U.N. Calls for Cease-fire, Long-term Effects Still Uncertain

(U-WIRE) NORMAL, Ill. — The United Nations recently called a resolution to cease fire in the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, with both sides agreeing to an immediate end of fighting.
So far the resolution has been an immediate success, but it remains unclear whether it will create a lasting peace. Jamal Nassar, the department chair for politics and government at Illinois State University, said this resolution has been a “U.N. success story,” despite minor skirmishes.

When asked about the continued success of the cease-fire, Nassar emphasized communication, adding “enemies need to talk to create peace.”

Ali Riaz, an associate political science professor, went into more detail about the long-term implications of the resolution. He believes the United Nations handled immediate control of the situation wonderfully, but failed to outline a long-term policy for lasting peace.

The point of the resolution, Riaz said, was for “a very immediate, goal oriented cease-fire.”

According to Riaz, the conflict and resolution will also have international implications, particularly for the United States.
From Israel and Hezbollah to Saudi Arabia and Iran, every faction involved has claimed victory.

However, Riaz said the only loser in this situation has been the United States. In terms of U.S. policy, he said, they failed to achieve their goals. A sustainable peace has not been created, Hezbollah has gained popularity among the Lebanese people and the United States has lost “more in terms of their image in the Muslim world,” Riaz said.

As for Hezbollah gaining popularity within the Lebanese community, Riaz said Hezbollah has “stood beside their people” as an elected faction of the government and provided relief in terms of welfare, therefore weakening the credibility of the Lebanese government for being unable to provide such relief.

The conflict began more than a month ago when Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross border raid.

Israel responded by bombing Lebanon’s Rafik Hariri International Airport.

They cited it as a target because the location receives weapons for Hezbollah. The strike also included other parts of Beirut and southern Lebanon.

The fighting escalated up to the recent cease-fire, with Israeli troops occupying southern Lebanon and Hezbollah continuing its rocket attacks on northern Israel. Although this conflict is occurring in the Middle East, some of its effects are being felt closer to home.

Mina Aitelhadj, a first-year ISU graduate student from Algeria, expressed sympathy for her Lebanese friends.

“It’s heartbreaking to see them worried about their families.”
Riaz said ISU students have a reason to stay informed on the conflict.

“It’s going to influence our lives. Whether you know about it or not, it can kill you.” Riaz gave an example of this danger by noting that for a decade, most Americans didn’t know what was occurring in Afghanistan until the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.