Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Germans said Israel in a Lose-Lose Situation

From German news Spiegel Online:

... left-wing daily Die Tageszeitung argues that it's now too late for a sudden peace. "The call for an immediate cease-fire - in contrast to the calls for cease-fire in 1996 - will only have a limited effect," the commentator writes.

"An immediate unconditional cease-fire will be the same as a victory for Hezbollah."

The paper argues that Israel and the US have already lost "on the field of diplomacy," and that absent a quick military success, "Qana in 2006 will be what Qana in 1996 became: the writing on the wall that led to Israel's retreat from Lebanon."

The Financial Times Deutschland thinks Israel's military success in Lebanon "has been unimpressive so far," and agrees with other papers that a retreat or a cease-fire will do no good.

The last time Israel retreated from Lebanon, in 2000, it was "celebrated as a triumph for Hezbollah, and established its mythic status. As everyone can see, it didn't serve the cause of peace."

The paper isn't optimistic about continued fighting, either, because the violence has already hurt Israel's standing as a diplomatic negotiator.

"The unprecedented criticism that Arab governments from Egypt to Saudi Arabia expressed against Hezbollah at the start of the current war has gone mute again."

Although many leaders in the Middle East hate the idea of Iran spreading its influence through Hezbollah, the paper writes, now they have to show "solidarity" with the Lebanese.

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