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The middle east has and will be the bain of our existence until such time as a local solution can be made that provides security and prosperity to all parties involved.

Anybody getting involved from over here in their private war over there is a potential casualty that will bring no benefit to their families for the sacrifices that they have made. This conflict is THEIR conflict. It is about their land and their sovereignty. If somebody wants to pick a side fine, go over there and pickup a gun. This is a civil war, plain and simple. It is being jacked up into an international conflict just to gain support for one side or another.

This thing is already getting out of control. The Syria border is now being looked at, and Iran is talking about backing up Syria. The Arab League is condemning Israel and the United States is evacuating citizens from the affected areas.

This thing is not about to be turned off because the Jewish demands/conditions for peace/cease fire are not likely to be met. If the Americans become involved with either Iran or Syria then there will be a large blow back issue to be dealt with. Getting the Government of Canada involved would be a major mistake. Like I said if an individual citzen of this nation wants to do something in that conflict then let them. But the nation itself must stay the hell away from this because no matter which side you choose there will be complications. This war simply cannot be won through our involvement and Canada has nothing to gain from becoming involved in it.

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France and Russia are the worst hypocrits because they feign outrage over Israel's response to both Hamas and Hezbollah's attacks on Israel, yet they sell weapins to these terrorist groups, and their sponsor countries like Syria, and Iran.

Watching Putin decy the violence and "overreaction" of the Israelis delights the cynic in me. This is a man who lined up artillery pieces wheel to wheel and blasted entire Chechin cities to rubble without regard to the civilians living in them.

As for that crooked old anti-semite Chirac, French history is filled with massacres of locals in the interests of French business. The French have killed a lot more people in Africa over the last few years in order to ensure cheap resources for French industry than the Israelis will ever kill in Lebanon.

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Wow. Those of us who hold to a culture of personal responsibilty tend to be less generous. I blame every member of Hezbollah and Hamas from bottom to top, the civilian populations which support them, the nations which provide money and encouragement, and the governments which pretend to hold sovereignty over a given area but then shrug and say they can do nothing about terrorists attacking their neighbours.

Lebanon doesn't give popular support to Hezbollah, like I said only 14 of 128 seats are held by these terrorists. 11% of people in Lebanon want violence apparently, I bet popular support for the FLQ was higher than that at times in Quebec, no calls to wipe all Quebecois off the map and destroy all Quebec infrastructure were heard.

Hezbollah is there, heavily armed, openly, and attacking Israel for months. It's quite simple. Either the Lebanese government controls them or they put up with wars caused by them. If they don't have the balls to do anything about Hezbollah I'm not going to feel sorry for them when their infrastracture is destroyed.

Suppose you go to Israel and tell the mothers of the young soldiers killed during those kidnappings that, hey, it was nothing but a rubber band, and they shouldn't get so upset.

Gladly. They are soldiers, I'm more comfortable with them being kidnapped

Killed. The word is "killed". You seem percularly unable to come to terms with it. Two or three were kidnapped, a dozen "KILLED". during the attacks on them. Inside Israel. Would you be as sanguine if American forces crossed the border and killed a dozen Canadian soldiers without provocation? Suuuure you would. Hey, they're soldiers after all. They got what they deserved.

Big difference. What do you think the ratio of deaths is at now? 100:1? What ratio is acceptable to you, how much more is a Jew worth than an Arab?

Again this simply bizarre belief that somehow, unless as many Jews are being killed as Arabs, it's simply not fair! Wahhh! Wahhh! They're killing more of us than we can of them! It's not fair! Oh right, it's the Jews fault because, darn it all, they're better organized and have better weapons. We must blame them, even though they were the ones attacked.

Are you comfortable telling the uninvolved Lebanese woman that her kids need to die to avenge Israeli kidnapped soldiers?

I'm very comfortable telling her that her child died because of the actions of Hezbollah, and the cowardice and stupidity of her people in allowing those actions.

