If a picture is in fact “worth a thousand words”, which thousand words support this picture of Kofi Annan’s handshake with the leader of Hezbollah in Lebabon?
(taken from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s address to the UN Security Council, 20 July 2006)
I have already condemned Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel, and acknowledged Israel’s right to defend itself under Article 51 of the UN Charter. I do so again today. I also condemn Hezbollah’s reckless disregard for the wishes of the elected Government of Lebanon, and for the interests of the Lebanese people and the wider region.
Israel has confirmed that its operation in Lebanon has wider and more far-reaching goals than the return of its captured soldiers, and that its aim is to end the threat posed by Hezbollah. The mission was informed that the operation is not yet approaching the achievement of this objective.
Israel states that it has no quarrel with the government or the people of Lebanon, and that it is taking extreme precautions to avoid harm to them. Yet a number of its actions have hurt and killed Lebanese civilians and military personnel and caused great damage to infrastructure. While Hezbollah’s actions are deplorable, and as I’ve said Israel has a right to defend itself, the excessive use of force is to be condemned.
Everyone wants to talk about civilian casualties in Israel and the “excessive force” used by the Israelis. If Hezbollah were concerned with such things, perhaps they’d stop encouraging (or forcing) the Lebanese to act as human shields. I have yet to see any formal condemnation of this vile practice.