Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Israeli Foreign Minister Agrees with this Blog
Today, while meeting with UN Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan, Israeli FM Ms. Tzipi Livni expressed her hope for peace between Israel and Lebanon.
I'm not sure whether this is related to the letter that Ofer sent her in this matter, but I'd like to believe that the letter had a slight influence in the matter.

A short while afterwards, Lebanon's prime minister Siniora declared that Lebanon will be the last country to sign a peace agreement with Israel contradicting previous statements heard by him recently.

I believe there are political reasons for both above statements. In this blog we try to push towards peace between our two countries. I don't expect our countries' leaders to make announcements at this early stage, but I expect them to drive towards realization of this vision.

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Leading the way

About a week or so Lebanon's Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said(*) he believes that "if Israel acts wisely, it will be possible to turn the tragedy (of the war) into a peace opportunity".

Now it was Israel's Prime Minister's turn to call for peace between Lebanon and Israel:

Olmert, meanwhile, said he hoped the cease-fire would provide an opening for contacts between Israel and Lebanon. "I hope the conditions will change rapidly to allow direct contact between the government of Israel and the government of Lebanon to hopefully to reach agreement between the two countries," he said.

The cease-fire deal could be "a cornerstone to build a new reality between Israel and Lebanon," he said.

Talking is cheap, I know, but when the people who say them are the two countries' Prime Ministers, can't we at least hope this is a one small step that will precede a giant leap?

(*) The link is to an article in Hebrew, so if anyone can provide an English/Arabic/French reference to Saniora's statement, it will be greatly appreciated.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ron Arad

I’m not sure this is would be a subject for agreement, but I believe this should be a subject for discussion:

As described here: “On October 16 1986, The Israeli air force navigator, Captain Ron Arad, bailed out of his plane on a mission in Lebanon and was captured by members of the Iranian-backed Shiite group, Amal. Since then, Ron has been held captive by a variety of factions and groups, all of them extremist Shiite groups, backed by Iran.”

Ron Arad was captured over the land of Lebanon, and should be handled as a POW (Prisoner of War) but ever since 1987 there was no contact with him, the Red Cross was not allowed to see him, and basically, he was “removed from the face of Earth”.

It is believed that Ron Arad is now held in Iran, taken there by the Shiite groups who operated, and still do, In Lebanon.

I take as an assumption that as part of a full-scale peace treaty between Lebanon and Israel, there would be massive releasing of Lebanese currently held by Israel.

I know this would be hard to perform, as IT IS hard to believe Iran would cooperate with such an act, but I believe that Lebanon – as the country who captured Arad and gave him away to the terrorist groups in Iran – should act, or at least make an attempt, to free Ron Arad.

And by the way, just in case you were wandering why Israel doesn’t like making agreements with Hezbollah, check the 2003 agreement, which included a commitment by Hezbollah to get information about Ron Arad. Years go by, and Israel is still waiting…

Just a thought…

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

The difference between Governments and Militia

In 1977 Israel signed a peace contract with the Government of Egypt. The number of casualties in the border between Israel and Egypt was almost ZERO since. Though there were several attacks on Israelies since, including murders in Sinai, they were all dealt with using diplomatic measures. This is because Egypt had authority over its territory.
Same thing happened with Jordan. When a terrorist from Jordan crossed the border, shot and killed Israelies, King Hussein came to Israel and met with the families of the dead. His jesture touched the hearts of all Israelies.

That is why peace is so important. Not only to prevent deaths but also to solve incidents in a civilized matter.

When Hezbollah acts from Lebanon, it seems like the Lebanese government is not responsible for any of their actions and therefore claims it does not deserve any reaction. This is not normal behaviour of a country, and this is one of the root causes of all the latest violence.

Another interesting example is Syria which has a minority ruling the country, headed by Pres. Assad. But Syria is not getting involved directly against Israel because as a state every action of its soldiers has an implication on the entire country. Responsibility. So Syria utilizes Hezbollah to attack Israel while diverting the Israeli response towards Lebanon.

I believe Lebanon should stop this cycle simple because Lebanon is the one that suffers most from this situation.
I see Lebanese soldiers entering the south of Lebanon, and I'm hoping for a better future.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Trying to give some "public relations" to this blog, I took the liberty of writing to a couple of Lebanese bloggers, and inviting them to this blog.

One of the responses I got to these invitations was that the person cannot relate to the contents of this blog.

When I asked that person why can't he relate to the contents, the response was that it is too much of an Israeli point of view, and does not take into account the other side and this would make peace which is unfair and one-sided.

It takes two to Tango, and it takes two to make peace.
Right now there are only two writers in this blog, and they are both Israelis, which means we need someone, someones, to help share this idea from the Lebanese perspective.

This blog speaks of peace between Israel and Lebanon, and as Eliram stated in the previous post, we are more than welcoming any blogger - Israeli, Lebanese, or any blogger in the world to come and share our thoughts of how such peace can be accomplished.

We may sometimes disagree. It's okay.
just as long as we agree that both nations have the right to live in peace side by side, without any acts of violence whatsoever, we have common grounds to work on.

So go ahead, comment the existing posts, or contacts us, and add your thoughts on posts of your own.

Peace has to start from somewhere.
Let that somewhere be here!

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Write Your Own Posts in this Blog
We welcome a range of opinions and view within the scope of this blog, and we welcome other bloggers who wish to write here.
If you are a blogger and if you wish to be a part of this blog, simply let us know.

Why should I join?
We believe that writing about positive possibilities helps them materialize.
By describing how to get to a better future, and by specifying our wish that such a future is better for everyone, we can create a public opinion that will help prevent the next war.

