Lies and the Lying Liars
"Israel says world backs offensiveOh, really?
Israel says Wednesday's decision by key world powers not to call for a halt to its Lebanon offensive has given it the green light to continue.
Justice Minister Haim Ramon made the remarks before Israeli cabinet ministers decided not to launch a large-scale ground offensive."
Britain and US block call for ceasefireOur Mr. Ramon doesn't stop there, though:
John Hooper in Rome, Ewen MacAskill in London and Jonathan Steele in Beirut
The split within the international community over the Lebanon war was clearly exposed yesterday when the US and Britain combined at a Rome summit to block a move by European and Arab countries to demand an immediate ceasefire.
In a frenetic last 90 minutes of the summit, Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, had to fend off a chorus of calls from foreign ministers demanding that she support a call for Israel and the Lebanese-based militia Hizbullah to declare a temporary truce. Her only ally at the conference was Margaret Beckett, the British foreign secretary.
A US state department official travelling with Ms Rice denied the US had been isolated, a view disputed by other sources at the conference.
A state department official said: "Whether we call [ the ceasefire] immediate or urgent is semantics. We walked out of that room with the same sense of urgency [ as others]."
The conference ended with a statement fudging the ceasefire issue, with participants expressing "their determination to work immediately to reach with the utmost urgency a ceasefire", but going on to incorporate Washington's insistence that any cessation of hostilities be "lasting, permanent and durable".
British and Israeli sources have said the US was deliberately delaying the diplomatic process to give Israel more time to complete its military operations against Hizbullah.
Lebanon's prime minister, Fouad Siniora, made what Ms Rice described as an "impassioned appeal" to the summit.
"Is the value of human rights in Lebanon less than that of citizens elsewhere?" he asked. "Are we children of a lesser god? Is an Israeli teardrop worth more than a drop of Lebanese blood?"
© Guardian Service
"Speaking on Israeli army radio, Mr Ramon - a close confidant of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert - said "everyone understands that a victory for Hezbollah is a victory for world terror".Some of those "terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah":
He said that in order to prevent casualties amongst Israeli soldiers battling Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon, villages should be flattened by the Israeli air force before ground troops move in.
'All southerners terrorists'
He added that Israel had given the civilians of southern Lebanon ample time to quit the area and therefore anyone still remaining there can be considered Hezbollah supporters.
"All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah," Mr Ramon said."
Funding appeal for orphanage with Irish linksIf anyone knows how to contribute to this fund, please leave details in the comments to this post. Much appreciated.
The director of a southern Lebanese orphanage which has a long association with the Irish Defence Forces and has received funding from the Irish Government, yesterday described how the children in his care and other orphanage staff are running out of food in Beirut.
Hassan Fawaz, a former principal translator with the Defence Forces, also said 28 of his charges had been forced to live for almost two weeks in a small bunker formerly used by Irish troops. The orphanage which he runs is located in the town of Tibnin, close to the Defence Forces' former battalion headquarters at Camp Shamrock.
Mr Fawaz was speaking on RTÉ Radio's Gerry Ryan show, which yesterday initiated an appeal for funds to help Mr Fawaz and the residents of the orphanage.
A fundraising bank account to help Mr Faraz and the children of the orphanage has been set up through Bank of Ireland.
Update 31/07/06: From the comments:
If you want to donate money to the Hussan Sawaz orphan appeal in Beirut, the details are:
Name: Lebanese Orphan Appeal
Branch: Bank of Ireland, Baggot Street, Dublin
Sort Code: 90 14 90
Account number: 44 99 95 22