Complete and utter drivel. Israel did what everyone insisted, and left Gaza, left Lebanon. The locals took this as an opportunity to move closer to Israel's borders and fire rockets, mortars and other missiles at Israeli towns and cities. Hezbollah has fired hundreds of missiles into Israel since Israel vacated Lebanon, and now has attacked Israel, killed its soldiers, and kidnapped others. What do you want the Israelis to do? File a protest with the United Nations??!

Take out the missles, kill/round up the terrorists, enforce stricter border controls, ect. ect.. That'd be acceptable.

That's might White of you , Geoff. Except the missiles are being fired through the windows of village homes, from back yards, from olive fields, from the sides of roads. They fire, and then five seconds later they're running into the nearest population centre to hide amongs the people there. How do you propose the Israelis "take out the missiles". As for "rounding up" terrorists, that would involve a massive ground invasion of Lebanon. Is that what you're proposing?

As for "proportionate", just where did you get the idiotic idea that Israel has to respond only in the exact same way? It's like telling the cops that it's unfair to send fifty SWAT guys after a man who kills a cop with a shotgun. Oh, how lacking in proportion they are! How unfair that they're using so many cops against this poor, outnumbered murderer!

They don't have to respond in the exact same way. But bombing a country back 10 years in infrastructure, which will obviously impact millions that have no stake in the conflict, is quite the difference then a few kidnapped soldiers.

Killed. Killed soldiers. You keep ignoring that. And if the Lebanese have "no stake" then maybe they better get a stake. Maybe having "no stake" is why they were so sanguine about Hezbollah operating in southern Lebanon and repeatedly attacking Israel. So Israel is showing them that, guess what, they do have a stake in things. If they want a country at peace they have to deal with the terrorists using that country to attack their neighbours. And if the Lebanese are too weak to control their own country, then they don't deserve to live in peace.

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Hezbollah is there, heavily armed, openly, and attacking Israel for months. It's quite simple. Either the Lebanese government controls them or they put up with wars caused by them. If they don't have the balls to do anything about Hezbollah I'm not going to feel sorry for them when their infrastracture is destroyed.

Except that destroying infrastructure doesn't stop Hezbollah, just hurts the innocent Lebanese people that want to live their lives.

Killed. The word is "killed". You seem percularly unable to come to terms with it. Two or three were kidnapped, a dozen "KILLED". during the attacks on them. Inside Israel. Would you be as sanguine if American forces crossed the border and killed a dozen Canadian soldiers without provocation? Suuuure you would. Hey, they're soldiers after all. They got what they deserved.

If the Canadian response was to go bomb New York in revenge, then yes I'd have a problem with that. If our response was to attack those that commit the crime, then absolutely I'd support it. Your analogy works against you. Would you back a Canadian response in that situation to destroy Dallas or New York or Miami in revenge?

Again this simply bizarre belief that somehow, unless as many Jews are being killed as Arabs, it's simply not fair! Wahhh! Wahhh! They're killing more of us than we can of them! It's not fair! Oh right, it's the Jews fault because, darn it all, they're better organized and have better weapons. We must blame them, even though they were the ones attacked.

Hey, if there are more Arab criminals, then absolutely there should be more of them dead. The problem is when you look at the death toll so far, it's mostly uninvolved innocent people. With all those sophisicated weapons Israel has, you'd hope they would discriminate their targets a little better.

I'm very comfortable telling her that her child died because of the actions of Hezbollah, and the cowardice and stupidity of her people in allowing those actions.

That's ridiculous, what the hell could the child do? Again, Israel has the technology and intelligence to target Hezbollah strongholds, weaponary, terrorists. Instead, they are on a campaign of vengence and it's an attack against the people of Lebanon. Their current tactics seem like a waste of resources, it'd be much better to use those bombs and flying time attacking terrorists than using 500lbs bombs in residential neighbourhoods.

If terrorist from Canada killed someone in the U.S., are you ok with them bombing your neighbourhood in 'revenge'? Dont' set the double standard.

