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Poll shows anger at Israeli actions

Michael Jansen in Beirut

29/07/2006

 

Many if not most Lebanese were initially critical of the Shia Hezbollah movement for provoking the wrath of Israel by seizing two of its soldiers on June 12th. But the director of the Beirut Center for Research and Information, Abdo Saad, notes: the public mood changed once people realized Israel is going only for soft targets like bridges, roads, civilian homes, ambulances, vans and cars. Ninety-five per cent of Lebanese casualties are civilians.

 

According to the centers survey of opinion in all Lebanon s communities, most Lebanese support Hezbollah and condemn Israel for its attack in response to the capture of the soldiers.

 

Seventy per cent approve of the operation to seize the soldiers to secure the release of Lebanese held in Israeli jails for more than 20 years. Fifty-five per cent of Christians favour Hezbollahs action, although this community has bees largely critical of the movement. Indeed, right-wing elements in the Maronite Christian community co-operated with Israel during its 22-year occupation of south Lebanon and during the 1982 offensive which carried the Israeli army into Beirut .

 

Eighty-seven per cent of respondents support Hezbollah in its confrontation with Israel .

 

Sixty-three per cent do not believe Israel can defeat Hezbollah and 90 per cent do not believe the US is an honest broker. However, 35 per cent think the US and Israel will impose their conditions on Lebanon in exchange for a ceasefire, while 57 per cent say the US and Israel will not succeed in such an endeavour.

 

The fact that Hezbollah has managed to halt Israel s ground offensive, in spite of Israel s overwhelming military superiority, has also contributed to this change of opinion. This is the first time Israel is not fighting its war on Arab territory, says Mr. Saad. Hezbollah is hitting Israeli towns and villages.

 

He adds that many people realize the Israelis and the US miscalculated. Hezbollah was fully prepared for an Israeli offensive, although it may not have expected it to be launched in retaliation for the soldiers capture. The Israelis did not expect [Hezbollahs] rockets to reach Haifa or its fighters to hold their ground in the villages and towns of the south.

 

This poll shows there is national support for the resistance across all sects, says Mr. Saad. The results of the poll have been widely broadcast by both Arab and foreign television and radio stations.

 

Israel s escalating campaign has produced a groundswell of Lebanese patriotic feeling and exacerbated anti-US and anti-Israeli feeling in Lebanon and the wider Arab and Muslim worlds. Most Lebanese and other Arabs blame the US , which is seen as giving Israel a green light and preventing the leaders meeting in Rome on Wednesday of imposing an immediate ceasefire.

 

Voices in the corridor outside Mr. Saads third-floor office in a building in Hamra Street , the main thoroughfare of west Beirut , heralded the arrival of several families of refugees. Men carrying boxes, children bearing blankets, and women with babies in their arms were moving into the next-door flat. A handsome woman in a headscarf said she had come from the market town of Nabatieh, which    has been pounded by Israeli artillery rounds and missiles since the outset of the conflict.

 

Most of its inhabitants are Shias who have benefited from Hezbollah schools, clinics and welfare programmes. While they bear the brunt of Israel s retaliation against Hezbollah, they continue to back the movement.

 

New people of all communities are sending money and other help for the refugees, Mr. Saad says. the Lebanese feel they are in this war together.

Many if not most Lebanese were initially critical of the Shia Hezbollah movement for provoking the wrath of Israel by seizing two of its soldiers on June 12th. But the director of the Beirut Center for Research and Information, Abdo Saad, notes: the public mood changed once people realized Israel is going only for soft targets like bridges, roads, civilian homes, ambulances, vans and cars. Ninety-five per cent of Lebanese casualties are civilians.

 

According to the centers survey of opinion in all Lebanon s communities, most Lebanese support Hezbollah and condemn Israel for its attack in response to the capture of the soldiers.

 

Seventy per cent approve of the operation to seize the soldiers to secure the release of Lebanese held in Israeli jails for more than 20 years. Fifty-five per cent of Christians favour Hezbollahs action, although this community has bees largely critical of the movement. Indeed, right-wing elements in the Maronite Christian community co-operated with Israel during its 22-year occupation of south Lebanon and during the 1982 offensive which carried the Israeli army into Beirut .

 

Eighty-seven per cent of respondents support Hezbollah in its confrontation with Israel .

 

Sixty-three per cent do not believe Israel can defeat Hezbollah and 90 per cent do not believe the US is an honest broker. However, 35 per cent think the US and Israel will impose their conditions on Lebanon in exchange for a ceasefire, while 57 per cent say the US and Israel will not succeed in such an endeavour.

 

The fact that Hezbollah has managed to halt Israel s ground offensive, in spite of Israel s overwhelming military superiority, has also contributed to this change of opinion. This is the first time Israel is not fighting its war on Arab territory, says Mr. Saad. Hezbollah is hitting Israeli towns and villages.

