of belligerent occupation. Statements by the Israeli government that captured PLO members will be treated as “terrorists” and thus presumably deprived of their protected status under the Geneva Conventions would, if acted upon, constitute a grave violation of the humanitarian laws of armed conflict that have been universally accepted by all civilized states.

As a party to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 the Untied States government has an obligation to respect and to ensure respect for their observance by all other contracting powers. This obligation becomes irresistibly compelling in a situation where Israel has been enabled to invade Lebanon by means of weapons, munitions and supplies provided primarily by the United States government at concessionary rates. To the extent the US government does not prevent Israel from using American weapons in explicit violation of international law and of U.S. domestic statutes applicable to arms transfer agreements, it must assume full legal responsibility before the international community for such proscribed activities committed by Israel in Lebanon. Under the circumstances the United States has an absolute duty to employ the tremendous leverage over Israel afforded by its arms supply relationship in order to secure the latter’s strict obedience to the laws of war and its immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon as required by U.N. Security Council Resolution 508 (1982) and Resolution 509 (1982), which are legally binding on Israel under Charter article 25.

The Israeli government has no right under international law to intervene in the domestic affairs of Lebanon by dictating the terms of some future government as a condition for the withdrawal of its troops. The future of the Lebanese government must be determined by the Lebanese people without interference or compulsion from any external source. The most effective means to ensure the success of this endeavor is for the Israel immediately to withdraw its troops from Lebanon and to turn over evacuated territory to the Lebanese army, where possible, or to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The ultimate disposition of the Arab Deterrent Force should be determined by the League of Arab States in accordance with the wishes of the Lebanese government expressed after an Israeli military withdrawal.

The United States must actively oppose any proposals by the Israeli government to establish some type of international police force in Lebanon that is not under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Security Council. Israeli charges that UNIFIL cannot be trusted because the U.N. is biased against Israel obfuscate the fact that UNIFIL operates under the auspices of the Security Council (where the United States can, if necessary exercise a veto power) not under the General Assembly. The evidentiary record clearly establishes that UNIFIL has proven to be quite effective at preventing the large-scale infiltration of PLO fighters across the Israeli-Lebanese border. A renewed and strengthened mandate for UNIFIL will continue to perform this task until the Lebanese army is reconstituted as an effective and independent military force under the control of the central government. In this regard Israel must also dismantle the Lebanese Christian enclave it has created along the border, whose members have so far illegally resisted the interposition of UNIFIL troops with the collusion of the Israeli government.

A long-term solution to the problems of Lebanon can only be found when Israel is willing to recognize the international legal right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. Neither Egypt, Israel, the United States, nor Jordan have any right under international law to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people. Both the U.N. General Assembly and the League of Arab States have determined that the PLO is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. That determination must be respected by Israel and the Untied States for the purpose of negotiating an overall settlement on the ultimate disposition of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the East Jerusalem. Mutual and simultaneous recognition of their respective rights under international law by Israel and the PLO must be the next stage in the development of the Middle East peace process.

Francis A. Boyle
Law Building
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820 USA
217-333-7954 (voice)
217-244-1478 (fax)
(personal comments only)

Chapter 4
Dissensus Over Strategic Consensus
The Machiavellian Origins of Strategic Consensus
At the outset of the Reagan administration, Secretary of
State Alexander Haig and his mentor, Henry Kissinger, devoted a good
deal of time to publicly lamenting the dire need for a "geopolitical"
approach to American foreign policy decision making, one premised on a
"grand theory" or "strategic design" of international relations. Their
conceptual framework toward international affairs consisted essentially
of nothing more sophisticated than a somewhat refined and superficially
rationalized theory of Machiavellian power politics. Consequently, Haig
quite myopically viewed the myriad of problems in the Middle East
primarily within the context of a supposed struggle for control over the
entire world between the United States and the Soviet Union. Haig
erroneously concluded that this global confrontation required the United
States to forge a "strategic consensus" among Israel, Egypt, Jordan,
Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan in order to resist anticipated Soviet
aggression in the region.
In reality, Haig's proclaimed objective of founding a
U.S. centered "strategic consensus" in the Middle East quickly
degenerated into a reincarnated version of Kissinger's "Nixon Doctrine,"
whereby regional surrogates were intended to assist the United States
"police" its spheres of influence throughout the world by virtue of
massive American military assistance. According to Haig's logic, Israel
would become America's new "policeman" for stability in the Middle East,
filling the position recently vacated by the deposed Shah of Iran, whom
the Nixon/Kissinger administration had unsuccessfully deputized to serve
as America's "policeman" for Southwest Asia. Hence, the Reagan
administration would more fully support the Israeli government of Prime
Minister Menachem Begin, even during the pursuit of its patently illegal
policies in Lebanon (e.g., "preemptive retaliation" against the PLO;
preservation of Haddad's Christian enclave along the border; provision
of military assistance to the Phalange) and in the territories occupied
as a result of the l967 and 1973 wars (e.g., construction of Jewish
settlements; deportation of inhabitants; collective punishments; the
so-called Milson Reforms). Courtesy of the United States government,
Israel's overwhelming military superiority over any Arab state or
combination thereof except Egypt, which had been effectively neutralized
by its l979 peace treaty with Israel,1 would make the Israeli army an
ideal surrogate for spearheading the forceful concatenation of Haig's
"strategic consensus" in the Middle East.