That's might White of you , Geoff. Except the missiles are being fired through the windows of village homes, from back yards, from olive fields, from the sides of roads. They fire, and then five seconds later they're running into the nearest population centre to hide amongs the people there. How do you propose the Israelis "take out the missiles". As for "rounding up" terrorists, that would involve a massive ground invasion of Lebanon. Is that what you're proposing?

I wish I had a solution to take out the missles, though I do know for a fact randomly bombing places has a very low chance of taking out the missles. The terrorism issue is the same. But please, do tell, how bombing infrastructure and setting back their standard of living 10, maybe 20 years, decreases anger towards Israel or decreases the number of terrorists or missles.

If Israel wanted to attack a country (that's what they are doing, they aren't attacking Hezbollah), attack Syria as they are the ones bankrolling the terrorists and supplying them with arms. I'd have no issue with an Israeli attack or invasion on arms or training camps within Syria.

Killed. Killed soldiers. You keep ignoring that. And if the Lebanese have "no stake" then maybe they better get a stake. Maybe having "no stake" is why they were so sanguine about Hezbollah operating in southern Lebanon and repeatedly attacking Israel. So Israel is showing them that, guess what, they do have a stake in things. If they want a country at peace they have to deal with the terrorists using that country to attack their neighbours. And if the Lebanese are too weak to control their own country, then they don't deserve to live in peace.

I think the Lebanese took a stake when they elected a progressive government that was at peaceful terms with Israel. Hezbollah and Hezbollah supporters are few and far between. I don't think individual Lebanese people need to bare the cost of this. That is my issue with it.

CNN is reporting 5 Canadians killed in Lebanon so far. Time to get our citizens out.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/07/16/mideast/index.html

Argus likely thinks they deserved it just for living there and not stopping Hezbollah single-handly. Just like the innocent Lebanese people that are there, the 90% of them voted for peace.

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This is simply going round and round. You say the Lebanese are not at fault for the Lebanese who attack Israel. I say they are.

No nation on earth has ever, or will ever sit idly by while attacks are launched against it from its neighbour. That's all there is to it. If Lebanon is a sovereign nation, it has to show its sovereignty over every part of itself, or else surrender sovereignty, admit it has no control over that part of the country, and leave it to Israel to do what it feels it needs to do there.

If the rule of the Lebanese government does not stretch to the south, then it has no business claiming that is part of its territory.

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This is simply going round and round. You say the Lebanese are not at fault for the Lebanese who attack Israel. I say they are.

No nation on earth has ever, or will ever sit idly by while attacks are launched against it from its neighbour. That's all there is to it. If Lebanon is a sovereign nation, it has to show its sovereignty over every part of itself, or else surrender sovereignty, admit it has no control over that part of the country, and leave it to Israel to do what it feels it needs to do there.

If the rule of the Lebanese government does not stretch to the south, then it has no business claiming that is part of its territory.

I can only assume that you spend little time reflecting on your positions.

Given your prior analogy (which was incorrect, since the Hezbollah guerillas are not the Lebanese army) of American soldiers crossing the border to kidnap a Canadian soldier - would you hold all Americans guilty?

Would this then justify wholesale slaughter, the targeting of civilian facilities and the complete isolation of the nation? The Israelis can and have inflicted collective punishment on all Lebanese. How many more Lebanese must die before we've spanked them hard enough - when does the punishment end?

In your worldview, which is admittedly as ill-informed as most of the trash that pollute the gutter, jailing an entire town - without trial or any due process - because one person living there committed an armed robbery would be acceptable. You belong in a dictatorship, and do not deserve liberty, since you are so quick to throw others to the dogs. These are innocents, something your arrogance seems unable to empathize.

Even if Lebanon is unable to control the south of the country, does that mean it is Israel's to destroy? What gives Israel the right to indiscriminately target civilians and civilian infrastructure? What makes Israeli lives worth more than Canadians living in Lebanon?

