Peace in the Middle East–No Way!
In this special report, we are publishing articles with all kinds of different political view points, shapes and colors about the current crisis situation in the Middle East. We do not necessarily agree with the quoted material and the opinions contained therein, but the following facts are clear: Israel has not accomplished its goals; Hezbollah has become much more popular in the Arab world; Europe is willing to send troops into Lebanon; the future in Lebanon is still very uncertain; and the United States of America and Israel find themselves all alone. And this means, lasting peace is more elusive than ever in that war-torn region.
These trends and developments have been prophesied. Please read our free booklet: “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”
A New War Just a Matter of Time?
Bild Online wrote on August 14: “Since yesterday, 7:00 am, the weapons are silent. Did Israel win the war?”
The paper, which is friendly toward Israel, continued:
“Israel has won, but they are not the victors. Israel did not achieve all of its goals… The two captured soldiers are sill captured… the international community, especially the UN, has failed… Is the next war against Israel just a matter of time?… “
The paper also asked what the war did for Hezbollah, and stated:
“Hezbollah has shown a military strength succeeding the expectations of many, including many in Israel. Hezbollah leader Nasrallah claims that he is more popular in the country than Lebanese Prime Minister, Fonad Siniora.”
Will Israel Withdraw?
Reuters reported on August 16:
“Israel could withdraw its forces from southern Lebanon within 10 days, but only if the Lebanese army deploys quickly in the area, Israel’s army chief of staff, Dan Halutz, said… ‘If the Lebanese army does not move down within a number of days to the south … the way I see it, we must stop our withdrawal,’ Halutz added… Halutz… had been quoted earlier as saying Israel was prepared to keep troops in southern Lebanon for months if it takes that long for an international force to deploy… ‘We must check matters one by one and correct them quickly. I do not rule out the possibility that the situation could explode and we, as an army, must be ready,’ he said [on Wednesday].”
Hezbollah Won’t Disarm
The Jerusalem Post reported on August 16:
“The issue of disarmament is not on the agenda, senior Hizbullah official Hassan Fadlallah said on Wednesday, jeopardizing the fragile cease-fire in the region. The UN cease-fire resolution clearly states that the area south of the Litani river must be demilitarized. According to Fadlallah, who spoke with al-Jazeera, Hizbullah will not evacuate its operatives from southern Lebanon since they are the ones who populate the region. ‘Any such withdrawal means the evacuation of southern Lebanon,’ he said.”
Who Will Disarm Hezbollah?
Der Spiegel Online asked on August 16: “Who Will Disarm Hezbollah?” The magazine continued:
“The cease-fire resolution passed by the Security Council last Friday does not outline what kind of mandate a UN force in southern Lebanon might be equipped with. And many countries have said they are reluctant to pledge troops before such a mandate exists… The UN hopes to eventually assemble a force of 15,000 troops to assist the Lebanese force in enforcing the cease-fire, and aims at sending some 3,500 troops within the next week to 10 days. France has indicated its willingness to send a sizable force, as have Italy, Spain, Malaysia and Indonesia [as well as Turkey]. A number of other mostly European countries have also voiced interest in helping out, but none have made official pledges. German politicians continued their wrangling over the issue on Tuesday and Wednesday.”
The article continued:
“Hezbollah… sees itself as the winner of the war with Israel. Indeed, the group has taken the lead in rebuilding efforts in southern Lebanon, going door to door to ask returning residents what they need and trying to pave the way for a return to normal life… It could take up to a year for the United Nations to establish a full, 15,000-troop force in southern Lebanon… With Israel beginning its withdrawal, however, a rapid deployment is necessary.”
Lebanon’s Army Unwilling to Fight Hezbollah
Der Spiegel Online reported on August 17:
“… the Lebanese army began deploying troops in the southern part of the country on Thursday as part of the UN-brokered cease-fire plan to end fighting between Israel and Islamic extremist group Hezbollah. For decades, the Lebanese army has had little or no influence south of the Litani River. The border region’s true powerbrokers have been Hezbollah and Israel — the two opposing sides that the deployment of Lebanese soldiers and tanks in southern Lebanon is meant to keep from fighting. But it remains to be seen if the Lebanese government in Beirut can truly expand its control to its southern border with Israel, especially since the Islamist outfit Hezbollah appears far from willing to cede power or disarm. Lebanon’s cabinet on Wednesday backed the deployment of troops south of the Litani River, but the government — which includes ministers from Hezbollah’s political wing — said soldiers would not confront militia members of the Shiite extremist group…”
The magazine continued:
“However, establishing Lebanese army control in the south is a key part of the UN cease-fire that stopped over a month of heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Hezbollah. The government troops will have to bridge a period until a more robust UN peacekeeping force can be sent to the region to help stabilize the fragile peace. According to the UN cease-fire agreement that took hold on Monday, Israel will transfer control of its positions in southern Lebanon to the UN forces, which would then turn them over to the Lebanese army… Many local residents seemed pleased the Lebanese army had returned, even if they are unprepared to face down Hezbollah… But it remains to be seen if Israel will be content with a still-armed Hezbollah sitting on its northern border. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said Israel expected Lebanon to fully follow the UN plan. ‘That resolution clearly calls for the creation of a Hezbollah-free zone south of the Litani River, and anything less would mean that the resolution is not being implemented,’ he said.”
