Light of the Sun

The New York Sun seeems to have moved all its content from behind its subscription wall and made it available to nonsubscribers. Among the several pieces worth reading this morning are those by Eli Lake on the G-8 resolution, Benny Avni on the resolution that the UN Security Council should (but won’t) pass, Youssef Ibrahim on the “silent Arab majority,” and an editorial reporting the comments of a “wise veteran observer of the Middle East scene.”

Eli Lake’s article makes the case that the G-8 resolution represents a diplomatic triumph for President Bush. Lake’s article is persuasive on its own terms, but leaves a lot unsaid. The resolution calls for “an immediate end to the current violence” that is premature, as is Secretary Rice’s pending mission to the region. If a cease fire occurs before Hezbollah’s forces are removed and disarmed and the Israeli soldiers returned, Israel will have sustained a serious setback. The forces being brought to bear on Israel were anticipated in Natan Sharansky’s interview with Joel Mowbray reported here yesterday.

A second editorial in the Sun this morning provides an estimate of the G-8 resolution that differs from the one suggested in Lake’s article:

For an illustration of why it’s sometimes better for America to go it alone on Middle East policy than try to play along with France and Russia, feature the statement issued yesterday from St. Petersburg from the Group of Eight industrialized nations. It called for “An end to Israeli military operations and the early withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza,” and it called on Israel to release “the arrested Palestinian ministers and parliamentarians.” The statement said “Israel needs to refrain from unilateral acts that could prejudice a final settlement and agree to negotiate in good faith.” It called for “Israeli compliance with the Agreement on Movement and Access of November 2005 and action on other steps to ease the humanitarian plight of the people of Gaza and the West Bank.” It said “We call upon Israel to exercise utmost restraint, seeking to avoid casualties among innocent civilians and damage to civilian infrastructure and to refrain from acts that would destabilize the Lebanese government.”

Along with these demands on Israel – which has suffered hundreds of unprovoked rocket attacks on its cities and is being asked to negotiate “in good faith”* with an adversary that believes it is receiving orders from God to exterminate the Jews – one would think the whizzes of the G-8 would include a list of demands on Syria and Iran. In the event, the G-8 statement included not a single mention of Iran or Syria beyond praising Syria from withdrawing from Lebanon in 2005. This despite the fact that everyone knows that the head of Hamas is based in Damascus and that Hezbollah is funded and armed by Iran and Syria. President Putin claimed that the G-8 leaders “don’t have sufficient evidence” of Syrian or Iranian involvement. Guess the KGB’s capabilities have deteriorated since the days in which Vladimir Vladimirovich served as a lieutenant colonel. Statements like this make the case for keeping Russia and the Europeans out of Middle East mediation. President Bush has made his own views of the situation clear, publicly blaming Iran and Syria, but it’s hard to understand why he signed onto this multilateral mush. Better to have packed up and headed home, like Reagan at Reykjavik.

* What exactly is one supposed to negotiate with them? Prime Minister Barak, the former leader of Israel, asked on Fox News.

See also Michael Rubin’s terrific NRO column “Eradication first” and Rubin’s related collection of links to the deep thoughts of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah at NRO’s Corner.

UPDATE: At the New York Sun blog It Shines For All, Daniel Freedman adds a related thought: “No peacekeepers please.” And at the American Thinker, Dr. Andrew Bostom considers the base of jihadist “geo-strategy”: “Apocalyptic Muslim Jew-hatred.”


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