You have very little humanity in you if you can not see the great injustice being commited here. The lesson being taught to the Middle East? Jewish lives are worth countless Arab mothers, daughters, and sons. For each Israeli who dies, Israel will kill 100 Arabs. Is that not so?

How ironic that the specter of the new facism rises under the wings of those persecuted by the Nazis. For facist it is. Shame on you.

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I don't buy that story for a second. As long as I can remember Arabs have been ganging up on the Jews. How many times has it happened? I honestly don't know for sure but its lots and that is the truth. Each time the Jews beat back the people who denied their right to live. For a number of years now we didn't have to worry about outright war, because the Arabs seemed to have learned that open conflict is not going to do the trick, the Jews are not as weak as they thought. Now times are changing and the lone bomber has taken the place of the armies of these states who have attacked Israel.

These freaks walk into bus depots and resturants, malls and schools and blow themselves to hell. They take a lot of innocent people with them. If these attacks were against military instalations then maybe there would be some concern for the welfare of the fools commiting these acts of terror, but they don't even try to target a possible combatant, they aim for civilians!

To listen to people on this forum claim the actions of Israel are unwarranted, to them I suggest you get yourself over there and support the side that you chose. Just don't come back here, because we don't need your attitudes of right and wrong to be mistaken for ours. Don't stay here and bitch about it, just leave and do something about it.

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Canada should demand an apology for the bombing of our citizens by Israeli forces. It was an attack on unarmed civilians that had nothign to do with the conflict.

Israel needs to apologise immediately. It's a nice headline because they are Canadian, imagine how many more Lebanese people, most who voted against Hezbollah and violence are going to die in the name of revenge.

EDIT: http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/200...-canadians.html

There's a link to the story from CBC.

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This is simply going round and round. You say the Lebanese are not at fault for the Lebanese who attack Israel. I say they are.

No nation on earth has ever, or will ever sit idly by while attacks are launched against it from its neighbour. That's all there is to it. If Lebanon is a sovereign nation, it has to show its sovereignty over every part of itself, or else surrender sovereignty, admit it has no control over that part of the country, and leave it to Israel to do what it feels it needs to do there.

If the rule of the Lebanese government does not stretch to the south, then it has no business claiming that is part of its territory.

I can only assume that you spend little time reflecting on your positions.

Given your prior analogy (which was incorrect, since the Hezbollah guerillas are not the Lebanese army) of American soldiers crossing the border to kidnap a Canadian soldier - would you hold all Americans guilty?

You are right. It was a poor analogy. A better one would be a terrorist group composed of people who hate Canadians firing missiles across the border for months, terrorizing and killing Canadians while our protests to the American government are met with sneers and shrugs. The terrorist group in question, living openly, brandishing their weapons openly, with congressman in the US Congress, their own radio station, their television station, training bases and such, THEN attacks us, kills Canadian soldiers, and kidnaps others.

Would this then justify wholesale slaughter,

Wholesale slaughter? Syria killed 50,000 people in a week when it smashed the Muslim Brotherhood uprising in Hama. The Israelis have been trying to avoid civilian casualties, but it's awfully hard when Hezbollah terrorists are using villages for fire bases, and their headquarters are right in Beirut. Israel could be killing people by the hundreds and thousands with very little effort. So far most appear to be accidents.

The Israelis can and have inflicted collective punishment on all Lebanese. How many more Lebanese must die before we've spanked them hard enough - when does the punishment end?

I would imagine the punishment will end when the Lebananese stop firing missiles into Israel.

In your worldview, which is admittedly as ill-informed as most of the trash that pollute the gutter, jailing an entire town - without trial or any due process - because one person living there committed an armed robbery would be acceptable.

The only way the town would deserve punishment would be if the armed robber was a town hero and the town either refused to do anything about him, cheered him on in each of his robberies, and gathered to throw stones and bottles at the police any time they went near his home.

Even if Lebanon is unable to control the south of the country, does that mean it is Israel's to destroy?

If it fires rockets into Israel - yup.

What gives Israel the right to indiscriminately target civilians and civilian infrastructure?