Whereas the Shah fell over internal domestic conditions
that were only exacerbated by the large-scale U.S. political and
military presence in Iran, Haig's scheme was fatally flawed from the
very moment of its conception. Haig totally disregarded the fundamental
realities of Middle Eastern international politics, where traditionally
all regional actors have been far more exclusively concerned about their
relationships with surrounding neighbors than about some evanescent
threat of Soviet aggression. The more immediate danger to stability in
the Middle East was not the distant prospect of Soviet intervention but
rather a continuation of the ongoing Israeli-Arab conflict.
Nevertheless, the Begin government shrewdly manipulated
Haig's Machiavellian delusions in order to procure from the Reagan
administration either active American support for, or tacit acquiescence
in, or at least merely rhetorical opposition to various elements of a
comprehensive scheme of internationally lawless behavior that was
designed to impose a pax hebraeica upon the region. The creation of
peace in the Middle East demanded vigorous American leadership acting in
strict accordance with the rules of international law and in full
cooperation with the relevant international institutions (e.g., the U.N.
Security Council). Instead, with the active collusion of the Reagan
administration, the Begin government launched a unilateral policy of
hegemonial imperialism that would render Israel a pariah state within
the international community, produce a series of unmitigated disasters
for the United States, seriously undermine the integrity of the
international legal order, and almost irreparably set back the cause of
peace in this turbulent region of the world.
The Counterproductivity of Arms Sales
Pursuant to Haig's "strategic consensus" rationale, the
better part of the Reagan administration's first year in office was
improvidently exhausted trying to obtain Congressional approval for its
proposed sale of the AWACS system to Saudi Arabia. The Reagan
administration chose to rely upon the wholesale provision of American
military equipment to various governments in the Middle East as an
ineffectual and ultimately self-defeating substitute for the hard task
of formulating a set of coherent principles for the conduct of American
foreign policy on some basis other than Haig's Machiavellian
predilections. The Reagan administration's promiscuous purveyance of
sophisticated American weapons systems and technologies to Israel, Saudi
Arabia, and Jordan proved to be a most disruptive factor when added to
the endemic conflicts already prevalent in the region.
As events in Iran recently demonstrated, U.S. arms sales
can easily become counterproductive. Any U.S. arms transfer policy
should have been based upon the legitimate defensive needs of these
countries as defined by international law and interpreted in good faith
by the United States government. Unilateral and self-serving policy
pronouncements by these foreign governments did not provide adequate
criteria. Thus the Reagan administration should never have offered
complicated weapons systems to the Saudi government, let alone a
guarantee of survival against its internal adversaries (i.e., the
so-called Reagan Corollary to the Carter Doctrine), simply in order to
curry favor and thus secure a stable flow of expensive oil to the West.
Or to Jordan for the purpose of creating a regional surrogate for the
U.S. Rapid Deployment Force designated for probably illegal military
intervention throughout the Middle East.
Nor should such American weapons systems have been given
to any state in this region of the world that manifested a distinct
tendency to employ them in a manner violative of international law.
Hence, during the summer of 1981, the illegal Israeli air strikes with
American-made planes and weapons systems against the Iraqi nuclear
reactor as well as against the PLO headquarters in Beirut, followed by
Israel's blatantly illegal invasion of Lebanon one year later, should
have created grounds for additional concern and reevaluation by the
Reagan administration.2 Israel bore a heavy burden of proof in regard
to pending American arms transfers that was not discharged in a manner
satisfactory to the essential requirement of both international and U.S.
domestic law that they only be used for the purposes of legitimate
The Israeli Invasion of Lebanon
The next several years of the Reagan administration's
foreign policy toward the Middle East were fruitlessly spent trying to
cope with the tragic consequences resulting from the Israeli invasion of
Lebanon.3 Consistent with Haig's "strategic consensus" policy, there
were several indications from the public record that the Reagan
administration willingly consented in advance to the Begin government's
flagrantly illegal invasion of Lebanon shortly after Israel had
completed its withdrawal from the Sinai on April 25, 1982 pursuant to
its 1979 peace treaty with Egypt. This second invasion of Lebanon by
the Begin government constituted a clear-cut violation of U.N. Charter
articles 2(3)4 and 33, mandating the peaceful settlement of
international disputes, as well as the article 2(4) prohibition against
the threat or use of force in international relations directed against
the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, that
could not be excused as a legitimate exercise of the right of
self-defense recognized by article 51 or by accepted principles of
customary international law concerning the use of force. The Israeli
invasion of Lebanon was clearly intended to destroy the PLO, establish a
Phalangist puppet government in Beirut, drive the Arab Deterrent Force
composed primarily of Syrian troops out of Lebanon, and further
consolidate Israel's illegal military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza
Strip, and Jerusalem. The Begin government's 1982 invasion of Lebanon
was simply part of its announced intention to implement the gradual de
facto annexation of these occupied territories in explicit violation of
U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967)5 and 338 (1973),6 as well
as of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 19497 and the basic principle of
customary international law prohibiting the annexation of occupied
territories prior to the formal termination of hostilities.
By its sponsorship of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon,
the Reagan administration committed a "crime against peace" as defined
by the Nuremberg Principles.8 Accordingly, to the extent the Reagan
administration permitted Israel to use American weapons in explicit
violation of international law and of U.S. domestic statutes applicable
to arms transfer agreements, it had to assume full legal responsibility
for all further crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war
crimes committed or condoned by Israel and its allied Phalange and
Haddad militia forces operating in Lebanon. Such American accomplice
liability would include the savage massacre of several hundred innocent
Palestinian and Lebanese civilians by organized units of the Phalangist
militia at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in West Beirut.9 As the
Occupying Power in West Beirut at the time, Israel was fully responsible
under international law for the barbarous treatment inflicted upon these
innocent Palestinian and Lebanese refugees by the Phalange militia.
