Peacekeepers, shmeacekeepers

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Whatever else you might think about the latest conflict in Lebanon, you can’t really blame Israel for being unenthusiastic about the idea of installing a UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon. There already is a UN peacekeeping force there – the embarassingly impotent United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. Despite the optimistic “Interim” in its title, this outfit has been in place since 1978, after the first time Israel invaded its northern neighbor. UNIFIL failed to keep the Palestine Liberation Organization from resuming their rocket attacks on the Jewish state after that offensive, leading to another, much larger scale and longer lasting Israeli invasion in 1982. Clearly, UNIFIL’s track record since hasn’t been any more inspiring.

Nor is this the region’s first experience with pointless peacekeepers. In the leadup to the Six Day War in 1967, Egypt demanded that UN peacekeepers stationed between it and Israel in the Sinai Desert get out of the way so that Egyptian forces could begin massing on Israel’s border. The blue helmets obliged.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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