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A Boycott of Lebanon for Defying the Security Council? Unlikely

In 2004, 2005, and 2006, the United Nations Security Council passed resolutions calling on the Lebanese government to disband and disarm any militias within its borders—a clear, although not explicit, reference to Hizballah. Beirut, however, has done nothing to comply, and the newly elected government has all but announced that it has no intention to do so. Nevertheless, a White House spokesman has praised it for working “to uphold and implement Lebanon’s international commitments.” Where, wonders Elliott Abrams, are the calls to boycott and sanction Lebanon?

What happens when UN Security Council resolutions are ignored? That depends, really—on whether you are any of 192 other members of the United Nations, or are Israel. . . .

Of course the two situations are not comparable—not when you consider that Hizballah is a murderous terrorist group that kills people every day, and was likely involved in killing Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s father Rafik in 2005. . . . So one can sympathize with Saad Hariri and other Lebanese politicians when they bow to Hizballah. . . .

But the fact remains that Lebanon is defying the Security Council very clearly and very deliberately, and no one says a word about it (except to applaud). No one is threatening a boycott of Lebanese goods until it complies. No one is suggesting that Lebanese politicians are violating international law by their complicity with and now official defense of Hizballah. Actually, some pressure from the West might be useful in empowering and emboldening Lebanese politicians who are trying to resist Hizballah, and risking their lives by doing so. But that’s not the point here. The point is that plenty of countries defy the UN but in very, very few cases is this even noticed, and in fewer still is anyone punished.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations

Why Israeli Arabs Should Drop Their Political Parties

Even as Israel’s Arab citizens enjoy rights, freedoms, and economic opportunities unrivaled in the Arab world, their political leadership is more intent on undermining the Jewish state than on serving their actual interests. Moshe Arens, a former Israeli defense minister, comments. (Free registration may be required.)

[T]he Knesset members of the [Arab] Joint List have nothing but criticism for Israel and praise for its enemies, be they Iran, President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Hizballah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, or Palestinian terrorists. . . . Although spanning the ideological spectrum from Communism (aside from the North Koreans, the only Communists still around), the Muslim Brotherhood (called the Islamic Movement in Israel), and Baathists (the Balad party), they are united in their hatred of Israel. Naturally, they do not call for Arab integration into Israeli society.

Those who oppose the polygamy rampant in the Arab community oppose Israeli measures to curb it. Those who are against the abuse of women and so-called honor killings think these are “local problems” that should be handled by the Arabs themselves. Nor do they want the Israel police to handle the crime running wild in Israel’s Arab towns. Keep Israel out of your lives, is their common motto. They oppose young Arabs volunteering for either military or civilian national service. . . .

Within Israel’s Arab community there is a struggle between those who insist on rejecting everything Israel stands for while supporting its enemies and those who want to integrate into Israeli society and take advantage of the opportunities it offers. . . . Can Israel’s Arabs become a beacon of democracy and modernity for the Arab world, or will they provide proof that Arabs are not yet prepared to enter the 21st century? . . .

[E]ach year, growing numbers of young Arabs volunteer for national service and join the ranks of Israel’s military and police. At the moment, the only way this trend can express itself politically is for these individuals to drop their support for the Joint List in favor of Israel’s existing political parties, and for these parties to welcome Arabs into their ranks.

Read more at Haaretz

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli Arabs, Israeli politics, Joint List