Saturday, September 02, 2006

Their View Of The World Is Through A Bombsight

In Lebanon, a little-honored truce remains in effect - yet another in a decades-long series of ceasefires between Israel and its adversaries in a cycle that, as if inevitably, returns to warfare, carnage and human misery. Let's describe the current crisis for what it is: a US-Israeli invasion of Lebanon, with only a cynical pretense to legitimacy. Amid all the charges and counter-charges, the most immediate factor behind the assault is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This is hardly the first time that Israel has invaded Lebanon to eliminate an alleged threat. The most important of the US-backed Israeli invasions of Lebanon, in 1982, was widely described in Israel as a war for the West Bank.

It was undertaken to end the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's annoying calls for a diplomatic settlement. Despite many different circumstances, the July invasion falls into the same pattern.

What would break the cycle? The basic outlines of a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict have been supported by a broad international consensus for 30 years: a two-state settlement on the international border, perhaps with minor and mutual adjustments.

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