Friday, Aug. 19, 2022 |
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• Ha’aretz, Tel Aviv, on developments in Beirut
• The Guardian, London, on the Palestinian conference
• Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo, on troops in Iraq
Ha’aretz, Tel Aviv, on developments in Beirut
The fall of the Lebanese government in the wake of mass protest demonstrations against the ongoing Syrian occupation was a refreshing surprise. Israel cannot be indifferent to the developments in the region, which could have an enormous influence on its national security. The developments over the northern border oblige Jerusalem to reconsider its policy of many years that silently agrees to Syrian control of Lebanon. … The Golan Heights remain a ‘deposit’ for a future peace agreement, in which the final border between Israel and Syria will be determined and the two states will have normal relations. That would be Israel’s contribution to the new order in the north.
The Guardian, London, on the Palestinian conference
Tony Blair struck an optimistic note at yesterday’s London meeting in support of the Palestinian Authority, talking of a ‘moment of opportunity’ in the Middle East. In one sense he is absolutely right. Since last November several events have conspired to generate a rare sense of hope about this most intractable of conflicts. … Moving ahead, though, is difficult and dangerous. That is why it was easier to say what the London event was not: it was not the grand peace conference Mr. Blair originally wanted, nor the relaunch of the stalled internationally backed ‘road map’ to peace. … The meeting, nevertheless, did what it set out to do. It created a U.S.-led team to help the Palestinians streamline their rickety and overlapping security services and coordinate better with the Israelis. The EU and the World Bank promised to help with reconstructing the Palestinian economy. … The Palestinians, urged to crack down on violence, felt this point had not been made forcefully enough to the Israelis. There was a sense of one-sidedness, too, in the emphasis on reform as a necessary prelude to a resumption of negotiations. … Mr. Blair, taking a global view, was right to warn that Palestine ‘is probably the cause most used or abused by those who try to rally support for extremism.’ All the more reason, then, after a practical start in London, to press on with what he called the ‘patient, hard slog’ of building trust, and perhaps winning a priceless peace.
Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo, on troops in Iraq
Australia has pledged to provide 450 troops to help guarantee the safety of Self-Defense Forces personnel stationed in Samawah, Iraq. Canberra made the offer to compensate for the scheduled withdrawal in March of Dutch forces.
However, the public is not just concerned about the safety of the SDF. The dispatch of Japanese troops resulted from unreasonable legislation.
With the imminent withdrawal of Dutch forces, misgivings about the safety of the SDF are bound to rise. Basically, the SDF mission in Iraq has been accomplished. While supporting the United States and concentrating on aid projects in Samawah, Japan’s troop presence is not necessarily advancing reconstruction efforts in Iraq. These are reasons for our opposition.
We appreciate the fact that the SDF troops put their lives on the line while trying to help Samawah residents. The fact is, though, that their primary mission – to supply clean water – has already been accomplished, courtesy of water purifiers provided by the private sector.
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