Our goal is to raise public opinion and help people consider this option.

Some ground rules

  • This blog is based on the idea that peace between Israel and Lebanon is the preferred future for both countries.
    If you think otherwise (i.e. if you think Israel or Lebanon should be destroyed or if you think people of other countries/religion are lesser than you), then this is NOT the blog for you.
  • You must be a blogger. Please send us a link to your blog. Authorization will be granted for the email address that appears in your blog ONLY (to prevent impersonations). A link to your blog will be added if you so wish.
  • No foul language allowed. We are looking for discussions, not fights. Any inappropriate post/response will be deleted and blocked. This is especially true for the term nazis. If you can't tell the difference between nazis and enemies, please spare us.
  • Please try not to debate on versions of history, ancient or recent. We try to focus on the future, not the past.
  • We are aware that there are many reasons why peace can not happen in the near future. Nothing is certain, and we are trying to change or overcome those reasons.
Within these limits who are necessary to create a healthy discussion, all range of opinions are welcomed and debatable.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Israel-Lebanon combined flag
This image was created by Ofer. Thank you.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

As part of the initiative described in the previous post, here is a letter that was sent today to the Israeli minister of foreign affairs, Mrs. Tzipi Livni, with copies to the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, several other main characters in the Israeli politics, and to the two the main newspapers in Israel – “Maariv”, and “Yediot Aharonot”.

The day after the cease fire

A couple of days ago a cease fire treaty between Israel and Lebanon was achieved once again. This treaty has been preceded by others that were signed after the “Grapes of Fury” operation of 1996, after the Israel-Lebanon war of 1982, after the “Litani” operation of 1976, and by many other treaties even before that.

In these post-war days, it is up to us to see if we can prevent the next war - not by improving Israel’s deterrence or by signing fragile treaties - but by seeking a comprehensive peace treaty with Lebanon, while detaching it from the Syrian-Iranian axis.

Israel and Lebanon has a long history of fighting, but a very short list of reasons for fighting: the terror, and the Shaba Farms. On the other hand, Israel and Lebanon have a long list of mutual interests for ending this continuous fighting and signing a peace treaty, and it seems that the current Lebanese government and the Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora in particular, are the best companions Israel can ask for to achieve this goal.

I consider myself as a right-wing person, and usually I wouldn’t even consider treaties such as “territories for peace”, but Israel never had any claims or interest in the Shaba Farms, and the question from Israel’s perspective has never been whether we should give them away, but to whom we should give the farms: Syria or Lebanon.

Hezbollah claims they are fighting to free the Shaba Farms.

As part of the cease fire treaty, Lebanon demanded to be given the Shaba Farms, and demand that was rightfully declined by the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs, as such an act would have been perceived as legitimacy and a prize for terror.

Giving the Shaba Farms to Lebanon as part of a peace treaty will strengthen Lebanon’s prime minister Fouad Siniora against the extremists, will nullify Hezbollah’s legitimacy which is based on the claim for the Shaba Farms, and will help, hopefully, stop the Syrian-Iranian destructive influence on Lebanon.

To summarize, I turn to you, the Israeli minister of foreign affairs, and ask you to take advantage of the international interest that has evolved due to the last war, and use this interest to recruit the world to an effort of building a peace treaty between Israel and Lebanon, while taking out the seed of terror, so this can really be the last war…

Ofer Lando
Peace Initiative Between Lebanon and Israel
This blog is an initiative of bloggers to promote peace between Israel and Lebanon.
After signing a cease fire agreement, it is the best interest of both countries to declate the end of hostilities between the two countries.
Although both countries inflicted much damage on each other, death and destruction, now is the time to look ahead and plan a better future.

Matter of Interests
There is no real conflict between Israel and Lebanon. After Israel's withrawal from Lebanon in 2000 the UN declared that Israel officially withrew from all of Lebanon.
The tiny area known as the Shava Farms is considered either Lebanese of Syrian although it's currently held by Israel. It's fate will be easily settled within a peace agreement.

It seems that the main obsticle that might prevent peace between the two countries is the Hezbollah organization which acts with Iranina and Syrian interests in mind and participates in the lebanese government.
Lebanon managed to force Syrian soldiers out of its borders, and Hezbollah has lost a significant part of its abilities after the recent month. Headquarters, fighters and other assets, and is now relatively weak. This might be a good time to create a historical change.

Peace is Good for Lebanon
Prime minister Fouad Siniora can receive full credit for returning Shava farms and prisoners to Lebanon. (While Nasrallah brought nothing but destruction)
Joining countries like Egypt and Jordan and disengaging from Syria and Iran will help Lebanon in economical, cultural and political aspects.
Peace with Israel is the fastest way to restore tourism to Lebanon.

Peace is Good for Israel
Just like when signing the peace agreement with Jordan, Israel does not have any significant territorial disputes with Lebanon.
Peace agreement with Lebanon will further weaken Hezbollah and the threat it imposes on the north of Israel.
As part of a peace agreement, the Israeli kidnapped soldiers will be returned to their homes.
Peace is good for economy, tourism and well-being of the people.

What can we do?
If you think that this is a good time for peace between Israel and Lebanon, write about it or reply here. Don't forget to link to us.
If you are a blogger (either Israeli or Lebanese) and wish to participate in our efforts, please let us know.
If you have a suggestion on how to promote this idea, please let us know. Remember, the internet is a powerful force.

This is not a blog about hate!
We know. Many people and many children died lately, on both sides. War is horrible and bad bad people exist. Please spare us with such comments since we are trying to prevent future deaths.

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