Israel Will Accept Hezbollah Alive, but Not Kicking
Posted on Jul 23, 2006
In a reconsideration of its goals, Israel has deemed a disarmed (as opposed to destroyed) Hezbollah an acceptable outcome to its actions in Lebanon.
The Washington Post:
The United States, Israel, the United Nations and the European Union have reluctantly concluded that despite punishing military attacks, Hezbollah is likely to survive as a political player in Lebanon, and Israel now says it is willing to accept the organization if it sheds its military wing and abandons extremism, according to several key officials.
“To the extent that it remains a political group, it will be acceptable to Israel,” Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon said yesterday in the strongest sign to date that the Israelis are rethinking the scope and ultimate goals of the campaign. “A political group means a party that is engaged in the political system in Lebanon, but without terrorism capabilities and fighting capabilities. That will be acceptable to Israel.”
Essential to this mission will be the compliance of Syria, the major channel of weapons to Hezbollah. It may be difficult to achieve this, as the United States has no plans for direct contact or communication with Damascus, but rather intends to apply pressure indirectly by way of friendly Arab nations.
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