Open letter from Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah published on Feb. 16, 1985 in Al Safir
The Necessity for the Destruction of Israel
We see in Israel the vanguard of the United States in our Islamic world. It is the hated enemy that must be fought until the hated ones get what they deserve. This enemy is the greatest danger to our future generations and to the destiny of our lands, particularly as it glorifies the ideas of settlement and expansion, initiated in Palestine, and yearning outward to the extension of the Great Israel, from the Euphrates to the Nile. Our primary assumption in our fight against Israel states that the Zionist entity is aggressive from its inception, and built on lands wrested from their owners, at the expense of the rights of the Muslim people.
Therefore our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no cease fire, and no peace agreements, whether separate or consolidated. We vigorously condemn all plans for negotiation with Israel, and regard all negotiators as enemies, for the reason that such negotiation is nothing but the recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation of Palestine.
As war looms on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, and while demonstrations are continuing around the world by the uneducated who cannot absorb more than 140 characters, it is imperative that the history of the region is understood in order to explain the justness of the cause if Israel chooses to do battle on its northern front. Let us examine the 3 most recent UN Security Council Resolutions on South Lebanon.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559
The Taif Agreement and UN Resolution 1559 was reached to provide “the basis for the ending of the civil war and the return to political normalcy in Lebanon“. Negotiated in Taif, Saudi Arabia, it was designed to end the 15 year-long Lebanese Civil War and reassert Lebanese government authority in southern Lebanon. It was signed on 22 October 1989 and ratified by the Lebanese parliament on 5 November, 1989.
Both UN Resolution 1559 and the Taif Agreement call for the “disbanding of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias,” including Hezbollah. Hezbollah never dismantled its military wing as these agreements required. The major part of the agreement ordered all armed militias operating in Lebanon to disarm. Hezbollah did not, and a few years after the agreement was signed, Hezbollah was still firing hundreds of rockets on Israeli cities.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1559: Reaffirms its call for the strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and political independence of Lebanon; calls upon all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon; calls for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias; supports the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory; declares its full support for a free and fair electoral process in Lebanon’s upcoming presidential election conducted according to Lebanese constitutional rules devised without foreign interference or influence; calls upon all parties concerned to cooperate fully and urgently with the Security Council for the full implementation of its resolutions; requests that the Secretary-General report to the Council within 30 days on the implementation by the parties of this resolution. https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/529421
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1680
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1680, adopted on May 17, 2006, after recalling previous resolutions on Lebanon, strongly encouraged Syria to respond positively to Lebanon’s request to delineate borders and establish diplomatic relations, with the purpose of asserting Lebanon’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1680: Reiterates Security Council’s call for the full implementation of all requirements of resolution 1559 (2004); reiterates also its call on all concerned States and parties to cooperate fully with the Government of Lebanon; strongly encourages the Government of Syria to respond positively to the request made by the Government of Lebanon to delineate their common border and to establish full diplomatic relations and representation; commends the Government of Lebanon for undertaking measures against movements of arms into Lebanese territory and calls on the Government of Syria to take similar measures; reiterates its support to the Secretary-General and his Special envoy in their efforts and dedication to facilitate and assist in the implementation of all provisions of resolution 1559 (2004). https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/575280?ln=en
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 is a resolution that was intended to resolve the 2006 Lebanon War. The resolution calls for a full cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon to be replaced by Lebanese and UNIFIL forces deploying to southern Lebanon, and the disarmament of armed groups including Hezbollah. It emphasizes Lebanon’s need to fully exert government control and calls for efforts to address the unconditional release of abducted Israeli soldiers.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1701: This resolution calls for the full cessation of hostilities, the deployment of Lebanese forces to Southern Lebanon, parallel withdrawal of Israeli forces behind the Blue Line, strengthening the UN force (UNIFIL) to facilitate the entry of Lebanese Forces in the region and the establishment of a demilitarised zone between the Blue Line and the Litani River. It also calls for UN Secretary-General to develop proposals to implement the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords as well as Security Council Resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006) and imposes an arms embargo on Lebanon. The resolution was formally agreed to by both parties within 48 hours of its adoption. https://peacemaker.un.org/israellebanon-resolution1701
And this is where we are today.
The international community, through the UN Security Council, has demanded multiple times that Hezbollah disarm. Instead, Hezbollah has continually ignored these demands. They ignored UN Resolution 1701, which called for a zone free of armed personnel besides the army of Lebanon. They ignored UN Resolution 1559 and the Lebanese Taif Agreement, which ended the Lebanese Civil War and called for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias. Hezbollah clearly shows it has no intention of ever laying down its arms.
In clear violation of the resolutions, Hezbollah has remained in southern Lebanon and has even expanded its missile arsenal. By 2014, Hezbollah had an estimated 100,000 rockets and missiles with short, medium and long ranges, five times what it had during the Second Lebanon War. Today the estimate is about 150,000 rockets and missiles.
“…no foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its government.”
Hezbollah, despite the intent of the State of Lebanon, has not disarmed. The area between the border of israel and the Litani River is supposed to be totally de-militarized.
“It is impossible for weapons to stay raised against the will of a democratic people and against the truth,” Saad al-Hariri, Former Prime Minister of Lebanon said on March 2013. “We want to put [Hezbollah’s weapons] under the control and authority of the state because it’s the army which protects us all.“
UNIFIL troops (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) are designated as an observer force only. In 2006, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said, “Troops are not going in there to disarm – let’s be clear. The UNIFIL force will only carry out interception missions if asked by the Lebanese government.”
In Gaza, we have learned that UNRWA bears a lot of blame. In South Lebanon, UNIFIL is totally useless as a peace-keeping force. In my proposal for a Three State Solution I specifically stated that there should not be any UN presence in the area.
I was also asked “what about Lebanon in your vision of a Three State Solution?”
Lebanon is a failed state. The political system of Lebanon is based on a sectarian power-sharing structure which has failed in light of all the assassinations and bombings. Lebanon is no longer the proud state that it was. Known as the banking and financial capital of the Middle East, it is now close to bankruptcy. The financial center of the Middle East is now in the Gulf States.
On the verge of bankruptcy, a year ago Lebanon, in spite of it being technically still at war with Israel, signed an agreement with Israel in which maritime rights to natural gas would be respected. If Israel goes to war in Southern Lebanon, there is no doubt that this agreement would end and Lebanon’s last hope for a revival would die.
Hezbollah doesn’t command the same world empathy that Hamas does, so Israel would have more freedom to completely destroy Hezbollah’s command and control capabilities and their weapons systems without regard to civilian casualties. This could be done in a matter of days, if not hours. The belief is that the civilians in Southern Lebanon have had enough time to flee over the last few months.
Nasrallah made a mistake and apologized to the Lebanese people in 2006 by “poking the bear” and Israel laid Southern Lebanon, including Beirut, to waste. Yoav Gallant’s warning that ‘We’ll return Lebanon to the Stone Age’, should not go unheeded.