August 11, 2006
E. Robert Goodkind, President
August 9, 2006
His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan
The United Nations
I would like to recall our meeting with you last week in which we discussed the current crisis in Lebanon. In the midst of this crisis you received us most graciously for which I again express our appreciation. As you have confirmed, this crisis is the result of Hezbollah’s unprovoked aggression against Israel on July 12. Israel fully complied with Security Council resolution 425 by withdrawing its troops from Lebanon in May 2000. You confirmed Israel’s compliance, as did the Security Council in several resolutions. There was no justification whatsoever for any attack against Israeli troops across the border.
In our meeting we asked that you use your moral authority to issue a stand-alone statement condemning Hezbollah for deliberately targeting Israeli civilians with weapons rigged with ball-barings and shrapnel specifically designed to inflict maximum harm; and for placing its fighters, rockets and other armaments within Lebanese civilian populations, taking hostages and blocking aid convoys – in flagrant violation of international law. We also called upon you to include Hezbollah on the UN’s terror list – as it has all the characteristics of a terror organization – and to condemn it for its refusal to allow ICRC to visit the two Israeli soldiers it has abducted.
We also conveyed to you our view that Iran and Syria share responsibility for the volatile situation along the Israeli-Lebanese border, as well as for the current crisis. These countries stand at the pinnacle of the world’s state sponsors of terrorism – harboring, financing, training,
and arming Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. Their support of international terrorism blatantly violates UN Security Council resolutions – particularly resolution 1373, which calls upon all states to refrain from harboring, sponsoring, and financing terrorist organizations. Iranian and Syrian
support of Hezbollah also brazenly violates Security Council resolution 1559, which calls for dismantling all armed militias in Lebanon.
I was hoping that our concerns would be reflected in your public
statements and remarks. To my disappointment, this has not yet happened. Instead
of condemning Hezbollah and its sponsors, you have focused your criticism
on Israel. In your report to the Security Council about the tragic
incident in Qana, you accused Israel of a “pattern of violations of international
law,” disregarding the fact that Qana served as the center of Hezbollah’s
terror attacks, including the launching of more than 150 missiles at civilian
centers in northern Israel.
What is at stake today is the United Nations’ credibility. While we
appreciate that as the Secretary General you speak for all member
states, we firmly believe that the global fight against terrorism demands that
you take an unequivocal stand condemning the heinous crimes committed by
Hezbollah. If the UN is perceived as a partial actor censuring the
attacked while rewarding the aggressor, it will undermine its ability to play a
significant role in restoring international peace and security along
the Israeli-Lebanese border or anywhere else in the Middle East. On July
12, following a meeting with the Italian Prime Minister, you said that in
dealing with the current volatile situation we need moral clarity. I
urge you to uphold this noble principle.
With all good faith in a continuing constructive dialog, I remain
E. Robert Goodkind, President