Letter: Israeli assault on southern Lebanon

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Sir: Israel's escalating assault on southern Lebanon, with ominous echoes of 1982, is a perilous adventure threatening both renewed war in the Middle East and the death knell for the faltering peace process.

We were told that the 1982 invasion was a limited measure to safeguard Galilee from guerrilla attacks; in fact, an immediate onslaught of Beirut paved the way for a horrendous civil war, costing thousands of civilian lives, the disintegration of the Lebanese state and, ironically, the rise of Islamic fundamentalists such as Hizbollah and Hamas. With US acquiesence, international law was left in tatters.

The current assault - being actually designed to produce embittered refugees - deserves more than a tired US reaction of blaming the terrorists. After Bosnia, the 'New World Order' already looks a bitter fiction in Muslim eyes; we may now see both the collapse of peace negotiations and the further spread of hostile Islamification.

Yours sincerely,


London, N22

28 July