Lebanon Who? Europe's Unwillingness To Provide Troops To Sustain Cease Fire An Embarrassment
A special opportunity is at hand. At this hour, the international community has the chance to solidify a fragile peace between Israel and Hezbollah. Its success is critical because hundreds of people have died in this conflict over the last month, and many more will perish should the cease fire collapse.
But its success is equally important for two broader reasons. First, a sustained cease fire in Lebanon could slow the region's dangerous momentum. Take a look around. Iraq is engulfed by sectarian violence. Iran is threatening to proceed with its nuclear weapons. Israel is waging a two-front war. And terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are assuming increasing power. This cease fire provides a rare chance to inject a measure of stability into the region and avert a free fall.
Second, success here could have long-term consequences for peace between Israel and its neighbors. As many sharp commentators have observed, Israel's attack on Hezbollah had little to do with the kidnapping of the two Israeli soldiers. Rather, it was undertaken to prove a point: that Israel would not give up land for nothing. After Israel voluntarily withdrew from Lebanon a few years ago, and did the same in Gaza a few months ago, it witnessed a rise in suicide bombings, shootings, and rocket launches. This was hardly a just reward for such difficult concessions. The present cease fire offers a chance for the international community to demonstrate to Israel that it can make future concessions with confidence that its interests will be protected.
It is time for the European Union to put dollars and manpower behind its lofty resolutions. Otherwise, the EU will not be the only part of the world saying: Lebanon who?
Lebanon, Israel, Cease Fire, Middle East