Reaction: 'If Israel is behaving like a psychotic bullying child, Britain and the US are like its mad tattooed parents'

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The Independent Online

Andrew Burgin, SPOKESMAN FOR STOP THE WAR COALITION

We are obviously very opposed to the destruction of Lebanon. We think it's a crime against the people there and we are calling for an unconditional ceasefire. Blair and Margaret Beckett have been utterly shameful. Blair has just done the bidding of his political master, George Bush.

Alexei Sayle, WRITER

Anyone can see that what Israel is doing is unacceptable, violent, cruel, evil and wicked. If Israel is behaving in the manner of a psychotic bullying child, then Britain and the US are like its mad tattooed parents.

Michael Ancram, FORMER SHADOW FOREIGN SECRETARY

While I think Israel has the right to pursue Hizbollah terrorists and weapons, the campaign they are embarked upon is disproportionate. The onslaught must cease now. I would also like to see Hizbollah cease its terrorism. I believe they are doing it to destabilise the situation, and they have succeeded.

Clare Short, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

This policy of our Government is so unbalanced and so disrespectful of international law, and the equal human rights of all people in the region, that it is inflaming the situation and inciting large numbers of angry young Arabs and Muslims to conclude there is no political route to justice.

Detta Regan, PEACE FOLLOW THE WOMEN CHARITY FOUNDER

What's going on is absolutely unbelievable. A lot of the people dying are children and civilians who have had nothing to do with this conflict. I'm totally disgusted with our Government. They could do something and should do something. We're supposed to be a humanitarian nation. I'm ashamed to be British.

Rowan Williams, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

The British and US governments may have to reckon with a rising level of public despair and dismayand I hope very much that they will bring their influence to bear in moving towards a ceasefire.The question is what can a state morally do without subverting its own cause in self-defence?

David Rowan, EDITOR OF JEWISH CHRONICLE

I could see Israel signing up to a ceasefire - if the international community guaranteed to disarm Hizbollah, to stop [its leader Sheikh Hassan] Nasrallah hiding his rockets in residential homes poised to fire at northern Israel, to block the Syrian and Iranian weapons shipments. But that's not going to happen.

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, MUSLIM COUNCIL OF BRITAIN

By wilfully turning a blind eye to Israel's indiscriminate killing of women and children and the destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure, we have further tarnished how our country is viewed in the eyes of the Muslim world. There can be no doubt that Israel's actions constitute war crimes.

Mark Thomas, COMEDIAN AND ACTIVIST

It is absolutely shameful that our Government is standing by while collective punishment and war crimes are meted out on the people of Lebanon. Let us be clear: if America and Britain had not given Israel the green light to do this, then it would not be happening. It is beyond horrific.

Louise Ellman, LABOUR FRIENDS OF ISRAEL

The answer has to be a buffer zone that protects Lebanon andnorthern Israel and to disarm the [Hizbollah] militia. The Israelis have to find a way of stopping indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas. Hizbollah have put munitions in densely populated areas and that is to be condemned.

Sir Menzies Campbell, LEADER, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

Neither Hizbollah nor Israel will be the first to lay down their arms. It is essential for the international community to put pressure on both to bring a simultaneous halt to their attacks. I have called twice in the House of Commons for this approach, yet the Prime Minister stubbornly refuses.

Michael Mansfield, QUEEN'S COUNSEL

In Margaret Beckett we have a Foreign Secretary who seems to be unwilling to recognise that Israel is committing war crimes, by using disproportionate force and targeting a civilian population. Our Government only talks about Hizbollah rockets. What must the Islamic world be thinking?

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