Over the past two weeks the news has increasingly been dominated by the worstening situation in the Middle-East. The images of blown out bridges and blood covered children have been more graphic than usual but the disproportionate retaliation from the Israeli army is exactly what I have come to expect- incidentally a sarcastic note of thanks to America for continuing to supply all the weapons that the Israeli army could ever use; genius George W., genius (Ruthe has more on that here)!
Now Ehud Olmet has had the chance to prove he's as hard as his predecessor it seems we may start to get somewhere, but what is of even more concern than the dreadful loss of life caused by this crisis is the long-term effect that this is having on the attitude of the Arab community towards Israel. In today's Guardian Rami Khouri (editor of your favourite broadsheet Beirut's Daily Star) highlights three areas of concern:
- a steady loss of fear by ordinary Arabs in the face of Israel's military superiority
- a determined quest for more effective means of technical and military resistance to Israeli occupation and subjugation of Palestinians and other Arabs
- a strong political backlash against the prevailing governing elites in the Arab world who have quietly acquiesced to Israeli-American wishes.
"The Lebanon and Palestine situations today reveal a key political and psychological dynamic that defines several hundred million Arabs, and a few billion like-minded people around the world. It is that peace and quiet in the Middle East requires three things: Arabs and Israelis must be treated equally; both domestically and internationally, the rule of law must define the actions of governments and all members of society; and the core conflict between Palestine and Israel must be resolved in a fair, legal and sustainable manner.
Because these principles are ignored, we suffer outbreaks of military savagery by Israelis and Arabs alike, for the sixth decade in a row. The flurry of international diplomacy last week to calm things down was impressive for its range and energy. But it will fail if it only aims to place an international buffer force between Hizbollah and Israel, and leaves the rest of the Arab-Israeli situation just as it is."
Amen brother, Amen!
And now I've got rid of anonymous commenting I won't get any nutters saying Israel can do what it likes because it's God's chosen nation. Well I might do but at least I'll know who they are!