The crisis in the Lebanon is already a month old since Israeli forces entered south Lebanon in search of two of its soldiers abducted by Hizbullah, the Shite-based and Iran-backed militia, following an Israeli corporal who was initially taken as prisoner in late May.
A flurry of meetings in the capitals of the Middle East, Europe, the United Nations, North America and even Asia took place to find a “ceasefire”, “cessation of hostilities” and other diplomatic formulations that usually are banded around, each hoping against hope that “international concern” and “pressure of public opinion” will bring some degree of “stability” to what is essentially a tense, complex and difficult military situation on the ground.
In late July, the European Union floated the idea of a “multinational force” consisting of France, Italy, Norway and Turkey which would constitute “a robust force” to bring about some kind of military stand-off . Heads of states and of governments in Arab capitals differ in their approaches to seek a solution, depending on the respective Arab government’s strategic attitudes toward Israel, Lebanon and Iran. The UN in New York issued its predictable litany of diplomatic statements, underlining its helplessness in having credible leverage over any of the protagonists. The US Secretary of State rather awkwardly wanted “a ceasefire in days, not weeks” but found her words undercut by intensified shelling and missile attacks by both Israel and Hizbullah. Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Organization of Islamic Conference called on the UN Security Council to be more assertive in condemning Israeli aggression.