Monday, August 07, 2006

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent (Isaac Asimov)

Opinion polls in Israel have shown a record high support for the war, starting at 90% , averaging 80% for the last two weeks and with no significant effect of the Qana massacre on Israelis' opinion. The Israeli invasion of 1982 sparked the largest anti-war demonstration in Israel. Yet, the current onslaught does not seem to generate the same reaction. The portrayal of the conflict as one of survival of the state of Israel renders the analogy with 1982 not applicable. Furthermore, the Israeli military failures further deepen the existential dimension of this conflict. All the destruction “cannot cover the Israel Defense Forces’ failure to put an end to, or at least reduce, the intense fire on Israel”, as one commentator writes in Haaretz. This helplessness and failure accentuated the existential character of this war as it puts at risk the history of military superiority of the IDF: “We cannot afford a situation of strategic parity between Israel and Hezbollah. If Hezbollah does not experience defeat in this war, this will spell the end of Israeli deterrence against its enemies”.
The twin feeling of threat and weakness explain to some extent the high level of support to the war and the absence of any reactions against the violence and massacre in Lebanon. The ‘disproportionality’ of the military response is justified because Israel “must respond not only to the current provocation but to the much larger looming threat that Hizbullah and Iran pose to Israel’s very existence”. In such a context, Israel’s moral limits are drastically reduced, as “moral blackmail” becomes only a cover for “stupidity and immorality” as one editorialist wrote. “So don’t cry to me about civilians casualties” writes another commentator, “terrorists and their supporters have lost the right to complain about civilian casualties”. Peace activists are welcomed by slogans such as “a good Arab is a dead Arab”. “ [Israel Minister of Justice] Haim Ramon "doesn't understand" why there is still electricity in Baalbek; [Israel Minister of Industry, Commerce and Employment] Eli Yishai proposes turning south Lebanon into a “sandbox”; Yoav Limor, a Channel 1 military correspondent, proposes an exhibition of Hezbollah corpses and the next day to conduct a parade of prisoners in their underwear, “to strengthen the home front's morale.”” A father whose son was killed by Hezbollah fires artillery shell into Lebanon for the reporters while Israeli children are made to sign the shells that fall into Lebanon.
Gideon Levy stands alone today facing this nationalist and revengeful mood of the Israelis. “Israel is sinking into a strident, nationalistic atmosphere and darkness is beginning to cover everything. The brakes we still had are eroding, the insensitivity and blindness that characterized Israeli society in recent years is intensifying”. For those who hoped that the peace movement or the consciousness of some might put some break on the current onslaught, think again. The combination of fear and incompetence leads to the ugliest nationalism, one that is not deterred by the amount of death it is sowing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did Hezbollah start this war???
What was the purpose???
I am sure the answer to that is in IRAN, and they are going to pay very hard for that very soon,
It is absolutely terrible that the Lebanese people are paying such a hight prise due to the crazy Mullahs in Iran.

August 07, 2006 10:34 am  
Anonymous T.Vincent said...

I will never understand the liberal mindset. Thanks in part to a very liberal media, the whole world community seems to be blaming Israel for this latest round of violence in Lebanon. Has the world forgotten that it was hezbollah who started the whole thing by kidnapping 2 Israeli soldiers? How can CNN and the media take their side when they use their own people as human sheilds ? The IDF doesn't do that. In fact, the IDF is trying to minimize civilian losses as much as possible given the present situation, while Hezbolla launches one rocket after another (over 3000 so for) into Israel with the full intention of killing civilians. Has the world forgotten that historically, Israel has done everything required of it to secure peace with the Arab community ? This includes the giving up of land that it won fair and square after it was attacked by the very people that want it back ! Know this.... there can be no negotiation with hezbollah or anyone who backs them. The only solution is to realize that Israel, by defending themselves, is doing the "dirty work" here for the rest of us. We must give Israel all the time and support that it needs to get the job done here. Giving away more land, trying to appease these people through negotiation, or leaving it up to another U.N. resolution will not secure a lasting peace ! The only way to do it is the hard way.....TAKE THEM OUT.... PERMANATELY !

August 07, 2006 5:51 pm  
Blogger GDAEman said...

I see that you are tracking the damage inflicted on Lebanon by Israel & the US. I too am attempting to track the damage. See:

Lebanon Damage Report:

August 07, 2006 8:43 pm  
Blogger Uncle Ho said...

My dear T.Vincent,
Please put down that pipe and stop smoking that dangerous stuff. This ridiculous statement is an obvious symptom of this bad, unhealthy habit of smoking dangerous drugs:
"Has the world forgotten that historically, Israel has done everything required of it to secure peace with the Arab community "

With every weapon short of nukes (though depleted uranium is a slow motion nuke), Israel has gone out of its way to save the world from peace and tranquility.

buzz off,

August 08, 2006 7:18 pm  
Blogger Crazydog said...

You cannot create peace with war. Just take a look at Iraq. Isreal is not going to help theemselves if they continue with the fighting. The international community is going to alienate Isreal.

August 09, 2006 6:22 am  

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