Monitor: Middle East comment on the Israeli air-strikes on Lebanon

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THE REAL conqueror in the Lebanon is Syria. An Israeli withdrawal would deprive Damascus of its excuse for occupying its neighbor, a founding member of the UN whose independence was never formally recognized by Damascus. Once out of Lebanon, Israel will have the tools and legitimacy with which to concoct, whether openly or quietly, an ongoing effort to ostracize Syria diplomatically, so long as it pulls the strings of an actively belligerent Hizbullah.

Jerusalem Post, Israel

A GLIMPSE of the obvious seems to have escaped most of the Israeli political community: Continued defiance of a United Nations Security Council resolution through an illegal, repressive and savage occupation of south Lebanon will inevitably inspire armed resistance, and that in turn will bring casualties. The Israelis in general and Netanyahu - with only a little over 10 weeks to go to the elections - would be foolish to believe that domestic opinion favors such action. The Israelis may invade as often as they choose but every action will make it that much harder for their government to make the inevitable compromises and to learn to live in peace with their neighbors.

The Star, Lebanon

SINCE THE beginning of the Lebanon War 14 years ago, 1,539 soldiers have been killed there, 162 of those casualties occurring during the period of Netanyahu's government. How can it be said, on the one hand, that Israel must not withdraw its forces without security and normalisation agreements with Syria, and then, on the other, to waste three years without exchanging a single word with the Syrians?

Haaretz, Israel

DOES ISRAEL imagine that Syria, Lebanon and the rest of the Arab peace- loving nations and freedom-loving people will allow it to profit by its insolent and perfidious aggression and annexation and to dictate terms from the position of aggressors seeking to wrest by force that which belongs to Palestine, Syria and Lebanon? For one and all, real peace means Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territories.

Teshreen, Syria

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