Livni: 1701 was the best choice to make

FM says that despite continued arms smuggling, the UN resolution changed the situation in s. Lebanon.

Livni UN 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Livni UN 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Although the result of the Second Lebanon War was not ideal, and although United Nations resolution 1701 has not put an end to Hizbullah's weapons smuggling, the decision to approve the resolution was the right choice to make, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said on Monday. "Could we have done something better? Certainly. Has the smuggling of weapons ended? The answer is no, but when choosing between the options then and now…that was the best possible result," Livni said during an interview on Channel 2. There were other options, the foreign minister explained, and they included whether to conquer Lebanon or whether to withdraw without an agreement. "To conquer Lebanon, south Lebanon, to stay there, in the mud, [wouldn't be] something that would prevent weapons smuggling, because [the weapons] come from the North [of Lebanon]," Livni said. "We were there, by the way, and we decided that it didn't serve the interests of Israel." To withdraw without an agreement was also a bad choice, she said. "[It would have] brought Hizbullah to the border, and I am not judging that decision, that was the option that was chosen." As prime minister in 2000, Ehud Barak ordered all IDF troops to withdraw from Lebanon. The withdrawal was an overnight operation, and was criticized by some as disorderly. "I brought to Israel an option, which [went beyond] whether occupy or to withdraw, by adding another element," Livni said. "[Our decision] brought the Lebanese army south, something [which wasn't done] before, [and] added an international force, something which the army says changed the situation in South Lebanon." "The [decision to approve UN resolution 1701] was a war-ending decision," she said. "I am very happy [about it]. I was able to bring this decision."