What gives the Lebanese the the right to indiscriminately target Israeli civilians and civilian infrastructure?

You have very little humanity in you if you can not see the great injustice being commited here.

Oh stop your snivelling. Israel has shown more than enough patience. Now it has finally been pushed beyond tolerance and is taking action to protect its civilians. If that causes the deaths of lots of Lebanese civilians, well, too damned bad. The Lebanese people need to stop their southern brethren from attacking their neighbours if they want peace.

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Additional point: http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/200...g8-mideast.html

The G8 called for Israel to withdraw from Gaza and Lebanon and they support Lebanon in defending their soverignty.

Point of order. Lebanon does not have sovereignty over its southern territory. And when the G8 called on them to "assert" not defend sovereignty it was referring to Hezbollah, not Israel.

And the G8 said that the "extremists" must stop attacking Israel, and release the soldiers they kidnapped, and THEN Israel should withdraw from Gaza and Lebanon. It was quite specific on the order.

Of course, Israel withdrew from Gaza and Lebanon some time ago and it didn't stop the people there from launching missiles at them.

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Unfortunately some of our citizens appear to have lost their lives in this war zone in the middle east. As far as demanding an apology, I don't think so.

Does anybody on this board think the middle east is a good place for a vacation? The place has been dangerous for decades, the people that go there know this. It is a tragedy that those folks died, anybody and everybody else that dies becomes part of the same tragedy. Unfortunately they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is what happens in war, people die.

You can claim anything you want, but that will not bring them back. Like I said before there will be bloodshed over there, and nothing you or I or even the involved parties is going to be able to prevent that. War is upon them, not us you understand, just them and that alone is a great enough tragedy. Don't add to the problem and involve other nations what is going on is bad enough out involvment will just make it worse.

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Well that link lead to a very biased viewpoint. I don't care for the authors opinion myself. But my opinion is less worthy than his because he is there and I am not. I have no vested interest in those lands, and I care not what they do to each other in violence. When all parties decide to try peace than people will stop dropping like flys. Until then, they all reap what they sew.

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Machinations:

How ironic that the specter of the new facism rises under the wings of those persecuted by the Nazis. For facist it is. Shame on you.

This is not only way off base it's completely offensive. These kind of comments don't even deserve acknowledgment. I'm embarrassed for you.

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IMR,
I'm not sure Ohlmert is the man for the job.
He has certainly 'taken the gloves off', but a 'go for the throat while kicking for the nuts' kind of guy has to be Uzi Landau. Things would have to look bad for Israel before anyone would put him in charge, though.
We need some closure here. I get annoyed about the call for cease fires by the UN. It seems it's always just a temporary fix. The passifists of the world seem to be able to stomach a little bit of killing here and there even if it lasts for 50 years. I'd prefer for them to have it out and get it over with.
I agree, not much different killing thousands of people over a 50 year span or a 50 day one, they are still just as dead. 'Having it out' might change 'bloodletting' into lots of bloodshed, but if a workable and long term peace can come from it, then I agree...get on with it.
Establish a Palestinian state and build the biggest fortified wall possible
Been tried, doesn't solve the problem. Either the Arabs accept Israel (in which case they wouldn't need the wall) or they won't, which seems more likely.
Thoughts on the wall Thelonius?
Ah yes, I see some trouble ahead. Israel cannot 'clean house' in the Middle East without help, they simply haven't the resources without going nuke, or having the US (and possibly a lot of others) firmly on board. That would mean a showdown with Islam. However, I think that is coming.

Countries like Saudi Arabia need to be confronted or cut loose from their cozy, yet Janus-faced relationship with the 'West'. The US can't turn a blind eye to state sponsors of terrorism for favourable economic reasons much longer.

I think either all world religions must sit down and talk over their differences, divide up regions according to religious preferences and keep them segregated, or fight it out. I think the latter is far more likely to happen, so it should be prepared for with the utmost of urgency. In short, I fear open war with Islamic nations, and therefore Islam, is going to happen. We can choose the time or wait for it.

