Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Operation Peace for the IDF

By Gideon Levy
For the skeptics (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/738739.html)

Every neighborhood has one, a loudmouth bully who shouldn't be provoked into anger. He's insulted? He'll pull out a knife. Spat in the face? He'll draw a gun. Hit? He'll pull out a machine gun. Not that the bully's not right - someone did harm him. But the reaction, what a reaction! It's not that he's not feared, but nobody really appreciates him. The real appreciation is for the strong who don't immediately use their strength.
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." Let's save that debate from the historians. 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, which on our side is called "restoring deterrent capabilities."

Neither in Lebanon nor certainly in Gaza, can anyone formulate the real goals of the war, so nobody knows for sure what will be considered victory or an achievement. Are we at war in Lebanon? With Hezbollah? Nobody knows for sure. If the goal is to remove Hezbollah from the border, did we try hard enough over the last two years through diplomatic channels? And what's the connection between destroying half of Lebanon and that goal? Everyone agrees that "something must be done." Everyone agrees that a sovereign state cannot remain silent when it is attacked within its own borders, though in Israel's eyes Lebanese sovereignty was always subject to trampling, but why should that non-silence be expressed solely by an immediate and all-out blow? In Gaza, a soldier is abducted from the army of a state that frequently abducts civilians from their homes and locks them up for years with or without a trial - but only we're allowed to do that. And only we're allowed to bomb civilian population centers.

The painful steps taken in Gaza, which included dropping a one-ton bomb on a residential building, or killing an entire family of seven children under cover of darkness in Lebanon, killing dozens of residents, bombing an airport, cutting off electricity and water to hundreds of thousands of people for months were a response lacking any justification, legitimacy or proportion. What goal did it serve? Was the soldier released? Did the Qassams stop? Was deterrence restored? None of that happened. Only lost honor was supposedly restored, and immediately the next evil wind showed up, this time from the north. Two more soldiers were abducted and it was clearly proven that the deterrent power was not restored, while IDF failures repeated themselves. How does one erase those searing failures? On the backs of innocent populations. In Lebanon, the situation is more complicated. There is no Israeli occupation and no justification for provoking Israel. If Hezbollah is so worried about its Palestinian brethren, it should have first of all done something for the hundreds of thousands of refugees living in camps in Lebanon in conditions that are just as bad as those under the Israeli occupation, before it grabbed soldiers in their name. But does the fact that Hezbollah is a cynical organization that exploits the misery of Palestinians for its own purposes justify the disproportionate reaction? The concept that we have totally forgotten is proportionality. While we're in no hurry to get to the negotiating table, we're eager to get to the battlefield and the killing without delay, without taking any time to think. That deepens suspicions that we need a war every few years, with terrifying repetition, even if afterward we end up back in exactly the same position.

The war we declared on Lebanon has already exacted from us, and of course from Lebanon, too, a heavy price. Did anyone give any thought to the question whether it should be paid? Everyone knows how this war begins, but does anyone know how it ends? Heavy casualties in the Israeli rear? A war with Syria? A general war? Is it all worth it? Look what a new rookie government can do in such a short time. Behind the operations in Lebanon and Gaza is the same foolish idea about pressure on the population leading to political changes that Israel wants. In the history of the Israeli-Arab conflict, that concept has only led us from one disaster to the next. We "cleansed" southern Lebanon of Palestinians in 1982, and what did we get? Hezbollahstan instead of Fatahland. Hamas won't fall because Gaza is in the dark, and not even because we bombed the Palestinian Foreign Ministry building at the weekend - another nonsensical move; Hezbollah won't be smashed because the international airport in Beirut has been put out of commission. Israel once again is not distinguishing between a justified war against Hezbollah and an unjust and unwise war against the Lebanese nation. The camouflage concealing the war's real goals was ripped off by this defense minister, who says what he means: "Nasrallah is going to get it so bad that he will never forget the name Amir Peretz," he bragged, like a typical bully. Now at least we know that Israel went to war so that the name Amir Peretz is never forgotten. It's the war for the perpetuation of the name Peretz and the blurring of Dan Halutz's failures. And to hell with the cost!!!


Blogger dobegs said...

Who is Gideon Levy? what edition date etc was this article published in Haaretz ? I just searched Haaretz website and couldnt find this article or any article from Gideon Levy!!

5:12 PM  
Blogger Askinstoo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:40 PM  
Blogger mrtez said...

