Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Italy-Lebanon: D'Alema's Dilemma

Photographs of Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema walking arm and arm through the ruins of Beirut on August 17 with Hizbullah parliamentarian Hussein Haji Hassan have -- not surprisingly -- created an uproar in Italy's Jewish community. Certainly the image raises questions about the Prodi government's intentions and strategy as it maneuvers to take the lead in the U.N. deployment now slowly getting started in Lebanon. What kind of assurances does it want from Hizbullah? What kind of assurances is it willing to give Hizbullah? What will Israel's reaction be? This is subtle and and possibly quite dangerous policymaking Italian style, and is certainly a story to watch. - C.D.

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