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Arab Perspective on the war
by Gulf News (reposted)
Sunday Jul 16th, 2006 7:24 PM
Al Bayan (UAE), editorial
If today's generations, who didn't witness the Second World War years, would like to find out about Nazi cruelty, all they have to do is take a look at the many scenes of killings and destruction orchestrated by the Israeli war machine. We do not exaggerate when we say that what the [Israeli] killers and manslayers are doing in Lebanon and Occupied Palestine surpasses Nazi crimes (where hundreds of Nazi war criminals belonging to Hitler's army were punished for following WWII). And despite this, not a single Israeli war criminal was punished for their crimes.
Asharq Alawsat (UK-based), comment by Tarek Al Hamid
His Highness president Ali Abdullah Saleh is calling for an Arab League Summit to take place in the nearest instance to discuss Israeli aggression in Lebanon and Palestine and move towards a unified agreement on Arab defense. This means that the Arab world should declare war, even though the agreement for the Arab League emphasizes the absolute necessity for all Arab countries to agree on this. Mr Hasan Nasrallah, the current Hezbollah Chief, who announced that he did not discuss his operation with the Lebanese government, says that he is not waiting for anyone's assistance ... Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said that Hezbollah made a tactical error when they 'kidnapped' the two Israeli soldiers and the Lebanese people are now screaming: what is our fault and who dragged us into this? Then how can the Arab world call for an emergency summit?

Al seyassah (Kuwait), comment by Ahmad Al Jar Allah
The Lebanese politicians have not been able to face their people and tell them that they don't support Nasrallah's choices of war and peace, despite all the destruction and obliteration caused by Israeli attacks. They haven't shared with their people that they don't agree with Nasrallah's stealing of the country's rights and his command over the entire population in an attempt to gain support for his plans. Those politicians are like the muted devils; silent about their true feelings. Either they are afraid of jeopardizing their popularity which is based on resisting Israel (no longer relevant) or they are afraid of having their popularity lost amongst the rabble and their own mess. Theses are politicians who still don't know the Lebanese public opinion. If there had been opinion polls, then those politicians would realize that the people are distressed over the political divisions.

Addustour (Jordan), editorial
We (in Jordan) will not allow anyone to force us to choose between Hezbollah and Israel. And we don't choose Israel under any circumstances. This is because Jordan (more than any other country) realizes the dangers that come from Israel who is an enemy of peace. Jordan is aware of the game and the 'powers' that don't care enough to prevent Lebanon and other countries from being an Arab theatre competing for "regional dominance". For that, Jordan takes the suitable position against everyone including Israel which has been working on creating an opportunity to push its own agenda and push Western nations to 'clear' anything that might pose threats in the next fifty years - benefiting from their militaristic power and the regional circumstances, including Iraq.

Assafir (Lebanon), comment by Omar Kosh
This is an aggressive war regardless of any regional calculations or Hezbollah calculations with regards to the operation of capturing the two Israeli soldiers. And in spite of the fact that Hezbollah acts according to a Syrian or Iranian agenda, the war is hostile because the basis for this problem is Israeli occupation and Israeli willingness to carry out policies of arrogance, which also applies for Palestine and Iraq. US president George W. Bush's declaration that Israel has a right to defend herself is not true; the occupier is always the initiator of any aggression; no one believes the US president - especially when he called on Israel not to "weaken the Lebanese government" ... the president knows that his limitless support for Israeli arrogance and its destructive machine is a direct threat to Lebanon's independence which is the same independence he focused on during the Syrian presence in Lebanon.
by BBC (reposted)
Sunday Jul 16th, 2006 7:25 PM
he ongoing crisis involving Israel and its Lebanese and Palestinian neighbours continues to dominate the regional press, where there is little optimism it can be resolved speedily.

The Arabic-language press is split over the way to tackle the crisis, with both support for and rejection of a united Arab initiative to help resolve it. One commentator suggests using oil as a lever.

In Iran, it is suggested that Israel's offensive is part of a long-term agreement with Washington to expand Israel's power.

And in Israel, commentators are also at odds, with one comparing Israel to the neighbourhood bully, while others support the government offensive.


The resistance led by Hezbollah is considered by some Arab countries as illegal. However, no Arab government or leader has had the courage to carry out such an operation like the shelling of Haifa and Nahariya... We do not expect the Saudi government to use the oil weapon the way it was used by the martyr King Faisal but we expect it to at least reduce its daily production by a few barrels to protest against US support for Israel's aggression.


