Lebanon's top Shi'ite cleric criticizes Livni's visit to Qatar

Lebanon's top Shi'ite Muslim cleric sharply criticized Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's visit to Qatar and said Tuesday that her comments about Hizbullah and Hamas reflect Israel's "brazenness and arrogance." Speaking at a democracy and trade forum Monday, Livni said that Israel and Arab states are mired in the same struggle with extremists like Iranian-backed Hizbullah and Hamas. "We, the moderates of the region, are all members of the same camp," Livni said. On Tuesday, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah issued a statement calling Livni's trip and her remarks "a big insult to all Arabs and Muslims." "The visits...are not only meant to normalize (Israel's ties with Arab countries)...but are also designed to pave the way for an Arab-Israeli alliance against other Arabs and Muslims who refuse to let the usurper entity (Israel) liquidate the Palestinian people," Fadlallah was quoted as saying.