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Posted July 21, 2006

July 21, 2006

This posting includes material of significance (both factual and analytic), so that I urge you to share it broadly.

I begin with a technical correction from yesterday’s post: Shebaa Farms is in the Golan Heights, not on the Israeli side of the Israel-Lebanon, border, as I had written. The UN says it’s part of Syria; I would call it part of Israel — the Golan having been annexed. In any event, this is an issue solely between Syria and Israel; it is not part of Lebanon. Israel did withdraw to the border with Lebanon in 2000. Hezbollah made the claim that Shebaa is part of Lebanon to represent Israel as still occupying Lebanese soil and to justify violence; Lebanon is again raising the same phony issue for the same purpose (see below for the relevence of all of this).

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Returning to the charges being made with regard to Israeli damage to Lebanese civilians: JINSA has provided some excellent descriptions of the care with which Israel has been functioning.

Please, make note of these points and utilize them in defense of Israel:

[] At the airport, the runways were taken out, so that arms couldn’t come in for Hezbollah, but control towers and terminals were left in place for future Lebanese use.

[] Roads between Lebanon and Syria have been bombed to prevent reinforcements from coming in, but one road has been left open to allow civilians to flee.

[] The radar stations were bombed but the Lebanese soldiers operating the stations were first advised to flee. (One group didn’t listen and suffered 10 deaths, others did and escaped without harm.)

[] There is a naval blockade to keep Iranian or Syrian ships from re-arming Hezbollah by sea, but Amercian and French ships are permitted in and out.

[] There has been no blanket bombing of villages. The area of Beirut that has been bombed is "where Hizballah command and control facilities share space with the families of their senior officers."

http://www.jinsa.org/JINSAReports/3466

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Perhaps even more importantly, Post columnist Evelyn Gordon ("The innocent bystander myth," July 20, 2000) puts the lie to the notion that Lebanon is simply an "innocent bystander":

"First, of course, Hezbollah remains a member of the government, with seats in the cabinet….in any normal country, a junior coalition member that attacked a neighboring country without its partner’s consent would be swiftly disavowed and ousted from the government.

"Instead, the Lebanese government has passionately defended Hezbollah’s actions on the international stage" At an Arab League meeting last week, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, reportedly backed by representatives from six other Arab countries, "lambasted Hezbollah’s assault as ‘inappropriate and irresponsible.’"

But the Lebanese foreign minister, instead of disassociating Lebanon from Hezbollah’s actions, defended the attack, presenting a resolution stating that Lebanon has the "right to resist occupation by all legitimate means" and asserted Lebanon’s right to "liberate [prisoners] by all legitimate means."

We might begin by asking what occupation is being referred to. This is the Shabaa farms issue. Says Gordon, Lebanon is siding with Hezbollah on this, rather than with the U.N., which said Shabaa was not part of Lebanon.

As to "legitimate means," Lebanon is agreeing with Hezbolla’s policy of kidnapping soldiers to trade for prisoners.

In addition has been Lebanon’s failure to even attempt to implement Security Council Resolution 1559, which required that Hezbollah be disarmed and the Lebanese army be deploy in the south. Even if, as the prime minister claims, they are too weak to do this, it should be noted that the government has not even attempted to stop the flow of weapons coming to Hezbollah from Syria. Gordon reports that weapons openly earmarked for Hezbollah arrived almost weekly in the Beirut Airport, which is fully under the control of the Lebanese government.

Paints a different picture from the one being received in most mainstream press, does it not?

I regret that I am picking up no URL on the Post site for this article.

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Caroline Glick, in her Post column today says, that "while Israeli elites, including Foreign Minister Livni and her colleagues in the government "still speak of a need for Israel to seek some accomodation with Hezbollah…US President George W. Bush, his press secretary Tony Snow, US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton and both houses of Congress have made it clear in the past week…that American is unwilling to continue to abide by (this) view…"

To the new US stance, which favors taking out Hezbollah over trying to arrange negotiations with it, I say, Glory Be! Let it not be weakened by UN and EU positions. The tendency, still, here in Israel, for persons of import to believe that Hezbollah can be handled via diplomacy is deeply troublesome, however, to say the least.

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Daniel Pipes speaks most forcefully to this very issue in a recent article.

"Erroneous Israeli decisions in the last 13 years have led to an unnecessary war," he says. From 1948 to 1993 Israel was able to "burnish its reputation for toughness."

However, in the course of the last 13 years (since Oslo), Israel has engaged in a "mishmash of appeasment and retreat" so that "Israel’s enemies rapidly lost their fears and came to see Israel as a paper tiger." So much was this so that in 2000 Hezbollah’s Nasrallah declared: "Israel, which has both nuclear power and the strongest air force in the region, is weaker than a spider’s web."

"To undo this damage of 13 years requires that Israel return to the slow, hard, expensive, frustrating, and boring work of deterrence. That means renouncing the foolish plans of compromise, the dreamy hopes for good will, the irresponsibility of releasing terrorists, the self-indulgence of weariness, and the idiocy of unilateral withdrawal.

"Decades of hard work before 1993 won Israel the wary respect of its enemies. By contrast, episodic displays of muscle have no utility. Should Israel resume the business-as-usual of appeasement and retreat, the present fighting will turn out to be a summer squall, a futile lashing-out. By now, Israel’s enemies know they need only hunker down for some days or weeks and things will go back to normal, with the Israeli left in obstructionist mode and the government soon proffering gifts, trucking with terrorists, and yet again in territorial retreat.

"…the import of hostilities under way is not what has been destroyed in Lebanon nor what the U.N. Security Council resolves; it is what the Israeli public learns, or fails to learn." (emphasis added)

Truer words could not be spoken. Mark them well.

http://www.danielpipes.org/article/3763

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I end this posting before Shabbat with a heartbreaker: There has been a helicopter crash in which one Israeli soldier has died. He was married two weeks ago. A friend of mine who attended his wedding is today attending his funeral.

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This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2006/7/21/posted-july-21-2006.html

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