Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Armitage Laments Lebanon Invasion

Armitage Laments Lebanon Invasion

Middle East News Service

[Middle East News Service comments: There are several people of the “of-course-Israel-should-be-criticised-it’s-just-that-nothing-worth-criticising-has-ever-come-up” crowd on a discussion group that I participate in. They take a particular pleasure in forwarding articles about Israel from my hometown broadsheet, the Age. For some reason they have not posted this item.

But this item is significant, The winds of change in the Middle East are blowing about. But these winds are blowing not so much in Baghdad, Jerusalem and Gaza but in Washington and London. Several commentators have pointed out that Israel seems oblivious to the blows that the US has suffered in Iraq and its impending tack in its entire Middle Eastern policy. A few weeks ago the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, praised the national aspiration of the Palestinian people and their right fro a State of their own. Now she is reported in Ynetnews as saying that “An elected Hamas government in the Palestinian territories may be preferable to the group operating outside the power structure and carrying out terrorist actions.”

While the UK’s policy has always been stronger in paying lip service to Palestinian rights it is worth listening to their Ambassador in Tel Aviv, Tom Phillips, as reported in Ma’ariv. The ambassador was speaking at a British-Israel Friendship Association function to commemorate the Balfour Declaration (“His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.) He said: “Ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the formation of two states for two people is the best way to implement the Balfour Declaration…. Had Balfour been alive today he would have thought that creating two states is the best way for the Jewish State to flourish.” (Re-translated from the Hebrew.)

There are many who will dismiss this analysis as pipedream. History may prove them right. But then again they ought to listen carefully to the words of former Secretary of State Baker’s committee which is looking for alternative solution to the Iraq quagmire. Armitage is no doubt aware of their publicly expressed thinking. As a person with a reputation of speaking his mind he is beginning to fill in the gaps for public consumption. If the US is to extricate itself from the Iraq mess it may need to make sacrifices somewhere else. The interest of Israel and the United States will not coincide forever – Sol Salbe.]

Armitage laments Lebanon invasion

Brendan Nicholson
November 7, 2006

AMERICAN support for the Israeli invasion of Lebanon was a bad mistake that emboldened and strengthened Hezbollah, Syria and Iran.

That was the view of former US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage yesterday in a speech to the Menzies Research Centre in Canberra.

He said it was understandable that Israel wanted to retrieve kidnapped soldiers and to make Hezbollah pay a price, but "it's inexplicable that we would hold their coat for them and let them do it".

Mr Armitage said that not only did Hezbollah fight well, it also handed out goods and services to people that the Lebanese Government was either unwilling or unable to do.

No Arab government could have done as well, he said.

"So what we have is a non-government organisation taking the place of a government, electrifying the streets of the Middle East with their boldness and, temporarily, it meant that Israeli invincibility was shattered," he said.

"It is inexplicable why the US did this. Lebanon is much the worst off, Syria is in a much better position and Iran is in a fabulous position because of their backing for Hezbollah."




[The independent Middle East News Service concentrates on providing alternative information chiefly from Israeli sources. It is sponsored by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the AJDS. These are expressed in its own statements]

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Dunne Speaks: Robertson's Budget Gamble On Treasury
The popular test of the success or failure of Grant Robertson’s fifth Budget will be its impact on the soaring cost of living. In today’s climate little else matters. Because governments come and governments go – about every six to seven years on average since 1945 – getting too focused on their long-term fiscal aspirations is often pointless... More>>

Keith Rankin: Liberal Democracy In The New Neonationalist Era: The Three 'O's
The proposed ‘New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme’ (‘the scheme’) has attracted strong debate among the more left-wing and liberal groupings, within New Zealand-Aotearoa. This debate should be seen as a positive rather than negative tension because of the opportunity to consider and learn from the implications and sharpen advocacy... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Words Matter, Prime Minister
Words matter, especially when uttered by politicians. History is littered with examples of careless or injudicious words uttered by politicians coming back to haunt them, often at the most awkward of times. During the 1987 election campaign, when electoral reform was a hot issue, Prime Minister David Lange promised to have a referendum on the electoral system... More>>

Digitl: Infrastructure Commission wants digital strategy
Earlier this month Te Waihanga, New Zealand’s infrastructure commission, tabled its first Infrastructure Strategy: Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa. Te Waihanga describes its document as a road map for a thriving New Zealand... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Leaking For Roe V Wade
The US Supreme Court Chief Justice was furious. For the first time in history, the raw judicial process of one of the most powerful, and opaque arms of government, had been exposed via media – at least in preliminary form. It resembled, in no negligible way, the publication by WikiLeaks of various drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership... More>>

The Conversation: Cheaper food comes with other costs – why cutting GST isn't the answer

As New Zealand considers the removal of the goods and services tax (GST) from food to reduce costs for low income households, advocates need to consider the impact cheap food has on the environment and whether there are better options to help struggling families... More>>