[Yemeni] President Ali Abdallah Salih has called for an Arab League summit to discuss the Israeli aggression against Lebanon and Palestine... but convening an Arab summit to deliver more speeches is a waste of time.


Israel is continuing its comprehensive aggression against Lebanon and has not stopped attacking the Palestinian people. At the same time, the [UN] Security Council failed to take a resolution demanding Israel stop its aggression against the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples. In such a situation, there needs to be a concrete Arab stance towards the various parties, paving the way for an effective Arab move in the coming stage.


Between the hammer of the raging Israeli bull, encouraged by the silence of the world, and the collusion of big powers which ignore the fate of the Arabs, comes the voice of reason from Riyadh, Cairo and Amman attributing to everyone their responsibilities... It is a call for more reason and wisdom before it is too late. Is there someone who is listening?


The current Israeli government has failed to learn the lessons from the its predecessors in Lebanon. It has failed to learn the lessons from the brave Lebanese national resistance... For Israel this was an opportunity to send out various messages it has long sought to deliver at home and abroad as a result of its acute domestic political conflicts.


The facts are clear: The decision by the US and French governments and other European states to evacuate their nationals, as well as the UN call for its employees to leave, is a clear indication that the situation will worsen in Lebanon. These states and the international organisation are well aware of the issues because they are the ones who make events and take decisions in Lebanon, in the region and throughout the world.


Although Israel enjoys America's full political support, public opinion does not support its recent attacks since it is unreasonably targeting innocent people. The international community is gradually reaching a consensus against Israel. The recent stances of Russia, Italy, Spain and France show that the international community won't take sides with Israel. Arabic governments also have to answer to public opinion. Hezbollah defends Lebanese human dignity, and in a full-scale war that has been triggered by the Zionists, it will defeat Israel.


[George W] Bush and [former Israeli Prime Minister] Ariel Sharon agreed two years ago on a project to shape the Middle East and increase the security of the Zionist regime, with Hezbollah and Palestine as two problematic elements which had to be eliminated. Today's atrocities of the Zionist regime in Lebanon and Palestine are the beginning of that project.


The Americans and Israelis are badly confused after realising their big Middle East plan has rebounded on them. If Iran was alone until recently, the triangle of Iran, Syria and Lebanon gradually formed and after that, Hamas turned this triangle into a square. After the establishment of the principled government of Iraq it has turned into a pentagon. This pentagon forms the new Middle East coordinates.


Every neighbourhood has one, a loudmouth bully who shouldn't be provoked. He's insulted? He'll pull out a knife. Spat in the face? He'll draw a gun. Hit? He'll pull out a machine gun. Not that the bully's not right - someone did harm him. But the reaction, what a reaction! The real appreciation is for the strong who don't immediately use their strength. Regrettably, the Israel Defense Forces once again looks like the neighbourhood bully. A soldier was abducted in Gaza? All of Gaza will pay. Eight soldiers are killed and two abducted to Lebanon? All of Lebanon will pay. One and only one language is spoken by Israel, the language of force.


The world must understand: Hezbollah is al-Qaeda, [Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah is Bin Laden. Nothing less. Hence it must be clear that no Hassan is immune. Not out of revenge but out of a wise reading of reality. Israel will not rest and will not fall silent until the soldiers are returned home healthy and in one piece and until order and calm return to the northern border - this time for the long run.


This situation presents the international community with an opportunity to play a constructive role. Rather than constantly fending off resolutions that make matters worse, the US, France and the UK should introduce a UN Security Council Resolution that condemns the aggression against Israel from Lebanon, supported by Syria and Iran, and explicitly recognises Israel's right of self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter. By all rights, such a resolution should also recognise the extraordinary efforts Israel has taken to minimise the loss of civilian lives in Lebanon, despite Hezbollah's attempt to maximise such losses by placing its missiles in civilian areas. Such a resolution would put the full burden where it belongs, on the aggressor, thereby deterring such reckless attacks in the future.


The call by Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora for a ceasefire generates a mixture of hope and fear. Hope that his statement expresses the beginning of the end of the terror of Hassan Nasrallah who is under great international and inter-Arab pressure; fear this is an exercise in deception aimed at easing IDF pressure without recognising Israel's legitimate rights... If Siniora's statement was on behalf of Nasrallah it is worthy of consideration, if not, it is worth throwing away.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.