What Germans Think About a UN Army
On August 15, Der Spiegel Online discussed the reaction of the German press to the creation of a UN army:
“The international force, being assembled to strengthen the small United Nations mission that is currently in southern Lebanon, is… taking shape slowly… The German press on Tuesday is urging speed.
“Left-leaning Die Tageszeitung… stresses, the cease-fire only has a chance of success ‘if UN troops are stationed in southern Lebanon within the next couple of days — not weeks.’ Additionally, these troops will need to be strong enough to ‘keep both conflicting parties from active fighting.’…
“According to the conservative daily Die Welt, ‘there is no cause for optimism’ for those familiar with the less-than-successful track record of UN troops. ‘Aside from the East Timor operation, most blue helmet missions can be classified as failures,’ the paper laments. The UN and the members of the Security Council carry part of the blame for this war; about two years ago they called for Hezbollah to be disarmed and then left it up to Lebanon to do the job. If something is to come out of a new mission, one ‘must send an army that will not hesitate to fight.’ And what’s more: ‘They need to be ready for a confrontation on the scale of the Americans’ war on terror in Afghanistan.’ Hezbollah will not willingly give up its weapons. But ‘Europe seems to want to avoid all of this’ and simply ‘wish the Lebanese well.'”
German Troops for Lebanon?
On August 15, Der Spiegel Online discussed the reaction of the German press to the concept of sending German troops into Lebanon:
“The Financial Times Deutschland [thinks that there] are real reasons for Germany to get involved in settling the Lebanese conflict…, stating, ‘ it would be disastrous for the entire region as well as for Europe, if Hezbollah succeeded in rising even stronger out of the ruins of Beirut.’… Berlin would do itself no favors were it to ‘focus on keeping out of it and making nice with all of the conflicting parties.’
“The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung emphasizes… [that] Germany is wary of putting itself in a position where it may be forced to fight Israeli troops; and even if Germany doesn’t get involved, the mere willingness to support military action ‘is a further … step on the way to emancipation from self-inflicted restraints of foreign policy involvement.’
“Business daily Handelsblatt goes a bit further in looking at how the current situation — and the possibility of Germany sending troops to the Middle East — will test the relationship between the two countries. On the one hand, Germany’s history — and constitution — requires a ‘special relationship’ between Germany and Israel. But since 1967, German public opinion has changed dramatically from being pro-Israeli to being anti-Zionist. ‘Along with that comes a strong antipathy towards America.’ In addition, even as the US has followed a strongly pro-Israeli foreign policy, ‘the European Union has followed a different path.’ But that different path cannot blind the Europeans to the danger facing Israel ‘when Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and their sponsors aim at the heart of Israel.'”
BBC News added the following on August 17:
“Germany is waiting to hear precisely what the mandate of the UN force for Lebanon will be before it decides what role to play in it. Party leaders in the ruling coalition said on Wednesday they had agreed in principle on contributing to the planned international force. But sensitivities about Germany’s past make some politicians uneasy about the idea of German troops facing Israelis. Germany may help in humanitarian work and securing the Lebanon-Syria border. ‘Many questions are still open,’ said government spokesman Thomas Steg… Any cabinet decision to send troops would still have to be approved by parliament. Coalition officials said they were considering providing naval patrols or police to help secure the Lebanon-Syria border.”
The article continued:
“Germany has sent 7,700 soldiers overseas already to serve with international forces in Afghanistan, the Balkans and DR Congo. Edmund Stoiber, head of the conservative Bavarian CSU party allied to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, firmly opposed any deployment of German combat troops. He said his Christian Social Union ‘will never vote for a combat operation for German soldiers in the buffer zone between Hezbollah and the Israeli border.'”
The US and Israel Stand Alone
On August 15, Der Spiegel Online published an interview with former President Jimmy Carter, addressing the current Middle Eastern crisis:
“I don’t think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon. What happened is that Israel is holding almost 10,000 prisoners, so when the militants in Lebanon or in Gaza take one or two soldiers, Israel looks upon this as a justification for an attack on the civilian population of Lebanon and Gaza… I think that at this moment the United States and Israel probably stand more alone than our country has in generations.”