For your eyes only dobegs:


8:42 PM  
Blogger dobegs said...

thanks Ramsay

12:41 AM  
Anonymous africano said...

mrtez .....ya zalameh badna nentour ta y sir hareb ta ne2dor nehky ...ma3ak ? lol ...sinon MAN les photos sont excellentes les articles le sont aussi c est bien c eke vous faite ....et que DIEU vous protege.

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its all simple really... Lebanon should not have allowed the terrorist hesbullys into their government.. Anyone who sympathises with any terrorrist, should hunted and killed and so should those who harbor or help them.

1:17 AM  
Anonymous Young American said...

Hezbollah is in the country because they were needed to expell the Israeli terrorists who killed and tortured civilians in Lebanon from 1982-2000. Hezbollah also provides food and education within the region. Their goal is not pure destruction, while their means are wrong, their goal of defending their homeland that was completely vulnerable to attack and despair is justifiable. They never should have attacked Israeli soldiers, but Israel should never have disproportionately attacked Lebanese civilians.

2:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

feel isolated and bizzare in america.

i'm one of those liberal ruling class americans who has always sympathized with arabs in the middle east, and always felt pretty suspicious of israel and it's motives, policy, behavior.

the current circumstances aren't producing a result i can understand.

i would have expected that israel's behavior would have produced wide spread condemnation in the american populace.

i would have thought that americans everywhere would be horrified by what we see occuring.

at this moment, israel appears to be a typical case for the arguments we generally make about the middle east. we generally say the key problem is that many middle east gov't behave badly.

and at present, i see israel as the prime offender.

i see a state in violation of all that geneva and the hague were set forth to establish.

i see the israeli state murdering indiscriminately, and forcing migrations---CLEAR CLEAR war crimes.

yet i sit, here in my home on the east coast of the US and i see see no reaction.

why aren't we vocally condemning israel's behavior?

i'm so confused,


2:26 AM  
Blogger mrfixit1 said...

this is gross miscalcuation it was not one attack , it is the constant barrage of attacks for the past 20 years so this is certainly justified.

2:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would not call Isreal a bully, this may sound harsh, but what I see is that the Isrealis value thier lives, families and property apprently more than the Lebonese do. You would have to be an idiot to think that a group such as Hezbollah is not going to cause trouble for the average Lebonese guy just trying to live life. Everyone has a friend who at times acted like a loudmouth, asshole or the like, and you either told him to shape up, or stopped hanging out with him. The good folks of Lebonon need to take responsibility for the nonsense coming from their land, by a minority group of extemist knucklheads. Everyone in America, UK, everywhere, would be 100% behind you and help get Isreal off your back. But you need to put an end to Hizholloh and that type of extremism

2:39 AM  
Blogger mrtez said...

dobegs i am not ramsay...
there are two contributors to this blog, one is RS (Ramsay) the other is mrtez (tarek)...
that would be me...cheers

3:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Screw the mideast the friggen place should be wiped off the face of the earth.Just a bunch cavemen with high powered weapons.Anybody with the thought that blowing yourself up and takeing others with you is assnine kill em all and let their god sort em out.They wanna see ALA isay lets help em out that way they can all be marters and make the world a safer place

4:51 AM  
Blogger Terrorist Suck said...

Very interesting perspective.

Why no mention of this war being part of the Global War on Terrorism ??

It's very interesting to me to see how many people in this world turn a blind I to Terrorism. Maybe they've become accustom to it and sadly desensitized ??

I feel terribly bad for the people of Lebanon whom are the REAL victims in this war.

The UN put the Lebanese people in a totally NO-WIN situation with the passage of UN Regulation 1559.

How in the world was the small Lebonese army supposed to disarm a large State sponsored terrorist organization like Hezzbolah ??

What a joke!

That's like having the Cub Scouts here in the USA trying to disarm the Mafia for God's sake!

I understand the Lebanese people's position totally. How are you supposed to stand up against your next door neighbor (or relative) who is a member of a terrorist organization ??

If Prime Minister Siniora stood up and denounced Hezbollah he would be seen as a traitor and killed on the spot!

I'm NOT a big George Bush fan, but he got one thing right! He said in a speech (shortly after 9/11)....(In the Global War on Terrorism)...."You are either with us OR against us!"

There is NO inbetween here people! You CAN'T have it both ways! There will be NO Peace on this Earth until Terroism is put to rest!

It's no secret that Terrorist are driven by HATRED. Ask yourself this...When has HATRED EVER brought about any good in any situation ??

Here's a Clue.... NEVER!!!

