Tag Archives: UN


Israel and Lebanon: A Bridge Over Troubled Waters?

In the latest edition of Tel Aviv Notes, Stéphane Cohen and Nir Boms explain the late 2020 negotiations between Israel and Lebanon over the maritime border.

Amidst a deep political and economic crisis in Lebanon, accelerated by the Beirut port explosion in August last year, the end of 2020 witnessed a surprising round of talks regarding the demarcation of the Israeli-Lebanese maritime border. These bilateral negotiations – mediated by the U.S. and the U.N. – are the first non-security talks held between the two countries since the 1990s. Of course, Lebanon and Israel have no diplomatic relations and are technically in a state of war. The incentives for progress in the talks are strong as they could pave the way for lucrative oil and gas deals on both sides, though there still appear to be significant obstacles on the Lebanese side. Speaking with John Desrocher, the most recent U.S. mediator for the negotiations, in December 2020, Lebanese President Aoun was quoted as saying that Lebanon wants the talks to succeed because “this will strengthen stability in the South and allow us to invest in natural resources of oil and gas.”[1] Could a maritime border agreement between Israel and Lebanon be feasible, despite the otherwise toxic atmosphere between the two countries and the recent escalating threats of Hizballah? In a region full of surprises, this, too, might be a part of a changing reality.


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International alliances in regional conflicts – Jerusalem Studio

The United Nations, which was designed to guard world peace, has failed in its mission across the Middle East – due to the inherent contradictions with regard interests of powers involved in the region. Instead competing alliances have emerged, each with its own membership and agenda.

Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, host. – Amir Oren, analyst. – Prof. Zeev Hanin, Expert on Russian and Middle Eastern Studies, Bar Ilan and Ariel Universities. – Dr. Nir Boms – Research fellow, Moshe Dayan center at Tel Aviv University.


La factura de Bosnia será inminente si Annán duda

Nir Boms, 19 de julio de 2012 a las 19:08

Se cumple este mes el 20 aniversario del inicio de las hostilidades de la Guerra de Bosnia. Mientras las fuerzas del régimen machacan la ciudad de Homs utilizando artillería pesada con vistas a la visita del equipo de observadores de las Naciones Unidas, no puedo evitar una rara sensación de que la historia se repite.

En la Guerra de Bosnia hubo más de 100.000 muertos (200.000 según algunos cálculos), civiles en su mayor parte, antes de que los efectivos de la OTAN pudieran ponerle fin. En Siria, el “más modesto” de los recuentos habla de “solamente” 11.000, pero como hemos aprendido de Bosnia, al fondo siempre queda espacio para más. Continue reading


Another Week in Geneva

I returned from Geneva last week and made a few notes on this peaceful place that was so full of politics….

The peaceful white mountaintops remained unscathed by the heat of debate that took place within United Nations corridors. The mountains, I thought, are indeed a fitting background. Full of frozen splendor and  high enough not to be touched by the realities on the ground. Such was another week of deliberation at the UN Human Rights Council that this time debated on Iran and Egypt . You  will find some more in the post below

Another Week in Geneva
By Nir Boms, 3rd March 2010

Last week, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva concluded a week of deliberations with Iran and Egypt topping the agenda. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a process which involves the review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States. This recent UN tradition started in 2006 following growing criticism regarding the lack of attention given to human rights at the UN. The process, which allows for input given by NGO’s as well as other states, was meant to change that. To say the pace of change has been slow is an understatement.  More like a Swiss glacier.

“Human rights violations in Egypt are widespread and routine, including arbitrary detention, torture, and unfair trials before state security and military courts” wrote Human Rights Watch in one of the submissions on Egypt.  The government habitually invokes the ‘state of emergency’ laws, in place since 1981, to suppress peaceful political activities and critics.  Security officials routinely arrest bloggers and journalists for their writings, and Egypt’s laws allow for an extremely broad definition of an “illegal organization” that are subject to special trials conducted by military and state security courts.  Torture is also allowed under article 126 of Egypt’s penal code.

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