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Monday, September 25, 2023

Lebanon has rejected outright the US-French proposal to end the fighting

CSMS Staffs WritersWith tears in his eyes, Lebanese Prime Minister, Fuad Siniora, forcefully rejected The US-French proposal to end the fighting in Southern Lebanon. “Any plan that would allow Israeli forces on Lebanese soil is unacceptable,” he said, delivering a tearful speech to Arab foreign ministers. Close to 50 Lebanese were killed by Israeli bombs today, making it one of the deadliest days since the war begins.Siniora agreed in principle to end the fighting; and he proposed a comprehensive peace package that includes an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces, the relinquish of Shebaa Farms seized by Israel since 1967 and the redeployment of 15,000 Lebanese troops to the southern border of Lebanon with Israel. Siniora’s Cabinet, which includes Hezbollah ministers, later approved unanimously of the redeployment. The move was an attempt to show that Lebanon has the will and ability to assert control over its southern border, which until now is effectively run by Hezbollah.Many observers believe this latest move is just a ploy by Washington designed to ultimately allow Israel to achieve it diabolical aim at wiping out the entire Arab population in Southern Lebanon while using France as a cover to bring legitimacy to it. In Texas, Bush said any cease-fire must prevent Hezbollah from strengthening its grip in southern Lebanon. “it’s time to address [the] root causes of problems.” What root causes that George Bush is talking about? Everyone knows that the root cause of the problem is the Israeli confiscation of Arab Lands, the threat of inhalation of Arab population by Israeli forces, political assassination, collective punishment, the obliteration of Arab infrastructure, the constant humiliation, and, above all, the 39-year military occupation of Palestinian Land, making it the longest military occupation in modern time.   With Arab League foreign ministers assembled around a horseshoe table, the embattled Lebanese leader repeatedly interrupted his opening address to gather his composure and wipe away tears. The foreign ministers cast their eyes downward in apparent embarrassment, according to Reuters News Agency. “I gave an order that, if within the coming days the diplomatic process does not reach a conclusion, Israeli forces will carry out the operations necessary to take control of rocket launching sites wherever they are,” Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said.The U.N. resolution calls for “a full cessation of hostilities” based on “the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations.” But it makes no explicit mention of an Israeli withdrawal, and implicitly allows Israeli defensive operations. Instead, it calls in the longer-term for a buffer zone in southern Lebanon — which Hezbollah controls and where Israeli troops are now fighting. Only Lebanese armed forces and U.N.-mandated international troops would be allowed in the zone.France’s U.N. ambassador, Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, promised Monday to take into account Lebanon’s concerns that the resolution does not seek the withdrawal of Israeli troops. But he did not say whether France was prepared to add such language to the text. Washington and Paris were expected to circulate a new draft later Monday, in response to amendments proposed by Qatar, the only Arab nation on the Security Council, and other members, diplomats said.”We need today to pressure the international community for a Security Council resolution that imposes a comprehensive and permanent cease-fire that provides simultaneously for a complete Israeli withdrawal,” Saniora said at the hastily arranged Arab League gathering in Beirut.The Arab leaders impotence in the face of Israeli aggression could not be more apparent. Their foreign ministers gathered in Beirut for an emergency meeting could only announce that they would send a delegation to the U.N. to represent Lebanon’s interests at a meeting with the Security Council on Tuesday. The timing of the meeting means the council probably would not adopt a resolution until Wednesday at the earliest.Siniora said Lebanon was “stunned” by the devastation of the Israeli offensive, which had taken “our country back decades. We are still in the middle of the shock.” To the east, Israeli warplanes staged bombing runs on suspected Hezbollah positions in the Bekaa Valley, killing at least eight people and wounding 32, witnesses and civil defense officials said.Almost all the ground battles have taken place south of the Litani River, some 18 miles north of the Israel-Lebanon border. The Israeli army said it declared an indefinite curfew beginning Monday night on the movement of vehicles south of the Litani. Humanitarian traffic would be allowed, but other vehicles would be at risk if they ignored the order, the army said.As long as Israeli forces continue to remain in South Lebanon, one can only bet that Hezbollah will keep on fighting. Hezbollah resistance has stunned Israeli generals, who at first said they will wipe out the Arab militia, then they change their euphoria from wiping out to degrading Hezbollah capacity. Now they are only talking about pushing Hezbollah back, north of the Litani River, which marks the de facto partition between north and south Lebanon.  Washington and Jerusalem are trying to hard to accomplish through intimidation and the threat to nuke anyone who dares to widen the war what the Israeli forces seem to have tremendous problems at achieving in the battlefield.The real victim of this war is Lebanon—a fragile country held hostage by the belligerents on both sides and caught in a proxy war between the United States and Iran. We are living some of the dangerous moments of our time. It is ashamed that despite dazzling inroads that have been made in social science, the world is still being ruled according to the rule of the jungle. When this is all over and, despite Israeli war crime committed against innocent civilians, the Hawks in Jerusalem will be praised and compensated for their crime against humanity.We believe that Lebanon should be free to pursue its course as an independent nation. It should not be used as a front to attack Israel by countries like Iran and Syria that do not have the might to take on the Jewish state and cannot rely on their own people to sustain a popular war, for they fear them as much as they fear such a war with Israel. It is of strategic importance that Lebanon be able to assert its sovereignty. However, for that to happen, Hezbollah should not be allowed to exist as an independent force, pleasing its masters in Damascus as well as in Teheran and dictating at will the course of Lebanon, even if that course will lead the country to abject poverty and total destruction. It should at the very least be incorporated to the Lebanese army, pledging to uphold and respect the law of the country.         Also see: Israel butchering of Lebanese people https://csmsmagazine.org/news.php?pg=20060731I198

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