Monday, July 31, 2006

Amir Peretz Apologizes to the Families of those Killed in Qana

At a special meeting of the Knesset convened today, Amir Peretz (Labor) began his speech with an apology from the IDF to the Lebanese people. His address, one of the most impressive speeches he has delivered as the Minister of Defense, emphasized the importance of continuing the war against Hizbullah. He emphasized that the 48 hour cessation of aerial bombing was not a permanent cease fire, and that it was being granted only to allow for humanitarian relief efforts. Peretz's speech was interrupted dozens of times by Arab MKs who, among other things, called him a "child-murderer" and "angel of death." Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik (Kadima) at first told them that she would not do them the favor of ejecting them, but in the end the interruptions were simply too much. Peretz did not react in any way to their shouting. Three Arab MKs were ejected, including Taleb al-Sana and Ibrahim Sarsur from Ra'am-Tal and Jamal Zuhalka from Balad.


John said...

Australia's Prime Minister said today:

"...Can I, moving to other matters, say that I share the sense of distress that so many people must feel about the loss of civilian lives and indeed the loss of life generally on both sides of the conflict in the Middle East.

You are aware of the views I’ve expressed about the cause of this current conflict and those views have not changed. The action of Hezbollah, which remains in the
Government’s view a terrorist organisation, of going into Israel was provocative and is the immediate cause of the conflict.

I believe, along with many others, that there would be enormous value if an international stabilisation force could be inserted into the area, but that force must meet a number of conditions for it to be profitable and successful.

The first view is that it must be a large force, anything less than about 10 to 15,000 troops would not be enough.

It should have a very strong mandate and that mandate must include, in Australia’s view, the disarmament of Hezbollah. If it doesn’t contain that then the problem is bound to re-occur in the very near future.

From Australia’s point of view, I
have it made clear and Mr Downer has made it clear that we would not be in a position to make other than what could be loosely called a niche contribution and that is the view being brought to the discussions in New York where Australia is represented by General Ken Gillespie, the Deputy Chief of, the Vice Chief of the Defence Force
and David Richie, the Deputy Security at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and I want to make it clear that we would not even be willing to contribute a niche force unless the overall force had the sort of mandate of which I have spoken.

There is no point in mincing words about the challenge ahead of the world in the Middle East and some kind of patch-up solution, which is bound to bring about a repetition of the current disaster at some time in the not-to-distant future, is no solution at all..."

John said...

Thanks for that contribution, Aussie John. I see a real similarity between the positions taken by the Australian PM and my own Prime Minister,, Stephen Harper (Canada).