July 16, 2006
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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?