Pause for peace

LEBANON conflict has entered a critical and conclusive phase. After endless dithering stretching over almost two weeks, the UN Security Council finally agreed on Friday on an ‘immediate’ ceasefire in Lebanon.

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Mon 14 Aug 2006, 10:26 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:58 PM

And thankfully, both Israel and Hezbollah have signalled their willingness for truce. Which is not really surprising given the fact that it had been a pointless war, without offering any strategic gains either to the Jewish state or Hezbollah.

This is especially true of Israel. After its excessive exuberance and hubris and levelling of Lebanon in the initial phase of the war, Israelis had discovered that Hezbollah ‘threat’ still persisted despite the relentless bombing of southern Lebanon that has claimed more than a thousand civilian lives.

In the end, what has Israel achieved out of this disastrous war? When the guns on either side fall silent and Israel withdraws from Lebanon, its leaders would do well to pose this questions to themselves. Of course, Lebanon has been ruined and reduced to rubble. And maybe Hezbollah’s capacity to fight has been reduced for now. But it will be revived in no time. Then what is it that Israel has achieved? Apparently little.

In fact, by demolishing the myth of Israel’s so-called invincibility, the rag-tag army of irregulars with their inadequate and antiquated weapons had put Israel in a highly embarrassing spot. Condemned by the world and questioned at home, Israel’s leaders were finding it hard to carry on with this catastrophic campaign. Which is why the Israelis and their neo-con backers, who had initially opposed a ceasefire, had been lately getting desperate for an exit strategy. The UN resolution presented that face-saving device.

Where do we go from here? It would be unrealistic to expect the UN resolution to bring about peace overnight. But the proposed ceasefire that comes into effect today will hold only when Israel holds its fire and immediately pulls its troops out of Lebanon.

There are reports of Israeli forces trying to seize as much of Lebanese territory as possible before the UN truce comes into force today. Again, this is in accordance with Israel’s conduct during its previous wars with the Arabs. In both 1948, 1967 and 1982, it grabbed and occupied new Arab territory before agreeing to a truce. But in doing so once again in Lebanon, Israel would be sowing the seeds of a new conflict in the Middle East and strife with the Arabs.

Such an action would lead to a permanent state of war between the Jewish state and Lebanon or Hezbollah. Which would be really unfortunate. For you can never hope for just and enduring peace on the basis of injustice and aggression.

More news from