Consensus on the Situation in Lebanon

Up to now there seems a consensus in words regarding the situation in Lebanon, especially after Qana tragic incident. The international community is calling for a ceasefire and an end to hostility. Israel government is unanimous on disarming and annihilating Hezbollah politically and militarily, putting this condition to withdraw its forces from Lebanon. Hezbollah is seeking to change the political map of the Middle East by calling for Israel to withdraw from Shebbaa farms. But the animosity between Israel and Hezbollah is so deep that even a territorial settlement will not put an end to the conflict even in the case of a ceasefire. It seems each has the right to exist at the expense of the other as co-existence is a remote possibility.

If there is any comparison to be made for this conflict, it is like a fight in a cowboy film when two heads of a gang get involved in a fight, surrounded by their men or companions who stand watching without intervening until one kills the other or inflict bodily harm on him.

So in this sense, the international community has been standing by to see first which side will have the upper hand before making a gesture that may change the course of the events.

Neighbouring Arab states, especially Syria, can’t intervene militarily as this will mean a declaration of war against Israel. For Syria, it can’t send its troops to Lebanon as its action will be seen as invasion liable to international sanctions. It also knows that it can’t get into such an adventure if it doesn’t have the support of a powerful country like Russia.

Israel is in Lebanon without facing such consequences as it is using the pretext of self-defence after having been “provoked” by Hezbollah which had kidnapped two of its soldiers.

But the powerful countries, especially permanent members of the Security Council, don’t seek an expansion of the conflict. It seems that for them, Hezbollah and Israel in open and unrestrained conflict is a lesser evil than an open war between Israeli army and another Arab army.

The world seems to have reached a consensus that when there is an international crisis of such a magnitude it becomes through time a daily routine, engendering ineffectual debates as it is happening in such areas as Palestinian territories, Iraq and Afghanistan.

When the conflict ends it becomes a history as the Israeli actions against the Palestinians in Southern Lebanon more than 20 years ago or the bloody incidents of Genin in April 2002. So the consensus for the international community seems: watch, talk as much as you can and forget about it altogether.

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