Things are not looking bright up here. Not bright at all. In a few hours perhaps, we will have a show of strength from our neighbours to the south, most probably a bombing of our power plants, as happened a number of years back. I remember it well. It was night, silence everywhere. We had gone to bed. Suddenly a terrible explosion. Deafening. I jumped up from bed and immediately looked outside. The sky: orange. The sounds continued, and the sky was also bright with red lines: AAA left from the Soviet times. Pointless. The Israelis have not only superior military equipment, but also political support from America and other powers.
And repetition. To what end? People have asked me, do I condemn HezbAllah’s actions or support it? Is it provocation or a response to provocations? If only things were that simple! One thing is clear, whether or not this one was a provocation by HezbAllah, the fact remains that Lebanon witnesses almost daily violations of its airspace. I was watching BBC today, and they were showing a live interview with Mark Regev, Olmert’s spokesperson, and he argued that the border between Lebanon and Israel is recognized internationally and affirmed by the UN, and the crossing of HezbAllah operatives into Israel was an act of war. But not the daily crossings of fighter jets from Israel into Lebanon. Of course not.
I have been checking out Israeli blogs to see what they have written on today’s developments. I always read blogs from across the political spectrum. I was dismayed to see that even some of the moderates support a harsh response, the targeting of innocents, mass-punishment, all this in response to an attack on military targets. Their posts have been marked by violent hatred, and I keep wondering, if these people are going to lead Israel, should we ready ourselves for a nuclear war? Is it the same, or does this conflict get worse and more complicated with every generation? It seems that definitions and rules of the game are always changing, always being redefined. Previously attacks on civilians were being criticized and termed “war crimes”. Today, attacks on military targets are being defined in pretty much the same way.
A settler – you probably have heard of his blog (and I have been criticized for linking to him) – has this to say about the events:
I think the time has come to make sure we send them the right one.
If that means turning the famed cedars of Lebanon into matchwood… so be it.
If that means setting Lebanon’s electrical grid and physical infrastructure back to 1986… so be it.
If that means effecting regime change in Syria via f-16… so be it.
If that means destroying entire Iranian cities to force them to stop producing nuclear weapons they have promised to use to destroy us… so be it.
Of course, anyone in his right mind would not fail to see that all these are separate points, grouped together under the false flag of revenge, which would be deemed justified (after all, WWUD [What Would USA Do?]?). How else can one advocate destroying Iranian cities? Isn’t now the right time? Wasn’t the kidnapping of Shalit the right time to provoke Damascus by conducting an overflight?
Even more dismaying is this post, which I will not quote. I could not help but notice the double-faced nature of that entry. It advocates bombing the hell out of Lebanon (to put it less crudely), justifying such a call by references to anger, followed by a reference to Gandhi. Yet if anger could justify advocating bombing the hell out of entire countries for the killing of 8 soldiers and the kidnapping of another 2, then shouldn’t that also be the case for most Palestinians and many Lebanese, whose lives have been impacted by Israel’s actions? What then? An eye for an eye, then two eyes for an eye, then in response to the two eyes for an eye, four limbs for a limb, and on and on it goes, recursively? Or maybe it’s better to follow Treppenwitz’s suggestion and turn the cedars of Lebanon into matchwood. Now wouldn’t that be a blessing for the settlement enterprise!
It’s 1 am here. I’ve been keeping my ears open for any sounds of jets, and checking Israeli media while writing this. The latest reports (from local media) say that the IAF targeted a bridge in the coastal town of Damour close to Beirut, which cut off phone lines in some areas. Many injuries have been reported in the various strikes, including a hit on an ambulance and the injury of a number of reporters from NewTV and Al-Manar TV (VIEW AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION).
What is next, then? And where does this all end? And if these Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners are merely “security prisoners”, how come their incarceration is creating more insecurity? What are the implications? Should Israel turn the entire Middle East into one big prison and have “peace” its own way? Will that be real peace? Will Israelis go to bed with a clear, happy conscience, that they and their loved ones are safe, for many decades to come, while others’ children rot in prisons and camps, deprived of the most basic resources, water, food, health care. Will that put an end to this seemingly never-ending Israeli whining about how they are the weak, poor, oppressed, victimized, patient observers, David facing off Goliath? Or will there be more? More claims, more refugees (this time from refugee camps), to make way for Treppenwitzes? All this, and not once did I defend HezbAllah’s actions. Why should I? I don’t think it was justified, even if it was a smart, well-planned, effective strategy. If only the same could be said for our neighbours to the south.
If we know anything about the Israeli government, the coming days will be very bloody.