It’s possible that Hezbollah was inviting a sharp Israeli response when it decided to cross into Israel, ambush an Israeli patrol and kidnap two soldiers. In any case, the Israelis’ decision to launch land and air strikes on Hezbollah strongholds and on Lebanon’s infrastructure has only burnished Hezbollah’s credentials.Far from turning the Lebanese against the “Party of God," Israel’s military response has bolstered Hezbollah’s self-appointed role as defender of the nation. In fact, it has made Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah a hero throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds.
After weeks of Israeli-Hezbollah fighting, waves of people from southern Lebanon holding white flags continued to travel toward Beirut as major relief and church agencies warned that the country faces a humanitarian disaster because of severe difficulties in providing assistance.
It is a measure of my anguish and my desperation as a Jew and an American that I write now in this magazine. While death stalks the skies of Haifa, while bombs and missiles rain down on Beirut and what is left of southern Lebanese cities, my country gives Israel a green light—and expedited weapons shipments—to create a “new Middle East” out of blood and rubble.
Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and Catholic faithful call for peace
Aug 08, 2006
Christian leaders representing millions of Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and Catholic faithful, along with councils of churches, are calling for an end to the large-scale violence in Lebanon and Israel.
Pleas from church leaders follow UN call to defuse tensions
Jul 25, 2006
The international community needs “to take bold and novel actions to uphold international law and break the vicious cycle of violence” in the escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to World Council of Churches general secretary Samuel Kobia.
In recent years, certain religious Jewish and Christian communities have proclaimed that exclusive Jewish sovereignty over the Holy Land is a theological right and necessity, a condition for the unfolding of the messianic era.
Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert traveled to Washington in late May to tell President Bush about his plans for Israel’s future. There is no indication that those plans offer a viable solution to the humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories caused by the cutoff of funds to the Hamas government. Olmert blames Hamas for the crisis. Former president Jimmy Carter disagrees.
With two world leaders beside him at the American Jewish Committee’s 100th anniversary gala in Washington, President Bush criticized Hamas for being in “the camp of terror” and vowed not to work with the Palestinian party until it recognizes Israel.
Sharonism, the Gaza pullout and the birth of Kadima, the new Israeli centrist party, are expressions of an evolution in internal Israeli thinking, just as the political victory of Hamas is an expression of an internal evolution of Palestinian thinking in response to corruption and lack of progress. Taken by themselves, these are healthy evolutions. The problem is that none of these developments evolved in conversation with the enemy next door. There is no peace without conversation, secret or public, nor will there be realistic internal debate that will yield peace or coexistence with enemies.
By 2010, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promises, Israel will have a border on the east. Who needs the agreement of the Palestinians and the approval of the world when we Israelis alone have been determining things since 1967? After all, the U.S. is on our side. Let us assume that the plan is possible. Is this going to be a regular border, that is, a clear line with walls and fences, beyond which there are no Israeli forces? Absolutely not. The very fact that there is no partner on the Palestinian side obliges the Israeli army and the Israeli General Security Service to be present on the other side of the line.