I'm not sure Uzi is the guy either. His opposition to disengagement isn't the greatest idea. However, right now he seems to have been correct.

As for Saudi and others I agree with you. I think the US and Canada (Canada is just as guilty) need to get off the addiction to oil and leave these places in the sand. Let's face it we're the ones feeding them with our SUV's and such. I don't think there will have to be a war with Islam if we cut ourselves off from them.

For Israel, Islam is never going to be OK with them until every last Jew is gone from Israel. So in my opinion they need to build a wall to keep out the suicide bombers as best they can. They need to arm them selves to the teeth with nukes and missile defence systems. As for using the nukes, yikes, I hate to think about it but they might have to. The repeatative history seems to have been knocking back the surrounding countries until they rebuild only to do it over again.

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There are seven dead Canadians and over 40,000 Canadians trapped in Lebanon, Israel has blown up the airport so that no one can leave the country. They have trapped innocent civilians, women and children, tourists and are bombing the sh*t out of them, and they dont care who they kill.

There are approximately 10,000 British citizens , 20,000 French, 20,000 Australians, and 25,000 Americans trapped in Lebanon as well. People from Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Brazil and thousands of International students ......... and the numbers keep rising.

Originally Canada thought there were 16,000 Canadians, now that number has risen to over 40,000 :(

Our Government is trying to arrange for Commercial ships to evacuate the Canadians, how many ships do you need to hold over 40,000 people? What about all the other people who are innocent and will be trapped there? There are tens of thousands trying to flee the country with no way out ..... Israle has bombed the roads and bridges as well as the airport ........

The UN and the rest of the world seems to agree that Israel has gone too far. Its amazing how many people seem to think "the poor Jews" are innocent in all of this, give me a break already. The agressions and attacks are on both sides. The Jews have declared their intent to kill and keep on killing until there is no Arab left alive, read the Jewish websites and then tell me they are "pacifists". :blink:

Hezbollah captured three Israeli soldiers in 2000. They died during the operation, but four years later, the group was able to exchange their bodies for 430 Palestinians and Lebanese held in Israeli jails.
The group says it has captured the soldiers to secure the release of detainees held in Israeli prisons.

"Fulfilling its pledge to liberate the prisoners and detainees, the Islamic Resistance... captured two Israeli soldiers at the border with occupied Palestine," the Hezbollah statement said.

Halutz: Soldiers are alive

Three Israeli soldiers kidnapped recently are alive, Israel’s military chief said.

Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz said Friday that Israel understood that a soldier abducted by Hamas terrorists June 25 and spirited to the Gaza Strip, and two abducted Wednesday in a cross-border raid by Hezbollah, a Lebanese terrorist group, were all alive. The two in Hezbollah hands are in “reasonable health,” he said. He did not elaborate or say how he knew.

Isnt Israel claiming their bombardment of Lebanon is to make them pay for the "fate" of the kidnapped soldiers? Well it seems they are a tad premature in counting them dead.

Hussein Faka, 35, says that the world does not understand what is happening.

According to Mr Faka, his cousin has been in Israeli jail for over 20 years for killing an Israeli civilian.

He says he does not know if his cousin is dead or alive.

"We have two of theirs (Israeli soldiers) but they have hundreds of ours in Israeli jails," says Mr Faka. "That's what this is all about."

In the past, Israel had negotiated the release of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners it held, in exchange for Israelis captured by Hezbollah.

But this time, as one Israeli minister put it, "the rules have changed".

Is okay for Israel to have prisoners but not okay for Lebanon? The following is disjointed but I am trying to hit the "high points" - the news stories are far too long to post here.

The Security Council meets today in the shadow of a widespread, barbaric aggression waged by Israel to this very moment against my nation, Lebanon," said Nouhad Mahmoud, ambassador to the UN.....

..............French President Jacques Chirac said the Israeli air strikes were "completely disproportionate" and the Vatican described them as an attack on a sovereign and free nation................

