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Letter from Beirut

The indiscriminate Israeli attacks on Lebanon have created a rare unity across the country's many divides. But most people still want Hizbullah to disarm

By Tamara Chalabi   August 2006

The mood in the garden of the central Beirut restaurant was languorous on that Wednesday evening, a few hours after Hizbullah had attacked some Israeli soldiers and triggered the current crisis. We were a table of Christians and Muslims speaking the Lebanese way, in sentences that start in French, switch to Arabic and end in English.

For people in Beirut and further north, violence in the south of the country has usually felt remote during the last decade of recovery and political accommodation. But when someone’s mobile rang bringing news of the Israeli cabinet’s decision to sanction an attack on…

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