Just a few days after they called on the Israeli government to agree to an immediate ceasefire with Hizbullah, authors David Grossman, A.B. Yehoshua and Amos Oz held a joint press conference on Thursday in which they urged Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to accept Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora’s 7-point plan as a basis for negotiations.
“Israel is making a serious effort to reach a ceasefire,” Yehoshua said. “We were at the Litani River twice and we have no desire to return. The entrance to Lebanon was forced upon us and the IDF’s retaliation was justified, but now that there’s a response from Lebanon, when there is a willingness and a possibility for the deployment of Lebanese troops in the south instead of Hizbullah, we cannot miss the opportunity.”
Yehoshua said Israel must resume talks with the Palestinians especially when the fighting in Lebanon rages on.
'Restrain evil forces'
Oz spoke vehemently against what he referred to as “radical and militant Islam,” and pointed an accusatory finger at Iran.
“This war is the result of Iran’s attempt, through Hizbullah, to see whether it can topple Israeli society by ever-increasing provocations,” he said.
“The idea of defeating the ‘Axis of evil,’ creating a ‘new Middle East’ and changing the face of Lebanon seems delusional to us.”
Oz said Siniora’s plan abides by Israeli demands and should therefore be accepted.
“Israel must get back to a less pretentious goal and act to restrain the evil forces of the world, not try and crush them,” he said.
David Grossman, for his part, contends that Israel has long since exhausted its right to self-defense.
“The claim that IDF presence along the Litani River will prevent rocket fire at Israel is false,” he said. Hizbullah wants us to enter deeper and deeper into the Lebanese ‘swamp’; should the current conflict continue Lebanon will collapse, chaos will ensue and Hizbullah will take over. This disastrous scenario can be prevented right now.”