Thursday, July 27, 2006

Yet Another Inconvenient Truth

Question Asked and Answered

European leaders attending a Mideast conference Wednesday in Rome discussed plans to push for a cease-fire in Lebanon. Lucking out on C-Span I saw this exchange in the group press conference which followed it. Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora accepted a challenging question from an Israeli journalist:

Prime Minister Siniora, I'm an Israeli journalist from (inaudible) And I hope I'm not embarrassing you by my direct question.

If you were in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's shoes, would you react differently to the abduction to two Israelis soldiers inside the territory of Israel? And are you calling for the disarm of Hezbollah in order to reach a lasting cease-fire?
Well, that's a good question.

I believe that everybody has realized that there has been crossing across the Blue Line. But the reaction of Israel really shows that as Israel has already a well-prepared plan for reaction. And the retaliation is definitely by the judgment of all concerned is disproportionate with what has happened.

Moreover, I believe if I were, let's say, in the position of Mr. Olmert, I would really move directly toward solving the real problems.

Let me tell you, throughout the past years, did any of the actions that Israel committed over the years bring additional security and safety to Israel? Not at all. It did not bring at all any safety or security.

What brings security and safety is the ability of Israel to really build good relations with its neighbors. And how this can be done is really going through the peace process, to see how we can build peace between Israel and the Arab countries on the basis of what really was offered by the Arab countries in the Arab summit in the year 2002.

This is what can really put an end to the hostilities and the war in the Middle East.

Otherwise, things will continue; it will move from one hostility to the other, from one crisis to the other.

The Arabs, they have made their point and they are serious. And I think it's high time for Israel to realize that this is the real way how to really make peace in that region. It is actually historic deeds -- would require historic men. And I think these deeds are really waiting for historic men to do it.

I think the Arabs, they have done it, they have said what they want. They said they want peace. It is high time for Israel to really solve all these issues, starting with Lebanon; to give Lebanon back the occupied territories of Shebaa; and to really solve the problem of Gaza and the West Bank -- to go back to peace it really means.

This is how you can -- how the Israeli leaders can protect the Israelis, how they can really raise their children in prosperity and in peace in that region.
I invite readers to click on the photo, examine Condoleezza Rice's body language and offer captions.