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A proposed UN resolution on the Middle East

Anthony D'Amato [Northwestern University School of Law]: "I suggest below a very simple UN resolution for the Middle East conflict.

On the table right now is the draft resolution proposed by France and the United States. It has run into serious objections from all quarters. The drafters apparently believe that by tinkering with it, they can come up with a resolution that would be in the interests of Israel, Lebanon, the Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran. I hope they do, but I think it is unlikely. I've written an editorial for JURIST on some of the near-intractable strategic factors in the present draft resolution.

Instead of making it more and more complicated, why not consider a very simple resolution? It would not have to be the only one. More can be drafted and enacted. But a simple resolution at the outset could jump-start the peace process. Here is my suggestion:


The Security Council,

Recalling all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 425 (1978), 426 (1978), 520 (1982), 1559 (2004), 1655 (2006) and 1680 (2006), as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statements of 18 June 2000 (S/PRST/2000/21), of 19 October 2004 (S/PRST/2004/36), of 4 May 2005 (S/PRST/2005/17) of 23 January 2006 (S/PRST/2006/3) and of 30 July 2006 (S/PRST/2006/35),

Emphasizing the need for an end of violence,

Mindful of the need for further resolutions with an aim to securing peace and security,

Calls for a full cessation of aerial hostilities over Lebanon and Israel, based upon,in particular, the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all aerial bombardments.

Decides to remain actively seised of the matter.


The reasons for adopting a resolution of this kind are:

1. More complex resolutions tend to invite an infinite regress of added strategic complications.

2. There is a need to first establish the relevance and importance of the Security Council in this conflict; in other words, to jump-start the peace process.

3. As complexities arise, the Security Council can make decisions about them. In particular, the Security Council can be negotiating for the establishment of a multilateral peacekeeping force. Moreover, the question of Israeli ground forces in Lebanon may be assessed as events unfold.

4. The most important international interest is the prevention of harm to civilians. By far the greatest number of civilian injuries and deaths, both in Israel and in Lebanon, are due to aerial attacks by both sides.

5. The Hezbollah rocket attacks upon Israeli population centers are the clearest example of actions that must be interdicted by the international community. The Israeli bombardment and air-to-ground missile fire over Lebanon, while theoretically aimed at Hezbollah bunkers and infrastructure, have in fact caused extensive fatalities among Lebanese civilians, exceeding the number of civilian deaths in Israel. The innocent people of Israel and Lebanon who are the victims of this conflict must be protected from further harm."

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