Friday, July 21, 2006

Perspectives on the Middle East crisis #4 (Norman Geras)

Norman Geras continues to update his selected commentaries on the unfolding Middle East crisis. His first installments can be seen here and here. The latest installment is below. --Jeff Weintraub
Norman Geras (Normblog)
July 18, 2006
The crisis in the Middle East 4 (updated)
Abraham Rabinovich has Israel sensing that a major military and political victory is within reach:
Hezbollah and Iran now find themselves with a deterrent that no longer deters. They also find much of Hezbollah's infrastructure shattered and many of its leaders, including clerical leaders, killed in the air attacks.

Furthermore, neither the Arab world nor the international community is prepared to stop the pummelling.

This report on the front page of the Times gives a different view:
Britain fears that Israel's assault on Hezbollah is failing to cripple the guerrilla group and that continued bombardment will bring huge civilian casualties in Lebanon for little military gain. .....
A senior British official said: "Our concern is that Israeli military action is not having the desired effect. We're not seeing the level of impact [which Israel and its allies would want]." Hezbollah was "still highprofile in southern Beirut", even if its claims to have lost only three fighters underplayed the damage done. "We're not seeing any large-scale destruction of Hezbollah rockets," the official added, "and we don't know where they are."
Israel claimed yesterday to have destroyed half of Hezbollah's rockets, which the guerrilla group has been firing steadily across the Lebanese border. "We have already destroyed around 50 per cent of the rockets and missiles that Hezbollah had," General Alon Friedman told army radio.
David Grossman, defending Israel's right to a firm military response, thinks that its aim of breaking Hizbollah's power is 'doomed from the start'.

Rebecca Weisser (hat tip - JN):
Israel is consistently held to a higher standard than the terrorists who attack it or the countries that condemn it...
A report from Sudan (hat tip - StM):
Thousands of Sudanese students packed into the capital Khartoum yesterday to condemn the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza and voice their desire to fight against Israel.
"Open the borders (for us) to exterminate the Israelis," they shouted as they carried pictures of Hassan Nasrallah, the head of the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah and Hamas political leader Khalid Mishal.
Israeli and Lebanese students conversing in Greece (hat tip - L).

Mick Hartley fisks a piece from today's Times by Matthew Parris.

Did he or didn't he? The Lebanese Prime Minister is reported as having told Corriere della Sera that Hizbollah must be disarmed with the help of the international community after a ceasefire has been agreed. But his office later said he'd been misquoted.

A poll result showing that the US public is supportive of Israel. And a roundup of the European press.

Posted by Norm at 01:03 PM |