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Israel and U.S., Partners in Lebanon Offensive Interview with Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at

Israel and U.S., Partners in Lebanon Offensive ~ Interview with Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, conducted by Scott Harris
Israel and U.S., Partners in Lebanon Offensive

Interview with Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, conducted by Scott Harris

As Israel's military offensive against Lebanon entered its third week, nearly 400 Lebanese have been killed, most of them civilians -- with more than 1,500 wounded and an estimated 800,000 Lebanese displaced. Forty-one Israelis have been killed in the conflict thus far, with more than 300 civilians wounded. Many of the Israeli casualties have resulted from missiles fired into northern Israel by the Hezbollah militia.

Jan Egeland U.N. Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief condemned the devastation caused by Israeli air strikes in Beirut, saying Israel's "disproportionate response" was a "violation of international humanitarian law." Both the U.S. and Israel have rejected a cease-fire in an apparent effort to give the Israeli army more time to degrade Hezbollah's offensive capability. Rejection of a cease-fire angered many in the Arab world, especially after it was learned that the Bush administration had rushed a shipment of precision bombs to Israel in the early days of the offensive.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice received an angry reception when she made a brief visit to Beirut on July 24, where she heard demands from Lebanese officials for an immediate cease-fire. Discussions about establishing an international force as a buffer between Hezbollah and Israeli forces in southern Lebanon have recently begun. Between the Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, who examines the chronology of events -- beyond the July 12 capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah -- that led to the current conflict in Lebanon.

Phyllis Bennis' latest book is titled, "Challenging Empire: How People, Governments and the U.N. Defy U.S. Power." Contact IPS by calling (202) 234-9382 or visit their website at www.ips-dc.org

Related links:

* United for Peace and Justice at www.unitedforpeace.org * U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation at www.endtheoccupation.org

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Where Were The IDF Men Captured, Ms. Bennis? 28.Jul.2006 08:50

Minerva's Owl

Even when you think you're getting another point of view, in some respects, you're still just getting the official story. Case in point, the interview with Phyllis Bennis. In it, Ms. Bennis echos one element of the official version of the proximate events leading up to Israel's latest invasion of Lebanon. She tells us that Hezbollah attacked the Israeli patrol and captured two IDF men IN ISRAEL. And, what on whose authority does her presumed fact rest? The IDF. However, there is another versionof the story in which the IDF patrol was operating IN LEBANON when it was attacked. And, on whose authority does the veracity of this version rest. It rests on the Lebanese authorities.

By uncritically accepting the Israeli version - and not even bothering to mention that there is a dispute regarding just where the IDF patrol was when the two soldiers were captured - even someone who is seemingly sympathetic to the Lebanese cause like Ms. Bennis aids and abets the impression that it was Hezbollah who instigated this current crisis. And, this is precisely the prevailing view that we find all over American mainstream media and falling from the mouths of average Americans. Hezbollah started it. But, even further, by accepting the Israeli version, Ms. Bennis is, in effect, telling the world, "I don't trust the Lebanese version of the events." And, therein lies part of the greater problem that you find in the thought processes of too many so called American "progressives." Even when they're presumably being critical of Israel, they're still playing by Israel's rules.