This article deals with the international repercussions of the recent Israeli attack on Lebanon, which differs, in the present author’s opinion, from all other Arab–Israeli wars in at least three ways. The first difference lies in the nature of the role America played in the war. The fact is that the United States did not only give Israel the green light to launch this war, or deal with it only after it had started as in previous wars; on this occasion America was a partner, an inciter and a sponsor, so much so that many considered it an American war by proxy. The second difference relates to the European position regarding the war, and perhaps even the role it played in it. Differences between the American and European positions on the war were so small that they were almost non-existent, and it seemed as if there was some sort of role distribution among the three main players: Israel, the United States and the European Union, each at a different level of commitment. The third difference relates to the role and position of the United Nations, which Israel, the United States and Europe succeeded in co-opting, and taking where they wanted it to go, irrespective of international law, generally accepted codes of behavior or the principles inherent in its own Charter. In light of the above, it is difficult to grasp all this war’s repercussions on the international level without understanding its root causes. It is also important to take into consideration the positions of different international powers, as well as the transformation of Lebanon into an experimental laboratory for testing whether US–European relations can overcome divisions between the two wings of NATO caused by the invasion of Iraq.

The article will therefore be divided into three parts. The first will address the root causes of the conflict and consider the reasons that made the war on Lebanon a joint American–Israeli–European–United Nations war. The second will look at the political management of the war, the steps that led to the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and various aspects of this resolution. The third will assess the war’s international repercussions by looking at the potential positions of the world’s major powers vis-a` -vis obstacles that could impede the implementation of this resolution.

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