The Dissenter's Voice

The ocassional comments, opinions, rambling and rants of a liberal dissenter in New Labour's Britain

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Israel must stop

I am a friend of Israel, I am a passionate believer not only in the right of the Jewish people to state of their own but also in their right to defend it.

Israel was founded amid the ashes of the concentration camps, its surrounded by hostile nations, it has fought 5 years in its 58 year history. It's a nation that is forever looking over its shoulder in fear. One cannot fail to understand its determination, indeed desperation to get its soldiers back.

None the less I believe Israel must stop its bombing of Lebannon. This crisis was sparked by the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. But the Israeli military campaign is not just about securing the return of its men, its about destroying the kidnappers Hizbollah as a military force capable of attacking Israel.

But why is Hizbollah such a threat? Hizbollah is the dominant political & military force in southern Lebanon, far stronger than the Lebanese government. During the 18 year Isreali occupation it was Hizbollah that led the popular resistance. Financially supported by both Syria & Iran, Hizbollah didn't just spend the money on rockets they also spent the money on local people, providing services for people who were struggling to survive. Hizbollah is a threat today because Isreal's occupation of Lebannon made them gave them a popular mandate as a resistance movement, now Israel's bombing of Lebananon is making them even more popular.

The Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Ohlmert has made a terrible strategic mistake, he is still trying to prove his strength to the Israeli public but appears to be seriously mishandling the situation. He says he wants the Lebaneese army to disarm Hizbollah, but he knows that that the govt in Beirut doesn't have the strength to do it. Ohlmert is using the capture of the soldiers as a pretext to tame Hizbollah himself.
This though cannot work, the bombing campaign is inevitably hitting civilians hardest, as we are now learning the Israeli army is not hitting the targets it wants and Hizbollah's capacity to strike southwards remains strong.

Unlike the PLO in 1982 when Isreal invaded Lebannon for the first time, Hizbollah are not a foreign force that can be expelled, they are Lebanese. If they are removed as a military force in the South their terrorist operation will fan out from Beirut around the world. Yes this campaign, if kept up long enough will humble Hizbollah, but unless Isreal is prepared to stay in southern Lebannon for another generation, then Hizbollah will regroup. Regroup that is in a different form, with yet another wave of supporters recruited by Israel's actions.

Isreal must stop, there must be a ceasefire. If not then Israel will find itself back in Lebannon, trapped in the same quagmire it so recently escaped from. It won't just be a tragedy for the people of the souvereign nation of Lebannon, which has struggled to rebuild itself from 20 years of devasting cival war, it will be a tragedy for Israeli too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not think that one needs to just say there must be a ceasefire.If there is to be ceasefire what would happen would Hezbullah stop how can one do anyhing when the nations of the world have just stood by and allowed this to happen. All fighting should stop everywhere. When eh previous withdrawal took palce what happened? Hezbullah was just allowed to get further weapons adn prepare for situation

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Innocent Abroad said...

You've hit the nail on the head when you say Israel's a nation that is forever looking over its shoulder in fear.

Until that changes, nothing else will.

11:52 AM  

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