Iran and Syria Praise Hezbollah–and Incur German Wrath
The Associated Press reported on August 15:
“Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Hezbollah has ‘hoisted the banner of victory’ over Israel and toppled U.S.-led plans for the Middle East. Hezbollah’s main backers–Iran and Syria–struck nearly identical tones a day after a cease-fire took effect in Lebanon: heaping praise on the guerrillas as perceived victors for the Islamic world and claiming that Western influence in the region was dealt a serious blow.”
Reuters added on August 15:
“Assad said in a speech to the Syrian Journalists Union on Tuesday: ‘It is evident that after six years of this (US) administration that there is no peace and there will be none in the foreseeable future… The Israeli leadership is in front of an historic crossroads. Either it moves toward peace and gives back rights or face constant instability until an (Arab) generation comes and puts an end to the issue.'”
As a consequence, according to Reuters, “German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier cancelled a [planned] trip to Syria on Tuesday… ‘The speech today by Syrian President Assad is a negative contribution that is not in any way justified in view of the current challenges and opportunities in the Middle East,’ Steinmeier said in a statement… Steinmeier left on Monday for his third trip to the Middle East since hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon erupted.”
Special Report on the Middle East
Last week, Mathias Dapfner, CEO of the Axel Stronger AG and publisher of the right-wing mass tabloid, Bild, as well as the daily, Die Welt, wrote in an editorial in Welt am Sonntag against the concept that Hezbollah, Iran and other controversial nations must be “appeased.” He also strongly advocated European action:
“Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives, as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless agreements. Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in the Soviet Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe, where for decades, inhuman suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities.
“Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and although we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated and debated and debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans had to come from halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do our work for us. Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European Appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word ‘equidistance,’ now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.
“Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly 500,000 victims of Saddam’s torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush… Even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics of the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions, in the corrupt U.N. Oil-for-Food program.
“And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement. How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic Fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a ‘Muslim Holiday’ in Germany? I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our… Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State ‘Muslim Holiday’ will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists. One cannot help but recall Britain’s Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolph Hitler and declaring European ‘Peace in our time’.
“What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it?… Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for Anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush. His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against Democracy… [We] listen to TV pastors preach about the need to ‘reach out to terrorists. To understand and forgive’. These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber breaking into a neighbor’s house. Appeasement? Europe, thy name is Cowardice.”
War With Iran Is Coming
On August 10, 2006, TIA Daily published a provocative article with the catching headline, “Five Minutes to Midnight.” Even though some, if not much, of the article is to be viewed as propaganda for the purpose of advocating war with Iran, some of the statements are noteworthy. We quote selected excerpts, as follows:
“It is, indeed, ‘five minutes to midnight’–not just for Israel, but for the West. The time is very short now before we will have to confront Iran… We can’t avoid this war, because Iran won’t let us avoid it. That is the real analogy to the 1930s. Hitler came to power espousing the goal of German world domination, openly promising to conquer neighboring nations through military force and to persecute and murder Europe’s Jews. He predicted that the free nations of the world would be too weak–too morally weak–to stand up to him, and European and American leaders spent the 1930s reinforcing that impression. So Hitler kept advancing–the militarization of the Rhineland in 1936, the Spanish bombing campaign in 1937, the annexation of Austria and the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938, the invasion of Poland in 1939–until the West finally, belated[ly] decided there was no alternative but war.
“That is what is playing out today. Iran’s theocracy has chosen, as the nation’s new president, a religious fanatic who believes in the impending, apocalyptic triumph of Islam over the infidels. He openly proclaims his desire to create an Iranian-led Axis that will unite the Middle East in the battle against America, and he proclaims his desire to ‘wipe Israel off the map,’ telling an audience of Muslim leaders that ‘the main solution’ to the conflict in Lebanon is ‘the elimination of the Zionist regime.'”
