By Murray Kahl

Shimon Peres enjoined Grapes of Wrath in order to bolster his election chances and is leaving behind 200 some odd dead, hundreds of thousands of displaced Lebanese, and the residents of northern Israel at the mercy of HizbALLAH without accomplishing anything. If Katyusha rockets began falling again Peres would suffer a serious political blow. Ironically, Peres' future now rests with Hezbollah who has the potential to undermine Peres' election chances.

The cease-fire agreement does nothing to enhance Israel's security and has the effect of diminishing Israel's sovereignty by subordinating it to US authority. "They [cease fire agreements] are not a substitute for a peace agreement between Israel and Lebanon." Warren Christopher, Press Conference, April 26

Major problems lie with the prohibition of HizbALLAH using civilian areas for their attacks against the IDF and SLA in the security zone. The words are meaningless as the HizbALLAH are an integral part of Lebanon and literally are part of the civilian population. They live in the villages and have families throughout the area who clearly support their activities. All areas in Lebanon are ultimately civilian areas and there is no clear cut distinction that has any meaning.

We must examine the specific responsibilities of the monitoring group and while led by the US, it also includes France, Lebanon, and Syria--a dangerous combination for Israel. How exactly will this group monitor violations? What are the procedures and how do they distinguish between civilian and guerilla? Who will take an active role in preventing any improper action by HizbALLAH as the Lebanese Army cannot be expected to assist in repressing their more radical brothers and are not known for acting in that capacity in prior times. What about the Syrian Army? Syria is not even a signatory to the agreement and is still on the State Department's list of countries sponsoring terrorism. Can we expect a country sponsoring terrorism to repress their fellow Islamists in order to assist Israel? If Syria was truly guaranteeing peace, we would know of it as that indeed would be a major breakthrough.

Pledges are made so easily that civilian areas will not be used for firing Katyushas; however, Israel with one of the world's most modern armies cannot enforce that dictum, and it is impossible to enforce. The entire agreement is built of phantoms and false hopes. This is not a cease fire but a prescription for an even deadlier war in the future.


The intense fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants came to an official end at 4 a.m. Saturday. But in the two regions most affected by the conflict, northern Israel and southern Lebanon, the truce appeared to bring little elation. Residents in northern Israel's Kiryat Shmonah seemed cautious, almost disbelieving that peace will prevail.

Mayor Prosper Azran watched Israeli Prime Minister Warren Christopher, who helped broker the agreement, announcing the cease-fire agreement on television Friday. But Azran said he has little faith in the accord. "What was, will be," he said with resignation. "The Hezbollah will continue to kill our soldiers in southern Lebanon. Our soldiers must attack Hezbollah. And Hezbollah will bombard Kiryat Shmonah again." April 26 (I&GN)

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