Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Peace keepers in Lebanon

Let me share a story I've heard from an IDF soldier , this evening on my way home.

About 500 meters from the border there are remains of a house that was destroyed during the last war. Of that house, only the concrete pillars left standing, therefore the house is called the "pillar house" among the soldiers. It is known, that in a bunker, hidden in the basement of that house, there is still, a large quantity of weapons and fighting gear.
Leaving aside the question, why didn't IDF remove these weapons during the war, I would like to convey you to you, a scene that the IDF soldiers witness from their watch post.
On the Lebanese side of the fence, from time to time you can see a group of people (Hezbollah without any doubt) arriving in their off-road vehicles and Mercedes taking out of the remains of the buatilding crates and boxes and loading them at their cars, while the UN soldiers peacefully observe, from a few meters distance, sometimes leaving their personal weapons in their patrol vehicle.

Quoting the soldier, "the UN forces are a joke", is something that was to be expected.


SnoopyTheGoon said...

Ah well - sranie umniki.
Yeah, I remember stuff like this too from way before - 1982, approximately...

Anonymous said...

I am now a retired person but spent some years of my life working as a UN soldier. I lived in Jerusalem, Tiberias, Tibnin, Beruit for up to a year in some and lesser periods in Cairo, Damascus, Kuwait, Umm Kasr, Gaza, and Basrah and others. I got to know and make friends in all these places. I listened to all versions of the situation but maintained neutral in all my dealings. I know the United Nations and its faults well. Its not perfect, but it is the best we got. The united nations "soldier" on the ground will usually do his best but remember he only carries arms for self-defence is there in small numbers and must rely on the moral authority of the UN. He is not there as a policeman. The fact is that all parties in conflict areas (europe included) very often do not respect this. Becoming a third party will only make a bad situation worse. I made many good friends while in Tiberias and Jerusalem and indeed Beirut too I did what I could do and too personal risks working on the Golan Heights (and other places) travelling and reporting hostile actions from both sides which information was used at NeW York level to control the situation and later when we got a cease-fire to maintain it. I understand who from a perspective of a citizen living in Israel that it is easy to believe the UN is ineffective, inefficient etc. Hope this might make people think a bit wider. ND

Woland said...

Dear commenter, I understand your both sentiments and arguments regarding this issue. I know how is it to be a third party in the middle, placing yourself between two fighting parties, becoming a beating sack for both parties. I understand that you can never satisfy both parties and there will always be complaints from both of them. All this I really do understand.
However there is a long way between being the victim of the situation and watching the terrorists (guerrilla fighters, for some) retrieving weapons and doing absolutely nothing about it. You even probably know that it wasn't a sole incident, or a single rotten egg. Remember the French, who do nothing to stop the Hizballah receive weapons from Syria and Iran, but report their readiness to shoot down Israeli jets.

The problem is that beside other factors, the UN soldiers probably know that Israeli army wouldn't intentionally attempt to harm them, while the other side wouldn't blink an eye, if it serves their interest.
And I bet they didn't hesitate to inform the UN soldiers about it.