Letter: Lebanon: blighted peace in Beirut; peril for Israel; drought in Galilee; double standards in the West

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The Independent Online
Sir: The current Israeli operation in Lebanon, "Grapes of Wrath", is already starting to resemble the 1982 operation "Peace for Galilee" which was son of "Operation Litani" of 1978, with the public aim of claiming to protect northern Israel from attack from south Lebanon. Each time this has failed to happen.

Post-1982 Israel managed to turn a neutral, even friendly, Shia Lebanese population into its most deadly foe, Hizbollah, who recently have inflicted a number of very successful attacks against the Israeli Defence Forces and South Lebanon Army. The IDF suffering a setback, especially in an election year, is not good for the government, so a show of military might is called for.

What will the results of this operation be? Perhaps to create even more deadly enemies in Lebanon than it already has. Since the Oslo talks the Palestinian refugees of Lebanon realise that they have no hope of returning home or even to the new Palestinian-controlled zones. The continued blasting of Tyre can only serve to remind them of their status or lack of it. "Grapes of Wrath" may well come to haunt Peres and Israel even more than "Peace for Galilee" did.

Peter Keating

Woodbridge, Suffolk

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