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Posted August 4, 2006

August 4, 2006

I do not usually run such large sections of the JINSA report, but in this instance feel inclined to do so. This report buoyed me enormously. I concur with every word:

"…Despite public criticism to the contrary, Israel proceeded [this week] with restraint even at the expense of her own well-being. This leaves her supporters with mixed emotions. On the one hand, there is tremendous pride in Israel’s higher moral calling. On the other hand, there are questions to be asked. Questions like is it right to put your own population and military at risk to save the lives of those who either willingly or unwillingly housed terrorists?

"What should be clear is that Israel did not show restraint in order to curry public favor–that they would be criticized was clear from the outset. It was only a question of time. How long would it take the "hatred" lobby at the UN and all their minions to condemn Israel and call for a cease-fire.

"Golda Meir once said that she could forgive the Arabs for killing our children but that she could not forgive them for forcing us to kill theirs. It is a sentiment that is too noble for this world, but nonetheless it was the operative sentiment in the policy decisions made by Israel this week.

"There is much speculation as to why the world hates Israel. No one knows for sure, but let me proffer yet another reason into the pot. Maybe, just maybe, it is the very decency and high standards of Israel they resent. It makes for a brutal mirror."

http://www.jinsa.org/JINSAReports/3487

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I call your attention to the anti-Israel bias of Human Rights Watch. This ostensibly objective organization has a history of targeting Israel unfairly. But its charges have been particularly egregious and jarring during the current conflict in Lebanon, as it does things such as draw moral equivalency between our accidental harming of civilians and Hezbollah’s very deliberate aiming at civilians. (Executive Director Ken Roth has written: "…whether by design or callous indifference, Israeli bombing has killed hundreds of Lebanese civilians.") A good summary of what HRW has been doing can be found at:

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_sarah_ma_060720_human_rights_watch_t.htm

Or you might want to see a lengthy exchange on the issues (which are complex with regard to international law) at:

http://www.ngo-monitor.org/archives/infofile/hrw_avibell_230706.html

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Significant note: Don’t believe it if you read that international law forbids us to conduct ourselves as we have been doing in Lebanon.

Article 51 of Protocol 1, Additional to the Geneva Conventions, 1977, entitled "Protection of the Civilian Population," lays out the rules governing treatment of civilians in wartime. Section 5. defines indiscriminate (thus forbidden) attacks. Subsection b. refers to "an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. (emphasis added)

Put simply, international law permits incidental injury to civilians if there is sufficient concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. No where does it say in international law that you can never act if civilians might be hurt. If our own civilian population is being bombarded by rockets that are causing injuries and deaths, and our army has pinpointed sites from which those rockets are launched, or where caches of those rockets are hidden, aiming at these constitutes concrete and direct military advantage that justifies incidental loss of civilian life. And indeed any loss of life would be incidental because we NEVER aim deliberately at civilians.

In fact, as mentioned above by JINSA, we so scrupulously avoid situations in which we might hurt civilians that we sometimes generate a disadvantage for ourselves. I’ve mentioned some instances of these in past days: Surrendering the element of surprise in attack by letting the civilians know in advance that they should flee. Or sending in foot soldiers to do hand to hand combat that puts them at risk (SHOULD we do that??) instead of doing aerial bombing because we know there are civilians in the area.

Aaron Lerner, director of IMRA, asked the IDF Spokesperson’s Office "if…Hezbollah organizes a group of ‘civilians’ to ring a rocket launcher as the rocket is prepared for launch and then launches the rocket towards Israel [is the official IDF position] that the IDF won’t attack the target.

"An ‘official security source’ replied: ‘Yes. The IDF will not attack a target where innocent civilians are known to be present. Hezbollah is already doing this and the IDF is not attacking targets under those circumstances.’"

http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=30448

Got that? The IDF will allow a rocket to be launched at Israel rather than hit Lebanese civilians deliberately ringing the launcher.

The world will never know. The world does not wish to know. But it is a bitter thing indeed to be taking such a PR beating. And fervently do I wish that Israel would do more forceful PR in her own defense.

Not only are we being used by Hezbollah because they are aware of our policy, some percentage of those classified as "civilian" deaths are deaths of Hezbollah operatives.

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We are continuing to fight the good fight in Lebanon, advancing north. We are hurting Hezbollah, without question and advancing towards areas of major missile launchings. But Hezbollah has had six years (thanks to Barak and successive governments) to hide its missiles and train. No one really knows how this will end, or when.

The UN is struggling with its resolution to bring a ceasefire and possibly put in an international force; attempts are being made to bridge proposals from France and the US. Olmert has said — if he will hold to it! — that we won’t stop fighting until that force is in place. Nasrallah has said he will keep fighting as long as any foreign forces (which would include the international force) are on Lebanese land. I’m hearing that Malaysia, France and Turkey might send troops. But there is no consensus on what those troops would be mandated or willing to do, either with regard to disarming Hezbollah, which says it refuses to be disarmed, or stopping rearmament by Syria. It’s really hard to imagine international troops entering the area under fire. Hezbollah will stop firing only if badly enough beaten to sue for a ceasefire or have received some rewards for its terrorism.

Getting the picture here?

The international community is pathetic. We are dealing with nations that prefer to look the other way when being confronted with very serious international dangers, and to paper over the problems with weak resolutions. We need to ignore the UN and do what needs to be done to the end.

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Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has told the Italian newspaper La Republica that "Hezbollah will disappear when the conditions that brought it to life will disappear.

"We are fighting for lands [Shabaa Farms] that belong to us. The first step needs to be the return of these lands and the
n the tension between the two sides will decrease."

Is he for real? Not only does Shabaa Farms not belong to Lebanon, Hezbollah devised this fiction as a rationale for fighting Israel. Minus this, there will be something else, because Hezbollah wants to destroy us, not acquire a piece of real estate.

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There is much to be said about what’s going on in Gaza, but I’ve not had the energy or time to also focus on that. I would like to simply mention here that I’m picking up reports that there are on-going negotiations between Egypt and Hamas with regard to releasing our soldier Gilad Shalit, and apparently we may be on the verge of releasing some Palestinian prisoners to get him back. While it’s not verified yet, I know it to be within the realm of possibility; I knew from the beginning that it was a possibility. We’ve set a precedent here. I pray for Shalit’s wellbeing. But this is nothing short of breath-taking stupidity, if it is true. It would be another reward for terrorism, another invitation to do us additional harm in the future.

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This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2006/8/4/posted-august-4-2006.html

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