As a party to the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949, the
United States government had an affirmative obligation under common
article 1 to respect and to ensure respect for their observance in all
circumstances by other contracting powers such as Israel.10 This
obligation became irresistibly compelling in a situation where Israel
was enabled to invade Lebanon by means of weapons, munitions, and
supplies provided primarily by the U.S. government at concessionary
rates. Under these and numerous other circumstances of complicity, the
Reagan administration had an absolute duty to employ the tremendous
leverage over Israel afforded by its arms supply relationship and
economic subsistence in order to secure strict obedience to the
humanitarian laws of armed conflict by Israel and its allied Phalange
and Haddad militias, as well as to obtain Israel's immediate and
unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon as required by U.N. Security
Council Resolutions 508 (1982)11 and 509 (1982),12 both of which were
legally binding on Israel and the United States under Charter article
25.13 Yet the Reagan administration willfully refused to perform even
these most elementary obligations incumbent upon it under international law.
The Gemayel Puppet Government
Alexander Haig's rubber-stamp ratification of the
grandiose scheme by Begin and his Defense Minister Ariel Sharon to
exterminate the PLO leadership in Beirut at the disproportionate cost of
inflicting horrendous civilian casualties, and to physically oust Syrian
troops from Lebanon at the substantial risk of precipitating a general
war between Israel and Syria proved to be an enterprise too brutal,
inhumane and dangerous for most Reagan administration stalwarts to
endorse. The White House effectively forced Haig to resign less than
three weeks after the start of the Lebanon invasion, and George Shultz
took his place on July 16. Shultz should have seized the opportunity
presented by a transition in power to completely repudiate the
misconceived policies of his Machiavellian predecessor. But under the
direct tutelage of Henry Kissinger and his protigis, the ignorant and
impressionable Shultz wholeheartedly embraced the Kissinger/Haig
"strategic consensus" approach to U.S. Middle East foreign policy
decision making. The Reagan administration would quite imprudently
continue to rely upon the Israeli army for the imposition of America's
will upon Lebanon despite the Begin government's manifest propensity for
recalcitrance, atrocities and generally lawless behavior.
Thus Shultz readily approved the Begin-Sharon plot to
install a minority Phalangist regime in power at Beirut for the twin
purposes of establishing pro-Israeli central control over the warring
factions in Lebanon, as well as negotiating an overall peace settlement
decisively favorable to Israel. The Phalangist regime of Amin Gemayel
was created by and as a surrogate for the Israeli and American
governments that never represented anything more than a minority faction
among several groups fighting for control over Lebanon. Given the
circumstances surrounding the self-styled election of the Gemayel regime
amidst a cordon of Israeli troops, it would most accurately be
characterized under international law as a "puppet government." Indeed,
the Gemayel regime never exerted effective control over any region of
Lebanon except for a few limited sectors in the city of Beirut.
Essentially, therefore, Amin Gemayel was never even the "Mayor of
Beirut," let alone the President of all Lebanon and all Lebanese.
Consequently, the Gemayel regime possessed absolutely no
authority under international law to request U.S. military intervention
for the purpose of defeating its internal adversaries. The Reagan
administration's accession to its puppet government's request
constituted an impermissible act of intervention into Lebanon's civil
war that violated the international legal right of the Lebanese people
to self-determination as recognized by article 1(2) of the U.N. Charter.
The basic principle of international law and politics dictating
nonintervention in the domestic affairs of another state indicated quite
clearly that the Reagan administration should have refrained from taking
sides in favor of the Phalangists.
If the Reagan administration had really wanted to restore
peace and stability to Lebanon, it should have worked in conjunction
with the U.N. Security Council and its already present U.N. Interim
Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to create political, military, and economic
conditions that could have eventually permitted the establishment of a
truly independent and representative government acceptable to all of
Lebanon's diverse ethnic and religious groups. Instead, the Reagan
administration unquestioningly accepted at face value the Begin
government's spurious charge that UNIFIL could not be trusted because
the United Nations Organization as a whole was supposedly biased against
Israel. This self-serving canard obfuscated the legal and political
fact that UNIFIL operated under the auspices of the U.N. Security
Council, not the General Assembly, where the United States could have
exercised a veto power if necessary to protect Israel's legitimate
security needs as defined by international law. The record of evidence
clearly established that UNIFIL had proven to be quite effective at
preventing the large-scale infiltration of PLO fighters across the
Israeli-Lebanese border from the moment of its installation after the
Begin government's first invasion of Lebanon in 1978.14 A renewed and
strengthened mandate for UNIFIL would have enabled it to continue to
perform that task until the Lebanese army was reconstituted as an
effective military force under the control of a truly independent and
representative central government.
