The Israel-Hezbollah Conflict

NPR.org, UPDATED July 24, 2006 · Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice makes an unannounced visit to Beirut, Lebanon, beginning diplomatic efforts to end the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerillas. Israeli leaders now say they are willing to consider an international force to keep the peace, but are not yet embracing a ceasefire. Op-ed pages criticize the slow start to the international community's involvement in the two-week-old war. A sampling of world opinion:

 
 

LEBANON

The Meaning of a Hizbullah [sic] Victory

By Michael Young

The Daily Star

July 20, 2006

A Hizbullah [sic] victory, by showing that the party can stand up to Israel, and can do so because it mobilized its armed state within the state without consulting any of its Lebanese political partners, may crack the already frayed Lebanese consensus. When the diverse religious communities decide the problem is that one side has the weapons while the others have nothing but a choice to remain silent, Lebanon will break down, and it could do so violently.

LOS ANGELES

Middle East: Shaken Awake by War

By David Grossman

The Los Angeles Times

July 18, 2006

At this writing, millions of innocent civilians — Israelis and Lebanese — are under heavy fire...But even those who hope for an immediate end to violence and the opening of negotiations must acknowledge that Hezbollah cynically and deliberately created the crisis. Israel had no choice but to respond to the severe attack on its territory.

EGYPT

Blackmail by Bombs

Al-Ahram Weekly

July 24, 2006

Israel wants the U.S., Washington's allies and all the international agencies at their disposal, to negotiate with the Lebanese government a ceasefire that fulfils several conditions. The first is to disarm Hizbullah [sic], the second to deploy the official Lebanese army in the south and substitute the international force with a proper NATO force, the third to release the Israeli captives. But it is the first condition that is the one that counts; meeting this will be sufficient for Israel to agree to a ceasefire...Israel, in other words, has decided to settle internal Lebanese dialogue by Israeli force of arms.

UNITED KINGDOM

This Time, Even Jews Can Agree

The Times

July 24, 2006

Had the international community taken a stance as Hezbollah was accumulating up to 13,000 Katyusha rockets ready to aim at Israel...perhaps the Israeli public and their British Jewish sympathisers [sic] would have been more critical of Olmert’s thumping response... Every bomb and mortar fired into Lebanon is echoing painfully in Jewish homes across the U.K. Only opportunist propagandists could suggest that this is a fight that Israel and her diaspora friends sought.
 
 

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JERUSALEM

A Necessary War

By David Kimche

The Jerusalem Post

July 20, 2006

We may not be able to destroy Hizbullah [sic] and we will probably not achieve all the objectives our politicians have put before us, but, at the very least, we will have weakened the danger the Shi'ite [sic] fundamentalists represent and sent a strong message not to mess with us in the future. With international help, we can reach a new modus vivendi in the north. And for all that, the war in the north was necessary.

WASHINGTON

Hezbollah's Apocalypse Now

By Amal Saad-Ghorayeb

The Washington Post

July 23, 2006

It is hard to gauge public opinion [in Beirut] today. People remain polarized, as they were before the war: On one end are those (mainly non-Shiites) who lay the blame for Israel's destruction of Lebanon squarely on Hezbollah for having picked the fight; and on the other are those (overwhelmingly Shiite) who believe, as one man told me, that 'we should fight to the death.' But there are also many in between whose initial anger at Hezbollah is being replaced by rage at Israel. Those sentiments remind me of 1982, when Israel's invasion of Lebanon gave birth to Hezbollah.

AUSTRALIA

Britain and U.N. Dance to the U.S. Tune

The Age

July 24, 2006

Kofi Annan eventually made the headlines with his call for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East crisis. It was too little, too late. That the United Nations Secretary-General waited nine days before seriously speaking out has dealt a severe blow to the organisation's [sic] humanitarian image. That he twinned his criticism of Israel's "excessive use of force" with repeated condemnations of Hezbollah again showed how deeply in thrall to the United States the world is.

SAUDI ARABIA

Dubious U.S. Stand

The Saudi Gazette

July 24, 2006

Never before in history has the United States been so reviled and loathed in the Muslim World — and the countries with a sizeable Muslim population — as during the last fortnight. From Makkah to Morocco, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Khyber to Karachi, Muslim prayer leaders, in their Friday sermons, launched a scathing attack on Uncle Sam for its unwavering support to the Israeli barbarity unleashed in Lebanon and occupied Palestinian territories.
 

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