Monday, July 17, 2006

Evil from the North

It's been quite an eye opener reading the foreign press. The game is how far do I have to read until I realise that Israel was a)attacked first and b) that Israel is suffering hundreds of rocket strikes from Hizballah controlled southern Lebanon.

A few friends who e-mailed me from overseas mentioned that while they hope Im safe, they really must protest
Israels behaviour. Why dont we negotiate with Hizballah? Why isnt our response more proportional?

How do you negotiate with someone whose stated goal is your destruction? Someone who regularly swears his allegiance to your annihilation and rejoices at the death of every Israeli man, woman and child?

As for proportionality, Im tempted to reply, well, do you want us to randomly mount a border raid and kill 8 Hizballah guerillas and kidnap two more, or in response to rockets fired at Israeli cities should we willfully target residential areas in
Lebanon? Should we perpetuate this mad game of Hizballahs invention or should we try to bring it to a halt and create an atmosphere where neighbourly relations with Lebanon just might be possible?

Watching the news footage from
Lebanon I can understand why these friends feel uneasy. War is not a pretty sight, however just your cause, however pure your motives.

Whoever said war is hell knew what he was talking about, but standing by and letting Hizballah pick off Israeli soldiers and civilians at their leisure is more hellish still.

Israel has to defend itself, no sovereign state can allow hostile militas to cross its border at will or rockets to slam into its population centres and not react.

During the Oslo War of 2000-2003 about 70% of Israeli casualties were civilians, willfully and intentionally targetted by assorted terror groups -
Israel is fighting on two fronts to prevent this from happening again - it is the responsibility of every sovereign state to protect its civilians.

Israel is not randomly lashing out, but targetting the infrastructure used by Hizballah to transport arms - roads from Syria (a key Hizballah sponsor), and airports and ports, fuel depots, munitions dump and Hizballah positions. The A-Dahya neighbourhood of souther Beirut is a Hizballah stronghold. Unfortunately Hizballah offices, outposts and the like are usually in civilian areas, and by the nature of war there are tragically unintended civilian casualties. To this end Israel has distributed leaflets encouraging civilians to leave the areas affected, because Israel doesn't want civilians do be harmed.

Israel was trying to assault Lebanese civilians as the article alleges far more than 200 would have been killed in the first week of fighting.

The Lebanese government seems to think that they can let Hizballah attack
Israel from Lebanese territory and then deny any responsibility for the consequences. If Lebanon can't or won't stop attacks on Israel from its sovereign territory than Israel has no choice but to defend itself. Israelis have sympathy and warm feelings towards the people of Lebanon and have enjoyed long periods of defacto peace in the past before assorted militias took control of the south. If Israel could erradicate the threat from Hizballah without harming the rest of Lebanon be assured that Israel would.

Israelis were hoping that the pullout of
Lebanon in May 2000 to the United Nations certified international boundary "blue line" and more recently the Syrian pullout of Lebanon would allow a new chance for normal relations with Lebanon.

Israel has acted with restraint for six years, despite Hizballah's border raids and constant bragging about how it was stock piling thousands of missiles that would bring all of Israel's population centres within range.

Israelis don't not want to cause suffering in Lebanon, but neither can Israel sacrifice its citizens and allow them to be held hostage to Hizballah border raids, shellings and rocket attacks.

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