Israel’s crimes in Lebanon continue unhindered. It is vital that the international community insist that Israel adhere to international law.
The current situation in the Middle East is very dangerous. Many innocent people are suffering terribly and great damage is being inflicted on Lebanon’s infrastructure. For too long Israel has been allowed to expand its boundaries, breach international law and impose unbearable suffering on the Palestinian people. It is quite clear that Israel has no intention of supporting the Road Map and negotiating the establishment of a Palestinian state on 1967 boundaries. It is clear that they intend to argue that there is no partner for peace and then declare their state boundaries to coincide with the illegal wall and to confine the Palestinians to a series of Bantustans where their suffering and humiliation would continue. If this is to be done any force capable of resisting has to be destroyed.
It is simply not believable – or legitimate in international law – that Israel is inflicting massive collective punishments on the people of Gaza and Lebanon because three soldiers have been abducted. The military are the real government in Israel. They are trying to destroy Hamas and Hizbollah and to get the international community to blame Syria and Iran for the current conflict. Bush and Blair have immediately done Israel’s bidding and I presume Israel thinks it can persuade the US to take action against Syria and Iran.
This is very dangerous. It will heighten the instability and danger in the region. Israel has massive armaments, and is the world’s fourth biggest nuclear power. No neighbouring state is capable of defeating it. But Hizbollah defeated Israel in the past and forced a withdrawal from Lebanon. The danger is that such resistance will continue to spread across the region at a cost of terrible human suffering. But history teaches us that injustice and oppression always lead to resistance.
The only way forward is that Israel should be required by the international community to adhere to international law. This would mean halting the bombardment of Lebanon and Gaza, agreeing a swap of prisoners and most importantly agreeing to the establishment of a Palestinian state on 1967 boundaries. As there is no prospect of this, I fear that the violence will continue and spread. The US and its allies should be condemned for the hypocrisy and injustice of their position.