Difficult to write a lengthy posting at the end of a fast day. Difficult to take in today’s news when mourning for the destruction of the Temple…
Yesterday was a heavy day of rocket fire from Hezbollah, with over 200 rockets launched, and if anything today is worse. I’m getting different figures, but close to 10 civilians have died in rocket attacks today.
That’s not counting the three deaths of soldiers fighting in Lebanon. The fighting remains fierce, as the IDF moves northward. We’ve done Hezbollah a whole lot of damage, and many guerillas are dead. But most clearly there are many rocket launchers still working and much more to take out.
It is not entirely clear to me if all launching is being done south of the Litani River, or some is from north of that line. (Some of the rockets are powerful enough so that they could be north of the river and still be launched into northern Israel.) There is, as well, the entire issue of rearming going on by Syria.
But at any rate, we’re moving northward towards the Litani River with thousands of troops, tanks and other equipment, all of which is supplemented by aerial attacks.
Olmert has tried to take back his recent comment about this war establishing a stability that will make it more possible to withdraw from Judea-Samaria when it’s over. His "apology" was made after consultation with MK Effie Eitam, of National Union-NRP, who is connected to religious elements within the army. Olmert said that this was not the focus of his full statement, and that all he is concentrating on right now is winning the war.
But what he said generated a furor, and in a sense cannot be taken back. He said it. As a result, ten reservists are now refusing to serve in Lebanon. Should we, ask reservists opposed to pullouts, assist in an effort that he says will make the pullouts more possible?
Sadly, stupidly, Olmert has shattered the unity in this nation at war with his partisan statement. He even met opposition from within his coalition — from those seeking negotiations and not unilateral action.
One must hope that the evidence is so clear now — that we suffer when we pull back — that neither the population at large nor the majority of the Knesset would go along with what Olmert clearly, and insanely, still intends. Said MK Zevulun Orlev (NU-NRP), "Any intelligent person realizes that the war defeated realignment. Olmert suffers from a diplomatic blindness."
It is important to note that the Palestinian Fatah is taking a stand in favor of Hezbollah. A letter written by Bani al-Hassan, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, has gone out to Fatah members, advising them to prepare for a possible escalation in violence. While, in an interview with WorldNetDaily, Abu Nasser, second-in-command of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (which is Fatah), warned Palestinian terrorist groups might aid Hezbollah by carrying out large-scale attacks inside Israel "much bigger" than suicide bombings.
"For the moment, we see that Hezbollah is winning, but if – Allah forbid – there is a turnover in the war, we will not hesitate to carry out the plans we have been working on… We will use rockets. We will target Tel Aviv airport. We will not abandon our brothers."
Let us please remember this when people start babbling (as they will — see below) about Mahmoud Abbas and his moderates in Fatah.
I have just read in The Jerusalem Post the text of a talk Britain’s Tony Blair gave at the World Affairs Council in LA. He said so much that was absolutely on the mark it was heartening. He seems, in many ways, like Bush, a man who "gets it," and there aren’t too many of those around.
"Reactionary Islam seized the opportunity: first in Gaza, then in Lebanon. They knew what would happen. Their terrorism would provoke massive retaliation by Israel. Within days, the world would forget the original provocation and be shocked by the retaliation."
But then, then he also says this:
"We will not win the battle against this global extremism unless we win it at the level of values…
"Unless we reappraise our strategy, unless we revitalize the broader global agenda…and in respect of the Middle East, bend every sinew of our will to making peace between Israel and Palestine." (emphasis added)
And I think, oh gee, that again! Here he’s got it all wrong and what he is saying needs to be addressed. There is not radical Islam because we haven’t made peace with Palestinians. There is radical Islam because it has arisen in opposition to western values. It is not seeking our peace with the Palestinians. It is seeking our total eradication. Witness the words of Iran’s president. How would making peace with our neighbors mollify a group that wants us to disappear off the face of the earth? And what makes Tony Blair imagine that it’s possible to make peace with the Palestinians when they prefer to seek our destruction?? What I see coming down the road is more pressure for us to make more concessions and "try harder." Who should we make peace with? Hamas? Or Fatah, which is siding with Hezbollah?
When the war in Lebanon ends, we will have a great deal more to deal with.
This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2006/8/3/posted-august-3-2006.html