The first requirement was an immediate cease-fire. That was blocked by Washington, presumably to allow maximal destruction by the invasion - the US-Israeli invasion, according to the (accurate) perception of 90 per cent of Lebanese. That call should have been accompanied by a demand for withdrawal of the invading army and reparations, unthinkable given the distribution of power. The resolution that was passed is deeply flawed, a separate matter.
Can Israelis and Palestinians ever live peacefully together in one state? MATTHEW PETERS, PHILADELPHIA
Perhaps, but it would have to be approached in stages. Since the 1970s, an international consensus has crystallised on the first stage: a two-state settlement on the internationally recognised borders, with minor and mutual adjustments. That has been barred by the US and Israel, with inconsequential departures. The US-Israeli alliance is now working to undermine the option by their programs of "convergence": annexation, dismemberment, and imprisonment (by takeover of the Jordan Valley), cynically described as "courageous withdrawal". If these policies can be reversed, and the first stage achieved, then further steps are possible.
Do you believe Israel should exist, why and in what form? NICK HARRIS
As a Zionist youth leader in the 1940s, I was among those who called for a binational state in Mandatory Palestine. When a Jewish state was declared, I felt that it should have the rights of other states - no more, no less.
Why should the US exist, sitting on half of Mexico, including Florida, conquered in a violent racist war carried out in violation of the Constitution?
And we can ask much the same about other states. State formation has been a brutal project, with many hideous consequences. But the results exist, and their pernicious aspects should be overcome.
Would you describe the US as it is now as a fascist state? T SUMMERS, CORNWALL
Far from it. In many respects it is the most free country in the world.
In 2002 you said that anti-Semitism in the US was no longer a problem but was raised because a "privileged people" wanted to make sure they had total control, and not just 98 per cent control. Do you really believe Jews have 98 per cent control of America? ROHAN PLANCK, LONDON
You misunderstood. It was an ironic reference to people who would not be satisfied even if they had only 98 per cent control. Of course there is nothing even remotely like that.
What can be done to hamper what is presumed to be the Pentagon's ambition to "take out" the Iranian leadership? MIKE BLOXHAM
Not really the Pentagon. The military appears to be strongly opposed to an attack on Iran. What de facto President Cheney, Rumsfeld, and others are planning we do not know. But we know what we can do. We enjoy incomparable privilege and freedom. Accordingly, we can act in a great many ways to prevent such actions. There is no shortage of means; rather of will and dedication.
You have said you see a "hint of anti-Semitic implications" in the work of Robert Faurisson, the notorious French Holocaust denier. Is Jew-baiting merely a hobby of yours, or is it vocational? LAURENCE COLE, KENT
The facts and the principle have been spelled out dozens of times since 1980 (so it is a bit boring), but once again, briefly.
The last time I had anything to do with this affair, Faurisson was accused of raising questions about gas chambers. Several years later, he was tried and sentenced for "Falsification of History", but there was no charge of Holocaust denial or anti-Semitism (according to Le Monde). The only issue concerning my connection with this sordid affair is whether we should adopt the Goebbels-Zhdanov doctrine that the State has the right to determine Historical Truth and punish deviation from it. As I wrote then, and am happy to repeat, it is a gross insult to the memory of victims of the Holocaust to adopt the doctrines of their murderers. The remark you are misrepresenting is from a personal letter - an interesting source. It reviewed the facts and went on to point out that even denial of huge atrocities would not in itself be evidence for racism, giving a few of the many examples. Thus neither you, nor I, conclude that Americans are vicious racists because they estimate Vietnamese deaths at about 5 per cent of the official figure, or because for centuries even scholarship vastly understated the scale and character of the destruction of the indigenous population. The point generalises to England and others, of course. There can be many reasons for denying horrendous crimes, even in the cases that are the most serious on moral grounds: our own. One special case - purely hypothetical in this personal correspondence - was that denial of the Holocaust would not establish anti-Semitism, for exactly the same reasons.
You have spent a lifetime researching human intelligence and communication, have you seen any sign we humans are evolving a wisdom from our experience? If so, what is it? ANNE GERAGHTY
In the literal sense, there has been no relevant evolution since the trek from Africa. But there has been substantial progress towards higher standards of rights, justice and freedom - along with all too many illustrations of how remote is the goal of a decent society.
How did the current US administration get railroaded by the neo-cons? EIRA TOVEY, AUSTRALIA
The neo-cons constitute a radical reactionary fringe of the planning spectrum, but the spectrum is narrow. Some of the more extreme - Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith and others - have been removed, with little policy change. The administration adopted neo-con principles when they accorded with their strategic and social/economic objectives, dismissing crazier ideas. A serious question is how the clique in charge used its extremely narrow hold on power to carry out radical domestic and international policies opposed by the large majority of the population. I've written about it, as have others, from various perspectives. One valuable study is Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, Off Center.
Can the curtailment of personal freedoms and the heightened fear among many Western populations be compared to life in the years preceding the Second World War and is it an overstatement to imagine that current events are a precursor to another global conflict? RAY LONG, DUBLIN
I'm sceptical about such comparisons. There is a serious risk of global conflict, but for different reasons. We should take seriously the judgement of prominent strategic analysts that current policies, particularly Bush administration aggressive militarism, significantly increase the threat of "ultimate doom".
Since American foreign policy in the Middle East has throughout history been primarily interventionist, do you think the War in Iraq was inevitable, even if Bush had not stolen the 2000 election? DAVID KEELAGHAN, MONAGHAN, IRELAND
Not at all. There was unprecedented criticism of the war plans within elite sectors, compelling Bush-Blair to resort to considerable deceit to manipulate their countries into war. That aside, the US has been no more interventionist than Britain or France, often less so, as in 1956.
Surely the US, UK and Israel are guilty of war crimes? BALALL MAQBOOL
In the case of Lebanon, there is little doubt. Ample reasons have been given by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and that's a bare beginning. But guilt extends far beyond. The Bush-Blair invasion of Iraq, for example, is a clear example of what the Nuremberg Tribunal determined to be "the supreme international crime", which encompasses all the evil that follows. We would do well to recall the eloquent words of Nuremberg chief counsel Justice Robert Jackson: "We are handing the defendants a 'poisoned chalice', and if we sip from it, we must accept the same judgement." The conclusions seem clear enough.
Do you think Israel is doing the West's dirty work by combating Hizbollah, i.e., Iran and Syria? ROBERT IANNONE, PARIS
For the people of the West, the US-Israeli invasion of Lebanon caused great harm, including the likely creation of new generations of jihadis. I doubt that the US-Israel are seeking "regime change" in Syria. However awful within (a matter of little Western concern), Assad is doing nothing about Israel's takeover of the Syrian Golan Heights in violation of Security Council orders and is generally preserving "stability"; and a successor might well be radical Islamist. On Iran, the US-Israel are pursuing policies that could cause great harm to the West (and the world). No space here to review that.