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August 13, 2006
Israel Cabinet Unanimously Adopts Cease-Fire

It does not appear that the UN Security Council cease-fire resolution created much controversy in Israeli politics. Ehud Olmert's Cabinet unanimously agreed to adopt it, with only one abstention:

The cabinet approved the UN cease-fire deal after a stormy debate Sunday, clearing a key hurdle to ending the monthlong Mideast war, the government said.

The 24-0 vote, with one abstention, came a day after the Lebanese government approved the agreement, and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave his grudging consent. The truce was to take effect on Monday morning, but the potential for new flareups remained high. ...

Addressing reporters after the vote, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said the cease-fire deal approved would bring about a "change in the rules of the game" between Israel and Lebanon.

"The decision is good for Israel. I am not naive. I live in the Middle East and I know that not every decision in the Middle East is implemented and yet I still say it's good for Israel. It can lead to the real change in the Middle East that we have all been waiting for."

She noted that "The world now understands that Israel will not accept a terrorist organization on our border firing upon our citizens. We achieved most of our goals. If it's implemented, the change has been dramatic."

Under Israel's parliamentary government, the Israeli Cabinet comprises several political groups, who get ministries in order to form ruling coalitions. A unanimous decision at this level shows strong political support for the decision, which somewhat undermines the notion that Olmert acted outside the political mainstream in this effort.

Livni, whose relationship with Olmert has apparently been less than cordial of late, assured Israelis that this agreement delivers the goals for which Israel fought the monthlong war. Lebanon will take control of the south and will have responsibility for security on the Blue Line. Hezbollah will cease being a state within a state, which happens as soon as the Lebanese Army take up their positions in southern Lebanon, a no-go area for the Beirut government for years. They also have the responsibility for enforcing an arms embargo, explicitly a condition of the cease-fire, and the failure of which allows Israel to reject the cease-fire and begin offensive operations again.

It's obviously not the perfect solution, nor even a very good one. It's not the disaster that some would paint it, either, and if implemented properly would allow Israel to keep its northern territory safe from terrorist attack. Israel still retains the war option if it doesn't work. The Israelis appear to agree with that assessment.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 13, 2006 9:33 AM

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Well, Olmert handled this war terrificly, didn't he? He refused to allow enough ground forces to enter southern Lebanon until it already was too late, when this war started he was completely opposed to UNIFIL, now UNIFIL will simply be expanded, the re... [Read More]

Tracked on August 13, 2006 12:31 PM


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