Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Violence in Middle East escalates - Israel, Lebanon at the brink of war

Major, worrisome news today:
Israel Lebanon Conflict MapIsrael imposed a full naval blockade on Lebanon and put Beirut International Airport out of commission today as the crisis in the Middle East escalated rapidly following the capture of two Israeli soldiers and the killing of eight others by the Shia militant group Hezbollah on Wednesday.

Hezbollah fired rockets deep into northern Israel today, with two rockets hitting the port of Haifa, sending thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters.

In a second day of Israeli attacks on Lebanon, Israeli warplanes also struck two Lebanese Army bases and Hezbollah’s Al Manar television station. According to Lebanese government figures, 53 Lebanese have died, including one family of 10 and another of seven in the village of Dweir. More than 103 have been wounded, the Lebanese said.
Here's Juan Cole's take on the recent outbreaks of violence:
I roundly condemn Hezbollah's criminal and stupid attack on Israel and escalation of a crisis that is already harming ordinary Palestinians on a massive scale.

Likewise, the Beirut airport is not in south Lebanon and for the Israelis to bomb it and neighborhoods in south Beirut is a disproportionate use of force. The Israelis are actually talking about causing "pain to the Lebanese." That is despicable.

This crisis will not leave the fabric of Lebanese politics untouched, and the danger of an unraveling is acute. And, it is clear that the withdrawal of Syria from Lebanon has given an opening to Israeli hawks to invade Lebanese territory again. It will not be good for Israelis if Lebanon collapses into a failed state again.
One thing seems clear in the midst of all this violence: all parties involved share some of the blame for escalating tensions and committing acts of war. It will take courageous leadership, a lot of patience, and cooperation if peace is ever to come to the Middle East. Unfortunately, a peaceful resolution to all this conflict seems nowhere in sight.

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