U.S. Military Intervention in Lebanon
By contrast, the Reagan administration pursued the exact
opposite course of conduct, which produced predictably disastrous
consequences for the Lebanese people as well as for U.S. marines and
diplomats stationed in Lebanon. Since UNIFIL was subject to the
jurisdiction of the U.N. Security Council, the Reagan administration
could not have manipulated UNIFIL to buttress the minority Phalangist
regime against its internal rivals. Hence the United States and Israel
launched a conscientious and coordinated effort to eviscerate and
eventually supplant UNIFIL in order to expand the power of their puppet
Gemayel government. To accomplish that illicit objective, the Reagan
administration first proceeded unilaterally to introduce a U.S. marine
corps expeditionary force into Beirut.15
When the lawless transparency and pernicious consequences
of this maneuver became obvious to the U.S. Congress and the American
people, the Reagan administration then induced its NATO allies to
contribute troops toward the formation of a self-styled "multinational
force" in order to provide a thin veneer of multilateral legitimacy.
But the "multinational force" had absolutely no authorization from
either the United Nations, the League of Arab States, or any other
source recognized as valid by the contemporary international legal order
to perform its so-called peacekeeping activities in Lebanon that were
really designed to bolster Gemayel against his political adversaries.
Even more ominously, the presence of the "multinational force" that
consisted of troops drawn from NATO countries in the environs of Beirut
raised the specter of rapid escalation into a general European war in
the then likely event of a Sharon-inspired clash by the Israeli army
with Soviet troops stationed in Syria and operating in the Bekaa Valley.
The U.S. War Powers Act of 197316 mandated that President
Reagan remove the American marine contingent he introduced into Lebanon
on September 29, 1982 within sixty days, unless Congress specifically
authorized their continued use. Yet the marines remained and needlessly
endured enormous casualties until February of 1984. The U.S. Congress
should have adamantly insisted that the President respect its
constitutional and statutory prerogatives in this matter by demanding
that all American military forces be immediately withdrawn from Beirut
and their positions occupied by UNIFIL troops. UNIFIL would have proven
far more effective at keeping the peace among the various factions in
Lebanon and at protecting the lives of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese
civilians from additional gross violations of their fundamental human
rights perpetrated by the Phalangists, the Haddad militia forces, and
other irregular paramilitary groups organized by the IDF than American
marines and some "multinational force" ever could have.
The Shultz "Peace Treaty" for Lebanon
For equally Machiavellian reasons, the Reagan
administration willingly acquiesced in the Begin government's
dissembling claim that the arguably lawful presence of the Arab
Deterrent Force (ADF) in eastern and northern Lebanon somehow justified
the egregiously illegal occupation of southern Lebanon by the Israeli
army. The ADF, composed primarily of Syrian troops, had been stationed
in Lebanon and conducted its peacekeeping operations with the consent of
the Lebanese government and with the approval of the League of Arab
States. The League was the appropriate regional organization under
Chapter 8 of the U.N. Charter for the purpose of sanctioning such
international peacekeeping activities in a member state such as Lebanon.
Indeed, with the explicit encouragement of the U.S.
government during the Ford/Kissinger administration, Syrian troops had
originally intervened into the Lebanese civil war in 197617 to protect
the Maronite Christian forces from defeat by the PLO, though without
obtaining prior approval from the Lebanese government. In this matter
Syria simply followed the international legal precedent already set by
the U.S. government in order to legitimize, on an ex post facto basis,
its illegal military intervention into and occupation of the Dominican
Republic in 1965. Thereafter, the Johnson administration resorted to
the Organization of American States for its approval to transform
American soldiers into an Inter-American Peacekeeping Force.18 Thus, by
virtue of its behavior in both 1965 and 1976, the U.S. government was
effectively estopped from denying in 1982 that the League of Arab States
could lawfully authorize the occupation of Lebanon by Syrian troops
integrated into the Arab Deterrent Force, provided (1) the ADF had the
consent of the Lebanese government, (2) it was subject to the overall
supervisory jurisdiction of the League, and (3) it operated for the
limited purpose of ameliorating the civil war that then mercilessly
raged throughout the country.
Nevertheless, the Reagan administration's acceptance of
Begin's unjustifiable "linkage" between IDF and ADF withdrawals from
Lebanon became the guiding principle for the one-sided negotiations
imposed upon Gemayel by Israel that were brokered by U.S. diplomats.
These desultory talks eventually resulted in the conclusion of what the
Begin government touted as a "peace treaty" that essentially would have
established a nineteenth-century-style colonial protectorate over
southern Lebanon by Israel. Because it was procured by means of the
blatant threat and use of force in egregious violation of the most basic
principles of international law, this May 17, 1983 Agreement on Troop
Withdrawal19 concluded between the regime of Amin Gemayel and the Begin
government under the personal auspices of George Shultz was void ab
initio under article 52 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of
Treaties.20 The agreement was entitled to absolutely no international
legal significance whatsoever. The Reagan administration's mere
attribution of any semblance of legal validity to this document simply
constituted a reward to the Begin government for the aggression it had
perpetrated against Lebanon.
The foreign and domestic policies of Lebanon should have
been determined by the Lebanese people themselves without interference
or compulsion from any external source. The most effective means to
have ensured the success of this endeavor would have been for the Reagan
administration to demand that Israel immediately withdraw its troops
from Lebanon and turn over evacuated territory to UNIFIL without any
prior conditions. An expanded and strengthened mandate for UNIFIL could
then have been obtained from the U.N. Security Council that eventually
would have permitted the withdrawal of the Arab Deterrent Force by the
League of Arab States at the request of a truly independent and
representative Lebanese government, and the deployment of UNIFIL troops
along the Lebanese-Syrian border in the ADF's positions. UNIFIL could
have remained in Lebanon for as long as a truly independent and
representative government felt it was needed to ensure the restoration
of internal peace and stability to that country and in its foreign
relations with immediate neighbors.
