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a regional war? « Previous | |Next »
July 16, 2006

Why cannot Hamas say that the elimination of the state of Israel is not its goal. Could it not say that its political goal is a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza? Why cannot the Israeli state acknowledge that in Gaza the fundamental casus belli is Israel's occupation that has now lasted for nearly 40 years? Why cannot the Olmert Israeli government say that it will offer the Palestinians a credible, non-violent political path to statehood; one promised in various international agreements.

Why not an exchange of prisoners? Or even that it is a struggle between two communities inhabiting the same piece of land?

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Stavro

The conflict is broadening with the Israeli air strikes in Lebanon, which have killed at least 27 civilians and closed down Beirut's international airport, in response to Hizbollah's assault across Israel's northern border with Lebanon. Yet Israel troops were ambushed on Lebanon's side of the border with Israel. Hezbollah, which commands the Lebanese south, immediately seized on their crossing. They arrested two Israeli soldiers, killed eight Israelis and wounded over 20 in attacks inside Israeli territory. So Israel declares war on Lebanon and is currently escalating its assault on Beirut.

Why does a justified war against Hezbollah become an unjust and unwise war against the Lebanese nation?

As Gordon Levy says:

Regrettably, the Israel Defense Forces once again looks like the neighborhood bully.A soldier was abducted in Gaza? All of Gaza will pay. Eight soldiers are killed and two abducted to Lebanon? All of Lebanon will pay. One and only one language is spoken by Israel, the language of force. The war that the IDF has now declared on Lebanon and before it on Gaza, will never be considered another "war of no choice."...This is unequivocally a war of choice. The IDF absorbed two painful blows, which were particularly humiliating, and in their wake went into a war that is all about restoring its lost dignity..

What then are the Israeli goals of war in Gaza and Lebanon? What we are seeing yet again is the use of military prowess to cow and pacify Arab defiance and anger. According to Israel the reason why Lebanon's airport is bombed and Israeli naval vessels have enforced a full naval closure on Lebanon, is that Lebanon cannot control Hezbollah. So we have a replay of shock and awe that concentrates on the destruction of the most primitive infrastructure in the occupied territories and the relatively well-developed civilian infrastructure in Lebanon. It sure looks like Israel and the US are trying to put the Lebanese government in the position of confronting the resistance and thereby transform the war into a civil conflict.

William Kristol interprets what is happening in terms of:

....an Islamist-Israeli war. You might even say this is part of the Islamist war on the West--but is India part of the West? Better to say that what's under attack is liberal democratic civilization, whose leading representative right now happens to be the United States...The war against radical Islamism is likely to be a long one. Radical Islamism isn't going away anytime soon. But it will make a big difference how strong the state sponsors, harborers, and financiers of radical Islamism are. Thus, our focus should be less on Hamas and Hezbollah, and more on their paymasters and real commanders--Syria and Iran. And our focus should be not only on the regional war in the Middle East, but also on the global struggle against radical Islamism.

This is supported suported by David Ignatius.

The region is in turmoil. The US vetoed a UN resolution calling on Israel to pull out of Gaza -- the lone country to do so. This is not a defensive war that is being fought by a fearful Israel with support from the US. The Israeli responses are too disproportionate a response to kidnapped soldiers and Qassam and Katyusha rockets launched at Israeli border towns for that scenario. It's about destroying the Hizballah and Hamas once and for all, not about bringing home the soldiers says Ilan Pappe, a historian (of the radical revisionist school) at the University of Haifa; and an attempt to complete the unfinished business of 1948: the total de-Arabization of Palestine.

It is beginning to look as if he Middle East is spiraling into a regional war, isn't it?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:51 PM | | Comments (0)
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