The European Jewish Press reported on August 13:
“Tension between Austria’s far right-wing strongman Joerg Haider and the president of the country’s Jewish Community (IKG) has intensified after the two clashed over the Hezbollah-Israeli conflict. Far-right leader Haider said that IKG President Ariel Muzicant belonged to ‘those Zionist provocateurs in the West who defend the murder of dozens of children and hundreds of civilians and the destruction of bridges in order to stop people from fleeing and aid getting in, as well as the killing of UN soldiers, and with it justify a senseless war by Israel’. He added that ‘Muzicant’s credo and that of the Israeli warmongers in the Middle East’ is ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, instead of finding a peaceful solution without further violence,’ the respected daily ‘Die Presse’ reported…
“Haider’s tirade came after Muzicant criticised the ‘one-sidedness’ of discussions in Austria about the conflict. And he said politicians were trying to ‘use the tragedy in the Middle East for their own election purposes’, which he described as ‘tasteless’… Opposition towards Israel in Austria is mounting…”
The Risk of Nuclear Energy
On August 7, 2006, Der Spiegel Online raised some critical questions regarding the “vulnerability inherent in the process of producing nuclear energy.” In the article, titled, “How Close Did Sweden Come to Disaster?”, it is stated:
“The culprit was as simple as it was troubling: a short-circuit. But that short-circuit caused an electricity failure that nearly led to [a] catastrophe at Sweden’s Forsmark 1 nuclear reactor. Nearly two weeks ago, around noon on July 25, a power outage occured at Forsmark, throwing the plant’s control room into a state of chaos. As the power failed, so did two of the plant’s four emergency backup generators. The numbers on the controls started to go berserk, and it took a full 23 minutes before the workers, who for a time had no idea what was happening inside the reactor, were able to bring Forsmark 1 back under control.
“Describing the mishap, the environmental organization Greenpeace wrote that the events at Forsmark were comparable to a ‘ghost ship,’ with nobody at the rudder… Swedish nuclear expert Lars-Olov Högland, who served as chief of construction for Vattenfall until 1986, put it far more dramatically. ‘It was pure luck that there was not a meltdown,’ he said. ‘It was the worst incident since Chernobyl and Harrisburg,’ a reference to the 1979 meltdown at Three-Mile Island in Pennsylvania.
“… the incident shows yet again how vulnerable nuclear power plants are to a failure in electricity systems. ‘Nuclear power plants can quickly spin out of control and lead to meltdowns if short circuits or even power surges occur,’ warned Henrik Paulitz, of the German chapter of the group International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Paulitz also took the opportunity to point out that Germany’s nuclear plants haven’t been immune to problems either. They included a power failure at Germany’s Biblis B nuclear reactor on Feb. 8, 2004. ‘And that was just because the weather was bad and there was a short in the power line,’ he recalled. Less than a decade earlier, in 1986, lightning disrupted operations at the plant. And in 1992, at a plant in Philippsburg, Germany, a defective electrical component caused an incident that had similarities with the July 25 incident in Sweden.”
Abortion and Confused World Religions
On August 13, 2006, USA Today published a lengthy article on the view point of influential religions on abortion. The emerging picture is one of utter confusion. If we follow God’s authoritative Holy Word, the Bible, we must conclude that abortion is ALWAYS wrong and NEVER justified, and that human life begins with the moment of conception. (For more information, please read our free booklet, “Are You Already Born Again?”) We are reproducing the following excerpts from the article in USA Today:
“The popes have taught that abortion is always forbidden, and the church hierarchy has held to a doctrine that strongly opposes it. Even so, grounds for permitting abortion exist in the Catholic tradition, and many Catholic theological authorities permit abortion in a variety of situations. There is even a pro-choice Catholic saint, the 15th century archbishop of Florence, St. Antoninus. He approved of early abortions when needed to save the life of the mother, a huge category in his day. There is thus no one Catholic view.
“Conservative Protestants usually condemn abortion, but Protestants are largely open to a moral choice on abortion. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice reports that some abortion rights are accepted within denominations, including Baptists, Disciples of Christ, Quakers, the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches, Methodists, United Church of Christ and Unitarian churches. The United Methodist General Conference was typical of mainline Protestant churches when it rejected ‘simplistic answers to the problem of abortion which, on the one hand, regard all abortions as murders, or, on the other hand, regard all abortions as procedures without moral significance.’
“Because of the survival challenges Jews have faced historically, Judaism places great stress on children as a blessing. Nonetheless, as Orthodox theologian Laurie Zoloth says, ‘Abortion appears as an option for Jewish women from the earliest sources of the Bible and Mishnaic commentary.’ According to most Jewish authorities, the fetus does not have the status of a nefesh, a person, until the head emerges in the birthing process. This does not mean, however, that late-term abortions would be deemed acceptable in all circumstances. In some cases, performing an abortion is even considered a mitzvah, a sacred duty, not a ‘lesser evil.’
“Like all religions, it highly prizes fertility. Even so, Islam believes that we are obligated by God not to overpopulate. As Islamic scholar Azizah al-Hibri says, ‘The majority of Muslim scholars permit abortion, although they differ on the stage of fetal development beyond which it becomes prohibited.’ After 120 days, abortion is permissible only to save the mother’s life, where the pregnancy is harming an already suckling child, or when it is known that the fetus is malformed. Though the various schools of Islam differ on the time in which an abortion is permitted, al-Hibri says all “permit abortion for exigencies such as saving the mother’s life.'”