The biggest news of the day, besides the acceptance by Ehud Olmert of a "peace" proposal that may go down in history as one of the most infamous for Israel, was word that the IDF was aggressively pursuing the task of fighting Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. For a brief moment I thought Tzahal was rebelling against Olmert, but...
According to Libération:
Despite the resolution voted at the UN, calling for an end to hostilities, the Israeli army announced on Saturday that it had undertaken the expansion of its land offensive in southern Lebanon and that its forces were heading towards the Litani River.
The army was clear to point out that it was obeying orders issued by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz.
The announcement of this implementation came a few hours after the adoption by the Security Council of the UN calling for an end to the conflict that has been going on for a month.
Israel had previously made it known that it would not stop its military operations immediately. The Hebrew State and Lebanon are to officially examine the UN resolution on Sunday and to announce their decision.
It was also learned that Olmert has already met with Vladimir Putin and Romano Prodi who congratulated him, saying that Italy would send 3000 soldiers to bolster the international force expected to be formed in southern Lebanon. France is scheduled to lead the multinational peace-keeping force.
Another small article from Guysen relates the distress of the inhabitants of northern Israel:
The northern front: border towns in northern Israel, those most affected by the firing of the Katyushas, are asking the IDF to "finish its job." The mayors of the cities involved have assembled to debate the cease-fire resolution of the UN. They are demanding the establishment of a special commission for the development and protection of their municipalities.
"Don't leave us naked and defenseless in the hands of Hezbollah," they declared.
The summary of this day is that the United States perceives Israel as unwilling to fight to the finish, and so may not see any pressing reason to defend Israel in future conflicts. The best thing Bush/Rice could have done would have been to force Olmert to continue on, or to condemn him for not doing so.
But Bush/Rice have no track record of sticking to an offensive against Islamic forces. They, too, like the Israeli left, prefer appeasement and useless "peace" proposals that merely buy time and guarantee that future conflicts will be even bloodier, if not catastrophic.
And so, it would appear, Hezbollah comes out way ahead, unless there is true mutiny in the IDF and they take it upon themselves to either finish what they started or desert in great numbers, or unless Israel itself rises up against its prime minister and replaces him immediately with a patriot. All of this is very unlikely in view of the ideological divides within Israel.
All in all, a depressing day for Israel.