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Cablegate: Media Reaction - Mideast: Israel/Hezbollah Combat,


DE RUEHSG #1644 2122037
R 312037Z JUL 06





E.O. 12958: N/A

1. On July 30, conservative, independent "La Tercera" (circ.
102,000) carried an editorial entitled "The Urgency of a Cease Fire
in The Middle East." Quotes:

"There is no doubt that the conflict has multiple and complex
elements...but this does not mean the international community cannot
do something more substantial.... The first priority must be to
stop the number of victims from growing and avoid a spiral of
violence.... Both parties have rejected the idea of a truce...and
the apparent decision of the United States to not support a
ceasefire until Israel has weakened the Hezbollah...seems to
indicate that there will be no immediate solution.

"The ceasefire is a priority.... It would not resolve the real
problem, which is that Hezbollah will continue to operate as a
'state within a state' in Lebanon. But it would prevent the
conflict from becoming more extreme. It would also open a window
for the international community...which must oversee the role that
actors such as Iran and Syria play in providing financial and
military support to Hezbollah.... The international community must
intervene quickly to avoid an escalation of the violence, be it
through legal institutions created for this purpose or through those
nations that have influence in the region."

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2. On July 30, government-owned, editorially independent "La Nacion"
(circ. 3,800) carried a column by journalist Rafael Cavada "The
Chessboard Pawns." Quote:

"The United Nations is asking for a truce. Israel refuses and the
United States supports Israel. Condoleezza Rice plays the piano in
an effort to attain a cease fire -- Nero did the same as Rome
perished under flames. The woman controling U.S. foreign policy
talks about long-lasting peace in the region while other women cry
for their sons buried under the rubble of their homes. It is a bad
habit to get in the way of Israeli missiles and their targets. The
UN complains because four observers died in an Israeli bombing;
Israel was warned a dozen times that those there were international
observers. But the observers ended up being blown up anyway in a
mass of broken bones and meat, as with another 600 civilians,
without anyone doing anything to stop it."

3. On July 30, government-owned, editorially independent "La Nacion"
(circ. 3,800) carried a column by defense journalist Raul Sohr
entitled, "David and Goliath, Again." Quote:

"Israel has proclaimed it is not at war with Lebanon. Its goal is
to disarm and neutralize Hezbollah.... Israel knows it will not
eliminate Hezbollah as a political organization.... Hezbolla has
seen its political reputation grow in the region; its members have
caused the same or more damage to Israel than organized Arab
armies... This militia is not just a threat to Israel, and many
Arab nations are closely watching. Depending on how this war ends,
a new political scenario in the Middle East could emerge, but not
one that the United States would expect."


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