Without officially declaring war on Lebanon, a United Nations member state, Israel, also a UN member state, has proceeded to block off Lebanon by sea, air and land, an act that is in direct violation of international law and which, under normal circumstances, would have provoked an immediate and dynamic response from the international community. But instead of this, nothing at all has happened, and what is worse is that European countries, which have chartered ships to collect their citizens from the strife-torn country, deemed it entirely natural to strike an agreement with Israeli authorities to allow them to conduct these evacuations, a pact that also violates international law. The UN is «discussing» the whole affair, not so that it can make an immediate decision to intervene but so that the Security Council can convene and be briefed by UN envoys on developments in the region, as if it is unaware of the atrocities being committed. Meanwhile, EU states are trying to strike a balance between their political and economic interests and those of the world’s superpower without bothering to demand the obvious (even for appearance’s sake): a ceasefire, something that Greece has called for while also expressing its regret at the EU’s failure to take a clearer stance on the crisis. US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, for their part, are rebuffing the idea of a ceasefire, under the pretext that «we should be more interested in achieving a permanent solution than a temporary ceasefire,» as if the two were mutually exclusive. We should not forget that the US has been promising this «permanent solution» for the region for decades, while all its actions virtually guarantee that peace will be avoided.