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The Summer War in the Lebanon
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The Summer War in the Lebanon
Tuesdays 3 & 10 April 2007 8.00-8.40pm
Behind the scenes in the Middle East
First hand accounts from the underground bunkers of Hezbollah, inside the Israeli government in Jerusalem and behind closed doors in Washington and London.

Visit our gallery of pictures showing life on the ground in Lebanon
Ed Stourton in South Lebanon
Ed Stourton uncovers what really went on during the Israeli-Lebanon conflict in the summer of 2006
3-10 April 2007 The Summer War in Lebanon: A Tragedy of Errors

Hundreds of civilians were killed and thousands were made homeless during the wave of bombings in Lebanon and rocket attacks on Northern Israel last year. The war started with a border incursion by Hezbollah who killed 8 Israeli soldiers and snatched two more, prompting a massive Israeli response. The crisis caught the international community off guard and everyone became caught up in its mad momentum. Recriminations began almost immediately.

Edward Stourton has spent the last six months talking to the key players. He hears from the leaders of Hezbollah in Beirut and from the decision-makers in Jerusalem; he meets the diplomats from the United Nations and the people who were trying to broker a peace. What emerges is an unedifying tale, a tragedy of errors from the moment Hezbollah crossed the border with Israel to the agreement of Resolution 1701 in New York.

Was there an Israeli-American conspiracy and did America deliberately give Israel the diplomatic space to continue a war? “What’s wrong with that?” says John Bolton, then US Ambassador to the UN. “I do not recall anybody exercising or asking us to exercise caution.” - Danny Ayalon, former Israeli Ambassador in Washington.

And the old allegiances don’t seem to have applied. Several of the key players interviewed claim that many Arab leaders wanted Israel to ‘finish the job’: “There were many not – how should I put it – resistant to the thought that the Israelis should thoroughly defeat Hezbollah, who . . . increasingly by Arab states were seen as an Iranian proxy.” Terje Roed Larsen, UN Special Envoy.
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Those interviewed:

John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the UN
Margaret Beckett, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Dr Kim Howells, British Foreign Minister
Philippe Douste-Blazy, French Foreign Minister
Tarek Mitri, Lebanese Foreign Minister
Naim Kassem, Deputy Leader of Hezbollah
Bashar al-Ja'afari, Syrian Ambassador to the UN
Terje Roed Larsen, former UN Secretary General's Special Envoy
Dan Gillerman, Israeli Ambassador to the UN
Danny Ayalon, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States
Jean Marc de la Sabliere, French Ambassador to the UN
Edward Mortimer, former Communications Director to the UN Secretary General
Sir Emyr Jones-Parry, British Ambassador to the UN
Jan Egeland, former UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs
Sir Mark Malloch, former deputy to UN Secretary General
Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the Israeli Likud opposition party
Ephraim Sneh, Israeli Deputy Defense Minister
Mark Regev, Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman
Sheikh Sobhi el Toufayli
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The Summer War in Lebanon

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