By the fall of 1984, the new Israeli coalition government
organized under the joint leadership of Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir
intimated that Israel might finally be prepared to consider an expanded
role for UNIFIL as a major element of some troop withdrawal
arrangement.21 The height of tragic irony here was that the Begin
government, acting in cooperation with the Reagan administration, could
have easily obtained an invigorated mandate for UNIFIL from the U.N.
Security Council in the spring of 1982. But for their own deranged
reasons, Begin and Sharon, aided and abetted by Haig and Reagan,
preferred an IDF invasion to a UNIFIL expansion. As a direct result,
over twenty thousand people were wantonly killed in Lebanon, including
almost six hundred fifty Israeli soldiers and three hundred American
soldiers and diplomats, all of whom needlessly lost their lives.22 The
Israeli invasion of Lebanon shall stand as one of the great
international crimes of the post World War II era. Yet so far domestic
public opinion in Israel and the United States have not held their
respective popularly elected leaders accountable for the commission of
numerous crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, war crimes,
grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and acts of genocide in
Lebanon. Have both the Israeli and the American peoples so readily
forgotten the Nuremberg Principles?
The Reagan Administration's Middle East "Peace Plan"
Because of the presence of almost 350,000 Palestinian
refugees in Lebanon, a long-term solution to the problems of that
country can only be achieved when Israel is willing to recognize the
international legal right of the Palestinian people to
self-determination. Despite the Camp David Accords,23 neither Egypt,
Israel, the United States, nor Jordan has any right under international
law to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people. Yet that is
precisely what the Reagan administration proposed to do when it
announced its stillborn Middle East "peace plan" on September 1, 1982.
Not surprisingly, as reported by Morton Kondracke in The New Republic of
October 4, 1982,24 the progenitor of the so-called Reagan Peace Plan was
none other than Henry Kissinger, who stole the idea from an October 1976
article in Foreign Affairs by former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Yigal
From the perspective of international law, the
Reagan/Allon Plan was severely deficient for a number of basic reasons.
First, and foremost was the fact that Reagan administration had
absolutely no right or standing under international law to exclude
unilaterally and in advance of any negotiations the creation of an
independent sovereign state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip from among
the various options open to the Palestinian people when they finally
have the opportunity to exercise their international legal right of
self-determination. When the Reagan administration unilaterally
foreclosed the option of an independent sovereign state to the
Palestinian people, it betrayed the fact that the keystone of its
foreign policy toward the Middle East still remained considerations of
Machiavellian power politics. By universal acclamation, such despicable
motivations are not entitled to the respect of other nations or the
support of the American people.
With the inglorious defeat and withdrawal of the U.S.
sponsored multilateral interventionary force in Lebanon during February
of 1984, the Reagan administration purposefully decided to disengage
from any further direct involvement in attempting to resolve the
numerous problems of that country, or even in trying to carry out the
terms of the congenitally defective Reagan Peace Plan against vigorous
Israeli opposition. Instead, the Reagan administration chose to wash
its hands of any further responsibility for the plight of the Lebanese
and Palestinian peoples and left them to the tender mercies of the
Israeli army. But the survivors of the carnage in Lebanon could not
forget the U.S. government's direct responsibility for their suffering,
and in a fit of pathetic rage would lash out against the interests of
the United States throughout the Middle East and Europe. The resurgence
of international terrorist attacks against the United States was the
direct result of the Reagan administration's callous and inhumane
foreign policies toward the Arab states and peoples of the Middle East.
Hence, the subsequent course of the Reagan administration's foreign
policy toward the Middle East would necessarily be consumed by its
self-proclaimed yet self-inflicted holy war against international
terrorism and international law.
Israel's "Iron Fist"
I spent the last two weeks of May 1986 traveling up and
down the West Bank and Gaza Strip and meeting with various
representatives of the Palestinian people. Almost all of them expressed
the opinion that they considered Yasir Arafat and the PLO to be their
sole and legitimate representative. Many also stated that they would be
prepared to live in peace with Israel if only they would be given a
state of their own. No Palestinian I talked with wanted to be returned
to the not-so-tender mercies of the Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan.
No point would be served here by listing the numerous
material breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 194926 and the 1907
Hague Regulations27 that are practiced by Israeli occupation authorities
on a daily basis in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem: torture,
murder, unlawful detention, deportations, collective punishments,
confiscation of private property, construction of illegal settlements,
etc. When I complained about these reprehensible practices to the
appropriate high-level legal officials at the Israeli Ministry of
Defense, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I
was told that they were all required by and could be justified under the
doctrine of "military necessity."28 Rather than engaging in an extended
debate over this point, I simply responded to all these lawyers that
this was precisely the argument used by the Nazi war criminals before
the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1945 to justify their own incredible outrages
upon humanity, including the Jewish people. The international community
did not accept these arguments in 1945, and I opined that they would not
accept them as of 1986.
Even more distressingly, upon a visit to the office of
the Legal Adviser to the Foreign Ministry to discuss the prospects for
peace, I was immediately informed that Israel had a "claim" under
international law to the West Bank: it might not constitute the basis
for perfect title, but it was nevertheless a "claim." At the time I
recalled the fact that of course Hitler had a "claim" to the Sudetenland
as well. Although the Munich Pact of 1938 permitted German occupation
and annexation of the Sudetenland into the Reich, this act of cowardice
by Great Britain and France ultimately paved the way for the outbreak of
the Second World War one year later, with all the tragic consequences
that conflagration entailed for the Jewish people, among others.
