Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bulls in Rut

"The generals were in their 40s, family men, but they clung to the Israeli culture of youth; they were like adolescent boys or bulls in rut. They believed in force and they wanted war. War was their destiny. Almost 20 years had passed since the army had won glory in the War of Independence, and 10 years since the victory in the Sinai. They had a limited range of vision and they believed war was what Israel needed at that moment, not necessarily because they felt the country's existence was in danger, as they wailed in an almost 'Diaspora' tone, but because they believed it was an opportunity to break the Egyptian army." (1967, Tom Segev, p 296)

"Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother." (Moshe Dayan)

Israel never, repeat never, starts wars. It is the most peace-loving country on the planet. Its bulging arsenal is basically for show, wheeled out only when the Arabs force their hand. Which they're always doing, of course. It's always warmongering Arabs, never peaceloving Israelis, who start wars. Those who read Murdoch fishwrapper, such as The Australian, know this. This is because the hordes of Zionist propagandists that pullulate on its pages have said it, over and over again, of every Israeli blitzkreig from 1948 to 2006. And they're still at it. Here's their Middle East correspondent Martin Chulov (No price too high for Israel to bring home its soldiers, 19/7/08) laying it on with the proverbial trowel over who was responsible for the 33-Day War against Lebanon in 2006:-

"Kuntar... has been recast as a resistance hero; a man in whose name Hezbollah was prepared to go to war... "

"Those who embraced Kuntar... would find it difficult to criticise the decision to force war on Lebanon... "

"Even before the war he sparked with Israel in 2006, Nasrallah... "

Let's see if this particular talking point agrees with the latest (2008) account of the war by Israeli journalists (Haaretz) Amos Harel and Ami Issacharoff - 34 Days: Israel, Hezbollah & the War in Lebanon? The excerpts below come from Chapter 5 - Going to War.

"At 10:15 AM on Wednesday, July 12, 2006, Hezbollah television station Al-Manar reported a successful 'kidnapping of 2 Israeli soldiers... We've kept our promise to free our prisoners'. In interviews on Arab satellite TV stations, Hezbollah spokesmen stated that the organization did its natural duty to free Lebanese prisoners and was interested in completing a new comprehensive prisoner exchange... At 12:50 that afternoon [Israeli PM Ehud] Olmert held a joint press conference with his [visiting] Japanese guest [PM Koizumi]. Koizumi asked that Israel respond with restraint to Hezbollah's latest provocation and weigh the consequences. Olmert, however, took an entirely different approach: 'The events of this morning cannot be considered a terrorist strike; they are the acts of a sovereign state that has attacked Israel without cause. The Lebanese government, which Hezbollah is part of, is trying to upset regional stability... We will not give in to blackmail or negotiate with terrorists on any aspect of the lives of IDF soldiers'. Olmert also stated... the Israeli response would be 'thundering'.

"[He] wanted to move quickly, on the assumption that the Hezbollah attack offered him a 'window of opportunity' to receive international support for a tough Israeli response. When Sharon was prime minister, senior IDF officers on more than one occasion tried to curb his anger and postpone impulsive decisions. This time, however, the chief of staff was no less bullish than the prime minister. Olmert's advisors claim that no one broached the question of whether to respond. 'It was clear to all of us that we had to respond', they say. The nature of the response was rooted in the decisions that had been made in March 2006, when a basket of targets had been approved. In previous discussions, all the security agencies had recommended a major military operation in the event of another kidnapping attempt..'."

"As at the government meeting... several of the senior [security] officers [at a meeting with defence minister Amir Peretz] seemed to be competing to see who could come up with the most far-reaching proposals and gutsy declarations, while the chief of staff orchestrated the proceedings. Dan Halutz insisted that the incident had to be seen 'as a watershed in the Israeli-Lebanese dialogue' and that targets linked to the Lebanese government had to be hit hard... 'They are to blame', he asserted... At the end of the meeting... IDF spokeswoman Brigadier General Miri Regev briefed reporters that the chief of staff had stated that Israel 'had to put Lebanon back 20 years'... Halutz came up with the idea of attacking the civilian infrastructure in Lebanon as Israel's main response to the kidnapping... 'We have to put out all the lights in Lebanon. We can shut off their electricity for a year, damage at a cost of billions'...

"At 5:00 pm, [Hezbollah leader] Nasrallah held a press conference... 'The only way of returning [the 2 Israeli soldiers] is through indirect negotiations for a prisoner exchange', he said, adding that the operation had been 5 months in the planning. 'We surprised no one. We've been saying for a year that we'd kidnap Israeli soldiers... in order to bring about the release of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners... The prisoners will be returned and we are prepared for a period of quiet, but we are also ready for confrontation. If [you] want confrontation, get ready for some surprises', he threatened.

"In hindsight, Nasrallah's goading words sound like a warning that Israel's leaders should have paid closer attention to. But they also illustrate a missed opportunity on the part of Hezbollah's leadership. Ironically, the person who boasted that he knew how to read the Israelis like the palm of his hand did not dream that their response to the kidnapping would be so devastating. According to Professor Eyal Susser of Tel Aviv University, Nasrallah saw the abduction as a logical move. 'He gambled. Israel was the side that changed the game rules. Nasrallah would have been happy to relinquish the pleasure, but he went to war with his head held high'.

"A Western diplomat posted to Beirut in this period claims that Nasrallah did not forsee war. 'Not even in his worst nightmare. Hezbollah's leaders envisioned a medium-intensity confrontation: heavy shelling for a week immediately followed by negotiations. They believed that the abduction would strengthen their position in Lebanon's political arena... Another Western diplomat holds that Nasrallah's mistake was understandable: 'I know of no state other than Israel that would go to war because of 2 kidnapped soldiers'." (pp 75-84)

Clearly, starting wars is Israel's prerogative.


Anonymous said...

I notice you are not covering the ''entertaining'' ongoing barbarism between fellow Palestinian Muslims { i doubt the few Palestinian Christians that are left would be involved , just as there ain't no Palestinian Christian suicide bombers]

Oh well we can all presume that whilst the ''peace loving Palestinians are fighting amongst them selves there attention will be less focused on smashing the skulls of Jewish Children..

bianca said...

Report: Torture Widespread in Palestinian Jails - Karin Laub and Dalia Nammari

Two human rights groups on Monday decried widespread torture of political opponents by Palestinian rivals Hamas and Fatah. An estimated 20-30% of the detainees suffered torture, including severe beatings and being tied up in painful positions, said Shawan Jabarin, director of the Palestinian human rights group Al Haq, citing sworn statements from 150 detainees. He said three died in detention in Gaza and one in the West Bank.
"The use of torture is dramatically up," added Fred Abrahams of Human Rights Watch, that is releasing its own report on abuse this week. Human Rights Watch said Abbas' Fatah forces need to come under closer scrutiny because of the international support they enjoy. (AP/ABC News)