From Maurice Ostroff August
As an Israeli, I am writing to you in your capacity
as political editor of Al Hayat-LBC TV and consequently as a man of great influence in the present tragic conflagration overwhelming
both our countries.
Hezbollah's frequently declared
objectives are to obtain the release of Lebanese prisoners in Israel and to recover the Shaba's Farms area for Lebanon.
Referring to your August 8 interview
on Sky News, some savvy viewers ask how you justify your statement that the Shaba's Farms area is Lebanese territory
and that Hezbolah was therefore fully justified in starting the conflict in order to gain this small area.
is difficult to understand your contention since the UN has ruled unambiguously that the Shabas Farms area is Syrian and that
its fate is subject to future Israeli-Syrian negotiations in terms of resolution 242; a view confirmed for example by Lebanese
journalist Khairallah Khairallah. In an article in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), April 11, 2005 he wrote that Hezbollah uses
the Shabas Farms as a pretext for perpetuating Lebanon as an arena for regional struggle, adding that at the time Israel occupied
the Farms in 1967 they were under Syrian control.
I hope you will agree that if Hezbollah
believes the UN ruling was incorrect, the proper forum for attempting to effect a reversal would be representations to the
UN, rather than sparking a violent conflagration. After all, Arab causes are always assured of overwhelming support in that
Instead, Hezbollah accumulated
a huge arsenal of sophisticated weaponry at huge cost during the past six years and has continued to fire missiles on Israeli
civilian populations throughout that period. The final provocation, which came on July 12, has caused enormous human misery.
Hundreds of people have been killed and more are dying hourly. I use the word people deliberately, not Israelis nor Lebanese,
because human misery is human misery. Parents are burying their children in reversal of the natural order. Thousands are maimed,
millions displaced from their homes, careers wrecked and businesses and properties destroyed.
In an effort to
bring about an early cessation of this awful state of affairs, I ask you sir, to use your position of influence in a positive
manner by conducting an urgent poll among viewers of LBC-TV and readers of Al-Hayat asking
a) If winning the Shaba Farms
is WORTH all the pain and suffering
b) Would it not be more beneficial
to all, if the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on sophisticated weaponry by Hezbolah, be diverted for education,
hospitals and creating industries which will provide jobs.
c) If they would call on Hezbollah
to allow implementation of SC resolution 1559 immediately so that the carnage can stop NOW.
Hezbollah has the fate of
millions of people in its hands. Why prolong the agony one hour longer?
I would appreciate receiving
your considered reply