Thursday, July 27, 2006

Conflicting consent

The failure to reach a concrete plan to stop the conflict at Rome is being interpreted by Israel as consent by the international community to continue its offensive!

"We received yesterday at the Rome conference permission from the world... to continue the operation," Justice Minister Haim Ramon said.

FROM: Joschka Fischer, ‘Van oorlog tot vrede’ [From war to peace], p80-81, 29 July 2006, Vrij Nederland

Meanwhile, former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer argues that the current crisis in the Middle East is an opportunity for peace. Behind the exchange of fire on two sides, neither is wholly guilty, but neither is wholly innocent either.

“The current war in Lebanon is not a war of Arabs against Israel, but much more a war of radicals which reject every reproach toward Israel. In fact, it is about Hamas and the Islamic Jihad on the Palestinian side, Hezbollah in Lebanon and further [about] Syria and Iran. This ‘rejection-front’ has sought escalation for three reasons. First of all, in order to go against the pressure from the Palestinian people on Hamas to recognise Israel. Second of all, to ground the democratisation process in Lebanon. And in the third instance, to force the continually escalating conflict about the Iranian nuclear programme to the background, and to show the West what they are capable of.”


“[the rejection-front] has proved the return to a status quo in Lebanon impossible. The rejecters have made their hegemonial claims to power, by Tehran especially, visible to the whole world.”

So more a desperate attempt for attention and to achieve selfish political ends (with all means necessary) than a self-justified end to struggle for the sake of the Palestinian people. Israel is not helping in its staunch (read murderous) retaliation campaigns:

Israel has a key function […]. The country has twice already pulled back to internationally recognised borders, namely from Lebanon and Gaza, and twice the answer from over the border was the answer. Land for war, and not land for peace was the anwer. Israel’s right to exist is being threatened after all those years of peace talks, which were conducted on the basis of the pricinple of the two state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Peace with its Arabic neighbours appears further away than ever. The country is falling back to a strategy of military superiority.”


“On the other side of the destruction and misery, has the recognition of a new strategic threat [against Israel] not led to renewed reflection?”

One side should bite their pride and stop this ‘eye for an eye’ skirmish before it descends into regional chaos. And Israel, being the militarily superior power, as well as the ‘odd one out’ should take that bold step.

“Israel, at the moment, has only engaged itself in massive [a] deterrence [campaign], but it would be good to use the political possibilities of this war as well, and take the initiative from the position of power [it possesses]: with a comprehensive peace offer to all parties who are prepared to recognise Israel, not only in words, but also in deed, and who is sincerely prepared to refrain from violence.”

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