Straw: Israel's military action disproportionate

Britain's former foreign secretary criticized Israel's military action in Lebanon as disproportionate on Saturday, breaking ranks with Prime Minister Tony Blair over the handling of the conflict. Jack Straw, a senior Cabinet minister who was removed from his previous post in May, said he believed Israel's stance could lead to further instability in the region. Separately, about 200 demonstrators took to the streets in Leeds, an English city about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of London, carrying pictures of Hizbullah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and denouncing Blair's failure to call for an immediate cease-fire. "If you want Hizbullah, go for Hizbullah, not the whole Lebanese nation," Straw told a meeting in Blackburn, in northern England, the town he represents in parliament and which earlier this year hosted a visit by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.