Today, the United States and Israel are striving to
consummate a Middle East version of the Munich Pact that will sell out
the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. Only history
will tell if the consequences shall be as tragic for the fate of the
Arab and Jewish peoples in the Middle East, if not the rest of the
world. I fear that there is a high probability that history will repeat
What most concerned me, however, was the total absence of
any concern on the part of high-level Israeli government officials to
negotiate a deal with the Palestinian people on the basic principle of
trading land for peace. Clearly, in the former's estimation, the land
is far more important than the peace, especially when the United States
government is willing to bankroll the Israeli economy, army, and
occupation policies. Meanwhile, the Israeli government continues to
consolidate its de facto annexation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and
has already formally but illegally annexed the Golan Heights and all of
Jerusalem.29 The massive uprising by the Palestinian people in the West
Bank, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and Israel-proper starting in December of
1987 was a natural reaction to what they perceive to be the tragic
plight of hopelessness, oppression, desperation and injustice that has
been inflicted upon them since at least 1947.
During my 1986 trip to Palestine, I was particularly
struck by a conversation I had with a young Palestinian college student
at An Najah University. To paraphrase his statement: "We Palestinians
are a peaceful people and would be willing to live in peace with the
Israelis if only they would leave us alone. But after twenty years of a
very brutal military occupation, no one has done anything to help us.
If we are going to make any progress, then we will have to become like
the Irish and turn our country into Belfast. The IRA have gotten
somewhere. So have the comrades in South Africa. We must follow their
example!" That is precisely how Palestinian youths in the West Bank,
Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, Israel-proper, and the diaspora feel today. The
entire world has now witnessed the awesome manifestation of their
justifiable rage. If U.S. and Israeli leaders had any foresight and
compassion, or even basic commonsense, they would strike a deal with
Arafat and the PLO for a two-state solution before it becomes too late.
If history is any judge, however, it is highly unlikely
that the leadership elites of either Israel, or more importantly, of the
United States will demonstrate the requisite degree of sagacity on their
own accord. For example, toward the end of my 1986 trip to Palestine, I
visited the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to complain about some of the
Israeli occupation practices. An assistant U.S. political attachi
informed me that such matters concerned "internal affairs" of the
Israeli government. I stridently objected: Under basic rules of
international law, the Israeli government is what is known as a
"belligerent occupant" of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, and
Jerusalem. Pursuant to article 4 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of
1949 Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, all
non-Israelis living in these occupied territories are what are called
"protected persons."30 Article 147 thereof provides that any of the
following acts committed against "protected persons" are "grave
breaches" of the Convention: "wilful killing, torture or inhumane
treatment . . . wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to
body or health. . . ."31 Furthermore, article 146 mandates all state
parties to impose "effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or
ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present
Convention. . . ."32 Thus, any Israeli political leaders or military
officers who have ordered or committed such "grave breaches" are "war
criminals" within the meaning of the Geneva Conventions and the
Nuremberg Principles. These Israeli war criminals can and must be tried
by any state in the world community that obtains jurisdiction over them.
Finally, under common article 1 to the Four Geneva
Conventions of 1949, all state parties are obliged not only to respect,
but also "to ensure respect for the present Convention in all
circumstances."33 When a party to the Conventions such as Israel is
committing "grave breaches," such practices are not "an internal affair"
but rather international crimes and therefore a matter of international
concern. The United States government, inter alia, has an absolute
obligation to use its enormous political, military and economic leverage
over Israel to terminate such criminal practices. Yet for the past
forty years the United States government has had no response to make to
the desperate pleas by the Palestinian people for freedom, justice,
dignity, respect and independence--in other words, for
self-determination. After twenty years of an incredibly inhumane
military occupation, the only really effective manner for all states
party to the Geneva Conventions to ensure respect for the terms of the
Fourth Convention in these occupied territories would be to compel
Israeli military forces to withdraw by all means possible, both
individually and collectively.
The Solution
In defensive reaction to American Jewish critics of his
country's latest rendition of the "iron fist" policy against the
Palestinian uprising on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israeli President
Chaim Herzog invited the former to propose a constructive alternative.
There has been one solution readily at hand for the past forty years.
On November 29, 1947 the United Nations General Assembly adopted
Resolution 181 (II), which called for the creation of independent Arab
and Jewish states and an international trusteeship for the city of
Jerusalem after the termination of the League of Nations Mandate for
Palestine.34 The international legal right of the Jewish people to
found the sovereign state of Israel stands on no better legal footing
than the international legal right of the Palestinian people to found an
independent state of their own.
The self-determination of peoples has been a fundamental
principle of American foreign policy and of international law and
politics since President Woodrow Wilson's famous Fourteen Points Address
of January 8, 1918.35 That speech set forth the war aims and peace
terms pursued by the U.S. government throughout the First World War, the
last one of which called for the creation of the League of Nations that
ultimately granted the Mandate for Palestine to Great Britain in 1922.36
The fundamental interdependence of universal peace among nations and
the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples was
explicitly reaffirmed in article 1(2) of the Charter of the United
Nations, which became the successor to the League.37
As fully documented in the Kahan Commission Report (1983)
and Israeli's Lebanon War (1984) by the Israeli journalists Ze'ev Schiff
and Ehud Ya'ari, the Begin/Sharon government's pursuit of a policy
tantamount to genocide against Palestinian refugees in Lebanon
demonstrated precisely why they require an independent state of their
own in order to better protect their physical existence and to preserve
their cultural heritage. In the aftermath of the Second World War,
identical sentiments motivated the international community to support
the creation of the state of Israel for the protection of the Jewish
people against a repetition of the Nazi holocaust. Despite dramatic
improvements in the utility of international human rights law in direct
reaction to the genocidal horrors of World War II, as Woodrow Wilson
correctly foresaw, an independent state still remains the only effective
means that the international community has so far devised to defend one
national group from physical and cultural annihilation by another
national group.
