Sunday, July 16, 2006

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora calls for ceasefire

Lebanese PM calls for immediate ceasefire, which Israel would be smart to accept. Siniara's plan would deploy Lebanese Troops into Southern Lebanon, which Israel has sought for years. But Israel is stubborn. Israel has set conditions, demanding immediate release of their kidnapped soldiers and a withdrawal of Hezbollah from the border to 30 kms. away, on the other side of the Litani River. Israel remains on high alert. Lebanon is a disaster area. Hezbollah holds the world hostage.

I fully expect any number of bloggers I know, and respect, to tell me that it is all Israel's fault. So before that happens, let me remind you all that it is NOT all Israel's fault. Israel has a tiny, indefensible strip of land; it built a strong military in order to survive. It has been under constant attack since it was founded. It is surrounded by neighbors whose sworn goal is to drive Israel into the sea. Hezbollah predicts the destruction of Israel by 2025.

Nevertheless, I believe Israel must cease fire. I do not believe Israel is the country to blame; I believe that the militant extemists sworn to destroy Israel are to blame, but I believe Israel must cease fire.

Israel is stubborn, and has forgotten all sense of proportional response. An IDF Soldier (Gilad Shalit) is kidnapped in Gaza; the IDF is embarrassed, so all of Gaza must pay. The fighting and human catastrophe in Gaza has not stopped anything; in fact, two more soldiers are kidnapped into Lebanon, by Hezbollah, so all of Lebanon must pay. That is the thinking of Israel's government at this point -- not the majority of Israelis, mind you.

Hezbollah kidnapped the IDF soldiers ostensibly to help its Palestinian bretheren in Gaza. However, in Lebanon, there is no Israeli occupation. If Hezbollah were so concerned about the Palestinians, why do they do nothing to help those hundreds of thousands that live in refugee camps in Lebanon, in conditions as bad as those under Israeli occupation. (There. I said it.) No, Hezbollah is not concerned about the Palestinians. Nor are Israel's Defense Minister and Prime Minister able to differentiate between Hezbollah and Lebanon.

This is not a justified war that Israel fights. Their goal to have Hezbollah withdraw from the Lebanese/Israeli border is not happening because they've not spent time at the negotiating table. Everyone agrees that a nation must not remain silent when it is attacked within its own borders, but does that mean destroying everything within sight?

Egypt and Spain are both talking to Israel in order to garner restraint. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek was able to disuade Israel from a land attack on Beirut; I hope that he will be able to convince Israel to stand down. Mubarak is calling for an immediate, unconditional cease-fire. He states correctly that nobody will respond to anything except in a ceasefire and calm. War will not solve this.


karena said...


I am leaving the internet, after a lovely day of blogging all day, and joining hubby outside for a little R&R. I will read your post and comment to you later this evening. Thanks for sending me to it.

sumo said...

Well said!

DivaJood said...

Karena, I just went outside to run an errand. It is so hot here, I can't stand it. Came home, and blogging again.

Sumo, thank you. I'm thinking maybe the great thinkers who can negotiate a peace will come from Egypt. Mubarak seems to be exercising some infulence on Olmert.

Yoga Korunta said...

Diva Jood, I must agree with your logical approach to ending the violence.

Yours is the voice of calm and of reason. Thank you.

BZ said...

Well said.

DivaJood said...

Yoga, I don't feel calm.

BZ, thank you.

karena said...

Diva, War will never solve anything and for that statement we find common ground.

DivaJood said...

Karena, we have common ground about most of this. All I suggest is that the militant terrorists are equally culpable. Israel's overreaction is not sitting well among Israeli citizens. Blaming Israel alone is like blaming all US citizens for the insanity of those who stole the election and are in power now.

Israel has to sit down with Hamas. Israel has to sit down with Lebanon. Hezbollah is another story, and there is no one that appears able to speak with them other than Iran and Syria.

This war that Israel is engaged in is a war of choice, not necessity. It is a war that must end immediately, or it will be endless.

The Fat Lady Sings said...