 

He adds that many people realize the Israelis and the US miscalculated. Hezbollah was fully prepared for an Israeli offensive, although it may not have expected it to be launched in retaliation for the soldiers capture. The Israelis did not expect [Hezbollahs] rockets to reach Haifa or its fighters to hold their ground in the villages and towns of the south.

 

This poll shows there is national support for the resistance across all sects, says Mr. Saad. The results of the poll have been widely broadcast by both Arab and foreign television and radio stations.

 

Israel s escalating campaign has produced a groundswell of Lebanese patriotic feeling and exacerbated anti-US and anti-Israeli feeling in Lebanon and the wider Arab and Muslim worlds. Most Lebanese and other Arabs blame the US , which is seen as giving Israel a green light and preventing the leaders meeting in Rome on Wednesday of imposing an immediate ceasefire.

 

Voices in the corridor outside Mr. Saads third-floor office in a building in Hamra Street , the main thoroughfare of west Beirut , heralded the arrival of several families of refugees. Men carrying boxes, children bearing blankets, and women with babies in their arms were moving into the next-door flat. A handsome woman in a headscarf said she had come from the market town of Nabatieh, which    has been pounded by Israeli artillery rounds and missiles since the outset of the conflict.

 

Most of its inhabitants are Shias who have benefited from Hezbollah schools, clinics and welfare programmes. While they bear the brunt of Israel s retaliation against Hezbollah, they continue to back the movement.

 

New people of all communities are sending money and other help for the refugees, Mr. Saad says. the Lebanese feel they are in this war together.

 

Many if not most Lebanese were initially critical of the Shia Hezbollah movement for provoking the wrath of Israel by seizing two of its soldiers on June 12th. But the director of the Beirut Center for Research and Information, Abdo Saad, notes: the public mood changed once people realized Israel is going only for soft targets like bridges, roads, civilian homes, ambulances, vans and cars. Ninety-five per cent of Lebanese casualties are civilians.

 

According to the centers survey of opinion in all Lebanon s communities, most Lebanese support Hezbollah and condemn Israel for its attack in response to the capture of the soldiers.

 

Seventy per cent approve of the operation to seize the soldiers to secure the release of Lebanese held in Israeli jails for more than 20 years. Fifty-five per cent of Christians favour Hezbollahs action, although this community has bees largely critical of the movement. Indeed, right-wing elements in the Maronite Christian community co-operated with Israel during its 22-year occupation of south Lebanon and during the 1982 offensive which carried the Israeli army into Beirut .

 

Eighty-seven per cent of respondents support Hezbollah in its confrontation with Israel .

 

Sixty-three per cent do not believe Israel can defeat Hezbollah and 90 per cent do not believe the US is an honest broker. However, 35 per cent think the US and Israel will impose their conditions on Lebanon in exchange for a ceasefire, while 57 per cent say the US and Israel will not succeed in such an endeavour.

 

The fact that Hezbollah has managed to halt Israel s ground offensive, in spite of Israel s overwhelming military superiority, has also contributed to this change of opinion. This is the first time Israel is not fighting its war on Arab territory, says Mr. Saad. Hezbollah is hitting Israeli towns and villages.

 

He adds that many people realize the Israelis and the US miscalculated. Hezbollah was fully prepared for an Israeli offensive, although it may not have expected it to be launched in retaliation for the soldiers capture. The Israelis did not expect [Hezbollahs] rockets to reach Haifa or its fighters to hold their ground in the villages and towns of the south.

 

This poll shows there is national support for the resistance across all sects, says Mr. Saad. The results of the poll have been widely broadcast by both Arab and foreign television and radio stations.

 

Israel s escalating campaign has produced a groundswell of Lebanese patriotic feeling and exacerbated anti-US and anti-Israeli feeling in Lebanon and the wider Arab and Muslim worlds. Most Lebanese and other Arabs blame the US , which is seen as giving Israel a green light and preventing the leaders meeting in Rome on Wednesday of imposing an immediate ceasefire.

 

Voices in the corridor outside Mr. Saads third-floor office in a building in Hamra Street , the main thoroughfare of west Beirut , heralded the arrival of several families of refugees. Men carrying boxes, children bearing blankets, and women with babies in their arms were moving into the next-door flat. A handsome woman in a headscarf said she had come from the market town of Nabatieh, which    has been pounded by Israeli artillery rounds and missiles since the outset of the conflict.

 

Most of its inhabitants are Shias who have benefited from Hezbollah schools, clinics and welfare programmes. While they bear the brunt of Israel s retaliation against Hezbollah, they continue to back the movement.

 

New people of all communities are sending money and other help for the refugees, Mr. Saad says. the Lebanese feel they are in this war together.

1 2008
26/2/2008
.. 36 7 2008
Abdo Saad, spcialiste en questions lectorales La proportionnelle, seule loi juste 14 Mars 2008
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