The explosive impact on Arab opinion of the war in Lebanon and the martyrdom of the Palestinians should not be under-estimated, particularly in view of the graphic media coverage of Israeli atrocities, provided by Al-Jazeera and Hizballah’s satellite channel, Al-Manar.
Israel’s indifference to Arab life risks convincing many young Arabs that long-term coexistence with Israel is not possible. Arab intellectuals are increasingly expressing the view that Israel is a colonial state, which must eventually disappear, as Europe’s colonial empires did in their time.
At their summit meeting in Beirut in March 2002, all the Arab states declared their readiness to establish normal peaceful relations with Israel within its 1967 borders. But Israel, intent on expanding its borders, rejected the offer. It must surely be time for Israel to think again. The offer may still be on the table.
Only by withdrawing from Palestinian territories, respecting Lebanon’s sovereignty and returning the Golan to Syria will Israel live in peace.