There will be no peace in the Middle East until the
Palestinian people are likewise given the opportunity to exercise their
international legal right of self-determination in whatever manner they
choose, not in accordance with a limited set of alternatives
pre-selected for them by the United States in collusion with Israel,
Egypt, and Jordan. Both the U.N. General Assembly and the League of
Arab States have determined that the PLO is the legitimate
representative of the Palestinian people.38 That determination must be
respected by the United States, Israel and Egypt for the purpose of
negotiating an overall settlement on the ultimate disposition of the
West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Revise Resolution 242
Mutual and simultaneous recognition of their respective
rights under international law by Israel and the PLO must become the
next stage in the development of the Middle East peace process. In this
regard, there is one constructive step a successor government to the
Reagan administration can undertake to break the current logjam and open
the way for a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The
U.S. government should sponsor an amendment to U.N. Security Council
Resolution 242 (1967)39 along the following lines:
First, this amendment would affirm explicitly the
international legal right of the Palestinian people to
self-determination, including an independent state of their own. This
could be accomplished in part by having a revised Resolution 242 approve
and adopt Resolution 181(II), thus confirming a two-state solution to
the current problems of the former Palestine Mandate. The PLO has
already publicly stated its willingness to accept Resolution 242 in
conjunction with Resolution 181(II), inter alia. Israel has already
officially agreed to abide by both resolutions.
Second, with respect to the need for ensuring Israel's
existence, a revised Resolution 242 would continue to affirm the
necessity for "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."
Finally, Resolution 242 should be amended specifically to
protect the state of Israel by name, which it does not now do, as well
as the state of Palestine by name, which it does not now do.
Such a revised Resolution 242 should then be proposed for
acceptance to Israel and the PLO. Their mutual and simultaneous
acceptance of a revised Resolution 242 could then serve as the basis for
opening formal negotiations over the ultimate disposition of the West
Bank and Gaza Strip among the parties directly concerned (i.e., Israel,
the PLO, and Jordan). A separate set of negotiations directly between
Israel and Syria could deal with the permanent demilitarization of the
Golan Heights and their return to Syria. Both sets of direct
negotiations could occur within the overall framework of an
international peace conference held under the auspices of the United
Nations Security Council, which ultimately will have to approve and
guarantee whatever peace settlements are finally reached between the
parties directly concerned in their separate sets of negotiations.
Any troop withdrawals, territorial rearrangements and
demilitarization regimes will have to be supervised by a permanent U.N.
Middle East Peace Supervision Force organized under Chapter 7 of the
U.N. Charter and reporting directly to the Security Council. This Force
could not be removed without the Security Council's explicit approval,
including that of all five permanent members, each of which would retain
indefinitely a veto power over the removal of the Force. In that
manner, the U.S. government alone could prevent the hasty departure of
the Force in the face of threatened hostilities. This would solve the
problem that occurred in 1967 when U.N. Secretary General U Thant
withdrew the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) from the Sinai. The
U.N. General Assembly had organized UNEF in 1956 as a peacekeeping force
under Chapter 6 of the U.N. Charter. But because of the unique
circumstances surrounding the creation of UNEF, the Secretary General
did not believe that he had the legal authority to insist that UNEF
remain in the Sinai against the express wishes of the Egyptian
government. By contrast, the members of the Security Council can
legally, politically, and if necessary, militarily impose their will
upon aggressive states by virtue of Charter article 25 and their
enforcement powers under Chapter 7.40
Finally, the United States government should be prepared
to provide bilateral guarantees of an overall peace settlement to
Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Syria if so requested. The Carter
administration essentially did this in order to procure the 1979
Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty that was based upon the 1978 Camp David
Accords. If Israel so desires, the United States government should also
be prepared to enter into a mutual defense treaty with Israel modelled
along the lines of article 5 of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty to the
effect that "an armed attack against" Israel "shall be considered an
attack against" the United States.41 A U.S. guarantee has kept the
completely surrounded and once beleaguered city of Berlin free and open
for the past forty years. It should be able to do the same for Israel.
Notes to Chapter 4
1. Treaty of Peace, Egypt-Israel, Mar. 26, 1979, reprinted in
18 I.L.M. 362, 365 (1979).
2. Cf. Z. Schiff & E. Ya'ari, Israel's Lebanon War 62-65 (1984).
3. Id.
4. U.N. Charter, reprinted in H. Briggs, The Law of Nations
(2nd ed. 1952).
5. S.C. Res. 242 (1967), 22 U.N. SCOR (1382d mtg.) at 8-9,
U.N. Doc. S/8247 (1967).
6. S.C. Res. 338, 28 U.N. SCOR 10, U.N. Doc. S/RES/338 (1973).
7. Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian
Persons in Time of War, Aug. 12, 1949, 6 U.S.T. 3516, T.I.A.S. No. 3365.
8. See London Agreement, Aug. 8, 1945, 59 Stat. 1544, E.A.S.
No. 472.
