Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon says “it’s time for the UN Interim Force in Lebanon to fulfill its mandate.” The Force claimed this week that the “Green Without Borders” non-governmental organization (NGO) — which Danon has warned is being used as a cover by the Hezbollah terrorist organization — does not violate UN Security Council resolutions.
“It is unfortunate that UNIFIL has chosen to turn the other way as Hezbollah continues to operate in the region,” Danon said in response.
“This NGO is not protecting the environment, but is conducting reconnaissance activity along our border,” he declared. “ It is time for UNIFIL to fulfill its mandate and ensure that UN Security Council resolutions are implanted.”
Earlier this week Ambassador Danon presented new information to the Security Council revealing that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization has established outposts along the border with Israel, under the civilian guise of the agricultural NGO, “Green Without Borders.” Danon included photographs and other information with his report.
UNIFIL was originally created by the UN Security Council in March 1978 to “confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security, and assist the Lebanese Government in restoring its effective authority in the area,” according to the UN website.
After the 2006 Second Lebanon War, however, the Council expanded UNIFIL and its mandate to include monitoring the cessation of hostilities. The force was additionally mandated to “accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the south of Lebanon; and extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.”
It’s not a new phenomenon for Hezbollah to violate UN resolutions, or for UNIFIL to ignore the violations.
Hezbollah has violated Resolutions 1559 and 1701, and the Lebanese Taif Agreement as well, repeatedly over the past decade. Resolution 1559, passed in 2004, calls for “disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias” – which includes Hezbollah – and is laughable, given the fact that Hezbollah has not only rearmed, but is now arguably better armed than the country’s own official and legitimate military force itself.
Resolution 1701, that which set the cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006, calls for the Lebanese Prime Minister and the commitment of the Government of Lebanon … to extend its authority over its territory, through its own legitimate armed forces, such that there will be no weapons without the consent of the Government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the Government of Lebanon …”
…for it to exercise its full sovereignty, so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the Government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the Government of Lebanon….
The only problem with all this is that with the backing and aid of Iran, the once-small militia, Hezbollah, has today grown to become a significant faction in the Lebanese parliament, and in fact also wields power over a number of ministers in the government cabinet itself. Thus it defangs Resolution 1701.
North Korea murdered Otto Warmbier and a fierce response is needed, says a prominent expert on China and North Korea.
But he warns the increasingly belligerent actions of the communist regime are a result of the U.S. failing to hold it accountable for more than two decades.
Earlier this month, North Korea released Warmbier after imprisoning him for 16 months. He spent the vast majority of that time in a coma and died just days after returning to Ohio. North Korea claimed Warmbier’s coma stemmed from a bout of botulism and that he was released on humanitarian grounds.
U.S. doctors found no evidence of botulism.
“At this point, we have to go with the overwhelming evidence and that is indeed an issue of murder,” said Gordon Chang, a leading scholar on China and North Korea and the author of “Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World.”
“It may have been guards who got overzealous, but it probably was an order from the top of the regime to send a message to the United States,” said Chang. “It was as horrific as we can think. This is a good reminder when we start to talk about negotiating with the North Koreans of who we are actually dealing with.”
On Friday, the North Korean regime vigorously denied torturing Warmbier, insisting it provided him medical care and then released him on humanitarian grounds.
While the actions of Kim Jong-un’s regime infuriate the Trump administration, Chang says increased North Korean aggression is simply a result of the U.S. doing virtually nothing in response to provocations for decades.
“We have not imposed costs on North Korea for their brutalized treatment of Americans: the seizure of the (USS) Pueblo in 1968, the shoot down of the Air Force EC-121 with the loss of 31 lives. Again, no penalty was imposed. We never do so, so of course the North Koreans think they can kill us,” said Chang.
“Yes, the North Koreans are villains, but this has become an issue not of North Korea. It’s become an issue of the American response to North Korea, he views of the American policy establishment, the views of American administrations – Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives,” said Chang.
“The North Koreans will continue to act in this way until the United States imposes some costs. So this has become a question of us, not them,” he added.
He believes going after North Korean money would send a crystal clear message.
“I think the most important thing would be to cut North Korea off from the global financial system by cutting North Korea off from Chinese banks, which are participating in illicit North Korean commerce and North Korean crimes,” said Chang.
A very reasonable assessment of the coming Feast of Trumpets by pastor Mike
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