Saturday, July 22, 2006

Israel's destructive, dysfunctional and irrational response

to a reality it helped create but doesn't like. Enabled, as always, by the United States. Of course.

U.S. Speeds Up Bomb Delivery for the Israelis

WASHINGTON, July 21 — The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, American officials said Friday.

The decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration, the officials said. Its disclosure threatens to anger Arab governments and others because of the appearance that the United States is actively aiding the Israeli bombing campaign in a way that could be compared to Iran’s efforts to arm and resupply Hezbollah.

The munitions that the United States is sending to Israel are part of a multimillion-dollar arms sale package approved last year that Israel is able to draw on as needed, the officials said. But Israel’s request for expedited delivery of the satellite and laser-guided bombs was described as unusual by some military officers, and as an indication that Israel still had a long list of targets in Lebanon to strike.

Here are what those bombs are being used for:

Israel's declared goal in pulverizing Lebanon with American-supplied munitions is to drive Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon. A sure-fire strategy for success--so long as you ignore history and reality, as described in, of all places, today's WaPo:
...Israel's previous military campaigns and occupations of Lebanon played a decisive role in creating this new enemy. Some analysts in Lebanon believe that the new bloodshed and a renewed attempt to fashion Lebanese society to Israel's advantage could generate yet another permutation, one that is perhaps even more irreconcilably hostile to the Jewish state.

"Now you risk producing something worse than Hezbollah, maybe al-Qaeda number two," said Fawaz Trabulsi, a Lebanese professor at the American University of Beirut who helped lead a leftist organization that fought Israeli troops alongside Palestinian guerrillas during the 1982 invasion.

"It's '82 all over again," Trabulsi said. "What's similar is the idea of destroying the infrastructure, of the PLO then, and now of Hezbollah. The difference is Hezbollah is Lebanese and you can't expel them."


"When I hear the Israelis talk about getting Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon, I have to laugh," said a veteran Middle East official and analyst who requested anonymity because of his sensitive position. "They live there."

From an interview earlier this week with Rami Khouri, editor-at-large of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper and an internationally syndicated political columnist and author:

...there’s a kind of an irrationality to Zionism that we’re seeing today, or at least to the Israeli political leadership, that just don't seem to get it, that when you repress somebody and you brutalize them, what you get is not acquiescence and subservience. What you get is defiance and resistance...

...Hezbollah, Hamas and these groups represent an organic natural reaction that has brewed and percolated and now is materializing after 15-20 years, a reaction of societies in the Arab world that has been extremely disappointed by the autocracy and corruption and ineffectiveness of their own Arab regimes, by the brutality and occupation of Israel, and by the rather racist and then now neocolonial and imperial in the military policies -- whatever you want to call them -- of the United States...

...People are not going to live in a vacuum, and they’re not going to be humiliated and degraded. And they’re going to look for alternatives. And the alternative now that seems to be sweeping this region is the Islamist movements, including the ones doing serious military resistance to Israel.

Alexander Cockburn also provides some historical context for the rise of Hezbollah:

Occupy a country, torture its citizens and in the end you face resistance...

...Of course they won’t destroy Hezbollah. Every time they kill another Lebanese family, they multiply hatred of Israel and support for Hezbollah.

And for the popularity of Hamas:
The years roll by and Israel does its successful best to destroy all possibility of a viable two-state solution. It builds illegal settlements. It chops up Palestine with Jews-only roads. It collars all the water. It cordons off Jerusalem. It steals even more land by bisecting Palestinian territory with its “fence”. Anyone trying to organize resistance gets jailed, tortured, or blown up.

Sick of their terrible trials, Palestinians elect Hamas, whose leaders make it perfectly clear that they are ready to deal on the basis of the old two-state solution, which of course is the one thing Israel cannot endure. Israel doesn’t want any “peaceful solution” that gives the Palestinians anything more than a few trashed out acres surrounded with barbed wire and tanks, between the Israeli settlements whose goons can murder them pretty much at will.

And finally, blogger Elizbeth offers a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Makes sense to me. Go read.


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