The offensive was destroying infrastructure and causing the death of innocent civilians in full view of the international community, he said.

................

In an earlier attack, Israeli aircraft fired missiles at the group's radio station, but hit a nearby apartment building instead, Hezbollah sources said. ............................

...................Hezbollah has said the captured soldiers will not be returned without a release deal for Palestinian, Lebanese and other Arab prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Israel is also continuing a separate offensive in the Gaza Strip. An Israeli soldier was captured there last month. ..........................

Leaders of the G8 nations have blamed extremist forces for the latest crisis in the Middle East, but called on Israel to end military operations.

The statement - issued after hours of difficult negotiations - calls for the release of three captured Israeli soldiers - one in the Gaza Strip.

It also urges militants to stop shelling of Israeli territory.

Leaders also urged Israel to withdraw its forces from Gaza and to release arrested Palestinian politicians.

The leaders of the world's eight top economic powers are meeting in St Petersburg.

The statement, described to reporters by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, revealed concern over the rising civilian casualties on both sides...............

....................... It blamed the immediate crisis on "extremist forces", including Hamas and Hezbollah, which it said wanted to destabilise the region and frustrate the Palestinian, Israeli and Lebanese peoples' aspirations for democracy and peace.

BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says the leaders also set out steps that the Lebanese government, Israeli authorities and Palestinian politicians must take to create peace.

BBC

Its one helluva mess, but one thing I do know for sure the Jews are NOT innocent victims.

Ironically, Israel is punishing and pressuring a largely anti-Syrian government for an action which it blames partly on Syria and Iran, the sponsors and supporters of Hezbollah ............

As well as hitting Hezbollah directly - in so far as it can identify valid targets - the Israeli campaign is also clearly aimed at exerting maximum pressure on the Beirut government, by disrupting normal life in almost all parts of the country and inflicting massive economic damage.

By hitting the country's only international airport on Beirut's southern outskirts, imposing a naval blockade and threatening road links out of the country, Israel has dealt a massive blow to Lebanon's post-war reconstruction effort and its attempts to build on stability and confidence.

And to innocent civilians.

This is NOT about two or three kidnapped soldiers, this is an excuse for Israal to take over Lebanon

But given the political proximity of the current Israeli and US administrations, their common animosity towards Syria and Iran, and the blurring of issues under the broad slogan of the shared "war against terror", Israel appears to have more leeway this time around - hence, perhaps, the declaration that "the rules have changed".

With broad regional strategic factors deeply embedded in the crisis, and with Israel clearly pursuing wide-ranging political goals, the question is whether the campaign would be halted even if Hezbollah backed down and handed back the two captured Israelis .

BBC correspondent in Beruit
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There are seven dead Canadians and over 40,000 Canadians trapped in Lebanon, Israel has blown up the airport so that no one can leave the country. They have trapped innocent civilians, women and children, tourists and are bombing the sh*t out of them, and they dont care who they kill.

There are approximately 10,000 British citizens , 20,000 French, 20,000 Australians, and 25,000 Americans trapped in Lebanon as well. People from Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Brazil and thousands of International students ......... and the numbers keep rising.

Indeed. Lots of Lebanese have emigrated abroad over the years, and many have returned.

The UN and the rest of the world seems to agree that Israel has gone too far. Its amazing how many people seem to think "the poor Jews" are innocent in all of this,

Well, we can't all be anti-semites like you.

The Jews have declared their intent to kill and keep on killing until there is no Arab left alive, read the Jewish websites and then tell me they are "pacifists". :blink:

I don't think "the Jews" have said any such thing. Perhaps you're getting this from your local white power website.

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Well, we can't all be anti-semites like you.

What was Anti-Semite in his post?! Stop calling everyone that disagrees with your views on the Middle East an Anti-Semite?!!?

The emotional tirade by Kindred was clearly anti-semitic as evidenced by his use of "the poor Jews". His use of the "...Jews intent to kill..." rather than distinguishing between Jewish people and the state of Israel.

