Reflections on the Middle East

25 Jul

This catastrophe, about that at least Tony Blair is right, continues to exercise all our minds. I heard an Israeli peace activist on Radio National this morning point out that there are around 3,000 Hezbollah in Lebanon. (You can listen too on that link.) I couldn’t help wondering how we would have felt if Britain a few years back — after the assassination of Lord Mountbatten of Burma, say — had decided to bomb Dublin because of IRA terrorism, and also demonise Boston and New York for their financing of such terror. But then maybe that’s a bad analogy: or is it?

1. The Pin in the Grenade. William Rivers Pitt pretty much got Iraq right in War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn’t Want You to Know back in 2002; is he right now?

2. War and Peace in the Mideast, essays from Tikkun, a Jewish site seeking “to influence public discourse in order to inspire compassion, generosity, non-violence and recognition of the spiritual dimensions of life.”

The war we declared on Lebanon has already exacted from us, and of course from Lebanon, too, a heavy price. Did anyone give any thought to the question whether it should be paid?

Everyone knows how this war begins, but does anyone know how it ends? Heavy casualties in the Israeli rear? A war with Syria? A general war? Is it all worth it? Look what a new rookie government can do in such a short time.

Behind the operations in Lebanon and Gaza is the same foolish idea about pressure on the population leading to political changes that Israel wants. In the history of the Israeli-Arab conflict, that concept has only led us from one disaster to the next. We “cleansed” southern Lebanon of Palestinians in 1982, and what did we get? Hezbollahstan instead of Fatahland. Hamas won’t fall because Gaza is in the dark, and not even because we bombed the Palestinian Foreign Ministry building at the weekend – another nonsensical move; Hezbollah won’t be smashed because the international airport in Beirut has been put out of commission.

Israel once again is not distinguishing between a justified war against Hezbollah and an unjust and unwise war against the Lebanese nation. The camouflage concealing the war’s real goals was ripped off by this defense minister, who says what he means: “Nasrallah is going to get it so bad that he will never forget the name Amir Peretz,” he bragged, like a typical bully. Now at least we know that Israel went to war so that the name Amir Peretz is never forgotten. It’s the war for the perpetuation of the name Peretz and the blurring of Dan Halutz’s failures. And to hell with the cost.

See also: Israeli Ministers, MKs Blast Belligerent Olmert (Islam Online: “MKs” = “Members of Parliament”) and Anti-war Tel Aviv rally draws Jewish, Israeli Arab crowd (Haaretz Israeli News Site).

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One response to “Reflections on the Middle East

  1. Daniel

    July 25, 2006 at 8:12 pm

    I don’t think your analogy is at all bad. What Israel is doing in Lebanon amounts to craziness as well as a war crime. They will be even more hated than they already are. They are ensuring they will never have peace.

    How such mass stupidity comes about, I can’t image. Fanatical religion and extreme nationalism are two factors (which also apply to America). But there is something else buried in their psyche, a brooding cruelty which they cannot shake.

    They will yet bring us all undone!

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