"Radio Your Way"
Tue Aug 15, 2006 02:43

RE: Mike Wallace's interview with Iran's outspoken president: — AUDIO: 60 MINUTES


8/14/06 C-SPAN: President Bush gives news statement
regarding the Middle East... This is after meeting
with DOD Sec. Rumsfeld, along with Sec. of State
Ms. Rice


A 'victory' for Hezbollah, or will it now be blamed?
International Herald Tribune - 8 hours ago
JERUSALEM Standing before flattened buildings in the shattered southern suburbs of Beirut, one of Hezbollah's two ministers in the Lebanese cabinet, Hassan Fadlallah, asserted Monday that Hezbollah had scored "a divine victory" in its conflict with Israel ...
GOOGLE: all 3,604 related


Israeli and Lebanese Papers Respond to Ceasefire

Two leading newspapers in the war-torn countries assess the current ceasefire -- and their futures. Clearly they disagree about "justice" in the conflict but share some dreams for the future as they report some residents returning, tentatively, to their homes.

By Suzanne Rosenberg

(August 14, 2006) -- A ceasefire for Israel and Lebanon is likely to be bittersweet even if it can hold. The surprisingly high numbers of dead, both civilian and military, are sure to arouse criticism within Israel about its military strategy and intelligence. For Lebanon, its very future and the role of Hezbollah within the country as well as the personal and public pain from the death and destruction of the war, and the anticipation of once again rebuilding, must appear overwhelming.

Both countries must be praying that their leaders and inhabitants can remain calm for the upcoming 24 to 48 hours and the ceasefire can come and stay.

How did two leading newspapers in the two countries cover the run-up to the ceasefire today, as judged by their popular Web sites?

--The Daily Star

The top headline in The Daily Star, Lebanon’s only English language newspaper, as United Nations Resolution 1701 goes into effect is: “Exhausted Lebanon venture home as fighting ends." Another lead story reports that an 11th hour bid by Israel to crush Hezbollah killed four soldiers and 25 civilians just hours before the U.N. brokered ceasefire was due to take effect.

The paper also has a timeline of the July-August conflict and heart rending photos of hundreds of civilian casualties of the war as well as anti-Israeli and anti-war demonstrations.

A moving story about the last few desperate days of a family-owned bakery in Tyre which has weathered Israeli raids and the blockade to supply bread to the community -- but will run out of flour in the next day or two unless supplies can reach them either from Beirut or aid agencies -- illustrates just how difficult daily life has become south of Lebanon’s Litani River.

Other articles report on Israeli damage to the Temple of Bacchus, mounting dissension within Israel over its conduct of the war, the production and price of Mideast oil, and the brief border opening between Egypt and Gaza to allow for travel and supplies. There's also an extremely laudatory story on the Lebanese civil defense and its performance during the Israeli offensive.

A full-sized banner announcing Free Speech in Lebanon is also floating in the center of the online Daily Star edition. This is a reminder that Lebanon is unusual in the region. The need to announce free speech, whether it is a defiant minority taking a stand, or just a statement of the paper’s position on journalism, elicits both confusion and pride in the paper and for its owners and publishers.

In addition, an article in which the Lebanese middle class reveals that it is disillusioned with America, and another which suggests that Bush had no right to back Israel, both suggest that prior to the conflict the Lebanese had high hopes for their status as American allies.

Finally, a number of articles and editorials try to assess Lebanon’s future. Among these is an editorial which contends that Lebanon can emerge stronger from the crucible of war, another which suggests that Lebanon must insist on separating itself from the rest of the Middle East and still another which speculates that if Ariel Sharon were dead, he’d be turning in his grave.


On the Ha’aretz Web site this morning, the top headlines read, “IDF recommends quick pullout from south Lebanon" and "Five soldiers killed Sunday in clashes in Lebanon.” Other headlines tell the story: “PM: We’ll continue to hunt down Hezbollah leaders” and “Olmert vows probe into shortcomings of conflict” pretty much summarize the aftermath.

Ha'aretz has been strongly supportive of the war but has also showcased growing opposition. The paper’s editorial today states that whatever the recriminations, in this war “justice is on our side.”

But a guest column by Yuri Masgev concludes: “Over the past few days, the assumption has been raised - and not denied - that the operation for conquering the Litani River is meant to supply the people of Israel and their leaders with a 'victorious picture' before the battles end. When the son of the last dead soldier grows up and asks one day why his father died, it will be possible to reply that his father was the silver platter on which the Jewish state was given a photo-op.”

One article announces the unspeakably sad news that the son of Israel’s most famous novelist and peace activist, David Grossman, died in the final push into Lebanon on Saturday night. His armored vehicle was hit by an anti tank weapon and Uri Grossman, 20, died instantly.

His father, along with Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua, just this Thursday had protested against the continued action of the Israeli Defense Forces as dangerous and counterproductive. In their joint news conference they stated, “Out of concern for the future of Israel and our place here, the fighting should be stopped now, to give a chance to negotiations.” Grossman, who originally backed the strikes on Lebanon, encouraged compromise with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora saying, “This solution is the victory that Israel wanted.” He was particularly concerned that any further offensive might trigger the further destabilization of the Lebanese government, and he said of this possibility, "It's still possible to prevent it," suggesting that "this is the last moment."

David Grossman is an Israeli and a child of a Holocaust refugee. I met him once and he is a lovely man. He has written numerous critically acclaimed novels about political and social issues as well as the 1987 novel, "The Yellow Wind," which was a sympathetic examination of Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation. He was an early advocate and spokesman for the Israeli peace movement.

Among the numerous online postings of condolences and notices to the Grossman family is an especially poignant note to David Grossman from a Georges in Beirut, Lebanon: “Sad, that so many good, peaceful people die in nonsense conflicts. My condolences to Mr. Grossman and all the victim’s families on both sides. Hope one day, Lebanon, Israel and all the other Arab countries will be in Peace. That’s my dream.
Peace, Shalom, Salam.

Both Israel and Lebanon appear to be holding their breath with the desperate hope that the cease fire will hold and that many of their dreams for the future might come true.

Suzanne Rosenberg (letters@editorandpublisher.com ) is a political scientist who teaches at Marymount College of Fordham University. One of her daughters was in Israel during part of the conflict.


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