Wednesday, 26 July 2006

Isreal, Palestine, Lebanon

I have to admit that I am not sure what to think about what is currently happening in the Middle East. I keep reasonably well informed of what is going on but still I am confused.

I dislike prejudice and want to try and be as objective as possible when forming an opinion about something. My gut feeling is to condemn the Isreali government for what they are doing both to Palestine and Lebanon. I can not help but feel that the state create by a people who has suffered so much from oppression should have learned a few leason and know to avoid conflict and agression.

Of course, I am French and France notoriously supports the arab world and Palestine. I wonder to what extend I am conditioned by what I have heard most of my life on this sugject. After all Israel keeps on repeating that they are not being treated fairly or in a similar manner to other countries. I would like to avoid falling into that trap.

Listening to interviews of Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, however, I can't help but find them incredibly cynical in what they say and the way they say it. Although they claim to be taking action to protect civilian fatalities, they seem completely disrespectful of human life; arguing dismissively that when there is a war, there is going to be civilian deaths. They also often defend themselves with that old playground chestnut: "Everybody else is doing it, so why can't we?".

Hearing all this, I really can't bring myself to believe that the current attack on Lebanon is proportionate. Yes, there are Palestinian attacks and yes, Hezbollah is killing Isreali civilians but is that an excuse to kill Palestinian and Lebanese civilians? Isreal is after the rich and powerful country in the region.

Current allegations against the Isreali army on their use of human shields and
cluster bombs as well as the recent, apparently deliberate attack on UN observers, are no help whatsoever.

Other disturbing thoughts are that the current conflict could potentially escalate into an atomic war between Iran and Isreal. Experts say that Iran are probably trying to hold Hezbollah (which they support) back because they still have the issue of their nuclear researches to sort out with the global community. However, they might suddenly decide that things have gone to far and press the red button...

This, if the human losses weren't enough already, should be a very strong argument for an immediate ceasefire. This is rejected by the US government (who is notoriously funded by jewish electors no politician would want to alienate) and supported (scroll down) by Blair's team; saying that all ceasefire should be sustainable and implying that, in the meantime, it doesn't matter if people are being killed.

Is that what compassionate conservatism is, Mr Bush? Surely anything in the way of peace would be better than the continued fighting?!

A good way, perhaps, for the state of Isreal to show that it really can not do things differently to get rid of Hezbollah, that it actually cares for Lebanon and that this conflict is not simply some sort of megalomaniac and Quixotic trip on the government's part, would be for it to pay for (some of) what it has broken (human lifes can't replaces that easily) and help with or endorse fully the cost of reconstruction in Lebanon.

It doesn't seem likely somehow.

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