A newborn child knows NO HATRED! HATRED is a LEARNED Emotion that is taught by HATE filled people.

Until people learn to deal with the root causes of this HATRED, nothing will be accomplished towards World Peace!

One thing you hear very little about in the media is this.... What do the Terrorist want and why do they have all this build up HATRED against the Free World ?

Terrorist are irrational people who absolutely refuse to discuss the issues that are troubling them. So how in God's name do people expect to negotiate and work things out with them ??

So it's come down to this....Chose a side. Either you are WITH the Terrorist OR you are AGAINST the Terrorist.

You can't have your cake and eat it to.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Terrorist Suck said...


Here's a VERY GOOD analogy of why Isreal went on the offensive.

If you poke a lion with a stick long enough eventually he will attack you!!!

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Screw the mideast the friggen place should be wiped off the face of the earth.Just a bunch cavemen with high powered weapons."

what a stupid stupid immature comment. For someone who apparently has the education which has allowed them to read and write and figure out how to post a blog you are absolutely ignorant.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A newborn child knows NO HATRED! HATRED is a LEARNED Emotion that is taught by HATE filled people."

In some cases you don't need other people to teach you hatred.
You would have this feeling too if your home or some relativ would be killed by a bomb.
A israelian or a libanees one don't matters.

And what israel is doing, will bring more people to learn hatred than years of teaching...

"Terrorist are irrational people..."

I think you don't spend much time in trying to understand the war. Am I wrong?

"Terrorists" are normal people, definitively not very smart, but normal people. They are people who don't see any other solution in a war against a mutch more powerfull foe, than to die in an bombing action against the foe or his people.

They are giving ther lives for something. And this something is important to undestand.

If israel would spend more time with tinking than with bombing, maybe they would find the root of the problems. And if they would realy try to solve them, maybe there would be no "terrorists" left in the end. Or at least only a very few nut people without any population backup.

2:08 PM  
Blogger dobegs said...

Sorry Tarek, I got confuded. not intended in a bad way.
cheers :)

2:26 PM  
Blogger mrtez said...

no probs dobegs...
keep the comments rolling...

3:43 PM  
Blogger Lilu said...

so you see terrorism as an acceptable form of protest then? a normal reaction? one that should be understood? you don't think there is place to say "hey this is not the way to resolve things"?

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Yann of Europe said...

Lilu, I guess you reacted on my post.

If you read carefully you will see that I never said that.

But "terror" always goes back on some oppressive politic. "terror" have nearly nothing to do with religion, most times with politics.

"terror" is spread when some people can't live decently.

No, "terror" is no solution, not even a part of it. But not all people have the moral "baggage" to understand this. Look at some posting here.

Some do think that war will solve something...

I beleave that Uri Avnery and Gush-Salom are right. And your job in israel and mine here is to talk with all people we can to let them know that someones want peace in the M-E.

At the end, it could come to the ears of the politician or put them some presure.

It is the only way. Talking and growing...

5:13 PM  
Blogger dobegs said...

Yann - its not just the jobs of you and Lilu... it must be the job of everyone in Beirut to Tel Aviv to the US to London to promote peace..

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real culprits here are Iran and syria. Sryia is afraid to face Israel because of the outcome of the last time they tangled with Israel themselves. Its easier to have Hezbollah take the brunt of the battle and your war can be fought on someone elses territory (lebanon).Iran on the other hand has dreams of a grand Shia Middle East ruled by religion with the religous ruling class pulling the strings of course.
Until religous fanaticism is quelled and the common man rises up to claim his liberties the world will never be a safe place.

12:47 AM  
Anonymous Yann of europe said...

dobegs - I know, it was only a chatting. ;)

But I realy do beleave that all the blog community and other internet communities could put presure on all politician in all countries.

We web users should be open minded, even the conservative ones, we should not look at the "score" on both sides. We should only report about and give strength to the peacefull sides.
Critisising both violent sides, without trying to give the guilt to any.

this 60 years war was a result of a long history. we can't posibily find who's guilty. israel put so much desolation on the palestinian that they drived them to radicalism. the other side is guilty to have let her "heros" drive them in a war without winner and that they never tried to find an other path (if they had copy Gandhis way, they would have reached more today).

For my point of view, israel is more to blaim: it as been the most powerfull strength in M-E all the years and Strength allways comes with great responsability (especially for Democraties). But they never used their power to solve the problem, only to force the other sides (this brings nothing good).

And this must be seen, so that the pride can be put aside (both sides) and some solution comes out. like Gush-Salom says it.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:36 AM  

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