9. Cf. Z. Schiff & E. Ya'ari, supra note 2, at 250-285.
10. Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Conditions of
the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Aug. 12, 1949, 6
U.S.T. 3115, T.I.A.S. No. 3362; Geneva Convention for the Amelioration
of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed
Forces at Sea, Aug. 12, 1949, 6 U.S.T. 3219, T.I.A.S. No. 3363; Geneva
Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Aug. 12, 1949,
6 U.S.T. 3316, T.I.A.S. No. 3364; Geneva Convention Relative to the
Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, supra note 7.
11. S.C. Res. 508 (1982), reprinted in Dept. St. Bull., Sept.
1982, at 14.
12. S.C. Res. 509 (1982), reprinted in id.
13. U.N. Charter art. 25: "The Members of the United Nations
agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in
accordance with the present Charter."
14. See, e.g., Report of the Secretary-General on the United
Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (12 Dec. 1980 to 12 June 1981), 36 U.N.
SCOR Supp. (Apr.-June 1981) at 1, 11, 21, U.N. Doc. S/14537 (1981);
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Force in
Lebanon (16 June to 10 Dec. 1981), 37 U.N. SCOR Supp. (Oct.-Dec. 1981)
at 1, 9, U.N. Doc. S/14789 (1981).
15. See N.Y. Times, Aug. 11, 1982, at A12, col. 6; id., Aug.
21, 1982, at A1, col. 1.
16. War Powers Act, Pub. L. No. 93-148, 87 Stat. 555 (1973).
17. See N.Y. Times, Apr. 10, 1976, at 1, col. 6 (Syrian troops
intervene); id., June 6, 1976, at 1, col. 8 (Christian leadership
endorses Syrian intervention); id., Oct. 19, 1976, at 1, col. 6 (Arab
Deterrent Force created).
18. Resolution of the Tenth Meeting of Consultation of the
Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics Establishing an
Inter-American Force for the Dominican Republic, May 6, 1965, reprinted
in Dept. St. Bull., May 31, 1965, at 862-63. See also Department of
State, Legal Basis For United States Actions in the Dominican Republic
(May 17, 1965), reprinted in 111 Cong. Rec. 11119 (1969).
19. Agreement on Troop Withdrawal, May 17, 1983,
Israel-Lebanon, reprinted in N.Y. Times, May 17, 1983, at 4. See also
N.Y. Times, May 18, 1983, at 1, col. 3.
20. Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, May 22, 1969,
U.N. Doc. A/CONF. 39/27, at 289 (1969), [1980] Gr. Brit. T.S. No. 58
(Cmd. 7964) (entered into force Jan. 27, 1980), reprinted in 8 I.L.M.
679 (1969). Article 52 provides:
Coercion of a State by the threat or use of force
A treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by
the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of
international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.
21. See N.Y. Times, Nov. 1, 1984, at A1, col. 1; id., Dec. 21,
1984, at A1, col. 8.
22. See Rubenberg, The Israeli Invasion of Lebanon: Objectives
and Consequences, 8 J. of South Asian and Middle East Stud. 3, 16-18 (1984).
23. See Camp David Accords, Sept. 17, 1978, reprinted in Dept.
St. Bull., Oct. 1978, at 7. The Camp David Accords include a Framework
for Peace in the Middle East, reprinted in id. at 7-9, and a Framework
for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty Between Egypt and Israel, reprinted
in id. at 9-10.
24. Kondracke, White House Watch: Shultz's First Move, in The
New Republic, Oct. 4, 1982, at 13.
25. Allon, Israel: The Case for Defensible Borders, in Foreign
Affairs, Oct. 1976, at 38.
26. Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian
Persons in Time of War, August 12, 1949, 6 U.S.T. 3516, T.I.A.S. No.
3365, 75 U.N.T.S. 287 (hereinafter Fourth Geneva Convention).
27. Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague, IV), October 18,
1907, 36 Stat. 2277, T.S. No. 539, 1 Bevans 631 (hereinafter Hague IV of
28. Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits
destruction of public or private real or personal property by an
occupying power "except where it is rendered absolutely necessary by
military operations." Moreover, articles 146 and 147 set forth the
sanctions for grave breaches of the Convention "not justified by
military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly."
29. Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides that
"protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived .
. . of the benefits of the present Convention . . . by any annexation by
the [occupying power] of the whole or part of the occupied territory."
30. Article 4 states that "persons protected by the Convention
are those who, at any given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find
themselves, in case of conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party
to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals."
31. Fourth Geneva Convention art. 147.
32. Id. at art. 146.
33. Id. at art. 1.
34. G.A. Res. 181 (II), U.N. Doc. A/519, at 131 (1947).
35. See President Wilson's State Papers and Addresses 462-72
(A. Shaw ed. 1918).
36. Id.
37. U.N. Charter art. 1(2), reprinted in Basic Documents of the
United Nations 1-25 (L. Sohn ed. 1968).
38. See e.g., G.A. Res. 32/40(A), 32 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 45),
U.N. Doc. A/32/45 (1977) (General Assembly referring to a statement of
the Palestine Liberation Organization--"the representative of the
Palestinian people"). See also 32 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 35), U.N. Doc.
A/32/35 paras. 46-79 (1977).
39. S.C. Res. 242, 22 U.N. SCOR (1382d mtg.), U.N. Doc. S/8247
40. U.N. Charter arts. 25 & 39-51.
41. North Atlantic Treaty, April 4, 1949, 34 U.N.T.S. 243, at
art. 5.