The UN and the rest of the world seems to agree that Israel has gone too far.

The UN and the rest of the world? well that says it all doesn't it. Ya gotta love the "UN and the rest of the world" card. :rolleyes: Especially when the "rest of the world" is defined as Russia and France.

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In the short term, Israel needs to continue to make it clear to the Palestinians that life is going to be hell for them as long as they continue to attack Israel. I think, frankly, they're being too gentle. They should destroy all electricity production in Gaza, smash their roads, destroy irrigation systems, sewers, etc.

War crimes all.

Wow. Those of us who hold to a culture of personal responsibilty tend to be less generous. I blame every member of Hezbollah and Hamas from bottom to top, the civilian populations which support them, the nations which provide money and encouragement, and the governments which pretend to hold sovereignty over a given area but then shrug and say they can do nothing about terrorists attacking their neighbours.

A persumption of collective responsibility that would give Himmler a hard-on.

Suppose you go to Israel and tell the mothers of the young soldiers killed during those kidnappings that, hey, it was nothing but a rubber band, and they shouldn't get so upset.

Boo hoo. Civilain casualties are one thing: dead military personnel are another. the former is unacceptable, the later par for the course.

Bullshit. What Israel is doing is showing the Lebanese that if they want to support a terrorist group and have that group continually attacking Israel, they're going to pay the price for it. ANY other nation on earth, including this one, would do the same. And if the Israelis have to reduce Lebanon and Gaza to the stone age, with its people living in mud huts without electricity or running water in order to persuade them it's a bad idea to keep firing missiles at Israeli cities then they should go for it. Moral high ground? What utter twaddle!

Again, this is exactly the same logic used by the Nazis when dealing with partisans in WW2 when they would murder entire communities as a reprisal for individual acts of resistance violence. You should be proud of the ethical company you keep. (It's also worth pointing out that such strategies never ever work. For some reason, people tend to blame the people dropping the bombs, not the people who "made" the bombers bomb.)

Complete and utter drivel. Israel did what everyone insisted, and left Gaza, left Lebanon. The locals took this as an opportunity to move closer to Israel's borders and fire rockets, mortars and other missiles at Israeli towns and cities. Hezbollah has fired hundreds of missiles into Israel since Israel vacated Lebanon, and now has attacked Israel, killed its soldiers, and kidnapped others. What do you want the Israelis to do? File a protest with the United Nations??!
What would have happened if the Palestinians had not fired Qassams? Would Israel have lifted the economic siege that it imposed on Gaza? Would it open the border to Palestinian laborers? Free prisoners? Meet with the elected leadership and conduct negotiations? Encourage investment in Gaza? Nonsense. If the Gazans were sitting quietly, as Israel expects them to do, their case would disappear from the agenda - here and around the world. Israel would continue with the convergence, which is solely meant to serve its goals, ignoring their needs. Nobody would have given any thought to the fate of the people of Gaza if they did not behave violently. That is a very bitter truth, but the first 20 years of the occupation passed quietly and we did not lift a finger to end it.

Instead, under cover of the quiet, we built the enormous, criminal settlement enterprise. With our own hands, we are now once again pushing the Palestinians into using the petty arms they have; and in response, we employ nearly the entire enormous arsenal at our disposal, and continue to complain that "they started."

We started. We started with the occupation, and we are duty-bound to end it, a real and complete ending. We started with the violence. There is no violence worse than the violence of the occupier, using force on an entire nation, so the question about who fired first is therefore an evasion meant to distort the picture. After Oslo, too, there were those who claimed that "we left the territories," in a similar mixture of blindness and lies.

Link

Anyhoo: the problem is no one is in a position to get what they want.There are large portions of the Arab population in the area that want Israel to cease to exist. There are other large portions that want to live in peace from under the thumb of corrupt leaders and brutal occupiers. And Israel mainly wants everyting from the Jordan to the sea under its flag. Add it together and well, we're see what you get.

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