Is this the appropriate time to stop hoping that Israel will ever develop a sense of reason? Although one can easily argue that the latest set of hostilities was started by the Palestinians and Hizbollah with the kidnappings of Israeli soldiers (who, let’s not forget, are not serving in the army voluntarily like our soldiers) but it’d be stupid to concentrate purely on the one ‘flashpoint’ event – that’s like blaming the entire First World War on the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. A couple of kidnappings does not warrant the destruction of Lebanese infrastruture, only just completed after the poor bastards were released from 20 years of Israeli and Syrian occupation (I’m sure we don’t need to go into detail, again, on the state of Gaza’s destruction. My only surprise is that there’s anything left standing in Gaza to bomb).

There’s a theory that Hizbollah was deliberately trying to provoke Israel into all-out war – why? Who knows – and was betting on Israel’s history of going wildly over the top in its responses. But that’s absolutely no excuse for the scale of the destruction – and to turn the argument back on itself, you could argue that therefore Israel only has itself to blame for the current mess. "Disproportionate" – the phrase currently beloved in diplomatic circles – is mealy-mouthed and tiny in the face of what’s going on over there. And this has nothing to do with Judaism, which I like for its intellectualism and peaceful nature. But since when did it become OK for the bullied to become the bully?


5 responses to “Israel

  1. Will July 16, 2006 at 5:40 pm

    I blame the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand with unleashing upon us a shitty scottish art-pop band though.

  2. kate July 17, 2006 at 11:10 am

    setting aside the moral issues for a mo, israel’s strategy isn’t even going to hurt those it’s trying to get at. lebanon is a weak state, and one that could quite easily collapse and be taken over by the much more hardline syria, as a result of these israeli tactics. the lebanese government is relatively moderate, and too weak to take the action israel had wanted it to take. if israel was in any way sensible it would seek to build up and support lebanon’s moderate elements, and support it in seeking further political independence from syria.
    but hey, why bother with longterm politics when a shortterm ariel bombing campaign will do, eh.

  3. Rachel July 17, 2006 at 2:02 pm

    Yeah, that’s why I was careful to put ‘Hizbollah’ rather than ‘Lebanon’ – poor bloody government; I guess I could have put ‘Hamas’ rather than ‘Palestine’ but Hamas are the biggest party there now (aren’t they?) so there’s slightly more reasoning behind that. Do you get the feeling Israel were just waiting for an excuse to have a go at Syria and Iran? The guy reporting from the area for the BBC Ten O Clock News last night was saying that Israel are pointing fingers at both those countries at the moment, and he looked so weary, so like “how the fuck did a stupid border skirmish get to the point where it’s about to turn into all-out war?”

  4. Adie July 19, 2006 at 2:24 am

    Ehud Olmert has a lot to prove as new Prime Minister without the usual military background. He is under increasing pressure to stop rocket attcks into Israel from Lebanon. Hezbollah have two seats in the government and the Lebanese government is powerless to disarm them. Do you really think a long and drawn out diplomatic effort with a government less powerful than a military organisation with seats in it would work?
    Israel is defending itself, and yes it could be argued taking advntage of the US’s distraction with Iraq and Iran, to weaken both Hezbollah and Hamas, physically at least.
    The offensive started when Hezbollah kidnapped Israeli soldiers. A provocative act that followed the continued rocket fire into Israel since 2000, after Israel had left. Israel left the Gaza Strip but that to did not stop rocket fire into border towns of Israel.
    Heavy handed some may so but they do not have the friendliest neighbours in the world and still they do not call for the distruction of their neighbours.

  5. kate July 19, 2006 at 9:30 am

    israel is NOT defending itself.

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