Of course it all isn't Israel's fault. The moment those soldiers were kidnapped I turned to my husband and said, "I know exactly what Israel will do". I was right. Israel is nothing if not consistent in responding to terrorist attacks. OK - they made their point in triplicate. Now is the time to back off - but they are not doing it. Madelyn Albright called this 'the perfect storm'. I'm afraid she may be right. Olmert is known to be a hard-liner not noted for three-dimensional thinking. He was Mayor of Jerusalem before taking over as Prime Minister - and in Jerusalem he bulldozed through everything. Negotiation was not his strong suite. As a matter of fact - I have heard more than one analyst these last few days compare him to Bush. The use similar rhetoric, and see the world in simplistic, black and white terms.

Now - this could be dealt with if America stepped up to the plate and took control of the situation. But Bush is busy playing golf with Putin in Russia. He can't be bothered to try and stop WWIII. All that Rapture nonsense, don't 'ya know. So the world waits, and prays that cooler heads will prevail. Meanwhile - India has suspended relations with Pakistan following those terrorist train attacks, and China is trying to sit on North Korea before Kim Jon Il starts a conflagration in his part of the world. Ever thought that old saying, "May you live in interesting times" was a little too edgy?

BZ said...

Something to read:

DivaJood said...

TFLS: Ha'aretz had a recent editorial about Olmert which talked about his need to "prove" himself because unlike most of his predecessors, he's not seen significant combat. The key differences between Olmert and Bush: Olmert is not stupid; he doesn't have Karl Rove or Dick Cheney driving the train; and he's not drunk on the job. Otherwise, he's a noted hard liner, with black and white thinking.

Still, I hold out hope. First, Hosnei Mubarak was able to prevent a ground invasion of Beiruit. Second, Kofi Anan and the UN are calling for immediate cease fire, unconditionally and unilaterally. Third, and quite significantly, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and several other Arab states have sharply rebuked Hezbollah - and here the significance is huge; Arab nations never criticize other Arab actions against Israel. But they're doing so now.

"Hanna Seniora, a Palestinian analyst with the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, lauded the Arab opposition to Hezbollah on Sunday.

"Hanna Seniora, a Palestinian analyst with the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, lauded the Arab opposition to Hezbollah on Sunday.

'For the first time ever, open criticism was heard from countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan against the unilateral actions carried out by radical organizations, especially Hezbollah of Lebanon,' wrote Mr. Seniora, who favors coexistence with Israel and opposes radical Islam. 'It became clear and beyond doubt that the most important Arab countries did not allow their emotions to rule their judgment.'"

Helen Wheels said...

I am hoping this ends soon as well. Larry Johnson (ex-CIA agent) said that Israel had swallowed a "stupid pill." He basically is saying a lot of what you are, only he's putting a bit more responsibility on Israel. And, if Israel is the stronger of the countries involved, shouldn't the most responsibility be placed upon them? Not that it was wrong to retaliate. What else can you do? But now is a crucial time, ideed. Time to talk, not invade and destroy landmarks and airports and kill innocent civilians.

Hezbollah seems to be the culprit in most of the upset. Most people I talk to here say it's Lebanon's responsibilty to rein in or disband Hezbollah. What's your take on that?

It's complicated, isn't it?

DivaJood said...

Helen, Larry Johnson is sort of right, but I think the stupid pill has been swallowed by Olmert and the Defense Minister.

I think that Lebanon's government is too weak to reign in Hezbollah; they are funded by Iran anyway, and it is quite complex. That Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are critical now of Hezbollah, saying Hezbollah started this war, blows me away. Nevertheless, Israel must be the one to step up to the negotiating table, with an immediate cease-fire.

dawn said...

I am going to make one coment. It would be lovely for Isreal to sit down and work it out but they will never sit down because they are terrorist. Isreal cannot give in to them. Peace is nice but at what cost to Isrealis.

DivaJood said...

Dawn, thanks for visiting. Peace is essential. Israel needs to negotiate with the elected government of the Palestinians, and Hamas is the elected government. This is crucial. Israel was able to establish a (so far) lasting peace with Egypt after the 1967 war. For this region to thrive, to prosper, Israel and Palestine MUST accept each other.